Committed Failure

Seems like all everyone wants these days is a cutting edge training program, a sophisticated diet plan, delicious recipes that burn fat & build muscle, and exotic supplements that do all the work for you.

And everywhere you turn these you see more and more products, programs, and supplements hyping people up to believe they can build the body of their dreams, while spending less time in the gym.

Seems to me like slacking off has become all the rage.

Everyone wants to do it the easy way.

Yet we all claim to want better physiques, better marriages, better relationships, better careers, better lifestyles…the list goes on…

Unfortunately, despite all of the sophisticated high-tech methods we have for doing everything now, the “easy way” rarely gives you the results you’re after.

So people fail again and again, and are left out in the cold questioning their motivation. Questioning their resolve.

Look, there is no trainer, conference, counselor, or guru who can motivate you. There is no pill, powder, potion, or cream that lift the weight or run for you. There is no machine, gadget, or gizmo that will transform you into a stud. How successful you become depends 100% on YOU and you only.

So how can you become more motivated?

I’ve been an athlete my entire life and played sports at every level from peewee league to the pros. In my experience, the athletes who are the most motivated are the ones with the highest goals.

These athletes just have a burning desire to achieve more. They love the battle, the pain, the challenge, and the journey. They want to win more than anything in the world and they have no problem investing pain, sweat, and time to achieve their goals.

These athletes set FIRM goals and are able to sustain the durability of commitment to persevere through hardship in order to become a CHAMPION.

So the higher you set the bar, the lower the odds you give in and quit when the going gets tough. The higher you set the bar, the greater the odds you’ll rise to the challenge. The higher you set the bar the greater chance you have of truly becoming great.

Unless you’re just comfortable being an Average Joe…or Average Jane…

On the opposite side of greatness lies Mr. or Mrs. Average. This person usually seeks comfort & pleasure more than they desire greatness. This guy (or gal) is perfectly comfortable looking, feeling, and being average.

They live it and they breathe it. Average body, average car, average career, average marriage or relationship, average life. And Mr. and Mrs. Average HATE a winner. They can’t STAND a successful person. They turn their noses up at anything and everything that has to do with high achievement. You know the type…

And I’m not here to bash The Average Joe, but I’m guessing that since you’ve read this far, you probably aren’t one of those people whose goal in life is to be average.

I mean let’s face it. We all want a great body, a cool car, a badass job, a smoking hot girlfriend, and a rockstar lifestyle.

And if you WANT all of those things and haven’t ACHIEVED all of those things let me just say that it is 100% YOUR FAULT.

Let’s take your physique for example…

It isn’t your trainer. It’s you.

It isn’t the workout program. It’s you.

It isn’t the diet plan. It’s you.



1. You haven’t completely engaged.

2. You’re unfocused.

3. You lack total commitment.

Here’s the thing. Most people never achieve a great physique, a great relationship, a great career, a great lifestyle, etc because they are too afraid of risk. Allow me to explain…

Committed Failure

We all know that any type of success requires a commitment. That’s a no brainer. So obviously we should all be excited about making one right?

Not exactly.

We have been conditioned our entire lives to avoid all things involving risk, and making a commitment is usually a HUGE risk. When we put forth a 100% effort and succeed, there is no greater feeling in the world. However, when we put forth a 100% effort and fail, the effects can be devastating.

This is the reason most people only partially commit. They simply want to protect themselves, their feelings, and their egos. We see this partial commitment syndrome everywhere, in marriages, in the office, with parenthood, in the gym, etc. The list goes on and on.

Sure most people probably want to be a superstar athlete, or businessman, husband, parent, etc but unfortunately, risking all and failing is just too much to ask for some.

Since when did going ALL IN become uncool?

One of my coaches used to tell me that I could achieve 70 to 80 percent of my potential without ever making a true commitment, but that the last 20 to 30 percent – that small percentage of effort that separates superstars from role players was completely dependent on my commitment level.

One of the worst feelings in the world is to try your hardest and fail. Trust me, I know exactly how that feels…it sucks. Just look at the faces of the guys on the teams who lost in the NCAA Final Four and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Those guys worked their entire lives for that one moment and failed.

How would you respond if you were in the same situation? Would you get back on the horse and try again? Or would you walk away and say…sigh…well I did my best…

Well that depends entirely on your method and level of commitment.

Outside In vs. Inside Out Training

My coaches taught me that there are two types of commitment. Commitment through obsession (external) and commitment through inspiration (internal).

You can be successful regardless of which method of motivation you choose, but only one type will allow for much more self-satisfaction than the other. Allow me to explain:

Athletes who are motivated by obsession can definitely become success stories, but these athletes never truly enjoy the process. Their journey to the top is usually filled with anguish and emotional torment.

They often feel relieved after a win, and winning is never really fulfilling. Wins typically bring a feeling of relief rather than elation. Competition instills fear and creates anxiety because the thought of losing is simply too big of a threat. Plateaus, losses, and setbacks bring discouragement, anxiety, stress, and depression. And even worse, this athlete usually fears competition in the future because of these negative emotions.

I see this happen quite often with bodybuilding and fitness competitors. Many of these competitors obsess so much about winning that when the show rolls around, after all of the dieting, training, and prep…the fear of both failure and success absolutely consume them. They simply crack under the pressure and stress of the moment.

This scenario typically happens when an athlete needs to validate who they are by what they accomplish. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, but athletes with this mentality need great coaches and mentors around them constantly to keep them on the right track.

This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to train for the RIGHT REASONS. It’s great to push for results, but sometimes when you train with a “results first” oriented mindset, your results aren’t nearly as satisfying in the end. This sort of success feels more like a relief than a feeling of excitement. I call this sort of training “outside-in” training.

On the flip side of that, athletes who are internally motivated see competition and winning much differently. They are very fulfilled after a win and they are able to find happiness and satisfaction in even the smallest of successes. Even tiny accomplishments brings pleasure, joy, and growth. As this athlete continues to grow and develop their fulfillment levels are compounded even more. Plateaus and failures will disappoint this athlete, but only make them more eager to compete again.

These athletes train simply for the love of the game. They train to EXPRESS and not to IMPRESS and as a result, inspire even MORE success. This is what I like to call “inside-out” training.

committed failure

Putting It All Together

A 100% commitment is a ballsy move, but in order to become a winner, this is a risk we all must take. We all go to the gym, we all try to eat clean, and we all want to be rewarded for our efforts, but that effort will only take you so far.

In order for you to reach your true potential, you first need to be internally motivated. You’ve got to WANT it. You’ve got to have that burning desire to want to improve and get better. And nobody can create that for you. Either you have it or you don’t.

Secondly, you have to do it for the right reasons.

When I was an athlete at Clemson University, coach used to help us overcome the fear of commitment by constantly telling us “there is no heavier burden than a great opportunity”…and he would also remind us of what he liked to call The Three D’s of Every Challenge:

He would say “gentlemen, you must first have the Dream; and after that dream, you’ll usually find Disappointment; then, there comes either Discovery or Discouragement. For anything worth working hard for…for anything of value, a breakdown usually occurs before a breakthrough. Your job guys, is to decide on the reaction or response that will yield growth”.

The great Dan Kennedy’s has something he likes to call The 3-Legged Stool of Achievement. Try to picture in your mind a 3-Legged Stool. If any one leg is missing, you can’t sit on it; you topple over. One leg is no more important than the other. All three legs share exactly equal importance. Two without three is no better than one without two or even none. All three are vitally necessary. Their importance is evenly, perfectly balanced. So, one of these legs is: INFORMATION. Another: ADVICE AND ASSOCIATION. The third is: DECISION AND ACTION.

If you want to take your physique, your marriage, your career, etc to the next level you need to take action and commit 100% RIGHT NOW. Not timid action. Not tiny action. Not tentative action. Not toe-in-the-water action. Not slow motion replay action. MASSIVE ACTION.

I’m all in. Are you? 

Comments 5

  1. I really liked your idea of outside-in vs inside-out training. That’s a very interesting way of looking at it. You are 100% correct in your assertion that it is important to train for the right reasons, that component of fitness training has been lost among the egos, fake muscles, and dollar signs these days I think.

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