When I was a young roofing salesman, many full moons ago, I once met an older Transylvanian businessman. No kidding. We had lunch together near the San Diego waterfront. It was probably 1985 or 86. Somehow, we wound up talking about entrepreneurship, and he gave me some business advice. He said, never tell anyone what you are going to do beforehand i.e., start a business, or for that matter, any serious endeavor of any kind. If you tell people beforehand, he said, only three things can happen: 1) people will be jealous of you and give you the evil eye, at minimum, or they will take steps to thwart your effort, either way it will increase your chances of failing 2) You will fail and people will look down on you for making big talk and winding up a loser 3) You will succeed and people will see you as a braggart or egotistical boaster.
Instead, he counseled me in the following way. He leaned over the table with his deep set eyes shining and his Transylvanian accent flowing (think Count Dracula), and he said. Say nothing, but do just do it. Then, if you fail, no one will know. But, you succeed you will simply be admired and lauded by others.
Perhaps he is right. But, as you might have noticed, when it comes to the 365 Commitment, I am taking the opposite tack. I am telling anyone and everyone about my 365 Commitment. I am willing to suffer the evil eye, and run the risk of failing and being seen as a loser if I fail, or perhaps a braggart if I succeed. I am taking these risks for two reasons. 1) I may encourage or inspire someone else to take this journey with me and thereby make a positive impact on their life, 2) I am more motivated to succeed and not give up because I have made a public commitment.
Think about it. When people get married they don’t keep it a secret for years until their marriage is “successful.” No, they make a public commitment. They take the risk. When someone goes for a particular career or an education, they don’t keep it a secret. My friend Guy, who succeeded in 2018 in stringing together 365 consecutive days of incremental improvement is a hero in my opinion! I am proud of him and happy to see him “move the needle” on many fronts of his personal development. So, maybe it was the company that my Transylvanian business coach kept that was the problem, or maybe the culture, who knows.
At any rate, my recommendation, as far as the 365 Commitment is concerned, is to shout it from the rooftops, and commit! Do it for yourself, your family, your community, your pet, whatever and whoever, and don’t keep it a secret for God’s sake. We all need the encouragement and support of our community. You will never fail until you quit. And, you can’t fail if you fall down and get back up, keep trying, visualize the goal and publicly commit.
And, if your friends give you the “evil eye.” Get new ones! 🙂 365 Commitment members, for example.
Ben Wagner (14)
Member 365 Commitment
I love this and practice this often because I know that if I tell someone I have to follow through.