“Half-heartedness never won a battle.” – William McKinley
Imagine for a moment that something terrible has happened, and that you need a heart transplant. Fortunately modern medicine is sufficiently advanced that heart transplant surgery is a well established procedure. Indeed, on average 10 such transplants take place around the world every day. All is well.
The big day comes, you go off into the theatre for the operation. When you come back out, you discover that the surgeon has decided, rather than replace your heart with a fully working new one, he has only given you half a new heart.
You are, quite literally, half-hearted.
Now, how far do you think you will get through life in this condition? Will you be able to go climb those mountains? Or even the stairs? Almost certainly you won’t even be able to climb out of bed unassisted.
Clearly, being half-hearted in this way would severely limit your ability to achieve pretty much anything. It would be a disaster.
So why is it that so many of us go through life doing things only half-heartedly? Thereby dooming ourselves to failure?
Of course, we don’t set out to undertake our tasks half-heartedly; indeed, we may think we are putting everything into it. But, sadly the truth for many of us is that as soon as we hit the first obstacle, we give up, consoling ourselves with a “Well, I tried.”.
If I asked you to go out into the street and lift up the front right of a car with just your bare hands, you’d probably look at me as if I was a little mad and tell me it couldn’t be done. If I insisted then you’d perhaps give it a shot, grunting and straining, but not lifting the car.
However, if you spotted your loved one trapped under that car and there was nobody else around to help, chances are you would find the strength to manage to lift the car enough for them to get out, even if it meant you injured yourself in the process – you would not stop until you had saved their life.
And that is the difference between going about something half-heartedly and putting everything you have got into achieving it.
For half-hearted doesn’t just mean “Oh I suppose I’ll try”. It’s way more than that.
It might be that you don’t have a big enough incentive, so when you hit the first obstacle you give up because, well, you tried but it’s impossible.
Or it might be that you lack the confidence in your ability to undertake the task, which may well even stop you from starting because, well, you don’t think you can do it so why start?
Which is why, when undertaking any substantial task, it is important to put ourselves into the right mind-set at the start.
It is important for us to ask ourselves “Why?”.
Why are you doing this?
What benefit is there for doing it?
Why is that benefit important to you?
When you dig deep and start to really understand why you want to succeed, when you start to truly appreciate the massive benefit and reward which success will bring, then that starts to be enough to get you over the obstacles and through the hard times.
Once you have that massive motivation, any lack of confidence becomes a side-issue, something you can solve with help from the right person who will help you find that confidence which you already have, you just don’t uite realise how to access it.
Simply put, when the pain of failure outweighs the pain involved in taking action, then you really place yourself in the best position to undertake your task wholeheartedly!
And that is often the most crucial part of any success.