Going All In

Until recently, I was more of a proponent for taking baby steps towards goals.  To try to motivate my international students, I would talk to them about how learning English was a necessary stepping stone toward their bigger goal.  I encouraged taking baby steps toward learning English like gradually increasing how much English they use in a day.  In my personal life, I tried to introduce little changes that would improve different areas of my life, like adding a glass of water or some yoga to my morning routine, and we follow Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” for financial security.  I read a book by John Acuff called Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job.  In it, it talks about how he worked extra hard on weekends, early mornings, and late nights to work at his day job and work towards his dream job.  Basically, he took baby steps.

In an episode of Friends, which I’m happy to say is now streaming on Netflix (!) Joey and Chandler talk to Rachel about “the fear.”


Having “the fear” motivates you to move forward, to go for the things you want.  Quit the job you hate so that you can go for the job you want.  Go all in and all out for your career.

Recently, I’ve been watching The Biggest Loser.  The people on that show leave their families and their lives.  They dedicate weeks and weeks to becoming healthier, to eating right, to exercising, and to losing weight.  They are going all in and all out for weight loss, for themselves, and for their loved ones, and their transformations both on the inside and outside are amazing!

When the new year started, I decided to go all in, too.  I started on Weight Watchers (the free version), I started exercising some mornings (pilates, yoga, strength) and some evenings (cardio on treadmill), I cut out diet pops, and I cut out all desserts.  Last year, I wanted to do all of these things.  I thought about adding them in slowly, but none of it stuck/most never happened.  It’s too easy to back out of a baby step.  It’s a lot harder to quit if you’ve gone all in.

All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life by Mark Batterson has changed my perspective on things.   He talks about Cortes and suggests that part of the reason for his success conquering the new world when others had failed was that he ordered his men to burn the ships so that they knew there would be no returning home.  Later he states, “Nine times out of ten, failure is resorting to Plan B when Plan A gets too risky, too costly, or too difficult.  That’s why most people are living their Plan B.  They didn’t burn the ships.”  It’s a do or die thing really.  Sink or swim.  When there is no alternative, the only choice is to fight harder to make sure Plan A works.  You have to go all in and all out; otherwise, you lose.

We are able and willing to apply this to our lives in so many aspects.  We go all out for our jobs, for our health, for our families, and especially for our children.  What we wouldn’t do for them!  But what really speaks to me about Batterson’s book is basically that we need to go all in and all out for God.  First and foremost, it needs to be, “What we wouldn’t do for Him!”  He says, “Every second of time, every ounce of energy, and every penny of money is a gift from God and for God.

If you haven’t read All In, read it.  (I loaned it from the library for free through Overdrive.)  It’s an amazing message that may help you put life into perspective.  Let’s try going all in for God, and start to see how our lives change.  As Batterson says, “It’s all of you for all of Him.”  It’s not easy, and we will all falter…but for God’s grace.



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