Inspired by a recent experience with a client. There is a transformative power in giving your all to something, even if it fails. Winning feels good, but the real growth—the real nourishment—only happens when we show up fully. Commit fully.
It is a privilege to put your all into something and still fail. It is a privilege to fail at something that you’ve put your all into.
There is honor. There is respect. There is confidence. There is strength and experience and wisdom and life force embedded and integrated into the experience of putting your entire self as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a business owner, into something, even if you don’t achieve the outcome that it is that you think you want.
Because the outcome isn’t the answer, right? Whenever we’re working on something. Sure. The outcome might feel good. The achievement might feel good. The goal might feel good. But the reality is, is that the wisdom, the strength, the growth happens when we inject ourselves, when we push all of our chips into something and allow ourselves for a moment to risk as men getting it wrong, not winning, not achieving.
You see, we’ve become so victory oriented in our culture, so victory oriented as men that we limit ourselves in being able to attack and tackle and take on experiences in life that we might fail at. And so we back away, we shy away.
We put in 50%. We show up into the relationship at 70%. We show up in our careers half-assed. I mean, there’s so many different sayings for this.
And recently this came up with a client because he said these words, he was talking about his life and he said, “You know, I wish that I could just put everything into something, because I know it would be a privilege to fail at something that I’ve put my all into.”
And I said, “Yeah, that’s actually it. Yeah, that is that’s entirely it,” but there’s blocks, right? We have been conditioned as men to, in many ways, buy into this false narrative, this illusion that anything that we can’t win or be savantly gifted at automatically—that we should ignore.
But there is nourishment in the hard work. There is vital minerals that our psychological ecosystem requires in order for growth to be possible, for us to put everything that we have on the line, everything that we have; that we put everything into something and still fail because it’s in those moments where we realize limitations. Where we’ve met our threshold. Where we have glimpsed for even just a moment where our edge might be in that moment, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, financially.
And that’s what we’re seeking. Right? We are not satiated—at least me and most of the men that I’ve worked with and seen and known and come into contact with and spoken to—are not satiated by giving a half-assed effort into something and succeeding. The victory feels hollow. It’s like a McDonald’s meal. It’s empty calories. You know, it’s like Wonder Bread. You know there’s nothing in it.
And it feels hollow in a sense because it’s fleeting for a moment. You’re like, “that’s great.” You know, the relationship that just shows up and it feels flawless, right? It’s like, you know it’s a fairy tale. You know, it won’t probably last.
The relationship you’ve had to work for, the career that you’ve had to hustle, the business that you had to build, the finances that you’ve had to be dedicated to, the bo and the health and the fitness that you have meticulously and rigorously had to dedicate your time and effort and energy and skills to, in order to craft and develop, that is in many ways what makes a man.
That is, in many ways, what men are seeking in order to make themselves, not that they make themselves in a silo. Not that they are the purveyors of the totality of themselves. They still require help. We still require other people to contribute to us, but there is honor, there is respect for ourselves. There is trust for ourselves to be found in the experience of having given 100% effort into the workout and still fail. To give 100% into a relationship and still have a fall apart to give a 100% into a business and still have it crumble and not work out. There is honor and respect and trust.
And so many men in our culture are struggling right now to trust themselves, to respect themselves because they’re giving 70%, they’re giving 80%, they’re giving 90%. They’re right there. They’re giving 95%, but they know they’re not entirely in it. They’re not fully invested. And because of that, they feel like a fraud.
And I know this because I’ve seen it time and time again. There is a masculine desire and craving to be all in on something. To be fully invested in something. To have given yourself to a cause, to the building of something, to the creation of something with such fervor, with such rigor and discipline and dedication. To be exhausted at the end of it, because it’s not about you winning or being victorious or taking first place, or it being a miserable failure. It’s not about those things. It’s wonderful when it happens. It’s wonderful when it works out, but the strength and the reckoning and the resiliency is created mentally and emotionally, psychologically and spiritually and physically in the knowing that you could not have done more. You couldn’t have put more of an effort in. Period, full stop.
And there’s a satiation in that that we as men crave. So it is a privilege to fail at something you’ve put everything that you have into. I agree with my client. I agree with what he said, and I hope that all of you, everyone can take this message and can look at your life and see, “Where am I giving 90%? Where am I giving 80%? Where am I half-assing it and I’m not invested?
And where you see that lack of investment, that lack of discipline and rigor and dedication and commitment to something, you’ll probably see resentment. You’ll probably see frustration and anger and disappointment. You’ll probably see a lack of confidence, a lack of respect towards yourself.
And so lean in my friends, push the chips in. See if you are able to be with the discomfort, with the fear with the anxiety, with the worry of giving everything and still having it fail and still having it fall apart, because there is a certain kind of glory to be found in that space.
So I hope that you take this message. I hope that you share it with somebody that you know needs to hear it. And until next week, this is Connor Beaton signing off.
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