Monday, November 26, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 33

99% is a bitch; 100% is a breeze is Jack Canfield's thirty-third success principle. This is about making 100% commitment, a no-excuses policy. This releases you from the stress of debating every day with yourself or others whether you will or will not go to the gym, make a blog entry, spend time writing. When you break a commitment one time, it's easier to break it again. Canfield encourages us to make 100% commitment to those daily disciplines which will get us closer to our dreams.

Now, I understand the value of this principle. And Canfield makes a persuasive argument by talking about the consequences of even 1% lack of commitment - like what if your surgeon performed 99% of his surgeries with great care and let one slide? And 100% commitment definitely supports boundary-setting. For example, if your entire family knows, without question, that every day at 10:30 you write in your journal, they will get used to not bothering you at that time.

But my gut reaction to the principle is that I find it a bit too hard-ass. When Canfield speaks with praise about the man who wouldn't eat ice cream at a party his friends threw for him because he only eats ice cream on a full moon (his friends even created a full moon and invoked the moon goddess's permission), my reaction is that he's being rigid and ungracious.

I am all for sticking with your routines if they support you but I think there can also be something positive about going with the flow of life, trusting your inner rhythms, being open to change, possibility and unexpected ice cream.

What do you think?


Shannon said...

I'm mostly for this one. I know that once I've let something slide once, it can happen again and again. Once you do get into the habit of it, it makes it a lot easier to not cave becuase you don't consider it as an option.

If the friends few the full moon thing, I think they should have thrown the party on the full moon! Or, gotten a chocolate fountain instead :)

Marilyn said...

For me, that all-or-nothing approach invariably slides into berating myself with shoulds and guilt if I don't follow through. I think I've reached an age where I'm trying to learn to be gentler to honor my intentions...and allow myself enough space to go with the flow if I need to back away from any of them at any time.

Mardougrrl said...

I'm with Marilyn...I am still searching for the happy medium of "all or nothing" and "gentleness"--I know I go back and forth way too much--let things slide and then berate myself harshly for doing so.

Hmmm...thanks, as always, for the post!

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh I am so glad you don't agree because as soon as I started reading this it got my back up. It isn't realistic, it isn't flexible and it isn't appealing to me at all. It doesn't allow room for sudden joy or surprises which can make you sick. It's pretty much everything I think that's wrong with the work force right now, even if that work force is your dream.

Lilymane said...

I think the principle is correct in some ways - our magic flows through us and our will is done in the universe because we believe it will be done. If we routinely let ourselves down - then we stop believing what we say to our very own self - and our magic stops flowing. However, being uncompromising and following a path blindly once you've set it up is a surefire way to damage that inner self too. As usual - I end up thinking we need a little bit of both and the ability to tack back and forth between the two to align ourselves with our most authentic path.

I love structure and commitment - full commitment is important - but rigidity (in my book) is more harmful than anything else. I don't at all claim to have it perfect - but I've found a way to balance "do it, no excuses" with listening deeply and being gentle with myself.

What a thought provoking blog post Jamie! Peace.

Melba said...

Too hard ass for me too.
I think flexibility is the key to a happy life.
When commitment feels like deprivation I am pushing against what I want and that never brings the results I want.