All In

Photo courtesy of Api Shop

Photo courtesy of Api Shop

Most mornings I like to lounge in bed. I get up, make a cup of tea, and then grab everything from my journal, Bible, devotional,  magazine, and a pen and crawl back into bed under the white sheets and down comforter, back comfortable supported by a host of pillows in different shapes and sizes, and the sun unabashed in its intrusion to my room.  This morning was no different and I grabbed my copy of Fast Company from the slate blue coffee table in my living room.

The first article to catch my eye was titled Failing to Break. That absolutely sounded like me. Then I saw that the person interviewed for the article was the guy behind Thunderclap. I just participated in a Thunderclap campaign for a friend of mine who’s the founder of Act4Accountabilty, a non profit dedicated to government accountability and advocacy.  I started reading and the second paragraph in had me thinking “You crazy lucky guy.”  He quit his job two days after he found out he had a kid on the way. Talk about going all in. Who does that? Apparently Dave Cascino. He was super fortunate however to have a wife who told him to  “Go for it!”. I mean that is pretty sweet. To have a partner who is all about supporting you as you go all in to whatever it is you are giving your all to is amazing. In my mind that was a game changer for Dave. I’m not willing to say he wouldn’t have moved forward with Thunderclap without his wife’s support, I am willing to say it’s pretty likely would have impacted his process and progress.

For a moment I wished for a spouse who was cheering me on in my endeavor to go all in. Then I grabbed my journal and wrote “There is no Calvary. No one is coming to save you. You will make mistakes. You are 31 and have made plenty of mistakes and lived. You will make more mistakes and still live.” Blunt but true. If I was waiting for a significant other to believe in me and my dreams, hold my hand on the venture, wipe tears after disappointments, setbacks, or just stupid mistakes, I’d never go all in. It would be scary and lonely. Even in a state of delirium I wouldn’t ask for scary and lonely.  Oh you crazy lucky Dave. Oh you crazy courageous Ahyana. Oh you crazy courageous you.

Photo courtesy of Three One

Photo courtesy of Three One

That’s what it takes to go all in. Well part of what it takes. There’s some other things like focus, energy, creativity, determination, etc. But you gotta start with some crazy and some courage. By crazy I mean, you gotta start with the gumption to go after what you want even if you know at the start you don’t have everything you want and question if you really have all that you need. Dave kept it real in the interview- fully aware that his going all in to create Thunderclap could cost him a lot- including bankruptcy. Yet he started the venture anyway. And he was lucky to have courage to go after this and someone who believed in his courage. So maybe I should say crazy lucky courageous Dave.

I did the start up thing back in 2008. I also stopped it back in 2013. I’m re starting up. Trust me, if you think starting up the first time is crazy, re starting takes another level of crazy. I’m not dealing with all new unkowns. I know some things. Now I got some unknown stocked with some didn’t work out and what if it doesn’t work out again. Yet, I’m going at it. And I am going at it teamless. My team will come, this I am certain. But I’m not waiting for a team of folks to buy into my vision, to vet my vision, to redraft it, test run it, work out the kinks. That’s for me to do. No Calvary. Just courage. Courage to get back out there, to give myself fully to my vision, to go all in, head first.  It takes courage to give yourself fully to anyone or anything. Holding back is so much safer. Offering samples of ourselves, our talents, our abilities is convenient and honestly acceptable. We really have a way in the western world of tolerating mediocrity, and a surviving on a steady diet of the half baked. Going all in means just that, all. Doing all of anything takes courage. And courage is a daily moment to moment decision.

Here’s the deal- every day you have a chance to go all in. In your relationships, you job, your hobbies, your exercise regimen, etc. You can give it 100%, 87%, 63%, or 42%. You get to choose whether you ever have the conversation with your significant other about the prescription your doctor wrote you for depression thus giving them an opportunity to support you differently or to know you more fully. You get to choose if you sign up for the HR course about being a better supervisor even if you won supervisor of the year two years in a row two years ago. You get to choose whether or not you apply for a spot in this year’s craft fair and showcase your work or push yourself to create a line just for the showcase. You get to choose if you work out for the suggested 30 minutes 4 to 5 times a week or push yourself incrementally until its closer to an hour or so 4 to 5 times a week.

My hope for you in this moment, in this day, this week, month, and definitely this year is that you stop waiting for what your think you need to give your life all you got. We are relational beings. We need connection and community. We also need to live out our purpose fully. Others can help with that but they can’t do that for us.  The only person who can successfully go all in for the life we want, desire, and were designed for, is us.  Let’s get in there.

Photo courtesy of Nuitsi Belle

Photo courtesy of Nuitsi Belle


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