Imagine being able to count on your partner 96%

How committed are you right now?
If you had to put a percentile on your commitment to your domestic partner, what would it be? What would you like to experience more of in this relationship? What would you like to have less of? What would you like to be different?

How about your job? Out of 100, how committed are you to your company or employer? What is there too much of for you in this part of your life? What is there too little of? What would you like to be the case that is not the case?

When it comes to your own health and fitness, how committed are you as a percentage?  What is the breakthrough or transformation you’d most like in this area?
Out of 100, how committed are you to your best friend? What would you like to be true with them that is not true right now?

How about your family – your siblings, children and parents?  How committed are you to them individually or collectively?  Write down a number?  What would you like the number to be?
Is there a particular project you’re involved with right now – it could be an acquisition or a a rennovation, or perhaps you’re planning a sabbatical or a new business venture. How committed are you?
Note your answers and write down the percentiles of your current commitment to each area, so you can evaluate.

To get a sense of how commitment correlates to satisfaction, check out your own satisfaction in each important area of your life by answering these simple questions here    I wonder how the percentages match up?

By committing completely, you have the power to create a future of your own design
When your relationship feels stagnant, your work-life is uninspiring, or a venture hits the doldrums, there is nothing more welcome and exciting than a partner who declares their undying love, a boss who reminds you of their total belief in you, or a collaborator who shares their passion for the project.  There is something transformational about commitment. It allows possibility to  triumph over all the reasons why “it can’t be done.”
But what if your colleague, your spouse or your boss is waiting for you to show them how committed you are?  After all, they’re only human too.
Through words and actions that deliver on what you intend—you have the power to create a future of your own design. But commitment takes courage, and, well, commitment.

Being “all in” is transformational
You might think that being 96% committed to your partner, colleague, or boss, would deliver 96% of a result. You’d be wrong.  To give any relationship a chance of success, you have to be 100% committed. Anything less, and your project or partnership is almost certainly doomed.
 And if you don’t believe me, just imagine how you’d feel if your best friend, your spouse, your most trusted colleague told you they were 96% committed to you.  You wouldn’t be human if your entire focus didn’t go to the missing 4%.    

Now imagine if your beloved friend, colleague or partner pulled you aside to declare their total belief in your relationship or shared project – imagine how you’d feel if they told you, truthfully, that they were 100% committed.

And it’s not just about what you say.  It’s as much about what you feel and how you act.
You know when someone is 100% committed. And you know when they’re not.  And they don’t need to say anything.  It’s the same with you.  Your colleagues, collaborators, friends, and partners could put a number on exactly how committed you are to them – and I’ll bet they wouldn’t be far out.  So, you may be holding back precisely because you believe that your friend or colleague is holding back from you, but it’s a catch-22 because unless they feel you are 100% there for them, they won’t fully invest in you.  And you know it’s true because you wouldn’t either.

Today, my client, Sam Barcroft is highly regarded the world over as a pioneering creator of digital content, but in his blog, Creatorville he recounts one of his first and most bitter rejections as a young musician. As a young man, Sam loved the experience of being in a band but hedged his bets by accepting a last-minute place at university. “This meant I could continue my music at the same time as studying. And then I got fired from the band.  They didn’t want me unless I was 100% all in. It was a hammer blow. I was devastated, as I hadn’t seen it coming. The band had been such a brilliant and fun time of my young adult life.  It was a terrible rejection. But it taught me a great lesson. If you want to be seriously successful, you have to go 100% all in.”

Burn Your Boats

The 100% rule extends to how you define yourself. Just as Sam Barcroft’s fellow band members did not want a student-musician as a band-mate if you had the choice between hiring say, an Abba tribute band, and an ABBA tribute band that also covered Boney M,, a Wedding photographer who only did Weddings or one who also did trade-shows, who would you choose?  Personally, I’d always pick the professional who was 100% committed to their chosen craft.

You may know the story of Hernán Cortés arriving in the New World in 1519 with six hundred men. As soon as they embarked, he made history by destroying his own ships, so that the men would have to commit to their new life, without any hope of return.

By burning the ships, by removing any available path back to a different or previous way, your teammates have a chance to become as fully committed to your shared endeavour as you yourself obviously are.

Ditch the people and plans to which you are not willing to commit totally
Being 100% committed to a few, select and special relationships, by necessity means not being committed to others. If you accept that total commitment is transformational and that without it no relationship or endeavor has any real chance of thriving, it makes sense, doesn’t it, to ditch the people and plans to which you are unwilling, or unable to commit?

Instead of blaming your partner, boss, or collaborator for their lack of commitment, it’s way more honest to find a way to withdraw 100%.

It’s a form of burning your boats that signals to the partners upon whom your chosen future depends, that you are 100% committed to them.

Being Committed is not the same as being attached
Attachment is a personal contract we make that says “If this project succeeds then I am a success, and if it fails I am a failure.”   Attachment is heavy for others to be around. When you’re attached your ego is so wound up in a plan or project that it becomes impossible for others to give any feedback.  There’s no space for any input, or for others to feel joy, lightness, or self-expression when you’re holding on so tightly and making it all about you.

Attachment is no fun for you either.  A big part of my job as a coach is supporting clients to see life as a game. And when your ego is tightly wrapped up in what you’re doing or making, it’s hard to be playful and creative, or bring your best to the game. 

Being committed without being attached is a new contract with yourself that says: “I will do everything in my power to make this happen, but I will not make the outcome all about me.”  This way of being includes the possibility of experiencing lightness and fun. 

When someone is committed but not attached, they’re saying “I had a thought I’d love to share with you,” “how about this,” “maybe we could try it this way,” and “I’d love your input.”    And when we’re on the receiving end of someone who is committed but not attached we feel free to try out whatever it is they’re proposing.  When someone is unattached they create the space for us to say ‘No, it’s not right for me,’ which is essential in order for us have the freedom to say ‘yes, count me in.’   Only when we can say no, can we say yes with any power. 

Commitment driving force of all adventure. And, for any chance of success, commitment has to be total. You have to be all in.


  • Remy Blumenfeld

    Coach and business advisor for creative entrepreneurs   Remy Blumenfeld is a coach and business advisor working with individuals across the creative industries. His clients include founders from film, tv, advertising, publishing, and gaming.  He is the founder of two TV production companies and has been named as one of the 20 most influential LGBTQ people in the United Kingdom by the Independent Newspaper. He writes regularly on creative leadership for Forbes and Inc.
    Remy has created Stand Out For Creative Startups, designed to take your creative business, or business to be, to the next level.  The course draws on the wisdom, learning and mistakes of dozens of case studies across the creative industries. It will transform the business part of your creative endeavor into a winning game.