I recently had a question from a friend:
“Have you gone ‘all in’ with this whole ‘writing a book’ thing?”
Before they asked, I hadn’t thought about it like that before – “all in” – despite the fact that I’d been working on the book for quite a while and had remained out of the workforce to finish it.
The writing itself started out as a hobby, something I did in my spare time for fun instead of, say, watching a film or reading. Then, as something bigger took shape, it became a passion project. When I fully gave myself to it, I lost myself in it.
Even so, when I thought about whether I was “all in”, I was quite uncomfortable with the suggestion that I was. I guess this has something to do with the fact that when I hear “all in”, I think of poker. When someone is playing poker and goes all in, they stand to lose everything if it doesn’t work out.
I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to chase this goal and complete this project, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t got other chips on the table. I believe having those other chips has been important, because it’s given me perspective.
This is the old question: when going after a big goal, should you have a backup plan? For me, the simple answer is yes. Some might say that’s a cop out, but for me it’s just common sense. You can still give your all to something, and keep other options available. Otherwise, you might feel the pressure too much, and this can actually have a very negative impact on how you approach and tackle the big mission in the first place.
Then I considered a different definition of “all in”. What if it actually means just giving something your all? Is this the same as standing to lose everything? In my opinion, no, it’s not. And this definition sits better with me.
So, coming back to my friend’s question … Have I gone “all in”?
Using the second definition, the answer is … yes, I have. I’m all in.