Personal Success: How and Why to Follow the 100-Percent Rule

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The 100-percent rule says that if you want to achieve personal success in any endeavor, you must be 100 percent committed to it. Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles, famously wrote, "Successful people adhere to the 'no exceptions rule' when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a 100-percent commitment to something, there are no exceptions." Jack's words send a simple yet powerful message that's often repeated and quoted by life coaches and inspirational speakers all over the world. Here are some tips to help you live by this rule.

Make Life Easier by Committing 100 Percent

When you're 100 percent dedicated to a task, rule, or way of life, you effectively leave no room for exceptions or negotiations. And in terms of daily stress, committing 100 percent of your effort is much easier than committing 80 percent or even 99 percent. If you have any room for slipups or slacking off in your plan to achieve a goal, you'll have to constantly ask yourself questions such as, "Should I or shouldn't I work on it today?" These questions not only take up your precious time, but they also add unnecessary stress to your day-to-day routine. If you put in 100 percent of your effort, there's no room to question whether you want to write a blog post, avoid alcohol, or go to the gym today. You know you have to do it and that commitment can truly put your mind at ease.

For example, if you're making a commitment to a daily workout routine, go all in and don't make any excuses. Plan to go six days a week and don't stray from your commitment. Make your goal a top priority by packing your workout clothes before bed every day and making reservations for classes at your favorite studio in advance. This will show your commitment to yourself and those around you. If your goal is to pay off your credit card, you can use the rule as well. Cut up the card or put it away in a safe. Create a payment plan and make a firm commitment to reserve a portion of your paycheck to paying off the balance each month.

Apply This Rule to What Matters Most

No one is perfect and you certainly can't expect yourself to commit 100 percent to all things at all times. The key is to look at your life and determine what you want to accomplish the most right now. Do you have a bad habit you want to quit, or a book you want to start writing? To find out what you should be applying the 100-percent rule to, complete this quick exercise:

Close your eyes, take three slow deep breaths, and place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Then answer the following three questions.

  • What are you most passionate about?
  • What is most important to you?
  • What deserves all of your attention right now?

When you take the time to think about your answers to these questions, your 100-percent task will be clear. For the other parts of your life, allow yourself some breathing room so you can focus on your 100-percent task.

In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes, "Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end, the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it." His message is one of tough love, but it rings true for those who want to make a change. If you want to meet your goal and achieve personal success, follow the 100-percent rule to the best of your ability. Commit to do the work with no exceptions, and you'll soon see your life take a rapid turn toward success.

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