Your level of conviction will determine your level of achievement.
I’ve been thinking a lot about conviction.
The ability to be so staunch about an idea that it causes you to reject anything that’s not that idea.
When you start to observe people who are leaders, or successful, or popular, you begin to realize that they truly believe in something.
They believe in it so much that it causes them to take action, and to place bets in the direction of that idea.
I believe that depth of conviction might be one of the most important behaviors in a human life.
If you don’t have conviction, you’ll wander aimlessly and be led astray.
If you have conviction, you’ll take specific action and lead others in the same direction.
Commitment to the bit
You might not realize it, but you love people with strong convictions.
They’re edgy. Controversial. Against the grain. Willing to die on a hill for their cause.
Sometimes it’s even at a level of cringe that makes you feel bad for them.
And that’s the idea. It makes you feel something.
“Commit to the bit” is a phrase used in comedy. It’s not hard to understand: simply double down and go where most people wouldn’t go. Cross the line. Make people uncomfortable.
It’s this commitment to the bit that separates the good from the mediocre. The legends from the average.
You might not like the bit. But that’s okay. It’s not for you.
But there’s another bit that you like. Another bit that you resonate with. Another bit that makes you feel something and makes you rethink some of your core behaviors.
People with strong convictions make a difference in the world. They’re able to lead people. Rally people behind ideas. Move people to action.
If you want to be an effective leader, or if you want to make an impact on people, or if you want to generate attention, commit to the bit.
Better to be hot or cold
In the Bible, in Revelation 3:15-17, Jesus makes mention of this idea. He says:
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
No one likes a room-temperature drink. They like hot coffee. They like ice cold water. A room-temperature drink has no value and will be rejected.
Similarly, in regards to your actions, going halvsies on something you believe in will cause you to be rejected.
You don’t get the benefits of believing in something if you don’t take action on that belief.
You only receive the benefits if you are hot or you are cold. You only receive the benefits if you take a strong position. You only receive the benefits if you commit to the bit.
The wonderful thing about this idea is that, the ideas from other side do not matter.
If you’re sufficiently convicted about an idea, there is no question of it’s validity. You simply behave as if there is no other way to live.
This unlocks levels of satisfaction in your life that you may have never experienced before.
In the Bible, in James 1:8, James writes:
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
When you don’t have conviction about who you are, about what you’re doing, about what you’re never doing, and about where you are going, you will never achieve anything or make progress.
When you don’t know who you are and what you’re about, you can’t make good decisions.
When you can’t make good decisions, you’re aimless. Wandering around. Looking for something to project yourself on to make you feel something.
You become a follower. You follow other people that are single minded. They know what they are doing. “Maybe I’ll do this, maybe I’ll try that …”
Double mindedness is a trap that causes you to become ineffective.
You don’t want to be like this.
Become single minded.
Double down on what you believe in, and move in that direction.
If what you believe in is good, and works, then you will receive the benefits.
If what you believe in is bad, and doesn’t work, you will find out quickly, and then you will still have time to adjust your perspective and change your core beliefs.
But you cannot reach that point if you do not sufficiently exhaust the limits of a single idea. You cannot see the benefits of moving in a direction if you never move in that direction.
The straight and narrow
In the Bible, in Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
When every idea is acceptble to you, it leads to destruction in the end.
When everything could be true, or you can’t decide who you want to be, it will lead you down a path you don’t want to go.
The best path for your life is incredibly simple.
It’s founded on a single idea that makes it crystal clear what’s on the path, and what’s a distraction from the path.
Staying on the path is the way to receive the benefits of taking action on an idea.
Being distracted, getting on different paths all the time, and aimlessly wandering in directions that you don’t understand or know what results it will generate, will cause you to stumble and fall and ultimately destroy your life.
Decide what results you truly want in your life. Think in decades, not days. What consistent actions lead to those results? What path leads to that end?
Choose a straight path.
Stay on the path.
Do not get off the path.
Walk the path.
Get where you want to go.
Cutting out noise
When you are sufficiently convicted about a certain way of living, it becomes incredibly easy to spot great ideas and bad ideas.
You know instantly whether someone’s advice is good for you or bad for you.
Sometimes you can tell instantly by the conviction of the person you’re hearing. You look at the fruit of their life, the results they have achieved, and you know instantly whether that’s something you want or something you don’t want.
But when you are not convicted about any ideas, everything sounds good.
Partying and drinking all weekend seems like fun. I’ll do that!
Hooking up all the time and sleeping around seems like fun. I’ll do that!
Gambling looks like such a rush. I’ll do that!
Being rich sounds nice. I’ll do that!
Being married and raising a family sounds nice. I’ll do that!
Being jacked seems cool. I’ll do that!
It’s impossible to be fully convicted of all of the ideas listed above.
It’s up to you to decide what ideas to the results you’re seeking.
And when you decide on those ideas, it’s not enough to accept the ideas that you believe in.
You have to cut out what’s not accepted.
Cutting out the noise becomes easier when you know what you believe. And cutting out the noise makes making decisions (the correct decisions) easier.
Placing sound bets
At the end of the day, you don’t know if what you believe in is “true”.
You can think it’s true. You can act like it’s true. But you don’t really know if it’s true.
Every idea you take action on is a bet.
Sometimes, you’re able to latch onto an idea that proves to be lucrative and produce fruit in your life.
Sometimes, you latch onto an idea that bleeds you dry and leaves you empty-handed.
Placing sound bets requires wisdom. You need to be able to discern what is true and what is false. To be able to distinguish between truth and deception.
Wisdom is acquired by taking action on ideas. Testing ideas. Tasting the fruit of ideas. Observing the ideas of others.
Once you have sufficiently observed the outcomes of different ideas, you begin to realize what ideas line up with how you want your life to be.
You can place faith in something that will continue to generate results for you your whole life.
This could be a business, a spouse, a community, or simply how you want to spend your waking hours.
Perceive the outcomes you want in your life. Find the ideas that lead to those outcomes. Place bets on those ideas and move in that direction.
Then you will experience the fruit of the seeds you sow.
Simply never stop
Sufficient conviction allows to you continue when the outlook seems bleak.
When you’re just starting on a journey, or you are testing out ideas, sometimes things happen that you never could have expected.
You have to ask yourself, “Is it the idea that’s wrong? Or are my actions not lining up with the idea?”.
But once you find the ideas that resonate with you, they will keep you going through dark times.
Bad things happen, even to the best of people. You can’t control what happens to you in every instance.
But, if you believe in something, and you keep going, you will be able to see things through and you will be able to push through to the other side.
If you don’t have conviction about something, you’ll give up.
If you give up, it’s over. You cannot experience the results of an idea if you give up on it.
Success comes to those who do not give up. Success comes to those who double down on their ideas. Success comes to those who push through when times are tough.
Having strong convictions helps you sufficiently see things through, and helps lead you to the life that you truly want.
It’s best to double down and be convicted about ideas that are timeless.
Timeless ideas were true thousands of years ago, and will be true thousands of years from now.
Yes, you can have conviction about a short-term idea, and it might even work out for you. But that’s like timing the stock market. It’s like winning the lottery.
You cannot generate consistent results by having conviction in short-term ideas.
You can generate consistent results by having conviction in long-term ideas.
Finding these ideas can be difficult. This is the reason I read the Bible. It gives you timeless ideas that will always be true (or, show you timeless ideas that will always be false).
When you focus on evergreen ideas, you begin to move in a direction.
When you focus on short-term ideas, you have to start and stop constantly.
Focusing on evergreen ideas allows you to keep going, so you can continue to experience the benefits of taking action on that idea.
You might be a hypocrite
If you truly believe something, and you are not taking action in that direction, then you are a hypocrite.
You might tell people you believe something, and you might even believe it in your head, but if it’s not causing you to take action and move in that direction, you don’t actually believe it, and saying you do makes you a fraud.
My challenge to you is to take action on what you believe in.
It might not be what everyone else believes. It might not be flashy, or sexy, or popular.
It might not even work.
But, you can start to move in a direction. And moving in a direction allows you to change directions.
You can’t steer a parked car.
So, become a moving vehicle. Take your strongest convictions to the limits. Test the ideas. Start from the results that you want in your life and work backwards to the ideas that lead to those results.
Then, cut out the noise. Do not take advice from people who do not line up with those ideas. Do no become double minded. Do not accept ideas that do not lead to the results you want in your life.
Commit to the bit.
Become hot or cold.
Become single minded.
Stay on the path.
Cut out the noise.
Place sound bets.
Don’t ever stop.
Focus on long-term truths.
Don’t be a hypocrite.
I believe this will help you make real progress.