I’m all in…
Three words likely heard while sitting around with a group of people playing a game of poker. It’s often associated with that point in time in competition, when a competitor chooses to push through anguish, fear and doubt, and perform what he or she feels is going to propel them to victory.
It’s easy to associate ‘going all in’ with a feeling that all odds are in your favor. That fate is bound to be yours and all the stars are aligning for good fortune. It creates a sense of eagerness, perhaps even notions of nervousness, knowing that whatever happens next is out of your control, but you’re doing all that you can while seeking a favorable outcome.
Truthfully, that’s just scratching the surface. Dig deeper and there is greater meaning, and a greater understanding of ‘going all in’.
This week, instead of explaining in writing the message I am trying to convey, I want to share three visual representations with a caption for each photo. Each picture was a poignant moment from my experiences while living in Guatemala and is why I think differently when I begin to approach a new task that is going to require extensive efforts – both physically and mentally.
To go all in means doing what few people or no one else is willing to do.
My fiancé and I began our ascent at 4:30AM. Volcano Santa Maria in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala is still active and its peak reaches 7,500 feet. When we arrived at the top, we were in shear astonishment when we noticed this group of indigenous women who made the trek to the top and arrived much sooner than us (several actually passed us on the trail). Many of whom did this in traditional Guatemalan traje (clothing) all wearing sandals or heels. Why did they do this? Plain and simple – to pray. These women went ‘all in’ for their faith and made the sacrifice to do something that so many others weren’t.
To go all in means to commit – there is no turning back. You take a risk because no matter the outcome, you feel you are doing the right thing.
When I made the decision to move to Guatemala, the first time reality hit was when I purchased a one-way plane ticket. The next time reality smacked me in the face was the night before I left, and my bags were all packed. I wasn’t satisfied with my career. I was longing to find purpose. And another year away from my girlfriend (now fiancé) just wasn’t going to cut it. In just three bags I had everything I would need for the next year. The potential reward outweighed any risk. I would overcome obstacles each day, but I was ready to make myself vulnerable and ‘go all in’.
To go all in means to have a vision/view that no one will ever understand.
To this day, I have never experienced a better, more relaxing morning in my life than what is displayed in the image above. Two days before returning home to the states, we were fortunate to provide a family who became our best friends with a night at Lake Atitlan, in the lake house of a friend. This is considered to be one of the top 5 most beautiful lakes in the world. The family we took here had never been to the lake, a mere 2 hour drive from their home in Quetzaltenango. Jessica and I treated the husband and wife, along with all 7 kids to two full days of pure bliss. This view in the morning, when the family gathered at the lakeside dock for breakfast was a view that no one will ever understand. It was an emotional experience, and one that never would have happened without going all in.
Put yourself out there. Be vulnerable and make mistakes. Know that getting where you want is a process, and you have to take risks. Understand that life won’t always turn out as you want it – that’s the risk of going all in. At some point in time, though, your motivation and drive will provide you the outcome you knew was possible.
(Note: The main image of this post is taken from a dock at Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala).