Vic Conant, the president of Nightingale Conant, has been a good friend for over twenty years. Not long ago he wrote an article called, The Keys to Successful Living that focused on things we can do to improve our marriages. It was terrific!
Vic acknowledged that a few years ago, he had some problems with his marriage to the point where he was considering other alternatives. But he wanted it to work and decided to try what he called “the 100% commitment experiment,” (not 99%, but 100%). He said in doing so, something magical happened. He began to look for the positives and began to enjoy his wife more each day. She naturally responded by being much nicer to him. He said it began an amazing transformation; and today, after 36 years of marriage, they’ve never been happier.
As Vic discovered, there is a remarkable difference between a commitment of 99% and 100%. At 100%, you are seeing your problems all the way through to their solutions. At 99% we can still find a way to take the path of least resistance…and usually do.
And guess what? “The 100% commitment experiment” not only works for marriage…it also works for life.
I got to thinking about this earlier this morning and it’s true: it’s easy to live life by taking the path of least resistance. By not seeing my problems all the way through. By either giving up or giving in. These have been in the news recently:
- cheating at a game to win
- fudging numbers on a spreadsheet to make the company look good
- extending the truth on a resume
- quitting a task or ending a relationship because the work gets too hard
On the other hand, I’ve watched golfers call errors on themselves, gamers call other gamers on the ethics of their gameplay, and couples work, sweat, & cry through the tough times of their marriage. Each of these folks are able to sleep at night because they all know the truth: lying, cheating, giving up … none of these are an option if they’re adhering to the 100% commitment. These folks are role models of integrity and strong character.
I pray I continue to live my life in pursuit of that same ideal.