What does it mean to go all in?

The theme for our recent Sales Kickoff which concluded the earlier week was to go “ALL IN”.

When listening to some of the presentations, I could not help but be reminded of this scene from The Grandmaster《一代宗师》

Mastery in martial arts requires focus; precision; discipline and going all in.

There was this particular line from Gong Er who is highly skilled in Bagua martial arts 八卦掌.

She says:

“我爹常说,我这种人,唱戏能成名角,出家能成高僧... 因为我会迷。”

My dad often says that someone like me will be able to become the lead singer if I decided to be an opera singer; or abbess if I decided to be a nun... because I can be all in in what I do.

This is a timely reminder that to be successful in anything - mastering your skills at work; building a serious relationship; achieving the body you want - requires focus, intensity and going all in.

Photo I took with some of the beautiful singers during the dinner on our last day :)

♦️ Having a strong why

The way I have a strong why is to write down my decisions.

When I was applying for jobs, I would write down:

How do I see my career in the next 3-5 years? What are the exact reasons why I want to apply to and accept the offer from my company versus other companies? What is this opportunity giving me that others cannot?

Even in dating, it is important to have a strong why when it comes to evaluating romantic opportunities. Otherwise, the relationship will not be successful.

It is important to ask oneself, how does one see their life in the next 1-5 years? What are the specific reasons behind a decision to commit or to drop a romantic opportunity?

♣️ Accept your tradeoffs

Every opportunity in life comes with an opportunity cost and tradeoffs.

When I chose to join double down on being an Account Executive in a startup versus another role in an older MNC, there were many tradeoffs made.

Some examples include having a more fast paced and intense work schedule. And, needing to do much more than just an Account Executive role.

These sacrifices are not for nothing. In exchange, I get to work with ambitious people (This type of personalities join high growth startups); have a higher upside; develop more skills and feel more engaged at work.

In a romantic context, when you choose one person over another. You need to accept trade offs as well.

Every virtue comes with a downside. For example, if you want someone who is growth oriented, can you deal with the pressure that comes with it?

❤️ Define what going all in looks like to you

It is important to translate inspiration and mindset to actions.

That way we are able to turn action into results.

Here are some examples of how I approach work and relationships.

  • Stay focused. Avoid chatting on Whatsapp when I am working. No posting on social media till after 2PM on workdays.

  • Write down all my manager’s feedback in a single document. Have an action plan on how exactly I will improve.

  • Personal relationships: Be present and fully focused. No phone usage. No picking up calls; no checking emails/whatsapp. I do not even bring it to the ladies with me.

♠️ Keep your body and mind in top condition

To some, going all in is putting work above health. This means not eating well; having poor sleep; using alcohol to cope with stress and other habits that destroys one’s body in the long term.

To me, health is an investment, not an expense. 

It is because I sleep well; exercise often; eat clean and do not spent too much time scrolling through social media.

That is why I can run this race sustainably and give the best to my work and relationships.

Our body is the vehicle we use to achieve the outcomes we want and go all in. It is critical to be in top form.

The value of writing in an era of Gen AI

I work in AI SaaS and am also a content creator. One question I get asked often is:

“How come don’t use AI to write posts for you?”

The underlying assumption is that I am optimizing for efficiency and to churn out more articles. That is untrue.

My goal of writing is to sharpen my thinking and to build emotional intelligence.

Many leaders including Warren Buffett; Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson write regularly.

Some of the things I think I think, I find don’t make any sense when I start trying to write them down. You ought to be able to explain why you’re taking the job you’re taking, why you’re making the investment you’re making, or whatever it may be.

And if it can’t stand applying pencil to paper, you’d better think it through some more.

Warren Buffett

Writing has many benefits. I use it to ensure I make right decisions; process emotions and also ensure my thinking is clear.

This also makes me a better communicator.

In our world today, many have poor attention span; get distracted easily and cannot communicate well.

The human aptitude for self-awareness; clear thinking and communicating ideas clearly are huge competitive advantages.

Quote of the week

Culture is nothing more than what you reward and punish, not what you put in your mission, vision, values statement.

I am a Singaporean Millennial who writes about work; money; relationships and balance. 

💙 Hit reply and share your views with me

📥 Enjoyed this post? Ask your friends to subscribe here