All In

All In dan skognes leadership development trainer coach consultant motivation blogger speaker

Many years ago when I was in college, I pledged a fraternity.  My frat brothers taught me a few things about being ALL IN.  The first lesson was in a poker game.  I was raised Baptist.  In fact, my dad was a preacher.  So needless to say, we did not play poker in our house.

My frat brothers invited me to play one day.  I was trying to get a handle on the rules and the strategy…but they kept taking my money.  All the time, they were smiling at me and telling me how to play.  I figured out pretty quickly that to be ALL IN when you are playing poker, you BETTER know what you are doing. My career in poker was short lived, probably because my face lit up like a glowing billboard when I got a good hand. LOL.

The other thing they taught me was about being committed when you start something.  When you pledge a frat, you go through some tasks and trials to see how bad you want it.  It is meant to weed out the wannabes and keep the frat culture intact with like-minded brothers.  It also serves as a great way to totally humiliate someone and justify it. :o)

Looking back on some of the stuff I had to do, and some of the things I did to pledges, I wonder what in the world was I thinking?  The need to belong was so overwhelmingly strong that I was going to do whatever it took to get in.  I was totally focused and absolutely ALL IN.  I did get in and thoroughly enjoyed my four years of college.  I had the opportunity to serve the frat in several different capacities, including President my senior year.

Lessons my frat brothers taught me about being ALL IN:

Lesson 1.  If you believe in something enough to start it, finish it. This seems to be a lost art in this day and age.  People don’t commit to relationships, to jobs, to tasks, etc. If you are going to be in, be ALL IN.

Lesson 2.  There is strength and energy in being engaged with a group that is ALL IN. I loved being around the guys and doing service projects together and just hanging out with them.  I still love that today in my personal and professional relationships.  Being with like-minded people keeps me accountable and sharpens my skills.

Lesson 3.  Being ALL IN is a key to success.  Whether it be your relationships, your job, your life goals, whatever, if you are willing to be ALL IN, you can break world records and achieve the things that others only dream of.

Lesson 4.  Being ALL IN is not a single decision.  It requires commitment over time.  If you are going to be ALL IN, make the commitment to that level of energy and focus over a prolonged period.  Sustained focus and energy with time equals a higher likelihood of success.

Lesson 5.  If you are going to be ALL IN, make sure that it is worth the price you are going to pay.  Being ALL IN can take quite a toll in time and energy (not to mention money), so make sure that what you are committing to is worth it.  If it is, go for it.  Jump in the deep end.  There are two ways to learn to swim.  One is easing yourself into the shallow end of the pool and learning the strokes and then slowly working your way to the deep end.  The other is to jump in the deep end and paddle like crazy.  The down side to the latter is that you could drown!  So, learn the strokes, THEN jump in the deep end.

Is there something that is keeping you back from being ALL IN?  Check your ALL IN meter in regards to the things that really matter to you.  Are you ALL IN with God?  With your spouse?  With your kids?  With your friends, your job, etc. etc.?  If it is truly important to you, dive in the deep end.  Give everything you have to what you believe in, and you will reap the rewards of seeing your world changed for the positive.


Dan Skognes

2 Responses to “All In”

  1. Hi Dan! I met you in the airport in Atlanta on Sunday. I wanted to say “thank you” for helping me find my way to my gate & for taking the time to pray for my son. Just to let you know…he just returned from a 9 month deployment to Afghanistan. I know you can imagine how thankful I am. It is the prayers of bible believing Christians like yourself, that have gone up for the soldiers, that mean so much to the families waiting at home. I know that God caused our paths to cross for a purpose. And HIS timing is always perfect! I enjoyed reading your blog, & I will definitely be reading it in the future. God bless you for your efforts to help others by being obedient to His leading. In Christ, Cheryl S.

    • Dan Skognes says:

      Thanks, Cheryl. I know God has his hand on us…and is leading us. We just have to pay attention and be obedient. Then the magic happens! Have a blessed 4th of July.

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