The Benefits of Playing Full Out

I attend a lot of conferences and meetings. I have noticed that most people play it safe in these settings. They are reserved—arms crossed and skeptical—or simply distracted, hunched over their smartphone. Precious few take the plunge and play full out.

A Man Jumping with a Bungee Cord - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mayo5, Image #10013408

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mayo5

Several years ago, Robert Smith, Andy Andrews’ manager, paid for Gail and me to attend an internationally renowned motivational conference. Though it only lasted four days, it changed our lives. We still feel the impact today.

Before we left for the conference, Robert said, “Look guys, I am thrilled that you are going to this conference. I only ask for one thing: Play full out. Don’t hold back.” We agreed.

That was some of the best advice I have ever received. It served me well—not only at that conference, but in almost every other project.

What does “playing full out” look like?

  • Being fully present, undistracted by anything else.
  • Stretching yourself, even if it makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
  • Giving it your best effort, even when you are tired and want to quit.

Why play full out? Here are three significant benefits:

  1. You bring out the best in others. When you bring you’re A-game to a meeting or project, it has a noticeable impact on others. It raises the bar for everyone. It is especially encouraging to the speaker or facilitator.
  2. You maximize your own learning experience. When you are fully present in the moment, leaning forward, fully engaged, you absorb and take away more. You can’t do this if you are distracted, stuck in the past or fretting about the future.
  3. You create the possibility of transformation. Let’s admit it: change is difficult. It is doubly hard when you are half-hearted or not fully committed. But when you are playing full out, you accelerate the rate of change and open up the possibility of real transformation.

This week, Gail and I are attending the Dynamic Communicators Workshop at the WinShape Retreat in Mt. Berry, Georgia. Honestly, it is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I am having to re-learn the basics of public speaking—something I have had a lot of experience doing.

Each day we are required to give a new speech in front of our peers. We are taught, challenged, and critiqued. The days are long and grueling—fourteen hours just today! But we are learning so much. It is unbelievable.

Difficult as it is, Gail and I are committed to playing full out. We want to milk every benefit we can from this amazing experience. We know we will need it in the future.

Question: What meeting or project are you about to participate in where you could benefit from playing full out? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.solobizcoach.com SoloBizCoach

    Great advice. One day while I sat at Barnes and Noble, I decided to read The Present. While nothing in the book was earth shattering, it really affected me that day. To this day, any time I am distracted while doing something important, this book pops into my head and gets me back on track. It’s funny how certain experience have such an effect.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Someone gave me that book, but I have not read it. Maybe I should. Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Great book.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for the book SoloBizCoach. I will be looking for that

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    It happens when we attend a meeting which adds fuel to our passion and desire. Playing full out comes naturally when we participate in a meeting that deliberates on a subject that is close to our heart. And, secondly, it also depends on the quality of the speakers in the meeting. When the presenter makes it dull and boring, I think playing full out from participants’ end is not going to be easy. So, I believe that choosing the right subject (for you) with the right kind of speakers is the keyhere. You will gain from it at the end.

    • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

      @Uma I think you make good points, but I see your second point differently. I think it may be even more important to play full out when the presenter is “dull and boring.” This is a lot more challenging, but if the presenter is presenting good material in a “bad” way, the listeners full engagement is the only thing that will allow them to benefit from the message. It is easy to go all out when the presenter is enchanting.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Agreed Schebs! And, great feedback indeed. Practically I have seen many of my colleagues starting to doze off when the presenter becomes boring. But, your suggestion is really creative. I should be trying that. I have had similar experiences during my college days when my lecturer starts to make unamusing and uninspiring sessions. During those moments, playing full out has tangible advantage as hinted by you. Thanks.

      • Anonymous

        Here’s another idea for when the material is good but presented poorly: Create your own presentation. Not only will it likely involve further study and you gain even more appreciation and understanding of the topic, but you can represent the message to others.

        • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

          Great tip as long as you start plaaning your presentation After the current one is over. I know that is an area I stuggle with. I start thinking of a way to make something better or how I would do it differently while something is going on. Then I miss out on going full out.

          • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

            What normally helps me keep my focus on a “poor” presentation, especially when everyone seems to have wandered off is this: I think about the good time the presenter had preparing his material, how proud he might be of his material and that this is just his way of making himself understood. I think to myself: This is probably the way he believes presenting is done right.

            I try to respect his approach to the matter and give it my best shot.

            Sometimes jumping in and engaging makes a difference, too. I have noticed that when no one listened any longer a smart or provoking question can get that attention back very fast. In some cases starting this interaction actually loosens up a presenter and it goes more smoothly after that. The presenter will thank you for it – if he notices you stepping in.

          • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

            I have too experienced the benefits of jumping in and engaging by proactive participants. There are some who always brings energy to the presentation and the meeting.

        • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

          Yup! I agree with you point. But we need to get a chance to present after the presenter completing his session.

  • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

    Thanks again for the great words Michael. I actually have a project starting today at work that I was less than thrilled about be assigned. I am going to refocus myself before the group meets for the first time today and commit to following the advice you laid out. The project will involve making changes at work that may not be well accepted. I think going all out and putting my best out will be a start to making this rewarding and better recieved.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. It will make a difference!

  • Angela

    I am writing and developing my own first album! I am totally in it and full out! I am committed to it and look forward to seeing the completed project. I started it …. scared… but had to….

    Angela :)

    • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

      Good Luck Angela. Way to go after what you want.

    • Dan Greegor

      Give it all the gusto you can.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s passion!!!

  • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

    My elementary school is about to begin a new character education program next year called The Leader in Me. This program is based on Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Can you imagine teaching these timeless principles to first graders? (To read more visit leaderinme.org).

    So, the first week in early June we (all teachers/staff) are having a 3-day training on the 7 habits. I need to play “full out” that week.

    Good luck this week, Michael!

    • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

      @ Jason Amazing that your school would do this. I hear so many that bash teachers about the job they are doing, you are a shining example about what real teachers and schools can do for our kids. (I am child-free myself, but I consider all the kids in my neighborhood “Our” kids. Thank you for all you do to mentor and raise up our future!!

    • Joe Lalonde

      That’s great to hear a school is going to be doing that! I can only imagine the impact that this will have on these students.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Hi Jason, we went through a 7 habits program at the school district where I work. While our program was set up for administrators, I’m sure that the principles will be just as relevant to first graders. Keep us posted how it goes. BTW.. I have a good friend named Jason Fountain here in California who has done some amazing things. Definitely a successful name!

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That is awesome! In an academic world where it has become normal – the standard – to leave out the moral and spiritual side of things, it is good to know that there are at least a few schools with teachers and administrators that have not forgotten that there is more to the picture than grades alone.

  • http://www.paulbevans.com Paul B Evans

    Whew! Tough challenge for those of us who love comfort! :-)

    You and Gail have a good time with Ken and his team.

    • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

      Hey Paul….Michael’s stuff is read by so many AWESOME FOLKS such as yourself. Lee says “hi”. Sorry that we weren’t able to connect when you were in town over the weekend.

      P.S. Check your email :)

      • http://www.paulbevans.com Paul B Evans

        Yeah. It was more hectic that I like. I shared the story of Sherri’s death in my keynote – which always leads to connection. I wasn’t able to hang out and spend time with folks afterwards. :( Made it back with just 15 minutes to spare for the honoring of the High School Seniors.

        Sam’s 18! He was 5 weeks old when Sherri passed. God’s really been good to us. We’ve had an awesome journey.

        A note on PLAYING FULL OUT…

        One of the ways I play is by being at ALL my kids events if it’s humanly possible. Loving my wife, Marla, with all my might.

        If we’re more full out in business than with family… well… that just sucks… Hmmmm…. maybe weak is a better word. :)

        • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

          As always Paul….your messages are stellar and sharing what you shared takes tremendous courage. Congrats to Sam (and to you for making it back)!

          Man….I feel that your comment on family over business is spot on. It’s when we get single-minded about the roles in our life that things get out of whack. When we clearly identify the various roles (businessman / businesswoman, father/mother, husband/wife, speaker, author, Sunday school teacher, etc) and then distinctly live IN those roles by “playing full out” that we are able to accomplish some amazing things while living a balanced life.

  • http://www.jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy’s Confessions

    Thanks. These are timely words for me. I am attending my first catalyst conference next week in Dallas. I tend to be conservative and reserved. My goal is to go full out. I want to meet new people, be challenged in new ways, and walk away better for it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This will make a significant difference in your experience of Catalyst. It’s not too hard to do at that conference, either. I have attended numerous times and love it.

  • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

    I love your take on “Playing full out”. It’s an awesome concept that applies to every area of our life. As you point out, doing so is not an easy thing to do; it is even harder to do over an extended period of time (like a conference). Since it is a difficult thing to sustain over time, I teach a concept called an “Action Unit (AU)” which is a short, dedicated and focused 15-minute period of time where you take a particular action to produce a particular result. Each AU is an uninterrupted period of time where you essentially are “playing full out”.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective as it really does present a challenge to each of us and it is definitely a great reminder to ask ourselves throughout each day. “Am I playing full out right now?”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like you concept of an “action unit.” I have heard a similar concept in “surge then recharge.”

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    This is really great advice for attending a conference. It’s easy to check out and passively observe, but what a difference it would make if we were fully present, stretching ourselves to grow. Also, scheduling tweets in Hootsuite has really helped me be more present in my day because I’m not tweeting while I’m meeting with others. I’ve been trying to execute everything on my schedule on purpose.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    That’s a hurdle. I’m the guy over to the side with my arms crossed. Not from skepticism, but from introversion. “Playing full out” is a great way to position the whole experience. Looking forward to the next conference.

    • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

      Hey Mark – how are you, brother!?!?!? Long time no chat! Let’s re-connect sometime very soon.

      • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

        I’m FOR it! Saw you in a picture recently (at Disney). Wish I could have been there with you guys. We’ve got to reconnect. I’m good. Thankful the tornado weather missed us. Praying for & helping those who it hit. Hope you’re well, brother.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am an introvert myself, so I know what you mean!

      • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

        Ditto here. Nothing like “personal alone time” to recharge!! :)

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          It is a challenge, isn’t it?? Most introverts (me included) are content to take in everything by sitting in the back of the room pulled into ourselves. It is tiring and somtimes overwhelming to engage the people and experience. But, when we push past the challenge, playing full out gives us so much more. As long as we can make it in time for the “personal alone time to recharge” then everything is good! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/levittmike Michael Levitt

    It’s amazing how much we miss when we are not present. Multi-tasking robs us of relaxation, brings us more stress, and we lose the opportunity to genuinely connect with others.

    When you are open and transparent, it will be a blessing to others.

    Thanks for this post!

    • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

      Bingo! Agreed – multi-tasking is such a “productivity killing habit” yet so many folks are still proud to wear that badge. :(

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I don’t know why we esteem it so much. Multi-tasking is really over-rated.

        • Anonymous

          Agreed. I think that it is every over rated. I have found that a complete focus on something for 20 mins at a time is helpful for me. Even if I don’t completely stop it, just the break of focus every 20 minutes helps me to be sharper at what I do. I do not do well with trying to focus for long periods of time. I need the breaks.

    • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

      Love this statement: “When you are open and transparent, it will be a blessing to others.” Thanks for sharing.

    • Joe Lalonde

      I agree Michael! “Multi-tasking” is really doing multiple things okay instead of great.

    • Clinton

      Multi-tasking can also cause us to miss the new and important point during a presentation. Getting distracted into doing something else during a familiar part of a session has often caused me to miss the nuggets of information that I was there for.

    • Dan Greegor

      Completely agree about your multitasking point.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      That’s true Michael! You should read the article “How and Why to Stop Multitasking?”
      by ‘Peter Bregman’ in Harvard Business Review – http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2010/05/how-and-why-to-stop-multitaski.html. That was an eye opener to me.

  • Riverrock505

    I engage with people daily as they begin three day learning seminars. My level of enthusiasm and encouragement can spark their learning. Therefore I will play full out to assist in their motivation.

  • http://twitter.com/JenniferLynKing Jennifer King

    The best part about playing full out is that is when we are most alive. Can there be any better piece of life? Being fully alive? Congrats to you and your lovely wife on tackling a difficult challenge fully on, allowing yourselves to be completely stretched, and reaching for your full potential. And thank you for encouraging us to play full out, as well.
    A wonderful post and challenge to live life fully. Godspeed!
    -Jennifer

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      “when we are most alive….”. That’s a great proposition

  • http://www.isthatyoulord.blogspot.com Shelly Faust

    Great advice. Im attending my first writer’s conference this summer…no holding back!

  • http://twitter.com/davebaldwin Dave Baldwin

    It’s a couple of months off yet, but the Willow Creek Leadership Summit is the next conference I’m scheduled to attend. I attended my first one in 1998. It changed my life. I think more because I had my back against the wall and had no where to go or nothing to do but play it full out. That summer gave me a series of experiences that changed my life. I am who I am today and doing what I am doing because of that Summit and several other conferences I attended. Earlier in the summer I heard a sermon by Dr. Bob Bakke that changed my life as well.
    Since then I’ve haven’t missed a Summit. I have gone to each one fully engaged and God has done a huge thing in my life!
    Thank you for the post Michael. It challenges me not to give up playing it full out!
    Blessings,
    Dave
    PS: I have starting reading your blog posts full out! It is changing the way I do ministry and work personally. Thank you.
    DMB

  • Ken

    Hey Michael. Great post. I so appreciate your openness and the challenge of giving it your all. My my wife and I are facing the greatest door of opportunity we have ever had and we are going to give it our all even if we feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. We realize we only have one life to live and we may live 40, 60, 80 or maybe 100 years but irrespective of the years of our life we are going for it. Ken

  • Elainesross

    This may sound very trite and not impressive at all, but today I am off to keep 4 children. Their ages are 2, 4, 7, and 9. They do not know me and I do not know them. I know their mother and she is trusting me with 4 of her 7 children. I want to approach this FULL OUT !!!!!!!! I am 68 and have raised three children, but this will stretch me. My biggest concern is their safety. I want to be totally present in this situation. I am so glad I read your blog before I left. Thank you.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Good luck Elaine! You’ll do fine today!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Bless you for doing this, Elaine! As a father of 3 (soon to be 4) small children, I LOVE it when people offer to take care of my kids. It is such a blessing for my wife and I. There are a couple of high school aged girls in our church who offer from time to time to give us a night off, and it’s such a blessing. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe some of us are over-conferenced. We sign up for everything, listen to everyone, read every book, and then we do it all over again. Two rules I have for Playing Full Out are:

    1) Be Picky. I can’t sign up for everything just from a cost perspective, but I shouldn’t sign up for EVERYthing anyway. I need to be picky, setting and following goals, and investing into myself and my team with purpose.

    2) Stop, Absorb, Practice. If we just keep inputting, inputting, inputting, we never really grow. We saturate too quickly and overload is imminent. After we have been picky, we need to take time to learn and understand that principle, apply that lesson. Otherwise too much good information rolls off of us instead of soaking into us.

    • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

      @pchrismac Its like your speaking to me today. I have a tendency to consume books, blogs, etc. about all sorts of great topics, but a lot of time I move from one right into the next. “Stop, Absord, Practice” may get posted right next to my reading area. . . just after I reading a few more books (j/k) That is sound advice that I really should practice.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Great points you make pchrismac! If you go through tons of books without absorbing and applying, are you really getting the most out of them? Right now, I’m reading See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar. I’m trying to follow his advice of taking my time and absorbing the book, making trigger pages, and notes… It’s tough but I think it will be rewarding!

      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        Joe, I agree with you. That’s why it’s so important to go through the process of laying out your goals and your life plan. When I did that a couple of months ago, I found that there were things that I was doing that I didn’t want to be doing, and that I could easily change.

        • Joe Lalonde

          Robert, that’s great to hear that you were able to lay out your goals and plans. I hope it works out and you’re able to accomplish what you laid out!

          My wife and I attempted it a couple of months ago and I don’t think our first attempt went very well. But at least we’ve started and I think that’s better than a lot of others.

          • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

            There’s a lot of things that I want to do that don’t work out on the first
            try. My wife and I have tried to have a monthly budget meeting, where we go
            over our expenses for the past month, and our budget for the next month. We
            haven’t done it for the last couple of months, but we’re still trying!
            Also, there are things in the “Strategic Plan” (our family’s life plan) that
            won’t happen for a while, but it’s in writing now, and we’re using it as the
            guidebook.

          • Joe Lalonde

            Robert, that’s so true. But wouldn’t it be nice if it did work out on the first try? Then again, a lot of the adventure would be taken out of life if that happened.

            For your strategic plan, how did you go about writing it? Did you use a book to guide you through or just sat down and did it?

          • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

            It would be so nice to just will things to happen perfectly just by planning
            them that way.

            For my strategic plan, I did some general research on writing strategic
            plans, and also used Michael’s book as a guide. I spent a couple of months,
            making a mission statement, vision statement, and values statements, and
            then looking at every aspect of our family life and making implementation
            plans.

      • Anonymous

        That is great that he actually gave you that advice in the book. I only read half as many books in a year as I used to, but I know that the message gets deeper into my heart and I grow from the book. It didn’t help that my dad and I have a competition going. But the spread between us is a lot smaller now, and I’m better off for it.

        • Joe Lalonde

          Yeah, it’s pretty neat that the author is actually telling you to sit down, take your time, mark key points, make diagrams, etc… It’s nice to be encouraged to do it because it makes you think about it more. I’m hoping to gain a lot from it and it seems like I will from what I’ve already read.

          I can see the competition between your dad and you not helping. But I’m sure you’ll see great results with slowing down and trying to digest the material rather than race through it.

    • Karl Mealor

      I like it. Play full out, but don’t play in as many games.

      I’ve wondered about this from our church perspective. Are we actually offering too many different services during the week?

    • Dan Greegor

      Good point about being picky. What did King Solomon say? Don’t give me so much that I forget You or if I am poor that I steal and shame You? (Proverbs 30:9) Perhaps we allow so much information that we forget what God has told us to while trying to find some “better” way do it. Even still, we do so little and “rob” God of the time, passion, and life He has given us.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Be picky! — I love that. We should not be Jack of all and Master of nothing. It will serve no purpose.

  • http://twitter.com/jonstolpe Jon Stolpe

    I like this post. It matches up with one of my life verses…”make the most of every opportunity”…from Colossians 4. To be honest, there are a lot of things that can get in the way of playing full out. We get distracted by all kinds of time wasters and things that just don’t matter so much. Sometimes I feel like our families suffer the most from these distractions. There are many things that get my attention, but nothing deserves my full out attention more than my family.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Thanks for the verse Jon! I needed that reminder today!

      • http://twitter.com/jonstolpe Jon Stolpe

        Your welcome Uma. I constantly need that reminder.

  • http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com Live with Flair

    I love this post today. I wanted to add that having a curious mind makes me able to go all out each day. I ask myself, “Where’s the flair in this?” in the midst of the humdrum and ordinary. I also assume that something amazing and unusual is just about to happen, so I better pay attention! Best wishes on your public speaking adventure. Use the verbs grapple and fritter. They sound lovely when spoken. http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com

  • Mschwartzintv

    I will be speaking to our employees this evening. We will be celebrating their success! I woke at 4:00 and could not sleep. It will be short but I am committed to playing full out. Great article! Thank you for your contribution! It’s a good life! …..any words of wisdom to me on my presentation?

  • Bryan P

    This is right on Mike! Amen!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I agree, Michael. You have to go for the Gold! I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the conference. I would certainly like to endure attend one in the future.

    As for me, I’m starting a new writing project to create a non-fiction book about goal setting. One half of the book will be based on interviews with outliers of sorts. Ordinary people who have done incredible things, written from an inquisitive Malcolm Gladwell style, to dig down and find out what truly made the difference in their lives.

    While this is WAY outside my usual comfort zone, the interaction and stories so far have been amazing. There is the story of a guy who has a debilitating muscle disease that could not walk who transformed his life with a Segway. Another of a woman who got off the couch, lost 70 pounds and became a fitness coach. Then there is the story of a successful executive coach who went back to school to learn to be funny. Just three examples of people who played their lives full out!

    The fun part is asking unusual questions and digging down to find the data points that really made the change possible. I get to play detective and find out the mystery of the transformation. So far, the answers are anything but usual, which should make for interesting reading. I hope to be able to include 12 to 15 stories and write the “how to” part from the findings. Your Chick-fil-A interviews have been very helpful to learn how to ask the right questions.

    Thanks for the motivation you provide here on a daily basis. This is the place to learn how to live Full On!

  • Joe Lalonde

    I really like the advice you were given by Robert. Can you imagine the life we would live it we “played full out” all the time?

  • Karl Mealor

    It’s interesting to me that in some contexts, public opinion rewards playing full out. The crowd cheers when an basketball player dives into the stands after a loose ball or a baseball player beats out a routine ground ball. I’m a UGA fan. A couple of years ago, UGA running back Knowshon Moreno excited fans because he ran back to the huddle after every play. (Ok, he wasn’t too bad during the plays, either.)

    In educational settings, however, students are discouraged from trying too hard. I had a professor tell us once: “Education is the only thing that people will not complain about if they get less than what they pay for.” He was talking, of course, about how students want to skip class, have classes canceled or excused early, or want less expected of them.

    I wish I had decided to “play full out” in every aspect of my life when I was younger. But, there’s a new game today!

    • Lkfischer

      “There’s a new game today!” I like the way you put this!

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Nicely said Karl! Even in the arenas of life that don’t seem to excite us as much or seem to promise as much, we don’t need to hold back.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Isn’t it great that every day is a new day!

      • Karl Mealor

        ” It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
        They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

  • Rashad Morris

    This was a great message. The third point, “Let’s admit it, change is hard. It is doubly hard when you are half-hearted or not fully committed”. This spoke directly to me. When you are playing half hearted and not full out, your goal actually appears harder than what it is. Freedom!

    All out!

  • Lkfischer

    2nd bullet point – We all need to stretch ourselves a little more. As one who leads challenge course initiatives, we grow the most when we stretch our “comfort zone.” We all become more aware of whats going on around us and we learn far more when we step into the unknown and experience something new. Great post Michael!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      I need to stretch myself more… I tend to be introverted, but when I’ve forced myself to reach out, it’s been rewarding. In terms of playing full out, I think I would see the same results.

  • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

    Powerful post. One major benefit of playing full out is that it releases one to function fully, with all the inbuilt potential and skills. And it can be done without shame or regret.

  • http://twitter.com/benugoji Benjamin S C Ugoji

    Enjoyed reading the article! I’ll apply the lessons from it. I think it will work very well with the idea of ‘DUO MAGIC’ : the principle of 100% commitment and ‘Act as if’ shared by Susan Jeffers in her book: ‘Feel the Fear but Do it any way.’
    Thanks very much

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    Unless you’re in business for yourself (i.e. you’re at the top of the command chain), I believe there’s an extra dynamic in playing full out. I think it’s much easier to do so when you know your boss has your back. Playing full out will sometimes mean you take a misstep, possibly in a very public way. So I would say that knowing you have a safety net makes it easier to take the risks that come with playing full out.

    //Scott

    • Anonymous

      It helps being part of a team, too. No team member gets left too far behind because his mates are there to pick him up, push him, encourage and strengthen him. As a pastor, I’m working at using both sides of this coin, the “boss has your back” and the teammate approach.

  • Marc

    Thanks, Michael. I’m about to go into a day of tough meetings from which I tend to disengage. I will play full out. It could be a game changer for our organization.

  • http://www.faithimagined.com Alisahopewagner

    I think I can apply this to being a wife and mom :) Thanks!

  • Msilvadoctor

    What a great, inspiring post! It’s a good challenge for every aspect of the day that’s going to be my goal for the next few days.

  • Teresa

    To me the most important place to play full out is the home. To truly be present as we parent our children.

    • bethanyplanton

      And to our spouses. :)

      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        Agreed. Sometimes we forget that the people that need us to “play full out” the most are around us every day–our families.

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          I think our families often just get our left-overs after putting so much into the other areas of our lives. I wonder what would happen if our families started getting our best??

          • Lkfischer

            My wife and I were discussing this last night. We both agree we need to spend more time with our kids and each other. I am certain my kids will have better attitudes if we just spent more time with them! Tonight’s gonna be a good night.

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            Sweet! Intentionally Family! It will make a difference.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            Wow! The world might explode!

        • http://twitter.com/BrettVaden Brett Vaden

          Is that Bob Ewoldt from Moody’s Men Choir?

          • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

            Yes, indeed, Brett. Good to see you here on MH.com!

  • Kevin Cunningham

    Great advice, thanks.
    We are serving as a host site for the Chick-fil-A Leadercast. I usually put a small handout together with a facility map and small ads to thank the sponsors.

    I’d like to include this post in the handout. It’s perfect–especially at a simulcast style conference.

  • Mary

    Life… I have over 150 lbs to lose, a body that desperately needs to improve in physical fitness, a business to get on track, a husband that has out of control type II diabetes, a ranch that needs attention, a nearly 20 year marriage to enrich.

    I was sidelined by physical issues (several necessary surgeries), emotional/psychological overload resulting in devastating panic attacks, resulting in near total with-drawl.

    Surgeries are done, recovery going well. Panic attacks recognized for what they actually are… makes them much more livable; not to mention fewer and fewer. Emotional/psychological growth in progress (always)… time to rock it! Play Full Out!

  • Angela Braach

    Living in the present is something that I work on daily! It is difficult not getting distracted by the past or future. I like the new vocab: play full out! I’m going to apply it today to everything I do and see what happens.

    I have never been to WinShape Retreat, but I have referred others. I hear it is awesome. Glad to hear of another way WinShape blesses people. I had not heard of the Dynamic Communicators Worshop. Sounds fantastic!

    • bethanyplanton

      We all have to work on living in the present. Our society concentrates on the past and the future so much. It is definitely a complete mind change to be living in the present.

  • bethanyplanton

    Many times you hear about being fully present in whatever you are currently doing, but I like your metaphor of playing full out better. It sounds more fun and easier to do than making yourself be fully present.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Playing Full Out indicates more action than Fully Present. In being present, we are aware of everything going on. In playing full out, we are completely engaged with nothing held back.

      People may use both phrases to indicate the same concept; but, I agree that there is something different in the sound.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Hmmm… I use “fully present” a lot. Hadn’t though about the way they sounded different. Interesting…

        • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

          It is amazingthe impact that rephrasing something can have. Means the same, but brings different levels of emotion to everyone. I thing “playing Full out” makes people feel younger ato a point when we were more open and took everything in.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It works for me better, too.

  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    It’s incredibly easy to give in to the temptation to settle for “good enough”. It takes great character to go above and beyond.
    Ironic that you should post this on the same day I wrote on “Are You Giving Less Than 100%?” http://tinyurl.com/3zo78n7

  • http://helloheady.com Heady

    Wow! You described me at conferences, not really being engaged. I have a 10 a.m. meeting this morning and I’m going to play full out. I think in life in general if you do not play full out – you could miss something really big GOD had in store for you. Great post Michael! Go Win Sir!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Me, too. Not just at conferences, but sometimes I’m this way at church, at parties, etc. I’m an introvert by nature, so engaging others is difficult.

  • Bookncoffee

    Excellent post! About to head to a meeting to participate in some things I know VERY little about, so I will make sure my posture is aligned with interest and I’ll participate and learn and be involved, regardless. Good timing! Love the blog and I am amazed at all the techy things (software programs) you use! I always thought I was “techy” til I started reading your blog! lol

  • Ray

    “How She Hustles” is a dynamic network created to shine the spotlight on the demanding but meaningful work that women do every day through their full-time jobs, volunteer and family commitments, or “side hustle”. We are having the second annual brunch in a few weeks. There are a great variety of women from stay at home moms from corner office execs and media personalities. It is easy for me to get lost in the back ground and do more listenuing then speaking. In two weeks I will have the opportunity to “play it full out”.

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    Great post, Michael. I think there are times when I don’t play full out, because it can be EXHAUSTING. It’s very rewarding, but I’m a lazy person by nature, and it takes energy to engage people.

  • Andrew V

    This was a great post. I just returned from 3 days of meetings with other Pastor’s from our District. Laptops, Ipads and smart phones were used by nearly all in attendance during the meetings. There was almost a level of peer pressure not to engage.

    • Karl Mealor

      I’m guilty as charged. I went to a conference last Saturday. Checked/sent e-mails and texts throughout.

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        Sounds like one of those conferences that you are obligated to go to; but, you don’t expect anything from it and you see it as time that could be better spent doing something else.

        • Karl Mealor

          Well…it was an evangelism conference, so I hope not! The speaker was actually pretty good. It was just one of those days that a lot was going on.

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            I have done that too – where the day was busy and the emails seemed important enough at the time to just get them done.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I’ve been there too. Even if I’m taking notes on my MacBook, it looks distracting. I now take handwritten notes and feel more fully engaged.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ugh. I hate that. I used to sit on a board where most of the board members used their Blackberries during the meeting. We constantly had to keep repeating key points because people were distracted as we made them. I swear, it made the meetings twice as long as they needed to be.

  • Ray Tadros

    Great post! Reminds me of the Aztec expression “Ollin” (pronounced ALL-in) from Kevin Hall’s latest book “Aspire”….”To move and act with all your heart.” http://www.slideshare.net/kevinhall/ollin-by-kevin-hall

  • http://www.love-laugh-learn.com Deanna

    I’ve found the hardest thing for me is to NOT wait for affirmation from others, before “playing it full out”. If I wait for someone else to believe in me or my abilities, I might never put forth the effort or my potential, and they might never see it.

    Recently I sent my blog out to “friends” and now I plan to keep writing as a way to play full out. I am also leading a support and healing group for birth mothers this evening and plan to remember this advice during group!

  • http://tomraines.wordpress.com/ Tom

    Great message today and every day for whatever you are doing at the moment. I need to make sure I am full out during my family time too!

  • http://twitter.com/annerogersphoto Anne Rogers

    This morning I had to give a lengthy presentation as part of our sales conference. We had some technical problems at the start, which resulted in some time pressures. Sitting as a listener at the afternoon session I struggled with deep tiredness. Tomorrow is a full day of meetings, so I valued reading your post on ‘playing full out’. I will be looking to do that during tomorrow’s sessions.

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    I’m about to finish publishing my first book, it’s an exciting and sort of surreal to me in a way. Here goes nothing!

  • http://www.fishblogwash.blogspot.com Sean

    I agree with Deanna, not about leading a support group for birth mothers – although that is pretty awesome and something I may have to look into – but the part about not waiting for others to give me a great big “atta boy” before playing full out. When I hosted a terrestrial radio program, I played full out everyday. If I didn’t my ratings would tank and so would my paycheck. Now, writing and publishing books I always play full out because my readers deserve the absolute best I can give them. Besides, I can’t tell them what I’d tell people who would call into the radio station to complain about something, when I’d say, “Perhaps you’d like your money back?” That being said, when it comes to mowing the yard, I don’t play full out at all, and I’m okay with that.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneDGallaher Anne Deeter Gallaher

    Michael:
    What great insight! At the end of the day, I would hope all our clients agree that we play full out for them. Important to remember to bring our A game even in the smallest details and especially when no one’s watching. Thanks for sharing!
    Anne

  • Gary D

    Hi Michael,

    I have a video shoot to do for our church on Saturday. I didn’t feel like the “push” was inside me to go ahead with it, but your “Benefits of Playing Full Out” newsletter sealed it for me. I just emailed the church’s communication coordinator to let her know that I am interested. Planning on Playing Full Out!

    Thanks, man.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. The cool thing is that all it takes is a decision to do it.

  • http://bluecollarradionetwork.com James Dibben

    Many will treat you like you’re odd when you do this.

    I’m [trying] to live every area of my life in this manner. I have A LONG way to go. I believe with all my heart it will be worth the effort. It just takes time, something so few are willing to endure…..the time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That reminds me of the title of Craig Groeschel’s new book: Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working.

      • http://bluecollarradionetwork.com James Dibben

        I REALLY need to get that book! I’m still finishing up his sermons on the subject.

  • Oleg Sinitsin

    Working on a startup has been the most intense exercise of my career in terms of staying focused. From the standpoint of communication, delivering a good pitch in front of key people has been a tough skill to master. Any thoughts on best practices of idea pitching?

  • http://cynthiaherron.wordpress.com Cynthia Herron

    “Creating the possibility of transformation.” I especially liked that one! Anyone who truly knows me knows that I love to talk, share, and encourage. Now, public speaking? Not so much. I’m at a point in my career, however, where I’ll need a big dose of courage myself. Again, this is why I come here. I learn so much! Thank you for a wonderful post!

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Solid words here.

    To add to your point about playing full out and the conference you are at right now. It is interesting when getting peer review. If you play it safe and try and hold things back people will spot it immediately. But when you play full out and take a risk no matter the product you will still be respected, because you gave it your all. Playing it safe in that situation does not allow you to grow and does way more harm then good.

    BTW, sounds like that conference that you are at right now is a must attend. Randy told me a couple of weeks ago that I have to get to this and hope to next year. I cannot wait to sit down with Jeff Goins and discuss some stuff with him about what he learned.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is definitely a must-attend event, Kyle. My wife was scared to come, too, but she is learning tons.

  • http://ashleyscwalls.wordpress.com Ashleyscwalls

    As a young person, I think that this is so important. Especially in classes and seminars. I am starting school again in the fall, and I am praying that I do not allow technology to overly distract me during my classes. As a person that is self-employed, I feel as though I have to work around the clock and be available for new clients and networking as quickly as possible. I am going to work on a system that tailors my communication around my class schedule.

  • shellyanglin

    Wonderful timing… And thank you to Monte King who drew my attention to this commentary. I have been working on a project and book called, “Living in Joy: 7 Things You Should Know by Now.” The project includes a seminar aimed at mitigating burnout for people in high-stress professions (and who isn’t?), and has been met with postive feedback from all attendees, so far.

    But I have not be “playing full out.” I’ve been dabbling, sticking a toe in here or there, peeking around corners and darting back to my safe, regular habitat: get up, go to work, come home, make excuses for why I didn’t chase my dreams today, get up, go to work, come home, make excuses… The incessant loop.

    I know better. Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Hyatt. I appreciate you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Shelly. I like your book title, too!

  • Anonymous

    My next move ‘playing full out’ can be in the way I play piano tomorrow. I can go ahead and learn what I need to learn and also when I’m teaching, I can play full out, and even in the rehearsal to come after that. I am working with a singer through a lot of songs and I’m going to show my full commitment by playing full out. I’m encouraged at the chance to give it my best shot tomorrow and to totally be engaged in the moment

  • http://profiles.google.com/gigimuses Gigi McMurray

    I appreciate this challenge to play full out. Like the phrase. Right now I am being challenged in my marriage to play full out. We are about to take the trip of a lifetime to Italy for 11 days. I am noticing that some intimacy fears are creeping in. So glad to see them and be able to name them and pursue intimacy with everything I have as a wife.

    Also, I want to be fully there and fully present. I am thankful to see that mentioned as I see little about it in our Christian sub-culture. I think about the present as being the Holy of Holies. It is where I have to God’s grace. I can’t access Him in yesterday or tomorrow. He was there. He will be there. But right now, I have full access to His Presence.

    I just launched or re-launched a blog. I want to play full out and full on there to use my gift set for His glory.

    Thanks for this discussion.

  • Adompe3

    I experienced this when I attended my first WAH boot camp. My goal for that weekend was to be absolutely honest with myself, with other participants and with God (go full out). I was going though a very difficult time and so the stuff I had to be honest about was raw. It felt risky. It turned out to be an amazingly powerful and life changing weekend which reset the trajectory of my life and is still having repercussions.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I play basketball with a bunch of older guys early in the morning. I once played hurt, a pulled something or other, for a week and didn’t notice any discernible difference in my game. Or the other guys’ speed. I thought, “My goodness! We’re all so slow.”

    This morning we had three high school guys join us and I matched up with one of them. I had no trouble keeping up. I had plenty of energy (thanks, Mike, again for LoseIt.com) and actually played well (which is hardly ever the norm).

    The thing about this morning is I prepared to “play full out” long before I woke up. Losing those extra pounds, cycling every day, and lifting weights all helped.

    I am reminded that our ability to “play full out” starts before we hit the basketball court or the board meeting or the pulpit. It’s in the mental and physical preparation when no one sees or hears beyond God.–Tom

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Tom – that is a great perspective. Appropriate preparation makes a huge difference – without it, it becomes much more difficult to be fully engaged, to play full out and not to hold anything back. Thanks for the reminder.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Thanks, Tom, for the motivation.

  • http://aweber9.tumblr.com Andrew Weber

    Terrific post! Reminds me of this piece by Mark Suster on how he conducts business at SXSW and conferences in general: http://bit.ly/mA7E6Z

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Sounds like one of those conferences that you are obligated to go to; but, you don’t expect anything from it and you see it as time that could be better spent doing something else.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Tom – that is a great perspective. Appropriate preparation makes a huge difference – without it, it becomes much more difficult to be fully engaged, to play full out and not to hold anything back.. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great idea, but frankly, I have never understood why someone would do it any other way. I once was sick at a confence and missed most of a day but sat through the evening sessions with a fever. I sat in the back away from others as best I could which was easy because the evening sessions were sparsely attended.

    One organization I was a member had its annual meeting at Gulf Shores, AL every year and regularly had attendees in shorts and relaxed attire. I made a stark contrast presenting after a guy who wore shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, flip flops and a baseball cap. It was almost a joke. It never set well with me to not fully engage and get the most out of any conferences.

    Not only did my work ethic come away feeling better, I came away with new ideas and more negative leadership lessons for when I am in charge.

  • http://profiles.google.com/indytide Scott Luck

    As a pastor, I am getting ready to launch a task force for reviewing and developing protocols for disaster preparedness for our church. This is such a worthwhile investment, but it does not exactly light my fire. Perhaps giving my best to this project means finding someone else to lead this task force so that I can focus on giving my best in my “zone” of effectiveness.

  • http://twitter.com/Blair_Howell Blair Howell

    When I first read the title of your post I immediately had a flashback to my childhood years participating in several sports I had played. The central theme in all of them was that I LOVED to play sports. I actually cannot think of a time when I wasn’t happy when I was playing any sport (okay maybe those games that I/we lost) but they are a distant memory compared to all the JOY I had. Even the 2 hour back to back practices after a full day of school still brings a smile to my face. And to tell you the truth it transferred over to everything I did. It got me thinking after I finished your article that somewhere between the ‘younger years’ and becoming an adult (working, paying bills, marriage, kids, etc.) that the passion began to dissipate and before you know it one day you wake up and say ‘Where did it all go?” Thanks for reminding me that you can still ‘Play Full Out’ in everything you do even when you are older. Cheers!

  • Katherine Hyde

    I learned this at my first writers’ conference, although I didn’t put it to myself in those terms. I’m a shy, introverted person, and I could easily have gone through the whole five days never speaking unless I was spoken to. But I made the decision to leave my comfort zone, start conversations, and make friends. It was a transformative experience.

    I do find, though, that I don’t always have the physical strength to go full-out for a whole conference if it’s more than a weekend long. Sometimes I really do have to go take a nap. But then I’m able to come back for the rest of the program re-energized. So I would add to your advice: Play full out, but know your physical limits and respect them.

  • http://www.jdeddins.com JD Eddins

    I can’t tell you how many conferences I have been to where it is noticeable that people are checked out. Honestly I don’t understand it. You have invested the money and the time to be there, why not learn something?
    Right now I need to get fully invested in writing. The past month I feel like I have been doing the minimum on my blog, I haven’t been commenting on other blogs like I use to and I have made no progress in writing a 30-50 page manifesto for fathers that I plan to have done by the end of the year. Thanks for challenging me today to get after it.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph. So true!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      JD, I totally understand your situation… there are many times when I lack the desire to continue through with my blog, commenting, writing, working, etc., but then I read something from MH, and find the motivation to continue!

  • http://twitter.com/BrettVaden Brett Vaden

    I meet with the other elders of my church a week from today. I want to “play full out” by bringing my frustrations, wants, and ideas to the table.

  • Elizabethfhg

    I have shared how motivating and encouraging your blog is with my husband and family and friends. I want to play full out. Thank you Lord I somehow stumbled upon Michael’s blog! Thanks Michael for your stepping outside the box and desiring to enhance the lives of many!

  • Anonymous

    I’m getting ready to attend a Captivating retreat in Nashville at the end of this month. Vulnerability isn’t always easy for me, and I know I have to play full out with a bunch of women I don’t know. Ready for God to grow me in this area.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You will be amazed at the impact you will have on the other attendees. It’s kind of like giving everyone else the gift of going second. I other words, if you go first in playing full out, you give permission to everyone else to play full out.

      • Anonymous

        You’re right. Thank you.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        Shared the “gift of going second” concept just this afternoon with a friend. She immediately responded by commenting in a public forum. That’s a great concept. Glad you shared it with us in an earlier post.

      • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

        What a great idea. ” the Gift of going Second” I have never thought about things in that light before.

  • Karl Mealor

    By the way, did anyone else start hearing “The Final Countdown” in their head as they read this article? Or was that just me?

  • http://katieax.blogspot.com Katie Axelson

    Awesome advice. I feel like this can be applied to conferences as well as life in general. I’m graduating undergrad. this month and I don’t know what comes next. Everytime I start fretting about the future and mourning than I’m leaving a place I love, my God-send of a friend Stacy keeps reminding me, “Enjoy today. Right now. This moment. Do you school work, submit your resume, yes, but hang out, eat lunch with people, be social. You don’t want to regret your final days here.” I need her constant reminder to play life full out.
    Katie

  • http://www.stephanieshott.com Stephanie Shott

    Michael, as I read your question, “What meeting or project are you about to participate in where you could benefit from playing full out?” – all I could think of is LIFE. I want to live my life full out!

    I just spoke at a conference this past weekend about that very thing and reading your post only reinforces the fact that we only get one chance to do this life well. We only get one shot to intentionally pursue a life of purpose – to know that there is significance to our existence.

    Full out and all in!

  • http://www.suttonparks.com Sutton Parks

    I’m finishing a book on gratitude which I am going to self publish and use as a ‘business card’ to start a speaking career. I certainly need to go all out. Faith is my ability to make the transition is something I need to overcome.
    It sounds like you are at a conference I need to attend next year.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I love this post. I’ve been dealing with this very issue recently, trying to make sure that I’m fully present, no matter what I’m doing or where I am. Especially with my kids and wife.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Gatekeeper

    I can greatly appreciate your point of topic. As Gatekeeper for our Governor I am faced hour by hour with issues to pray about regarding legislature. If I keep focused there is great peace. If I give way to distractions I am aware of not fulling my call. If results aren’t readily observed I can become discouraged. However, this is not the case most of the time. God erspond in His timing, not ours. So if I play it out fully I have done my part.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    As I’ll enter the hospital in about 10 days for major back surgery, I’m going to be out of almost every “game” going, for at least six weeks. However, I do have one comment about this great post, as a former college instructor: Students at every level, of every age, would do well to heed this advice!

    When I was teaching, I had one summer class that was so incredible. The retention in that class was higher than in any other, despite that most of the students were also working, at least part-time. Most of them were fully present and committed to doing their best. As a result, I was so inspired that, even though my lesson plans had been finalized before the class began, there were days when I woke up, inspired with a more creative way to teach the day’s lesson.

    It was a freshman-composition class, by its very nature time-intensive. Three or four weeks into the course, all of us were weary. Worn out. Bone tired and mentally numb. They were mad at me, and I was mad at them. But everyone persevered, and we ended the class well.

    I was never a better teacher than in I was that summer, in that class. I wasn’t constantly trying to motivate the unmotivated or fielding their whining, excuse-making and blaming (me) for policies they didn’t like–but had known of on Day 1. It was wonderful, and 13 or 14 years later, I’m writing about it! :-)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Good stuff, Vicki. I slipped over to your web site and enjoyed reading about hyacinths for the soul. Well-written and concise.–Tom

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  • http://www.themindfulmama.com Pauline Magnusson

    What great timing! My organization is at a crossroads at the present time, and I’ll have to admit that my own motivation with respect to work has taken a serious hit. This post – along with the answers generated by my emerging life plan, courtesy of your great free e-book – really has me thinking about how I am engaged at my work at this time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama and such and let my motivation suffer. I’m now wondering how it might look if I make an intentional choice to be here (or not!) in accordance with how it fits into my life plan, and play full out accordingly, rather than be resentful of said choice.

    Thanks for (yet another) thought-provoking post!

  • http://twitter.com/kevinmwall Kevin M Wall

    Reflecting on your post, I am reminded of the Woody Allen quote that “80% of success is just showing up” which I have always had a problem with. I think when we connect the Pareto principle it makes sense why. I think that Mr Allen was right that 80% gets us going but the full success comes from the last 20%. That can only be gotten by playing full out.
    I grew up playing elite competitive hockey and I credit the many great coaches for this lesson, but the real lesson was in the preparation. They demanded that we be the best conditioned team so that with 2 minutes left in the 3rd period, we still had legs.
    I agree wholeheardtedly that playing full out is what wins, but what lets you get there is the work you put in building up to that point.

  • Heather Card

    I appreciated this post. I get worn down sometimes and while I fulfill my responsibilities, I’m not sure I’ve always “Played Full Out”. I’d like to. Kind of like Matthew West’s song “I don’t want to go through the motions…I don’t want to spend my whole life asking–What if I had given everything?”

  • Dan Greegor

    I plan on attending the Chick Fil A Leadercast this Friday at a satellite location. I am praying that this seminar will give some clarity and direction in my life. Perhaps going full out for me looks like me on bended knee; complete surrender to my Savior.

  • Ryan Neises

    I loved this post. Being a basketball coach, I’ve seen the benefit of “playing full out” with my players, but also with myself as a leader. Practices become somewhat mundane when working on building the right skills, but every drill is important. That’s why the great players play full out and give it their all in every drill no matter how many times they do it the same way. The great coaches find a way to not get bored with teaching the same skill as well. Being engaged and getting your followers to be engaged in the little, boring things in life and in your craft creates a team that is focused on the little details that create the bigger successes.

  • Anonymous

    I like your thoughts about brining the best out in others when you bring all that you have. It’s easy to get motivated when the person driving the boat is motivated by what they’re doing.

  • Edenpure

    Great advice. So many people just go through the motions of day to day life and aren’t truly present. If more people are completely present and playing full out just imagine the possibilities.

  • Dean

    The Chick Fil A Leadercast. It is always an exciting high energy event with amazing truth being disseminated. I will make efforts to be fully there!!!

  • http://twitter.com/RickWomack Rick Womack

    I’ve been learning the importance of being fully in the moment in the past couple of years. Mentoring college students requires that you listen actively, wait patiently and advise graciously. The “tie-in” to your post is that it requires being fully in the the moment. Thanks for the post – I’ll be certain to apply it next week at WiBo in Atlanta!

  • Anonymous

    Great words of wisdom Michael. Playing full, I think , applies not only to meetings and conferences but in our work and engagement with people. It is important to be present, stretch yourself and give your best all the time. I like the way that you lay out the benefits of doing this too. It points out the relationship between ourselves and others and ourselves and ourselves. We ultimately have control over our ability to play full out and impact others. No one else can do it for us. I have several church projects that I am working on that could fully us my full out self. I will see if I can apply these helpful hints to those situations.

  • http://www.inspiremuse.com Peter Hoppe

    Excellent reminder! Typically, I am the kind of person who dives into whatever I do with my all. But as I am transitioning from college to career mode, I have found myself trying to find the right balance between quantity and quality. I’m learning to avoid spreading myself too thin. I’ve found that if I try to do TOO MANY things, I do not have the energy or time to do many of them WELL.

    The “project” that will definitely benefit from my applying this is my summer with the Varsity Internship Program (started back in the day by Thomas Nelson)! I have pretty much just “showed up” the last two summers and did ok. But I’m not an “ok” person. I never liked mediocrity, and it frustrates me when I feel I’m slipping into it. This summer, I am really working to “play full out” and really “kill it” this time around.

  • http://twitter.com/skywardjason Jason Hughes

    I’ve asked myself many times why people clam up at conferences, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s the same reason people don’t ‘live large’ in virtually all other settings. It’s fear. Fear of being judged, of being exposed, of rejection.

    We have to be comfortable with ourselves, we have to see the divinity within ourselves. Private victories lead to public victories.

    I’m very happy I found you Micheal. This is great advise in all aspects of our lives. Thanks!

  • Dean Hockenberry

    Avery good reminder, I have recently stepped up to a directors role at an organization I volenteer with. It requires public speaking which is something I have not done in 40 years. Speach class in high school was torture but I plan to be fully present and play full out in order to maximize my results verses time spent.

  • http://www.literaryliving.com Joan Dempsey, Literary Living

    Great advice, Michael. Years ago I delivered a speech called “Walk Naked into the Land of Uncertainty” – sums up what you’re saying about opening yourself wide to new experiences, despite any fears or hesitations. The three benefits you mention were all present in the room Thanks for the reminder of that time – inspiring.

  • Anonymous

    Got a chance to put this in action last night in a meeting. The interesting part is that I saw that I was not playing full out and it helped me to recognize what the issues were that held me back. I started to realize that I needed to change my focus and found ways to get past the things that where limited my ability to be fullly engaged in the meeting and it help me out a lot. I thikn that playing full out also means that we take the time to find out what keeps us from doing that and then find ways to get past those barriers.

  • Chris

    Wow, great motivation. I learn something from every one of your posts. Thanks for playing full out on your blog.

  • http://twitter.com/psalm42day Stephen Cooper

    Writing a new devotional series. You do, but most people have no idea what commitment that takes to prayer and study. That’s full out all the time.

  • Anonymous

    Loved this. Thank you for such an encouraging blog. I have been learning so much and am taking your advice one day at a time . I’m excited about what God is going to do in my life. Thank you for not keeping what works to yourself.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Mike–While riding to lose those extra pounds (actually riding for the sheer joy of it), I thought about you and this post. I also read Jerry Jenkins article in the Christian Writers Guild monthly magazine this morning. Both of you model something worth noting. You, a successful public speaker, are learning to be a better speaker. Jerry, a successful multi-published author, will be attending a writing seminar as a student this weekend. Wow! That speaks volumes. Thanks for the example.–Tom

  • Cofletcher

    Thanks for “playing full out” this past week Michael…you were true to your own encouragement

  • http://twitter.com/ChristianRay Christian Ray Flores

    The gift of presence is the best gift to have. Good reminder. By the way, I am enjoying the Andy Andrews book The Final Summit.

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  • http://twitter.com/ashleighallen Ashleigh Allen

    Awesome advice! I’m a new PR account manager and I could definitely benefit from this when I tag along with others to meet clients. I don’t want to overstep my role and boundaries as someone who only has a year in the industry, but I think it would benefit my career and the projects I work on to be play all out all the time–whether that’s being fully engaged as a listener or not being afraid to offer my recommendations if I think I have a good idea.

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  • Anonymous

    More great words! Thanks.
    A few years ago I did several 5 day training weekends in a few months. It was very intensive. It taught me this same lesson – to get the most out of any experience, I need to play all out!
    As a result, my passion increased everywhere. I worship, teach, parent, speak, write and coach at a higher level of engagement.
    Now, I am learning to apply more of this to my own life. Thees words are helpful in that process.

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  • http://www.adonislenzy.com Adonis Lenzy

    As always, Great words Michael. Definitely going to act on this. Enjoyed the CFAleadercast and keeping up with you and @gailhyatt during the event.

  • http://twitter.com/plantedinchrist Brandon Weldy

     I was just thinking about this the other day. I was thinking about being “fully present” and how often I’m not. I allow myself excuses, such as, “I’m tired,” or “I’ve been working really hard to get ready for graduation.” But by not being fully present I have missed out on so much and I recently decided that was not happening anymore. 

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  • http://twitter.com/DannymJohnson Danny Johnson

     I’m going to NAPFA National this week with NetDocuments so good advice as I head out there. 

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  • http://twitter.com/RevKevCollins Kevin R. Collins

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/RevKevCollins Kevin R. Collins

    Thanks for the advice.  I am looking forward to the conference.  Our leadership team at RTS in Orlando read it together and I wanted to come and learn more.  I think this conference can help me help our campus build a solid platform.  Any advice for a seminary would be greatly appreciated!  Blessings, brother!

  • BradyBeshear

    I am headed to Nashville next week for the Platform Conference — AND planning to play full out!

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  • Carlos

    I am going to a 4 day seminar and was totally resistant. The last 2 days have been torture (to nobody but myself). Thank you for the encouraging words.

  • http://www.escapingdodge.com/ Ree Klein

    Great advice, Michael, I plan on “playing full out” at your 2013 SCORRE conference! Thanks for the opportunity to grow :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great. I look forward to meeting you, Ree.