Starting is Easy, Committing is Hard

Go to content

Starting is Easy, Committing is Hard

Black Belt Leadership
Starting is Easy, Committing is Hard
John L. Terry, III - The Black Belt Leader

I have a love-hate relationship with my BoFlex Max Trainer. I love the fact that it challenges me every time I step on it, and how, in just 15 minutes, I'm improving my fitness, stamina, strength, and endurance. I hate the fact that about three-fourths of the way through a workout this unfeeling, uncaring tormenter keeps raising the intensity of the workout, demanding I continue to give more of myself to get to the end.

Starting is easy. Anyone can do that. In fact, most of us have done that more than once in our lives. We decide we want to lose a few pounds, get in better shape, change a habit, grow ourselves through reading, start a new endeavor,...the list goes on. Fast forward a few days, or a few weeks and where are we?

Starting is easy, committing is hard.

Commitment is the core of ALL success. Success is something all of us would like to experience in our lives. All of us have goals, dreams, and aspirations. Yet how many of us are willing to say and do the things that are necessary to achieve success? To see these goals, dreams, and aspirations take on a life of their own?

Inconsistency is the death of our dreams. And our dreams die daily because we fail to follow-through with the essential elements to keep our dreams alive. How many lives remain unfulfilled because they have chosen to start, but not to commit? Not to finish?

Successful people choose to do daily what unsuccessful people choose not to do.

So if you want to not just start well, but finish well, what should you do?

The first commitment you must make is to start well. That requires you to lead yourself well and make good choices. It requires you to pause before you start, look inside yourself, and count the cost this success journey will cost you. It requires that you take an inventory of what is going to be needed to get you to the finish line. After all, no one wants to get halfway up Mt. Everest only to discover you left something essential at base camp.

Starting well also requires a personal inventory. It's that moment you stare deeply in the mirror to see yourself, your character, your values, and validate the dream you're going to pursue is worth the investment of time, energy, and resources to bring it to life. You've first got to believe in your heart of hearts this is a dream worth pursuing and answer the question, "Am I willing to see this through to the end, no matter what?'

Starting is easy. Committing is hard.

The second commitment is taking action. This is the initial and ongoing test of commitment. You can make all the decisions to act you want, but until you actually take the first step, the second, and the third, nothing happens. You've got to start moving or you spend your life at the starting line, never getting closer to achieving your goals.

Action creates movement. Without movement, there can be no momentum. It takes a lot of energy to get a train moving. But once it starts moving, momentum takes over and the energy required to keep moving is significantly less. Once you start taking action (and keep taking action) you create momentum that moves you closer to achieving both short-term success and long-term significance.

The second commitment is the longest. It demands the most of you. Commitment requires that you see it through to the finish line, no matter how far, no matter how long, no matter how hard. Along the way, you will slip, stumble, and fall. The trail will not always be flat and the water will not always be smooth. But it is the commitment you demonstrate in the good times that makes it easier to stay committed in the difficult times.

To get to the finish line, to reach your goal, to see your dream come to life, you've got to stay in the race. You've got to remain committed.

Starting is easy, committing is hard.

The third and final commitment is finishing well. Back to the BoFlex example. It's about two-thirds of the way through a workout, as the intensity continues to rise, that you are tempted to coast your way to the end. It is in that moment that you have to dig deeper, find a reason to keep going and finish strong. Not just for yourself, but for those who are watching your example and replicate your results.

Finishing well is the opportunity to not only see the outcome of reaching that milestone, but looking back to see all of the output that was required to get you there. It's not just seeing what you've done, but what you achieved to get there in the first place. Finishing well is coming to the realization this is only a checkpoint, and there really is no finish line.

Even as you see the results of your commitment, the seeds you've sown, nurtured and watered, come to life, and bear fruit, you realize there are more dreams, ambitions, and goals yet to achieve. More mountains to climb, more rivers to ford, and more jungles to explore.

Finishing well brings you to the realization that this is only the starting point for greater commitment, and a greater opportunity to see even greater success. It is when you evaluate all you have learned along the way and see that you've become a better version of yourself. You now realize that you are capable of so much more, and you re-enter the process of starting, committing, and finishing once again.

One of my personal mentors, Mark Cole says it best. "Committed doers move a dream to a lifestyle." Leadership is measured in results, and as we start, and commit, we grow in our ability to lead ourselves, and others well.

It is through this process that we realize that not only is success within our reach, but true significance is as well. Success happens to us as we achieve our goals, dreams, and aspirations. Significance is what happens through us along the way that affects, influences, motivates, encourages, and inspires to not only start, but to commit, and to succeed.

And once you've tastes significance, success will never satisfy you.

Starting is easy. Committing is hard.

But it's worth it.

So begin...and continue.

"I will persist until I succeed." (Og Mandino)

2X martial arts Hall of Fame inductee, John Terry (The Black Belt Leader) is passionate about helping others become Black Belt Leaders in Life. He is a motivational speaker, leadership, sales & communication coach and trainer.   

Jessie Terry, John's daughter, is a Certified Speaker, Coach, and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team and is actively involved in the JMT Global Youth Initiative. She is also a Real-Life Management trained coach and a certified Women-Safe Self-Defense Instructor.

For more information, schedule John (or Jessie) to speak to your organization or to book a personal, group or corporate coaching session, visit our website at  

If you are a faith-based organization, learn more about John and Jessie's outreach to churches, para-church organizations or faith-based volunteer groups by visiting

John is an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team and is passionate about helping others pursue excellence as they become "Leaders in Life". He is also a Master Coach & Trainer with Real Life Management, a human behavioral training organization helping people learn how to live "Real Life" and make better choices when it comes to relationships, money, health, and wellness. John is also a certified DISC Human Behavior Consultant.

John's newest book, Black Belt Leadership 101, released as a #1 New Release on Amazon Kindle in late March and has been on the Amazon Best Sellers List for over 2 months. Also available in paperback, this book highlights the 10 essential character traits necessary to live life as a Black Belt Leader in Life.
Why just be a leader, when you can be a Black Belt Leader?

This book includes a Discussion Guide for either your own personal growth and development or to facilitate a group discussion with your Team. Get your copy today.

Back to content