Giving 100%

Written by Andrew Swisher





There is no manual for success; there is no blueprint or bible-like resource to reach those lofty goals and achieve those childhood dreams. It’s in the little everyday things we join and commit ourselves to. For me, this was finding the drive and initiative to give life 100%, to be a yes person.


It all started my freshmen year of college. The president of my fraternity, a compelling figure of leadership and a person I looked up to immensely, brought me to his room to ask me a question. I had no idea what the purpose of this was or what he could possibly want with me. Curious, a little anxious, and a lot confused I followed him to his room. He motioned for me to sit down. An awkward pause ensued, as if it were a Mexican standoff and he was about to pull out his gun. What came next was unexpected. “What’s your drive man?” Tom inquired in a soft concerned tone, “you have so much potential and I see you just sitting on the sidelines. When are you going to start playing?” I didn’t really know how to answer. Caught off guard, I responded that I didn’t know and inquired why he was asking. “Whenever you are doing anything I want you to ask yourself: are you giving 100% to whatever that is? If the answer is no, then why are you doing it?”


I have circled back to that conversation almost every day since Tom posed his question to me. The conversation served as a catalyst for self-reflection on what was possible for me, what I was capable of. What we are all capable of. And to ask myself a hard question - was I really giving 100%? The hard truth was no. I was just a college freshmen trying to figure out what his place was in the world. I had been just coasting along, just enjoying, just along for the ride. Now I realized it was my time to start playing. Now it was time to start giving 100%.  Ever since that conversation with Tom, I have involved myself in every aspect of what life has to offer. I was finally playing. I pounced on opportunities and invested myself in everything I did, every organization I was a part of, and every job that I took on.


I didn’t have to run and become president of my fraternity as a sophomore, a one year commitment with tremendous responsibility. I also didn’t have to involve myself in campus groups like University Student Legal Services or manage one of the country’s only student-run public relations agencies. I joined with the mindset of giving 100% of my time, capabilities, and passion. If someone asked me to do something, I did it. If someone said something couldn't be done, I did it. Finding success in life isn't about joining prestigious organizations and getting the fancy titles. It’s about giving 100% and saying yes. If you achieve that initiative, then real success falls into place.


So the next time you sign up for something, take a class, join an organization, go in with the mindset of giving it your all; giving 100%. Otherwise, why would you do it?