Whenever the acclaimed US leader General Norman Schwarzkopf greeted a new crop of rising stars, he used to tell them a very short story.

‘Talent is overrated’, he’d say. ‘If you want to reach the top, be totally committed. To be successful, you need to have some skin in the game. Let’s suppose you have a plate of ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed. That’s the sort of commitment I’m talking about’.

Extreme? Possibly, but history teaches those of us in business that a great deal can be learned from military leaders. I’ve been thinking a lot about commitment recently and what it means to be committed to what you do.

Commitment is everything. It’s the difference between success and failure (yes it can be important to fail and we certainly all learn from our mistakes). But to commit 100% (more than this does not exist!) is integral to your personal achievement and growth.

Commitment is about how much you are motivated to get the desired results you want. Commitment is about the amount of self-belief you have, the amount of confidence you have in yourself and your ability to do things successfully.

Commitment is also about self-discipline. Commitment begins with a decision to start something and the determination to finish, backed by discipline. Self-discipline is the thing that keeps you moving forward when times are hard and things don’t go your way. There may be times when your job is demanding and the workload tough, but it’s at these times when your discipline to stay focussed and determined will carry you through.

I have noticed that a lot of people want the best outcome, but they don’t want to do the work that is needed to achieve this. Many people are lazy or take the easy option to fully commit and therefore achieve poor results and wonder why.

Lastly, commitment is about how much you are willing to challenge. Challenging yourself to move through the obstacles, challenging yourself to move forward, challenging your self-limiting beliefs and your willingness to challenge anyone’s negative views around you. committed are you?