Climbing the 10-Step Commitment Ladder


Third in a series

I hope that you found Part 1 and 2 of the 10-Step Commitment Ladder of some interest, or at least interesting enough to gain your inquisitiveness to read the final storyline. We will now climb the last four steps. So, without any further chit-chat, let's start hiking!

Step 7: The little things. I offer that obsessing over the little things is what separates the achievers from the sustainers, the great from the good. We all fall prey to ignoring the little things that we know are important but that, at the time, seem perhaps insignificant. To illustrate this, reading 10 pages of a self-development book daily does not appear like an enormous task. However, that is 70 pages a week or 280 pages a month, which works out to an average of about 12 books a year! It is akin to attending a few semesters of school per year. Little things not only make a difference, they also make all the difference. It is called “winning by inches.”

Step 8: The extra mile. In life, most people trek down the road most traveled. I describe this as the first mile, the complacency mile, which is rather smooth and uneventful. Relatively few people will go down the potholed second mile, the extra mile. The first mile is an easy drive, and most people handle it with few problems. It is the second mile, that extra mile, where we take ourselves from the sea of sameness to something that is different and more meaningful. What is interesting is that folks who take the extra mile are so driven by their internal belief system that they do not consider the extra mile as being anything but normal. At its core, it is just two miles. By providing consistent evidence that we always give and do more than required, over time, that journey of the extra mile builds a rock-solid foundation of trust with our clients, friends, and family. Napoleon Hill said it best, “When you truly believe that the habit of going the extra mile is the only acceptable way to conduct yourself in your dealings with others, when you are driven by a burning desire to serve your fellow man, you will be rewarded both financially and professionally.”

Step 9: Investing. Will we invest money in our business or ourselves? If you think about it, people generally do not invest money in a job. They only put in the required hours at work and go home. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, see their occupation as one big idea that they continually improve. This desire to advance usually involves financial investment in themselves. If we want to be successful and take ourselves to the next level, we must do what successful people do: invest money in ourselves.

Step 10: Risk. In football, they call it the end around play. In warfare, it is known as a flanking maneuver. The world chess masters watch for the wing attack. No matter what it is called, it is about taking the risk. Every prosperous person I know has taken calculated gambles and made sacrifices. Many folks are afraid to take chances because they expect the ridicule that often accompanies risk taking. I believe that sarcasm, laughter, ridicule and mockery come from discouraged people who play it safe. These folks spend most of their time criticizing and nitpicking others. They do not want to see others do well while they continue to stagnate because of their status-quo-hugging thinking. As Oscar Wilde said, “Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.”

Allow me to close this three-part series with a powerful poem, “Will to Win,” written by American poet Berton Braley. It has become a signature close of one of my favorite motivational speakers, Les Brown. It epitomizes the commitment mentality.

If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace and your sleep for it. If all that you dream and scheme is about it, and life seems useless and worthless without it and you would gladly sweat for it, fret for it, plan for it, and lose all your terror of the opposition for it. And if you simply go after the thing that you want with all of your capacity, strength, and sagacity, faith, hope and confidence and stern pertinacity if neither cold, poverty, famine or sickness in pain or body can keep you away from the thing that you want. If dogged and grim, you besiege and beset, with the help of God, you will get it.

Harry Pappas Jr., CFP®

Managing Director-Investments

Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®

Pappas Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors

818 A1A N, Ste. 200

Ponte Vedra, Florida 32082


The use of the CDFA™ designation does not permit Wells Fargo Advisors or its Financial Advisors to provide legal advice, nor is it meant to imply that the firm or its associates are acting as experts in this field. Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, Member SIPC, is a Registered Broker-Dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are subject to change. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any