If something is important to you, care all the way about it.
A lot of things don’t need you to care all the way. You can just care a little, or just interested. You might care a little about air quality. Enough to roll up your windows when you’re behind a car that’s belching exhaust. You might care a little about food safety. Enough to not eat at a buffet when the food looks a little old.
If you want to get in shape, caring a little means you say, “I’m might start jogging” Caring a lot means you would join a gym, or plan out your jogs for the next month, or join a class.
Caring all the way would start with you saying, “what does ‘in shape’ mean to me?” You’d have to figure out if ‘in shape’ means getting stronger or losing body fat or just lowering your chance of having a heart attack. You’d research the most current information regarding your goal. You’d dive deep into the topic, learning more and more, until you can see where the information is trendy vs tested. You can now clearly define what you mean by ‘in shape’. Then, and only then, do you make and execute your plan. You make adjustments as you go, you shift your definition, and you make it a part of your life. Not just a simple target or a basic goal, but a component of who you are.
Congratulations, you have made a lifestyle change.
Here’s another example. Let’s say you want to write a book:
Caring a little = keep talking about the book, maybe jot down some notes
Caring a lot = set aside an hour everyday to work on the book
Caring all the way = read books in the same genre, learn the techniques other writers use, read other writer’s blogs, take classes on storytelling, listen to podcasts about writing, starting a writing habit of 500 words a day, etc, etc
Caring all the way means going beyond learning what is necessary. It means learning about the history and the current trends of that thing you care about. It means studying the work of people you respect and those you don’t. It means learning techniques and skills and working at it.
Caring all the way requires doing too much. Go ahead and obsess, go insane with how much you care, and fall head over heels in love with it.
Once you do that, success or failure are no longer important. All that matters is The Work.