"There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." – Kenneth H. Blanchard
Over the years my business mantra has been: "To Succeed, one must Commit". Commitment is at the very core of success. We commit to a wide range of activities in our daily lives – for family, career, business, church, community – going to show that we all are capable of commitment.
The things we commit to (whether positive or negative) thrive in our lives for the simple reason that they take up most of our time, defining who we are … hence our lives are a reflection of our commitments.
What tends to happen is that life steers us in certain directions and we sometimes (in fact often times) find ourselves committing to things that aren't necessarily in alignment with our dreams and purpose. It thus takes conscious effort to re-adjust and re-align.
Here are 3 key points to remember about commitment:
1. It Requires Discipline. "I'm going all the way!" Commitment begins with a decision and the determination to finish, backed by discipline … the discipline to keep one's word, to be consistent, to stay on task until what you committed to is achieved, regardless of how you're feeling or even whether you're having second thoughts about getting involved in the first place. Discipline could very well be the most important element of commitment.
2. Always Focus on the Big Picture. In other words, your 'WHY' … why you got involved in the first place – is it for the betterment of family, of the community, the industry. Your WHY has to be something bigger than you – a calling, some purpose that steers us away from the ordinary towards the extraordinary, that gives us permission to apply ourselves day in and day out, and not have the heart to disappoint those relying on us or depending on a positive outcome.
Experiencing negative feelings such as discouragement, doubt, fear, disappointment are all a part of the journey we cannot avoid, however leaders learn to turn these into fuel that propels them forward. Learning to refocus one's mind on the 'big picture' keeps the dream alive.
Staying committed to the big picture requires focus, selflessness, love, and the letting go of 'ego' as one learns that they're not the most important element in the picture … completing the task at hand is. The leader leads, facilitates, and through their commitment, makes a difference.
3. Commitment Requires Sacrifice. Oh yes, Sacrifice. In other words, 'WHATEVER IT TAKES!' Here's probably the most challenging aspect of commitment as it often requires us to operate outside of our comfort zones … something most human beings don't like to do.
Making sacrifices means giving up something for the good of that which may not be tangible; it means going against the grain, exerting one's self, going the extra mile, putting the needs of others first … all for the good of "the big picture".
Being able to make sacrifices is the most honorable aspect of commitment. It also pays lots of dividends in terms of fulfillment. Its rewards are not always evident at the front end, they show up after the pinch and pain of exertion, breeding satisfaction and joy. The sacrifices a leader makes for the greater good honors their legacy in ways history never forgets. Committed leaders make the most sacrifices of time, finances, effort; they also make the most impact in the lives of others.
I encourage you to finish what you've started or are about to start. Commitment allows us to evolve with the ever changing tides of life, with the pieces that are the results falling perfectly into place to create the greatness we're all born to manifest.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." – Matthew 5:16
“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” – Zig Ziglar
"The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself to it." – Mack R. Douglas
"The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best." – Colin Powell
“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.” – Abraham Lincoln