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Commitment

There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

– Unknown

Most people don’t really like to commit. ¬†Usually because once you’ve committed to something you’re, well… ¬†committed. ¬†You can’t get out of it. ¬†That’s usually a scary thought.

It’s also the reason more people don’t go into business instead of going to post-secondary school, or who don’t go into post-secondary school and go straight into the workforce. ¬†Each requires a certain level of commitment towards your future goals and nothing really has the guarantee of success behind it. ¬†(Although universities and colleges would have you believing otherwise.)

The same can also be said for relationships. ¬†Many relationships fall apart because one or both parties just aren’t willing to commit. ¬†Committing can be scary because what often goes through a person’s head when they commit is this:

I’m going to be trapped into this if I commit to it!

That’s right. ¬†Trapped. ¬†That’s usually the term that comes to mind when people think of ‘commitment’. ¬†And, well, rightfully so. ¬†Committing to something is a way of making a promise to yourself and to others that you are going to do something and keep doing it no matter what.¬† Most people don’t think they have it in them to do that, or simply don’t want to. ¬†The thought of being stuck doing something is terrifying for most people.

But the truth is that by not committing to certain things, like a person or a job or your education, or even something as simple as a side project, you are committing to something else without even realizing it.

Let’s say you have a project to build a model boat that requires a commitment from you of one day a week for 52 weeks. ¬†(You’re an amateur model builder who focuses on the details of the job and as such takes an absolutely extraordinary amount of time to put the model together.)

Now, you go out, you buy your super glue, your model parts, you get a work bench and clear off space for the building of this model: you get everything prepared and you start building it the day that you get it. ¬†At the end of your first day, you realize that in regards to the entire project, you’ve made very little progress towards completion and that it’s going to take a commitment of one day a week for 52 weeks in order for you to completely finish building the model.

You decide that you don’t really want to commit your Sundays to building the model because sometimes you just like to relax on Sundays instead of working on your hobby. ¬†What if one Sunday it’s nice outside and you want to go to the beach? ¬†You don’t want to be stuck inside building your model boat. ¬†That would be lame. ¬†So, instead of committing one day a week you just endeavour to work on it whenever you have the time and it catches your fancy.

52 weeks later and your boat has done nothing but collect dust. ¬†By deciding not to commit one day a week to the completion of the project, you are in effect choosing not to complete the project. ¬†If I want to be really cheeky I can phrase it like this: ¬†You’ve committed to not¬†completing the project. ¬†While I can’t say that everyone won’t follow through on their “I’ll get to it whenever I feel like it” strategy, most of us won’t. ¬†Meaning that without committing we really won’t complete much.

Take a moment and think about it.  For the most part, things you commit to you succeed at.  If you commit to writing every day for a year, your writing ability will show an absolutely astonishing improvement by the time that year is up, even if two weeks in you still feel like you suck at writing.  The same can be said for anything, really.

Even something more black and white, like achieving a specific goal, can easily be achieved if you commit to it and follow through with that commitment. ¬†If I made a commitment to be able to make 9 out of 10 three-point shots from right in front of the hoop in basketball and then practiced once a day for one hour for an entire year, I would put money on the fact that I would achieve that goal. ¬†Even if by the third month I wasn’t even close to achieving that.

The same thing can be said for relationships. ¬†If you choose not to commit to a relationship, you are essentially choosing to opt out of the relationship, even if you don’t break up with that person.

Commitment is scary, and that’s why it works.

Because when you do actually commit to something or someone (Most often they are not independent.) then you are held responsible for failing that commitment. ¬†You are expected to ‘show up’ so to speak, and do whatever it is you committed to doing. ¬†It puts pressure on you because if you fail your commitment, there are consequences. ¬†And that, dear readers, is a good, good thing. ¬†I’ve said before that you should eliminate fear¬†and I stand by that, but while you’re trying to get rid of it, use it to your advantage. ¬†If you’re afraid of disappointing or failing then that fear will serve as a motivation to do whatever it is you’ve committed to.

Commitment isn’t fool-proof. ¬†Sometimes you’ll still¬†falter– it’s only human. ¬†I do it all the time. ¬†But it’s a handy tool to have when you’re working towards something that you want in life, and one you should employ whenever you get the chance. ¬†If you’re still scared of making a commitment, that’s okay. ¬†Be scared and do it anyway. ¬†The worst thing that can happen is that you fail your commitment and you end up exactly where you would be had you never committed in the first place. ¬†Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and you’ll be happy with what comes your way.

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