Commitment is that turning point in your life when you seize the moment and convert it into an opportunity to alter your destiny.
Achieving even the simplest of goals requires us to learn the meaning of commitment. Throughout our life, we are reminded of commitment, whether it’s related to personal or business goals, and we realize that without committing, we can’t achieve anything.
When you think about it, everything you ever achieved sprouted from a commitment you made; whether it’s your children, your degree, your job, or even your house.Learning how to commit is not simply about making commitments, however, it’s about keeping those commitments in the face of foreseen and unforeseen hurdles.
“The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”
What does it mean to be committed to something, whether to a person, a cause, a project, a government, a job, or an institution?
It’s funny how many of the words that we use to describe devotion are also used to describe insanity. The word “fan”, for instance, refers to someone who is a devoted admirer of an artist, musician, author, or other creator (or a piece of their work), but it comes from “fanatic”, a maniacal follower of some cause or leader.
Well, to be committed means to pledge, bind, or oblige one’s self to something: a course of action, a system of beliefs, or medical treatment facility/program and so on.
- Commitment is Passion
You can’t live without accomplishing your cause or being with your significant other. Fulfilling that commitment gives you great pleasure — being with the person you love, pushing forward a project you believe in, creating a tiny pocket of betterness in the world, these are deeply satisfying to the person who is committed.
- Commitment is Action
Actions speak louder than words, right? A person who is committed shows that commitment, over and over, in his or her actions. If your actions don’t match your commitment, you simply aren’t committed to it. You may have a belief, a hunch, a preference, a desire, but not a commitment.
- Commitment is Obligation
What separates the truly committed from the rest of us is the way they embrace the worst parts of the job, buckling down and taking on the work that the rest of us wouldn’t dream of. It’s the parent scrubbing puke from the carpet at 4 in the morning, the doting spouse helping their aged partner on and off the toilet, the executive who flies halfway around the room to apologize in person for a badly flubbed marketing campaign, the firefighter who charges into a dangerous fire because he or she hears screaming, the soldier who holds his or her ground while the rest of company flees. You do these things not because they are fun or pleasurable in their own right, but because your commitment demands you do them.
- Commitment is Larger than the Self
Commitments are personal, but they’re also about relationships. The committed artist sacrifices everything to express his or her inner vision to the world. The committed lover cares first and foremost for the emotional and physical well-being of his or her partner. The committed performer takes the stage in the service of the audience. The committed activist creates a better world not for him- or herself but for the generations to come. True commitment embraces and engages the world.
- Commitment is Voluntary
Commitment is obligation, yes, but it’s freely chosen obligation. Even the draftee chooses to be a hero in the heat of combat — or not to be. The environmentalist huddling shivering in a cold boat in arctic waters, protecting a pod of whales from a whaling ship, can take refuge in the fact that they chose to be there. The parent chooses to have and keep a child, no matter how accidental the pregnancy; the spouse chooses to stay in the marriage; the worker chooses to stay on the job. It is that choice that makes it a commitment.
When we feel forced into something, when we feel obligations hanging on us like an albatross, when our actions fail to match our beliefs — these are signs that we aren’t as committed as maybe we thought we were. Maybe not committed at all. Pay attention to those signs — it’s easy to convince ourselves of a commitment that isn’t really a commitment at all.