You probably read that title and thought of your most recent vow of commitment – a course, or your business, or your marketing, or that thing you’ve been putting off.
And you probably thought, “Hell yeah! I’m definitely committed!”
I’m sorry to say that you’re probably not.
Think of all those New Years’ promises people make every year – to go on a diet, to quit smoking, to spend more time with their kids, to focus on this or that.
They break those promises. They forget about their commitments. They pretend they never uttered the fateful words. Most people go back to the way things were in just a few weeks. Life’s just easier that way.
You see, commitment is easy. It’s just you making a vow. A promise. A statement of potential action. “I’m going to do this!”
There. You’ve made a commitment. Pat yourself on the back.
Sticking to your commitment takes dedication and effort. Hard, hard work. And the dedication to stick to putting in that hard work is far more difficult to achieve. Most people don’t actually have it in them to follow through on their commitments.
So once that valiant vow-making moment has passed and everyone’s forgotten you’ve cried out a promise, it’s easy to slip out of the room unnoticed.
And if by some stroke of bad luck, a friend asks how you’re doing with that commitment you made, you probably think up some plausible excuse. “Didn’t have the time – things just got too busy.”
You might even try to make your buddy think you still have good intentions to actually follow through on your commitment. “I haven’t forgotten about it. I’m going to give it another shot in a month or two when life quiets down.”
Life isn’t going to quiet down. You’re always going to be busy. And quite frankly, if you take an honest look at what’s keeping you ‘busy’, you’ll probably see that you do indeed have the time.
You just aren’t dedicated to your commitment.
One of the problems with commitments is that people tend to encourage making them. We get all excited when people say they’re going to do something. We applaud. We cheer. “Good for you!”
Well, all that encouragement and support is nice, but it’s misplaced. We shouldn’t be praising commitment.
We should be praising dedication. Effort. Sticking to it.
And each time we hear someone make a promise to take action, we shouldn’t applaud. We should say, “Yeah? Prove it.”
Harsh? Maybe. Better? I think so.
Sure, you might deflate someone’s wind-filled sails by asking them to prove their commitment. Plenty of people thrive on back-pats and warm fuzzies. They get discouraged when their Big Commitment doesn’t get them their desired response, and then they don’t follow through.
That’s just an excuse. That’s blaming your inaction on other people’s lack of back pats.
When it comes to commitments, there can’t be any excuses. This is all about you. Either you want this, and you’re ready to dedicate your efforts towards achieving your goals…
Or you don’t.
Which is it?