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The Power of Commitment

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 |

Commitment is a responsibility to someone else or to you. When you commit to a course of action, you are responsible for ensuring that you do that action. If your commitment was to another person, that person expects that you will do what you committed yourself to do. If you commit to yourself that you will do something, you will feel bad if you don't, your self-esteem will plummet and the action will not get done. That unfulfilled action could be the difference between a life of plenty and a life of just getting by. It will certainly mean that your life will not go in the direction that it could have gone if you had taken the action.

Abraham Lincoln said, "A commitment is what transforms a promise into reality."

Commitment is hard. It comes with a responsibility to carry out the action that you have pledged to do. If you are in business, you commit to providing your customers with the products they desire with the best service possible. Service commitment is a business pledge that your customers expect you to keep. If you fail to do so, you will find that your business slowly withers away. So, commitment is a business necessity. It is the key to maximum business performance.

Commitment is what saves you, and all of us, from our fickle ego and its fluctuating fears and desires. If you fail to make a commitment to some course of action, then you are not really obliged to continue that course of action. For example, suppose you decide that you are going to go to the gym and exercise for an hour a day. You go for a couple of days and then on the third day you really don't feel like going. If you haven't made a commitment to do this exercise regardless of how you feel, then quitting the exercise is acceptable. If on the other hand you have made a commitment to do the exercise, then come what may, you are obliged to continue doing it.

You will find that a life of ethical commitment is a life full of rich relationships, meaningfulness, integrity and joy. Commitment is at the core of social life. The warm happy aspects of love are more likely to be evidenced if the underlying commitment is rock solid. Commitment is an important determinant of any relationship, either personal or professional. It is very difficult to build trust with another individual if we do not commit ourselves to do our very best to make our relationship with that other person the best that it can possibly be.

Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt, but in spite of doubt. There is only one sure thing in life and that is that at some point you will die. Everything else depends on you and your commitment to a course of action to have your life go in the direction that you want it to go. Unfortunately, commitment is something that many of us in this culture are averse to; we want to "keep our options open" and "be free to do what we want to." This sounds nice and many people believe it; however, those that do leave the outcome of their life in the hands of someone else. If you don't commit to directing your own life, you become a passenger, taken wherever someone else wants you to go. This is why so many people complain today that their life just isn't turning out the way they wanted it to turn out. How can it? They are in the ship of life with no helmsman and no rudder, just drifting with the currents. For life energy to move in a desired direction, commitment is essential.

Commitment is the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Commitment is the most powerful force we have. When we commit to something, we take an active part in ensuring that the outcome of what we committed to is as close to perfect as possible. And that is exactly what everyone wants, everything as close to perfect as possible.

To ensure that it happens for you, make your commitment to your life today. With commitment from you, anything is possible, without it nothing is possible. So, remember commitment is a responsibility from you to yourself. Take that commitment and make your life all that you want it to be.