On Commitment

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Commitment can be looked at in a number of ways, from being committed to your spouse and to a regular exercise routine to remaining committed to your faith or a looming deadline.

In a piece called “What happens when you take full responsibility of your life,” Benjamin P. Hardy starts by drawing a line in the sand of sorts, explaining:

Four realities exist:

  1. Indecision is potentially your greatest threat.
  2. Most people are “drifting,” which means they haven’t taken command of their mind or their life. Drifting is when you let external circumstances determine where you go in life.
  3. Just before any substantial breakthroughs, you will experience darkness and defeat.
  4. When you take control of your mind, you realize the quality of your thinking reflects your current potential.

What starts off as a little preachy, however, soon bears more fruit in the practical, day-to-day stuff that everyone can relate to:

Research has found that when people commit to something, their desire to be seen as “consistent” drives them to act according to the commitment they’ve made. Commitment has been defined as the “[p]ledging or binding of an individual to behavioral acts.” For example, one study found that people who made a public commitment to recycle were far more likely to do so than those who didn’t make a public commitment.

Personally, I think about this concept on a daily basis, most notably because I’m self-employed and will self-immolate if I don’t pressure myself to honour professional commitments to the very best of my ability. But I’m not perfect and, like most people, can always stand to become more committed to commitment.

Which is why I like how Hardy ends this piece:

[C]reate conditions that make the achievement of your commitment inevitable. Leave yourself “no outlet.” Make it a habit, your deepest devotion, to respond to your conscious voice immediately. Never drown it out.


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  1. Pingback: Quote of the Day | Richard H. Harris

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