The purpose of language is to help us communicate in a way that everyone is on the same page. The challenge is that sometimes words mean different things to different people.
What does it mean to be committed to something? How do you know when you are committed?
Here are three important concepts about commitment:
(1) Supported by Evidence
Commitment isn’t just an esoteric concept; it’s an active, living thing; a statement of fact supported by evidence.
When you’re truly committed to something you don’t really have to say so. Your actions reveal your commitment.
For example, I am committed to my health and fitness. This is not merely something I say; in fact, I typically don’t say it at all.
I don’t have to say it. The evidence speaks for itself. For over six years, I’ve started every day with some type of workout. I meditate daily.
Five months ago, when I met a physical therapist who helped me piece together dysfunctional movement patterns and muscle compensation issues, I decided to stay in San Diego to work with him daily to proactively address the problems.
Another example: Almost two years ago I committed to publishing to this blog daily. I didn’t announce my commitment on social media. How do you know I’m committed? I publish daily.
(2) Even When It’s Inconvenient
Seth Godin writes that
… [M] ost people don’t want to commit until after they’ve discovered that they can be good at something.
I would add to this that most people don’t want to commit unless it’s on their terms or they know it will be easy.
Commitment means you’re committed even when it’s inconvenient or hard, and even when you fail, when you’re frustrated, and when you don’t see results.
Whether its fitness, blogging, meditation, or something else, I do the thing even when it isn’t convenient. I create the time for it. Because I am committed.
None of these things are easy to do. Many of them require me to make sacrifices, stretch my comfort zone, or invest in myself. Sometimes all three at once.
Commitment means you do the things even when it’s hard, or you’re struggling, or it’s uncomfortable.
(3) Process Over Outcome
We don’t always see immediate or noticeable results from our efforts. Commitment means you’re committed to the process, not just the outcome.
What we need to look at is the flow of experience and the quality of how we are choosing to live. The outcome is simply the byproduct of that flow of process. If we learn to commit fully to the process, then the outcomes will be what they should be. But, if we commit merely to the outcome and ignore the process, we’ve sabotaged both.
What’s Your Commitment?
What are you committed to?
How do you show that commitment?