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  • Writer's pictureJerry Brook

What does it mean to be committed?

You may think that you know what it means to commit, but things aren’t always what they seem.

People will say things like; “you aren’t trying hard enough”, “you aren’t satisfying me”, “you aren’t doing … whatever it is that I want”. But all of those statements are about you, not about me; more correctly they are “I” statements disguised as “you” statements.

They are more properly stated as; “I think, or I feel, that there isn’t enough effort being expended”, “I feel unsatisfied”, “I feel, or I think, that you aren’t doing … this or that for me”.

You aren’t committed”, translation, “I want more of …”.

What if I view your commitment to me, as you doing whatever I want you to do?

Is that commitment, or is that just blind loyalty, a form of submission?

In that case your commitment, or really my interpretation of your commitment, is being used against you as a weapon.

So, firstly, other people don’t get to define your commitment, or level thereof.

They only get to define their own feelings, their interpretation, of your commitment.

These two things, your commitment, and other people’s feelings about your commitment, are in fact two different things, possibly having nothing at all in common, or having nothing to do with each other.

So, commitment is your attitude towards a person, or situation, not their interpretation of your attitude.

Secondly, a dictionary definition of commitment is; the act of committing. To commit means; to pledge, to bind, to obligate.

But what would you say if I told you that that dictionary definition is incorrect?

You would probably say, “prove it, show me don’t tell me”.

I would be happy to.

If you are obliged, obligated too; meaning indebted too, which is beyond your consent, wouldn’t that make your commitment unconditional?

Just because you make a commitment, can you not rescind it if the situation changes?

As in a contract, if you agree, commit, to something but the other person does not live up to their end of the agreement, their commitment, then you are no longer bound by the contract.

People view commitment as “unconditional” and “unwavering”, regardless of a change in circumstance.

Clearly that would make no sense, as your commitment must be given freely, commitment taken by force would be servitude.

Commitment is two sided, otherwise it really isn’t a commitment at all.

So, commitment is a pledge, it is not an obligation.

Thirdly, commitments are entered into easily, too easily most of the time.

If commitment is, saying “yes” to something, anything, then commitment is easy.

It is so easy that it is actually a problem for many people; there are many people who can’t say “no”. They say “yes” to almost everyone and everything, to the point of not being able to do all of the things that they have said “yes” to, committed to.

Of course, these are false, or shallow, commitments.

In other words, commitments have varying degrees of … well, commitment.

Some commitments are serious and carry severe consequences, while other commitments are, shall we say, less important.

Not all commitments are the same, not all commitments carry the same weight.

So, commitment, the level thereof, needs to be appropriate for the situation.

Fourthly, can you even commit to things that you are incapable of?

Entering a contract that you are unqualified, or unable, of fulfilling is fraud.

So too is committing to things that you really cannot live up to.

The very foundation of a commitment is the assumption, nay the expectation, that you are able to deliver that which you have committed to.

If you can’t do it, then you can’t commit to it.

Finally, commitment is; your attitude, towards, your pledge, that is, significant to you, and that, you are capable of providing.

And there is yet still another way, another perspective, from which to view, commitment.

Committing by saying “yes” is easy.

Committing by saying “no” to everything else requires;

  • a dedicated attitude, to this and not to that,

  • a determination of fulfillment, to this and not to that,

  • a level of value, to this and not to that,

  • and a confidence in your own abilities, to this and not to that.

That is the essence of commitment itself.

Commitment is a choice, your own personal decision.

“Commitment isn’t saying “yes” to one thing, it is saying “no” to everything else”.

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