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How Committed Are You?

As we rapidly approach the holidays, we may become overwhelmed by commitments – attending parties (or throwing them), preparing meals, traveling, or hosting company.

But what about the commitments we make to ourselves?

Commitment is a very personal issue. We express our intentions to accomplish a goal, realize a dream, or change the world for the better. But when it gets down to it, only you and I know just how serious we are about making it happen.

Unless your commitments are forged in the fires of personal promise, they may lose their intensity, damaging your confidence, credibility, and perhaps even your relationships.

 

The Three Levels of Commitment

Level One: The Decision

When you make up your mind to change something, do something, or achieve something, you have made a commitment. It is a choice. A decision. Perhaps, even an intention. The first level of commitment is mandatory, but it is not enough.

Level Two: Action

The second level of commitment begins the moment you take action to make your decision a reality. And just as a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the path to completion begins with a singular action. And the moment this happens, you have graduated to level two. That is fantastic, but it is still insufficient.

Level Three: The Point of No Return

Left to our own timetables and desires, your commitment – even if it is supported by some action – may diminish in intensity.  When we have a safe “out” and face resistance, we might lose desire and become defeated.  To prevent this from happening, accelerate growth, and increase your likelihood of success, you must reach the third level of success. This is the point where the consequences of failure outweigh the effort required to persevere.

Reaching level three is not a question of luck. It is a matter of purpose. If your reason for changing, learning, growing or doing – whatever you endeavor to accomplish – is strong enough, success becomes an inescapable conclusion.

Into Action

How do you reach level three? Here are four strategies that may help get you there:

  1. Put a date on the calendar. As in the story I shared in the video, you may need a sense of urgency to do what is necessary. The key here is not to just pick an arbitrary date. Make a commitment for a specific event, contest, or goal. Diminishing time can be a powerful motivator.
  2. Put your money where your mouth is. Making a financial commitment can turn tentative contemplation into true commitment. Buy a plane ticket to that destination you’ve longed to see. Enroll in a class to finally master that new skill or subject. Invest in your dreams, and they will immediately appear more real … and realizable.
  3. Ask for help. You don’t have to do it all on your own. Engage the power of relationships and the experience of those who have gone before you. Express your fears and doubts to someone you admire, and ask them to help you move past them.
  4. Amplify your “Why.” Purpose is the fuel that will drive you to do what it takes. If you feel that you are stalling out, then you need a bigger “why”. Why do you want this … really?

In closing, consider this. Perhaps the key to your happiness is not to increase your number of commitments. Rather, increase your level of commitment to the things that matter most.

With encouragement always,

Dan

  • Terri says:

    This is just the outstanding advice so many of us need. Level one is comparable to the millions of New Years resolutions, and unfortunately, too many times we go so far as even level two just to fail. Thanks for sharing that third level; it is priceless knowledge for obtaining our goals.

  • Tiffany says:

    This is fantastic. My husband and I “started” a company two years ago, he received funding toward the end of last year and has a small team, all of who are risk takers b/c they either need to hit some amazingly high goals and/or raise round two of funding. Their internal motto is, “Burn The Ships.” I’m sending the strategies you have outlined so they can continue to take their “Motto” and turn driving passion into action. Thank you!

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