I didn’t exactly have your typical junior high and high school experience.
I got my first job playing organ in a church when I was 13. While most people took it easy on the weekends, my weekends became “days at the office.”
Monday nights were piano lessons with a professor at a nearby college. The college was an hour’s drive. So between dinner, driving time and the lesson, the entire night was pretty much full.
The organ lesson was another day of the week, with practicing in between. I even traded in taking calculus in favor of a study hall so I could practice.
One summer, just a year or two before music school, my mom decided to try a new way to get me to practice more.
She dropped me off at the church where I practiced and told me she would come back… 6 hours later.
I could either do this (practice like a maniac) for the summer or I could get a normal job.
I’m not sure what I did for all of those hours that summer. I assure you, I didn’t sit on the organ bench and practice for the full 6 hours.
I have to say, I was an excellent player. But I wasn’t the best. It’s not that I didn’t have the talent or the skill to do it though. It’s simply that I couldn’t find the commitment required to do it.
I grew up, with few exceptions, exhibiting a true lack of commitment to just about everything.
“Committing was hard…” I told myself.
It’s only many years into the future that I was able to see the truth:
Somehow, I Had Played Right into the Commitment Conspiracy
I’m not really the type to play victim, but I truly did believe that commitment was a hard thing to supply on a consistent basis. The sad part is, I believed what turned out to be a total lie.
If you look around, you can find an almost limitless number of examples of someone’s lack of commitment to something. Everywhere you look, you see living proof that “commitment is hard.”
You see the guy who can’t commit to losing weight.
You see the woman who can’t commit to regular exercise.
You see parents who can’t commit to dinner with the kids.
You see couples who can’t commit to each other.
It’s almost endless.
Why is commitment so hard?
As it turns out, it isn’t.
The Truth Is, We’re All Committed Every Single Day
In school, we’re trained to commit to finding the right answer and to following the direction of the teacher.
In work we’re trained to commit to implementing the demands of the boss.
Out in the world, we’re trained to commit to following the leader of our country.
In spiritual matters, we’re often trained to commit to obeying the commands of a higher power.
There’s commitment all over the place. So the question isn’t whether or not we commit, the question is… to what do we commit?
And this gets to the heart of the “conspiracy.”
Inside the Commitment Conspiracy
It’s not getting up every morning at 6 am to exercise that’s really the problem. It’s the value of the beneficiary of that exercise that we have a hard time accepting as worthy of all the trouble.
The “training program” that shows us how to commit to the wants and needs of others has somehow overlooked building the habit of committing to ourselves.
In very few places are human beings trained that committing to ourselves is a smart and vital thing to do.
Do you know why?
It’s because there is POWER in commitment. A person who is truly committed to himself or herself is as close to unstoppable as it gets.
Commitment makes it much easier to decline what you want now in exchange for what you want most.
Commitment communicates things to the people around you that show them you are the real deal.
But best of all, commitment (over time) fosters an internal confidence in your own validity and the value of what you want in life.
Commitment is freedom. Commitment provides clarity.
History shows that committed people are difficult, if not impossible to control. Just imagine a world full of committed people. If everyone started acting this way, the system as we know it would fall apart and “controlling others” would cease to be a way of life for certain people.
Personally, I look forward to this day.
Do You Believe You Are Truly Worthy of a Commitment?
That’s really the question.
Do you believe you are worthy of a commitment that is more important than all of the commitments you make each day to others?
In the end, no one ultimately will know how you answer that question. Your answer will show in your actions, but most people simply won’t notice.
When you understand just how great you can truly be… and if you, even for only a moment, actually believe that, then the idea of committing to that end becomes a no-brainer.
In my book, there is no more valuable act than your commitment to live life as your best self.
You are worth that. And you can start immediately.The Client Letter, where he empowers independent professionals who work with clients. He has six kids and lives and works by the lake in Minnesota.]