What is this and why is it important?
Recently my uncle celebrated 60 years of marriage – to the same woman. Is this what commitment means? My uncle has been legally blind for a number of years – he is almost 90 years old and I can only imagine his longevity is partially due to his and his wife’s commitment to their relationship.
My friend Marie had a baby when she was over 40. The baby was born with the cord wrapped around his neck with the result the baby was disabled. I remember his father saying “the most important this is that he can have a beer and go to the toilet”.
From the moment that little boy landed his father massaged his little body for many hours every day. Josh is now an adult, an IT guru and, at one stage, he was swimming at State level in disabled competitions – do you really think any of that would have happened without the commitment and love Josh’s dad had for that little boy?
Mother Teresa committed her life to helping those less fortunate in the streets of Calcutta. She was considered a saint and yet she was committed to her cause – to help those less fortunate.
One of my heroes is Richard Branson. He has been committed to his cause for a very long time. When I lived in London Richard Branson was just getting started and look at him today – someone we would all call a success.
Then there are research scientists who spend their whole lives committed to finding a solution to a chronic disease or, in some other way, to serve humanity.
Each of these people has something greater than themselves in mind, an ideal, a promise, a dream.
I have clients come to me who are totally committed to achieving their goal and I also have clients who have chosen to wait for life to happen to them. Those clients are also committed – some are committed to making a difference and some are committed to staying the same.
So what is Commitment anyway? The Reader’s Digest Dictionary says it’s a dedication to a cause or a policy, a pledge or undertaking.
One question coaches often pose to prospective clients is – just how committed are you to succeed, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not committed and 10 being totally committed, just how committed are you?
It is assumed from the question that unless the prospect is at least 80% committed to achieving his outcome the coach will suggest he come back when his commitment level is closer to 100%. After all the coach is not there to help the prospect find yet another way to fail.
How does someone become committed?
From my observations and experience, a commitment is a promise to yourself (and whomever else) to really see something through to the end, through thick and thin, to go the whole 9 yards.
I’ve often thought of some of the early explorers – Burke and Wills for instance – they were committed to finding the inland sea. They were responsible for some of the early inland mapping and never fund that inland sea. Imagine riding your horse across the interior day after day with the heat and the flies and the uncertainty, just wondering what was over the horizon and, all the while, their water and food supplies were dwindling.
What does it take to be committed to your outcome? Are you the person who is committed to your outcome? Are you the person who is prepared to do anything to get what you want?
For me it is about passion – being purely passionate about my purpose. It’s about being dedicated to excellence and giving value, it’s about making a difference, it’s about serving my fellow man and giving my best, doing my best to bring value to people in my world and this, in turn, has brought me great reward and joy.
It’s about knowing what you want and going after it, bit by bit, step by step, a little each day, every day, it’s about sticking to it and doing what you love because when you love what you do, it’s never work, it’s a joy.
Coaching and practice go together – the more you practise, the greater the reward. Life is a journey with no destination.
And to leave you with a bonus – a quote from Nathaniel Branden –
I am convinced that one of the most helpful things we can do for people is to refuse to buy into their inappropriately restricted views of their limitations.
Remember – every champion deserves a great coach – why not you?