Well done, that presentation went really well. You got that promotion. You made your first million. All things to be proud of, I’m sure. Now think about the process you went through to reach your goal. Did it just happen? Or did you make it happen?

Wanting It vs Doing It

Many people will spend a lot of time really wanting something. And that want and desire is genuine. But there’s a huge difference between desire and being committed to getting something. Commitment requires action. And it’s action that gets things done. Desire can make things happen, but generally, those who desire something will convert desire into action as and when the opportunity arises. Those committed to achieving something will accept no excuses. They’ll make it happen no matter what. There are no grey areas with commitment. You’re committed or you’re not.

Outward commitment to a goal makes the person accountable to themselves, and possibly others. A commitment might transform an ‘I’ll try to…’ into an ‘I’m going to…’. It’s easy for the ‘I’ll try to…’ to fall down as soon as an obstacle presents itself. The ‘I’m going to…’ doesn’t shy away from the challenge, instead using ingenuity to circumvent any and all obstacles.

Are you committed to getting it?

Commitment isn’t easy. Well, it’s not as easy as just saying ‘I’m committed to achieving X, Y and Z.’ If you commit to the wrong thing, over-commit or commit for the sake of it, the likelihood is that you Won’t achieve your goal. Be selective. Be realistic. We’re all constrained by time, energy, personal circumstances and the likes. While some of these constraints can be managed somewhat, you can’t cast off all your worldly constraints and become free to commit to every passing thought. If you make a genuine commitment to the people, tasks and goals that are truly important to you, you’ll succeed. You’ll succeed because you’ll naturally be committed to making these things work and happen because they mean so much to you.

Is it worth the effort?

As with pursuing any goal, you’re likely to hit obstacles along the way. At times, it might seem that the effort involved just isn’t worth it. But if your goal was worth committing to in the first place, then any effort along the way will ultimately worth it once you succeed. Commitment requires discipline, no more so than when a problem presents itself. Face your challenges head on and you’ll reap the rewards.

There could be times, however, that no matter how committed you are, you realise that your goal may have been misplaced. Maybe external factors have caused a bit of a rift in your personal equilibrium and your original goal no longer seems to be as important as it once was. It might actually be at odds with your new circumstances. In that case, know when you quit – but be careful not to allow changes and obstacles to bring about a cop-out. Ask yourself why things are not working as planned. Why is your goal now more elusive than it first seemed. Have you really given it everything you possibly could? What could you do to get back on track? If you have genuinely exhausted all your options, maybe it really is time to re-evaluate your goal. But well done for getting this far and well done for having the presence-of-mind and self-honesty to objectively analyse the situation. Learn from it, and then re-direct yourself towards an alternative goal. Don’t dwell.

A great starting position might be to take some time and think about all the things in your life that are important to you. Write them down. Run through your list and rate each one with respect to how much commitment you are displaying in each area. Do some areas need a bit of fine-tuning? Do you need to re-focus? Or are there other, new, exciting aspects of life that you’d like to add to your list?

Remember, successful people are committed people and we’re all capable of committing to whatever we put our mind to if we really want to.


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