The Case for Commitment
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”
By DR. KEN KEIS
One of the critical characteristics to anyone’s success is his or her commitment level. Commitment is defined as an obligation or pledge given in trust. Unfortunately, our society and world today seeks self-gratification; thus discomfort of any kind is a reason for breaking commitments.
In most TV shows, note how many commitments can be broken in just one hour—from personal relationships, to business deals, to parents disappointing their children. Ultimately, the person who breaks the commitment pays the price with his or her reputation and credibility, both internally and externally.
The challenge of commitment levels applies to all of us. As I write this article, the process is being driven by my personal commitment to get it out on time. Normally, I really enjoy the creative writing experience, but I have just finished presenting for several 12 hour days. In addition, I have many other obligations and I’m feeling a bit tired. So what? I have a commitment to this article and its readers and my credibility is based on keeping it. I choose to follow through.
At this moment, recall a person or a business that did not keep a significant commitment to you. How did that make you feel? Did that experience generate feelings of loyalty, helpfulness, support, or praise? Certainly not!
Keeping commitments is also important in your personal life. Have you ever made a commitment to lose weight, stop smoking, start a business, or be at your kids ballgame , then waned on your promise to yourself? When you break your commitments to yourself, it’s like a slow leak in a tire. Eventually the tire will go flat.
Commitment and integrity really does matter. In the book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don't, Jim Collins conducted five years of research on the most successful companies in America. What—without exception—was a core character trait of each business? Commitment, of course—but not any garden-variety level of commitment. Those top companies move forward with a “we will continue UNTIL!” attitude. In the most successful companies, quitting is not an option.
Mankind’s most significant achievements reflect an unprecedented level of commitment, from the famous—Edison’s 10,000 attempts to create the light bulb, Mandela’s lifetime of imprisonment before freedom came to the people of South Africa, and Walt Disney’s three bankruptcies prior to creating Mickey Mouse—to the unsung heroes . . . a country doctor who saves his patient’s life during a difficult operation or a commercial pilot who lands his plane safely in rough weather. The list goes on.
What level of commitment are you applying to your life—the TV version of bailing when you find yourself slightly uncomfortable or the Good to Great concept of being committed UNTIL?
This Week’s Action Steps
- Remember that commitment is a discipline and a choice. Don’t blame circumstances for your commitment or level of integrity on others.
- Rate your commitment level for each of the essential areas of your life—family, social, business, financial, spiritual, and physical. Use a scale of 1 to 10—10 being very committed. How would others rate you in each category on that same scale?
- Commitment levels can be situational, meaning you can have high levels of commitment in some areas and lower levels in others. Record why you sometimes don’t follow through.
- Commitment doesn’t mean you should be blindly unchanging. Unhealthy, negative situations call for common sense. Don’t stay committed to a choice that is life-threatening and destructive over the long term.
- Envision how much better or different your life might be if your commitment levels were higher than they are today. Most individuals keep a commitment because of the results it will produce. To stay motivated and to follow through on your word, focus on the positive outcome.
- If commitment has been a challenge for you, what has “going back on your word” cost you?
- When you fail to keep your commitments, don’t beat yourself up. There is no benefit in that. Instead, determine why and how you will keep your commitments in the future.
- Choose someone you trust as an accountability and support partner. When elite athletes struggle with commitment, the coach is there to assist them.
You can learn more about Ken Keis and Consulting Resource Group International at www.crgleader.com
Thanks to the coronavirus, and all its implications, the Kingdom Advancers conference has been postponed. We don't know how long this will take. We are tentatively looking at September 17.
Consider this: Imagine how ready we'll all be to leave our homes and offices and to gather as Christian business and professional leaders for a Kingdom Advancers celebration!
- Keith Knight
For further details, go to www.kingdomadvancers.ca .