In my book ‘How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience’ I mention 5 pillars of Mental Resilience which are key to achievement in any field. The first of these is Commitment and I have replicated the first part of this chapter in this blog to explain the importance of this in our lives.
As we start the New Year many of us will write down a few Resolutions which we are determined to keep throughout the year to improve our lives. But how many times have you done this only to allow these to slip away during the first few weeks and months of the year?
Today I am sharing the importance of making a commitment and keeping it. We can all start out with real enthusiasm to achieve the goals we set only to see these dreams and goals fade into the distance because of our lack of commitment.
Off the Wall Chapter 1 – Commitment
The first pillar of Mental Resilience is Commitment. All successful people in sport, music and business have this in abundance. When they say they are going to do something they do it. Their resolve to achieve what they have set out to do is remarkable and is one of the main reasons they so often make it, alongside the hard work needed for their success.
It doesn’t matter which industry we look at; the same common theme occurs – you have to work hard! From Michael Jordan, the best basketball player to ever play the game, to Alan Sugar. Or from Richard Branson to Wolfgang Mozart. It doesn’t matter what skills and talent you have – you won’t ultimately succeed without putting the hard work in. You may get away with it for a while, but eventually it will start to crumble around you.
Commitment Versus Interest
Why is commitment so important? Because there is a huge difference between being ‘interested’ in success and being ‘committed’ to it – Interest is merely a dim and distant relation of commitment.
Being interested in success is a good start, but that’s all it is: nothing more than a start. You can visualise where you want to go, the milestones you want to pass on the way, and you understand some of the things needed to get yourself there.
You’re interested in learning how to do some of those things, and you can probably imagine the need to do them. But you will remain exactly where you are if all you are is interested.
The resulting behaviour will include:
- Procrastination, or never getting started at all
- Over-researching, due to the imagined need to have more information
- Allowing irrelevant distractions
- Complaining that there is insufficient time for the task
- Claiming not to have enough money
- Waiting for the “absolutely right time” to do it.
The fear of failure
The underlying emotion that prevents us committing wholeheartedly to our dreams is the fear of possible failure. We doubt our own ability to succeed, our staying power and how qualified others think we are for the task. We also worry about the lack of money, and what everyone else will think if we don’t reach our goals.
Conversely, being committed to achieving goals means that you’re not only interested in moving forward, you’re also fully focused on the outcome, and will do whatever it takes to achieve your desired goal. This is a very powerful distinction because full and unwavering commitment, when properly applied, is an unstoppable force even in the face of apparently insurmountable obstacles.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”
W. M. Murray, ‘The British Himalayan Expedition
Characteristics of Commitment
Commitment is an action word, so although our commitments start as a thought process, they cannot stay that way. Once a commitment is made, we must act on it or the result will be ineffectiveness. Commitment without action is worthless – once we have committed to the right choice, we must act for that choice to have the desired impact.
When you decide to make a commitment to a strategy you have made a positive decision, having painstakingly worked through all the considerations needed to make the right choice. Commitment is the force that drives our choices from concept to reality.
At the heart of commitment is integrity. As you begin to do what you say you’ll do, you develop the discipline necessary to succeed. Your integrity and self-esteem grow. Others learn they can count on you. You come to understand the power which enables you to get things done and make things happen.
Similarly, there are consequences when you fail to make commitments or only fulfil those commitments half-heartedly. You fail to get results; your integrity and self-esteem are diminished; others learn they can’t count on you. You tend to use excuses to justify not keeping commitments.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”
W. Clement Stone
Thoughts for the week
- Have you set any New Year Resolutions this year?
- Or have you set a personal or work goal for this year?
- If you have pick one of these and see if you can commit yourself 100% to achieving this over the long term.
- Don’t be interested in achieving it – commit to it.
- The benefits you receive from committing to something are numerous and long lasting.
Here’s to a great 2021
This is the first blog for 2021 and the information contained in this message is key to your success this year. There are no shortcuts to success you need to commit and work hard but the resulting feelings of achievement far outweigh the effort.
It is not what we receive at the end of a tough journey which is the important thing, it’s what we become which is the real treasure. There is a hidden benefit to working hard and committing to something – we change in wonderful ways, we become different and better people.
We can then inspire others to achieve their dreams no matter how small they are. Starting something and completing it is precious and extremely fulfilling. Commitment helps us achieve that feeling time and time again.
Well, that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and a wonderful 2021.