Commitment is one of the scariest words in any language. It has so much meaning, possibility, opportunity and responsibility wrapped up in those three little syllables. When we commit to something, we make a promise at least to ourselves and often to others. These promises are show that we are serious, driven and all in. We’re giving 100% and holding nothing back. Too often though we act as if it’s a donation. We treat what should be a serious, consuming desire as if we’re dropping some coins in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time.
Don’t understand why I’m making this point and distinction? Consider the old story about the hen and the pig.
Hen and Pig were talking about the farmer. They really loved the farmer because he took such good care of them. So Hen suggested they do something nice for the farmer. “How about we make him a breakfast of ham and eggs, Pig?” Pig pauses and looks at Hen. “Well, I don’t know Hen. For you that’s a donation. For me that’s a lifetime commitment!”
That’s how we need to treat our Goals. They need to be lifetime commitments, not donations. Lifetime commitments drive us. They shape our thoughts. They focus our efforts and attention like nothing else. In many ways, though not all, Goals are like marriage. Both require a total commitment that permeates our entire being. They both require us to reshape our thoughts and actions so serve them.
Note well though. While your marriage should be more important than your Goals, your Goals should support your marriage. There should be no competition.
In marriage we commit totally to the other. We should hold nothing back. We give of ourselves without selfishness or resentment. We do whatever it takes to love our spouse daily.
In Goals we commit totally to the outcome. We hold nothing back in our pursuit of that outcome. We give of our time, talent and treasure without selfishness or resentment. We do whatever it takes to achieve those Goals.
Before you ask, of course I mean that our Goals have to be ordered to support and reinforce our Values. So “whatever it takes” in marriage and Goals does NOT mean something that violates our Values.
Our commitment to our Goals requires a similar relationship as a marriage. We have to be faithful to the Goal. We have to support the Goal. We have to put the Goal before for our selfish desires. Put another way, we have to chase one Goal, or one set of related Goals, only. We have to learn the skills and do the work required to move closer to our Goals. Finally we have to be willing to sacrifice to achieve our Goals.
Commitment means giving our Goals the same kind of attention and focus we give to our spouses. That’s why commitment to our Goals is so difficult for some people. They either don’t realize the level of seriousness Goals require, or they do and just can’t make those kinds of promises.
Make those promises. Commit. Be the Pig.