Defining Commitment



BY ADELE CASANOVA

What does it really mean to make a commitment? A commitment is a promise, a dedication, an obligation. Commitment is a key component to success. Commitment is a powerful tool in shaping a person’s behavior and character. But how does one successfully commit to a goal, whether it is maintaining a happy marriage, building a business partnership, or committing oneself to a healthy lifestyle or an educational achievement? Here are some tools for successful commitment.

Wisdom – Committing to an outcome needs to be done carefully, with introspection. Asking oneself, and answering truthfully, whether the commitment is a fit within her lifestyle and capabilities to maintain. Overcommitting, or committing without consideration to the means to reach success will not lead to long term commitment.

Passion – A true passion for an outcome is crucial for a successful commitment. One must be truly dedicated to a commitment, even knowing there will most certainly be obstacles along the way to distract. There must be a strong desire for the success of the outcome, regardless of the hard work, distractions, or sacrifices along the way.

Vision – Being able to see the end goal, the big picture, so to speak. Being able to envision the desired outcome of a long-term commitment and keeping the vision in mind throughout the journey.

Adaptability – Adjusting to bumps in the road, missteps, or doubts along the way. Ability to correct course and make better decisions is crucial to maintaining a commitment. Recognizing and taking actions to solve problematic issues helps keep one’s eyes on the goal.

Perseverance – Being able to stay the course even when one finds herself entertaining quitting, or allowing distractions to sabotage success. Everyone experiences doubt about completing goals. That is natural, but overcoming them and remaining true to the outcome of a commitment takes tenacity.

Integrity – According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, integrity means having the “quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” To successfully maintain a commitment, one needs to be steadfastly honest with herself as well as with others within the commitment.

Even with all of the above characteristics fully in place, there will be times when one must make a critical decision whether to continue a commitment that is causing damage or loss to any participants involved. It is acceptable, and even necessary to reevaluate a commitment that is not producing positive results. A careful comparison of the positives and negatives of the process can be made to determine if and when a commitment needs to be abandoned. Passion, vision, adaptability, perseverance, and integrity sometimes may not be enough against outside influences to continue a commitment when it may lead to irreparable damage.

That being said, if the journey of a commitment, though at times difficult, strengthens character and builds integrity, it can be an enriching experience. And when success is achieved, the joy and satisfaction of reaching the vision are truly rewarding.


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