A lack of commitment has derailed many promising careers. Only commitment produces the tenacity required to overcome the various obstacles life throws in everyone’s way. Make no mistake, any commitment, once made, will be challenged at some point. Moreover, few people make it through life without experiencing failure, isolation, and deep disappointment. Those who have practiced making and keeping commitments every day are much likelier to keep carrying on in times of turmoil.
Wise commitments are easier to make if they are preceded by counting the cost of failure, Winston Churchill did in his “finest hour” speech: “if we fail, then the whole world . . . will sink into the abyss of a new dark age . . .” Once the stakes have been identified, it becomes easier to pay the price of following through. I would urge readers to consciously decide to follow through with excellence. Sloppy people try to hide their work or shift the blame for it; successful people insist on achieving excellence and reach new heights.
Here are my super six tips for staying on track and on the path to keeping commitments:
1. Renew the commitment daily, and focus on the benefits of keeping it.
2. Expect to have to struggle, and carry on regardless.
3. Do not expect talent alone to do the job.
4. Ignore external factors and concentrate on the commitment which was made.
5. Be single-minded: keep taking small steps toward success.
6. Ignore moods and do the right thing anyway.
Those who find making and keeping commitments especially difficult might ask themselves what really matters to them. If nothing really matters, maybe the problem is truly a lack of clarity about values. Such people should recognize that lack of commitment has a high price, too.
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