In today’s world it seems all too easy to live a life of non-commitment. As evidence, recent statistics show that 51% of Canadian adults are ‘single’. However, commitment isn’t restricted to personal relationships.
Commitment is defined as ‘An agreement or pledge to do something in the future’. So, based on the above statistic, is commitment phobia rampant in our society? Or has what we commit to changed? Maybe people aren’t committing to marriage anymore. Then what are they committing to, if anything?
Let us take a look at other aspects of our lives, such as events. According to event organizers in the Greater Toronto Area, for most meetings and networking events where attendees were given the option, only about 50% of the attendees register in advance. And of those that do pre-register, most of them do so in the last two days before an event.
Curious as to why this is the case I spoke to many individuals and explored their reasoning. Though they struggled to give an explanation, here are the reasons they gave for not pre-registering for events:
– ‘I wanted to keep my options open’
– ‘I was hoping for something better to come along’
– ‘I wasn’t sure what kind of week I would have’
– ‘I didn’t know what else was happening’
– ‘I hadn’t planned my schedule yet’
There were other comments given, but underlying these are 4 critical conditions that significantly affect one’s level of effectiveness and success:
1) Inability to plan,
2) Not knowing what one wants,
3) Lacking specific goals, and
4) Always looking for more or better.
The way I see it, it all comes down to a fear of not being able to take advantage of an opportunity. This translates into a combination of fear of not knowing what one really wants and fear of not being able to make the right decision. Think about it for a moment, if you knew without a doubt what you wanted, you would not only be able to recognize it when you saw it, but you would commit to it without hesitation.
As a personal coach, I can say without a doubt that most people do not know what they really want. So, if most of us don’t know what we really want no wonder we can not even commit to an event. Hence, most people will end up attending an event by shear default of not having anything else, or anything better to do that day. How sad is that?
On the other hand, there are some individuals that are so clear on what they want and so specific in their goals that they have absolutely no problem committing to everything from a simple meeting to a long-term relationship.
I will go further to say that if you draw a line and put those that can commit on the left and those that make last minute decision on the right that the most successful in our society will stand on the left side of the line. This observation holds true among my friends and my clients.
8 things you can do to better commit:
1) Know what you want in all areas of your life.
2) Make sure that want you want in life is consistent. If you want to travel, but your job has you at the same desk every day forever that may be a sign that you’re in the wrong job.
3) Have a vision on what your life will be like with everything you want.
4) Create a plan on how you can achieve the life you want, both personally and professionally.
5) Research the activities that will support your plan.
6) Schedule the activities that support your plan one month or more in advance, while leaving room in your schedule for the unexpected.
7) Always follow through with your commitment because if you don’t then you won’t take yourself seriously and therefore why should anyone else?
8) Know when to say ‘No’.
If you apply these 8 things then you won’t be afflicted with the constant feeling of there being something better around the corner. Imagine what your life will be like knowing that you have made the best decision and you are doing the best thing at any point in time to achieve your goals.