One of my younger brothers was 34 years old when he got married. In his twenties, he was more interested in pursuing his career, hanging out with his friends and going to college football games. During that time he dated several young women.
He knew that he wasn't ready to make the commitment to be with one person for the rest of his life.
It turns out that my brother was smart to realize this about himself. Several of his friends who had married young went through divorces before they were 30.
Of course, the issues around commitment aren't limited to young people or even to marriage.
Many times we jump into something without fully understanding the resolve and dedication required to make the endeavor successful – whether it’s pursuing a degree, starting a new job, joining a gym to get in shape or starting a weight loss program.
We may not anticipate the rough spots we’ll encounter because we have an unrealistic view of what to expect or we simply haven’t thought it through.
If you approach such important life choices with limited information and consideration, you may give up at the first sign of trouble. As legendary football coach Lou Holtz wisely observed:
“If you do not make a total commitment to whatever you are doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking.”The solution is to get involved with your eyes open. Find out what a goal will require from you. Recognize that you may have to give up time, freedom and other things that were once important to you. Then decide if you want to make that kind of commitment.
One of the most quoted lines from the Star Wars movies came from Yoda:
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”NBA basketball coach Pat Riley expressed that same sentiment this way:
"There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either in or out. There's no such thing as a life in-between.”And once you decide to move forward, you can expect to experience some doubts. You’ll wonder if it’s worth sticking with what you said you’d do.
Because you will run into roadblocks, conflicts and even criticism from others. It’s going to happen anytime you undertake a worthy goal.
When these obstacles kick in, take time to reflect on your reasons for making the commitment in the first place. Remember and re-feel the positive emotions you felt. Renew your motivation by visualizing the end-result you want to achieve.
"I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret." - Anthony Robbins, American author (1960- )