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The Highly Underrated Role of Commitment in the Process of Achieving Our Goals

Starting a new endeavor is exciting in the beginning. The excitement keeps us going. However, when we “hit the wall” — don’t see results as fast as we wish or hope for — we leave it. Only to start the next new endeavor.


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Laine Kaleja

4 months ago | 7 min read
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Commit to finishing what you start and never give up on your vision.

There is one thing people don’t talk about as often as about other success principles. And that is commitment. Perhaps it seems too difficult a concept to grasp. Or it requires too much effort.

So many of us start things that we never finish — starting from attending new courses or reading a new book or starting a business or other significant project.

While occasionally, we understand it is simply not worth our time and energy, many times, a steadfast commitment is precisely what we need to achieve success. We need the firm commitment to carry out our vision and not stop until we have reached it.

Starting a new endeavor is exciting in the beginning. The excitement keeps us going. However, when we “hit the wall” — don’t see results as fast as we wish or hope for — we leave it. Only to start the next new endeavor.

Commitment and Marriage

Lack of commitment is the reason for so many divorces. Statistics show that almost 50% of all marriages in the US end up in divorce or separation.

I wonder if anyone goes to their wedding day expecting that they will get divorced after some years? No! They are happy in love most of the time and can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together.

However, somewhere along the way, the going gets tough. People start seeing each others’ weaknesses and flaws they did not see before. That is when the commitment is needed the most.

I have read and heard plenty of stories about how people have been one last step away from the divorce. Yet, they figured it out and decided to stick through the difficulties.

They decided to continue loving because that was the commitment they gave. In all those testimonies, their marriage got so much better. They got the real deal. The real, fulfilling marriage they were longing for.

You see, there is a sweet fruit — an award — for those who follow through on their commitments. It is available only for those who are willing to fight and make sacrifices. The ones who seek the easy way don’t get to it.

The same principle applies to those with a vision to build massive businesses that impact the world for the better.

Commitment and Business

Walt Disney and Disneyland

The famous writer, animator, and visionary Walt Disney has created 81 feature films and earned 48 Academy Awards. Yet, to achieve such success, he had to be very committed to his vision through many failures he has had.

Walt Disney was fired for lacking creativity from his local newspaper. His first cartoon business went bankrupt two years later. His pre-Mickey Mouse idea about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was stolen from him, and for years he ate beans and lived in debt.

When he tried to carry out the Mickey Mouse idea in a film, bankers rejected him 300 times. Can you imagine such persistence? Most people would have given up after the 3rd or 4th time.

Even after the success with Mickey Mouse, he continued to have struggles. His animators went to strike at the start of World War II, and his company was four million dollars in debt.

After the war, he continued to rebuild the company and focused on television instead of just film studios. In 1955 when Disneyland was first opened, he finally reaped the benefits of his persistence and commitment to a vision. Disneyland became a massive success, and he was finally able to clear the financial debt.

“All of my obstacles have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

Milton Hershey and Hershey Company

Milton Hershey can be rightfully called the founder of the American chocolate industry. It is said that Milton Hershey is to chocolate what Henry Ford is to the automobile.

Yet, he experienced 13 years of failure — two of his first businesses hugely failed. At one point, he could not even afford to ship his possessions to his family’s home as he decided to return to his family in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

However, after the initial success with Lancaster Caramel Company, he turned to carry out his vision of having chocolate available for all. (As at those times, chocolate was mostly only rich people’s pleasure). That is how Hershey Chocolate Company started, which is still one of the most prominent brands in the sweets industry. He made a legacy — an empire that still flourishes 125 years later.

“Failure does not have to stand. You can be battered down two, three, a score of times, and still, come up winning.” — Milton Hershey

These are stories that inspire us. But more than momentary inspiration, I hope these stories teach us the importance of commitment to our vision, so we don’t give up when experiencing failure and setbacks.

Commitment and Failure

One huge reason why people are afraid to commit is that they are so scared of failure. The problem is we let failures define our value too much. When yet it is just a part of the growth process.

When we see failure as something beneficial and a natural part of the growth process, we won’t be afraid to take risks. The real thing we fear is our weaknesses and insecurities being exposed. We fear the feeling of inadequacy and feeling low confidence.

But if you think about it, have you ever had a failure where you realize you learned a valuable lesson afterward? You didn’t see it coming at the painful moment, but the pieces of the puzzle came together only later.

When we acknowledge the positive effects of a failure, we won’t be afraid to commit. We won’t abandon our commitments.

Commitment and Strong Purpose

Although commitment is mainly a decision, another aspect contributing to having a firm commitment is having a strong purpose.

We need to have a strong purpose — a strong reason why we are doing something.

I can’t tell you how many bigger and smaller things I have left midway (lost commitment) because I did not have a big enough “why.”

I was once studying Spanish. I love that language. But the love of it was not enough to keep me learning it when my schedule got more challenging.

If I had committed to it, I would have taken time to drive to the studio late evenings and continued studying it.

Yet, I chose other priorities. Nothing wrong with that. My purpose for learning Spanish was not strong enough. Also, I was not clear how exactly I would need it after several years. It would be good to have it. But “it would be good to” will not keep you committed.

“It would be good to do it” does not keep us committed.

Making Our Purpose Strong

1)Take time to reflect on why is the goal important to you. Do you have a more significant reason behind your goal? Maybe the real reason you want to earn 100,000 USD is the freedom and peace of mind it will give you.

How would your life change? What is the real emotional change you desire besides having a thicker wallet? When you find the emotional significance behind a seemingly practical goal, you will be able to commit firmly.

2)Tie your current goal with your long-term goals. Ask yourself: does this align with the person I want to be in 5–10 years? Does this contribute to me becoming a better version of myself? Does this align with my life vision?

If yes, write it down for yourself, and remember in the difficult times. When things get tough, remind yourself that this is part of achieving your bigger goal of who you want to be.

If something is vital to us, we will find a way. If not, we will find an excuse.

The Buy-In Principle of Commitment

In his book Take the Stairs, New York Times bestselling author and successful entrepreneur Rory Vaden explains the buy-in principle of commitment by illustrating a man who accidentally drops a five-dollar bill into the urinal.

He tries to decide whether to stick his hand into the urinal to get it out or it not worth it. Eventually, he takes a 50 dollar bill out of his wallet and intentionally drops it into the urinal. Then he sticks his hand there to take out the 55 dollars.

The more you have invested in something, the harder it is to let it go.

It is a straightforward story — Rory Vaden illustrates that the more we have invested in something, the harder it is to let it go. Five dollars was not significant enough, but 55 dollars was a pain big enough to stick his hand into there.

The same is true about business, relationships, marriage, innovative projects, etc. The more time, money, and emotional energy you have invested into those, the harder it is to let go — give up on the commitment.

The buy-in principle of commitment is especially true about investing in a business or personal growth to achieve a specific goal. Whether it is time or money that we invest, our emotional attachment to a successful outcome will be directly proportional to our invested resources.

If you pay 10 USD for an online course, you won’t care much about finishing that course. Yet, if you invest 4,000 USD, you will make sure you get every bit out of that. Results will reflect that effort.

Takeaway

Life in the 21st Century is crowded with distractions and get rich quick schemes. Start one thing. If you fail in a month, give up because there is another opportunity already making you excited.

Or marry, but if after a year you don’t feel in love anymore, search for someone else. Maybe don’t even marry this time to avoid the need to commit. Get separated again, and again search for somebody else.

Yet, we may never find authentic fulfillment unless we are ready to commit to making our vision come true.

We need to be committed, disciplined and ready to make sacrifices to get what we truly want.

Whether in relationships, business, or pursuing a new skill, commitment to fight the setbacks, overcome failures and persist until we succeed will bring us fulfilling results.

It is always exciting when we start something new, but inevitably we will face the initial excitement vanishing. Commitment will get us through the moments when we lack excitement and enthusiasm. Commitment will be the guarantee we can achieve what we dream of.

Thank you so much for reading! 💛 Get a free guide, “7 Habits For Your Success, Confidence And Well-Being,” when you join my newsletter.

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