“Apology for the MIA. With a few posts in pregnancy, I've been having a hard time keeping up with my own writing schedule.”
^ This is what traditional inspiration advice will consider an excuse.
I was told that I should never make excuses, because it will make me slack off and people trust me less.
It's somewhat true. When you find yourself not meeting your own deadline again, you will inevitably feel frustrated and disappointed. You start doubting, and thus are confronted with with the question of commitment and work. Do I really care?
This doubt has caused so much emotional pain that I beg to find another, gentler way to see this whole commitment thing together.
Which is the subject of this week's post.
Sharing is sprouting.
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Three kinds of commitment
My Halloween scary costume a few years ago. Most people were scared.
Commitment is a word that has created much good in the world. Without it, nothing seems to get done, and people fall apart from one another.
At the same time, confusion around what it means has also created many headaches and heartbreaks, let alone burn outs.
I think about it whenever I leave a project, drop out of a group or saying bye to an internship. I guess I'm quite committed to the idea of commitment itself, heh.
For this post, I'd like to explore this idea in the context of our relationship with what we do, not with another person. Most people talk about it in degrees (“He is so committed” or “You are not as committed as him”) but not in kind.
Perhaps there is a different way to categorize commitment. Here are three, inspired by an online course I am taking, Heart of Business.
Commitment to Result: "I commit to make X amount of money / get an A for the next test / run a marathon in 20 minutes". Most people would feel that these results are quite flat and dumb, no matter how S.M.A.R.T they are. (pardon my joke).
Commitment to Action: "I commit to make 5 sales call per week / study for 2 hours per day / run everyday for 30 minutes".
This feels better. It admits with humility that we cannot control the result, but perhaps we can control what we do while aiming at getting "there".
Commitment to action is a good place to start. You see it most common in the world of business whose default language for the most part is about concrete, measurable result and consistent action. You also see it in the activist world, which I guess is implicit from the name, “act-ivist”.
However, most people would hit a wall for this kind of commitment at some points, especially it comes to human relationship (romantic, creative, business etc..) When you deal with a living being, committing to action sometimes means to "I'm going to do it anyway DESPITE of where you are at and how you feel ".
It works, for a while, before you need another kind: a commitment to genuinely be in a relationship.
Commitment to Relationship: "I commit to show up with sincerity in this relationship with whatever I am doing. I commit to stay open, to be surprised by what is really happening, and thus what is being asked of me."
By sincerity here I mean the pursuing of what is true, both in the external world of results and internal world of feelings. The truth always has the uncanny ability to knock us off of what we think we know, from "I know I need to do more" to "I know I need to try this" and "I know I cannot do that".
Btw, I'm also offering a free conversation to chat with me if you feel like you are going through a trying times and need someone to accompany, clarify and keep you encouraged :-) Do reach out, please.
Quotes I'm contemplating this week
"Science asks us to learn about organisms. Traditional knowledge asks us to learn from them."
Robin Wall Kimmerer on the Intelligence of all Beings. A beautiful interview that I wholeheartedly recommend in blending both scientific and indigenous way of knowing.