In speaking about leadership, or anything else in life, we have to be willing to migrate from having an interest in something to making a full fledged commitment.
Upon the return from our annual ASTD ALC confernece, I posted a status update on LinkedIn from one of our keynote speakers, Jim Smith, from JIMPACT. Our current chapter president, Jeff Miller, inspired me to write more on this matter. What is moving from being interested to making a commitment? Why do we stop just at interest and never move to commitment?
Jim spoke about the things in life we are interested in vs our commitments. Wiki’s definition of interest (disambiguation) is an emotion prompting the attention or curiosity of a person. Wiki’s definition of commitment is a different story; a pledge out of duty to something or someone, aka obligation. (Yes, I did say obligation).
For several years now, I have been interested in making professional changes in my life to build or expand from my current experiences from the accounting world and into soft skills development. I’ve often wondered why I have been getting no where in my life and at a career stand still – not only to mention the frustrations and lack of fulfillment in life. Then Jim brought out the light bulb, just how committed am I to making the changes that I want? We can explore for days, months, years, but yet fail to make the commitment of “this is what I want to do”. For an example, let’s say you’re driving an automobile and it is approaching 150K and you have had minimal repairs. Knowing soon though, you may need a new vehicle. At this point, your interest may be sparked to begin exploring options via online or even at your local dealership. Let’s turn the tables. Let’s say this same automobile has been in the repair shop 10 times in the past year and with repair cost totaling what would be a nice down payment on a new or almost new vehicle. Just how committed then would you be to find another vehicle?
Commitment is going beyond those emotional high or warm fuzzy feelings that come with the things in life that interest us. It’s those occasional bike rides vs entering in bike races, working out vs becoming a professional body builder, facilitating a few training classes vs willingness to obtain certification or higher education to make the jump into the learning or people development field, etc. In our professional lives, how much interest do we have in our career field vs how much duty and obligations are we willing to commit to pursue our ultimate desires? It’s scary to think that to move from interest to commitment takes an obligation in and of itself to deal with fears and other things that may hold us back. May I repeat folks, going from interest to commitment is a commitment itself. No doubt, it will take sacrifices. However, I encourage you to think along these lines, would you be happier with a few scarifies knowing that you are pursing your passions in life or to continue life at your present pace? Feel free to share with me your thoughts, ideas, etc…