A couple of small incidents happened over the last couple of days which have left me pondering over the meaning of the word commitment.
The dictionary says that commitment is “the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose”.
I get the feeling though, that a lot of people see the word commitment in a negative light, as if when you make a commitment to something, then there is no way of getting out of it; or that commitment means that you are forced to do something that you really don’t want to do.
I don’t see it that way.
I see commitment as being a way of prioritising what is important and following through. I see it as a way of no longer being able to hide behind an excuse. And this is something so many people do; which is a shame because I think that commitment is one of the essential components in living a great life.
This came to light yesterday morning when I was at the gym. Those of you who know me, know that keeping fit and exercising are an important part of my life and it helps me to feel great and bounce with energy. Yesterday a lady came to the gym who I hadn’t seen there for many weeks. She came in full of apologies to the instructor, “I’m so sorry I haven’t been for so long, you see it has been raining every morning.”
Yep, on the Gold Coast it has been one incredibly wet summer – but does that really mean that everything gets put on hold until the rain stops? We’d never get anything done! For me, I just put on a jacket and carry an umbrella as I walk to the gym. No big deal, I’m still there every morning at 6.00am.
In the next breath the same lady looked in the mirror and started complaining about her fat belly, and then she looked at a couple of us there on the treadmills and commented about how “lucky” we were to have such “naturally” slim figures!
I can assure you, “luck” has nothing to do with it!!
I think we can all make excuses when we haven’t really made a commitment to something, whether it be to eat more healthfully, exercise, stop smoking or to our relationships – which brings me to the other story.
I have the most wonderful friend, who is always there with a cuppa and a hug if I’m having a challenge. We are always there to support each other and it is a gift to have someone like her in my life. She was discussing how difficult she was finding it to organise some friends to have a breakfast on the beach get together. Every week there was some excuse, or they didn’t call back, or it was all too hard, and in the end she gave up.
I’ve been in the same position myself – there are only so many times that you can invite a friend to socialise or spend time with you and get knocked back, before you realise that there may be very little commitment to the relationship on their side. Developing friendships, like developing a fit healthy body, (or anything else worth having), requires commitment.
The rewards that you receive from making the choice to focus on what is important, are enormous. From my commitment to exercise, my body is fit and toned; from my commitment to my friendship, I have someone who I can share myself with and always be supported. These simple gifts are the absolute joy of life, the beauty.
We should never underestimate the power that commitment can have, to cause a profound and positive change in our lives.