1. the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
When I meet with Dreamers I truly believe that almost anything is possible (I only say “almost” to satisfy the "realists" in the audience). That means when someone suggests that they want to go to the moon or that they want to become a multi-millionaire, I believe that they have the capacity. If you agree with me that we all have the capacity, then having the capacity to do something really doesn’t make you all that special. It’s kind of like Margret Mead said, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”
What sets us apart is not our capacity but our commitment. Our commitment to the future, our dedication to the cause, that seems to set someone apart from the herd. Courage, work, action and constancy over time all seem to be symptoms of an original commitment. Historically, they would call it will. It was ones ability to muster within oneself an internal fight and fortitude.
For each dream we hope to make a reality, we have to muster a corollary commitment. Imagine that there were a scale where we would weigh dreams. In order for a dream to be “paid for” we would need to place on the opposite side of the scale a commitment of equal or greater value to the size of our dream.
This is why when someone suggests that they want to make millions it is not whether or not they can; the question it is, how committed are they to that dream.
Unfortunately, as a culture we are not very good at commitment. We live in a culture of leniency (letting people out of their commitments), excuses (letting ourselves out of commitments) and settling (not making any significant commitments at all).
The good news is that our commitment muscle can be strengthened.
Here are three ways in which you can strengthen your commitment skill.
1. Be careful with commitments – We commit far to quickly. Our ability to commit powerfully starts with us recognizing the significance of what it means to commit to something. What if every commitment we made were life and death? There is a reason that in the military they place so much emphasis on obey every command with exactness. Start noticing every commitment you make and try not to commit to anything you won’t follow through on.
2. Start with little commitments – Just like we wouldn’t begin with bench pressing 300lbs, perhaps committing to go to the moon isn’t where we should begin. Maybe the first step is to visit NASA headquarters. By beginning with and then fulfilling on smaller commitments we grow our capacity to commit to more.
3. Become a better Dreamer – One of the things that allows us to commit more powerfully is to have more powerful dreams. A clearer vision of the future will elicit a more powerful commitment in the present. One of the reasons we struggle with commitment is that we fail to paint a detailed enough picture of the dream we are committing to. If you are having trouble with your commitment to your health, slow down and work to see a how healthiness feels, tastes and looks like.
Good luck getting committed! Having a culture of dreaming means we will need to learn to also have a culture of commitment.