Those of you familiar with my work know that I’m always chasing down topics that can sometimes seem old fashioned, out of style, or, at best, just plain common sense.
Unfortunately, though, if I’m writing about something it’s because I’m seeing a whole lot of it out there in the world, both in my professional settings and at large.
Today’s topic is commitment. And I’ll give you the bottom line right away to save you some time: In general, the sooner you decide to commit, the sooner you can move on to actually living; the longer you take, the more time and energy you’ll waste fighting yourself all the way instead of living (and building) your life.
The Work Wheel and The Love Wheel of The Bicycle of Life
There’s a Work Wheel and there’s a Love Wheel and they go on what I call the Bicycle of Life.
And the question is simple enough: Are you committed to anything on either Wheel?
If so, then what are you committed to?
We are really never free to live if we haven’t committed to some things. Commitment lays the foundation upon which to build a life.
Are you committed to your marriage?
Are you committed to your work?
Your role as a parent? To your community?
The magic of deciding to make a deliberate, conscious commitment is that we are then free to take it from there. We are free to make changes and adjust course prudently as we move forward. If we never commit, at least to a few essential things in life, we remain in a continual state of internal conflict and worry about whether or not we are ‘happy’ or whether we are doing the right thing for ourselves.
In the extreme, the latter can be paralyzing and can suck up precious years of our lives.
Let me just tell you: Commitment is not an ending, it’s a BEGINNING.
I’m not quite sure why there is such widespread misunderstanding of commitment. (Though I’ve learned some possibilities about why in my day to day work over the years.)
Try it: Make a decision after appropriate thought and due diligence. Then commit to that decision and feel the personal power and release of chronic anxiety and indecision that follows. Feel how making a commitment–how finalizing and ending your perpetual search and settling down in whatever particular area or areas of your life–sets you free to proceed from there; in other words, to live your life.
Anthony Ferraioli, M.D.
Author, Don’t Get Married! (Unless You Understand a Few Things First)