We want it, we fear it, we crave it, we avoid it.
This is a human connected to a ball and chain. NOT to be confused with commitment.
Commitment gives us the freedom and focus to go for our desires and reach goals and visions.
And it’s a scary prison to some.
I used to be quivery about commitments, until a friend told me, “Commitment will set you free.” Since Freedom is one of my sacred values, I was in on this commitment thing.
Here’s a quote that fills out the commitment-as-freedom POV:
“Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision and enables turning our dreams into reality.” –James Womack
Here’s a playful exercise to grow some commitment angel wings:
Take out a piece of paper you can draw, scribble and write on.
1. Take a deep breath and on the inhale think about what you most want, and think in BIG THEMES (i.e., instead of “lunch” it might be “purposeful work”; instead of Excel spreadsheet mastery, it could be Helping people solve problems). In big themes you find your values.
Now, on your piece of paper–WITHOUT THINKING TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT COMES TO YOU:
2. Draw or scribble an image of whatever represents this desire/dream/vision.
3. Write words or a phrase that goes with this drawing. Sit back and look at what your inner creative wise self gave you.
4. What is one commitment–a word, theme, action, mantra–that this vision wants from you? What do you want to give it?
5. Write it down, and carry it with you for a week, read it before bedtime, or whenever you feel like it. See if it has staying power. Keep going until you find the right commitment focus, language or theme for you. Then … marry it!
Making a commitment is another way of saying: I know my core value(s) and I am going to be true to myself and live by my values.
Your commitment could take you on an amazing adventure.
See? That wasn’t so scary. Maybe it’s because you choose the commitment based on what you really, really, really care about. I’ve done a few of these but here’s my latest—in case you feel stifled by the need to draw well or even have good penmanship.
Funny thing is, I've been drawing the same variation of this drawing since I was 5. Combining people with nature helped me see how much I valued making natural connections. Now I get why some social and networking situations bum the bejesus out of me. Now that's freedom! (From judging and whipping self)
For some staying power
I suggest the buddy system. Keep your antennae up to find someone else who likes doing this kind of work and goal setting–they’re out there! And they’re looking for buddies and playmates to keep them on track, to learn from and exchange ideas with, too.
Like anything in life, sharing the experience, even one of the commitment process, makes the journey so much more fun and fascinating.