“Success may mean many things, but it will never be an accident.”
This is the third and last part of the series “Gifts, Choices and Commitments” – a speech that I made at a Toastmasters meeting last month expanded for this blog. This post is about how commitments can make or break you, their importance and how they can impact your life’s journey. Mine certainly have shaped my life.
Commitments are major intentional decisions that we make at specific times in our lives that, if managed on a daily basis, help us to stay on a specific desired path.
We all have something or someone we are committed to. The question is not whether we’re going to commit to something, but rather what we will commit to. Many times when we make those commitments, we don’t give them much thought. But these commitments can make or break us. The more intentionality we put behind those commitments the more they are in alignment with our vision and purpose for our lives. By putting intentionality behind our commitments, they can help us to:
- Focus the major activities of our days on what is truly important and is in alignment with our values and vision
- Filter our decisions through a very fine lens
- Guide us back on track when we’ve wandered off
Early on in my life, I made a few commitments that have allowed me to filter a lot of my decisions and actions through a very fine lens. In this post I’m sharing two of those commitments that have largely impacted my the trajectory of my life. Have I messed up at times? Absolutely. Everyone does… But these two commitments have always served as my anchor and compass to help me to re-calibrate and find my way back when I do mess up.
Two of my Commitments:
1. To Make a Difference and Be a Person of Significance
I was raised in a home that was a gathering place for many people. As a minister, farmer and carpenter, my dad was always helping someone and my mom, a seamstress, was always caring for someone. Their work impacted many lives and many people are better off today because of the help (spiritual and natural) my parents gave them. As I witnessed their work as a young boy, I was oblivious to its impact on me. But gradually, I feel drawn to do the same work – not as a minister but as a coach or a teacher of life’s success and leadership principles pouring what I’ve learned into others.
In the end, I don’t want to be just a successful person. I want to be someone making a difference in other people’s lives, thus becoming someone of significance. I’m going to work at this as much as I can so that when the question “Who is be better off today because I lived?” is asked, the answer will be hundreds if not thousands (What I’ve been working on).
2. To Be a Life-Long Learner
In my younger years, I always had a desire to learn computer tricks and other things that the average person wouldn’t know. As I grew up and learned more about who I am, a desire to learn and grow as an individual overtook me. Through my association with other great mentors and friends, I have learned to focus this desire to grow in areas that I am passionate about. Some of the areas that I have devoted a lot of time studying are: leadership of self and others, relationships, decision-making, the change process, the human psyche and many other topics that have shaped my view of the world, who I have become and who I will be in the years to come.
” There is no graduation from education.”
Anything left to itself will eventually wither or decay – This natural law operates whether we’re aware of it or not. Knowing this, I have made a decision to grow daily and learn to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday.
One major decision that I recently made in keeping with those two commitments is joining the John Maxwell Team as a Founding Partner, Trainer, Speaker and Coach. The people in this team are exceptional and they are all committed to being life long learners and adding value to others. Since I cannot give what I don’t have, I am committed to learning and growing with this team.
Being a Founding Partner of the John Maxwell Team allows me to stay in alignment with both of the commitments mentioned in this post. I’m still keeping my commitment to be a life-long learner by staying in environment conducive to growth while working at being a person of significance by training, coaching and adding value to others.
My life’s journey has been an adventure. And my intention is to keep it that way so that when it’s my time to leave this world, I will have no regrets…. And so I’m grateful for the gifts in my life, the ability to make choices and the awareness of the need to grow everyday.
Take some time to reflect and think about the following questions. Be honest with yourself and they’ll help you put the things you commit to in perspectives.
- What or who do I want to become?
- What’s your daily EvE (Education vs. Entertainment) Ratio?
- What am I doing (could I do) to be stronger and quicker everyday? Remember to focus on your strengths.
- What do you want your life’s sentence to be? Your legacy, your dent in the world.