Monday, March 17, 2014

Commitment


“Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

Mario Andretti

“The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating -- in work, in play, in love.”

Anne Morris

“The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

Peter Drucker


I can’t get my coffee quite right this morning and I had a lot of minor irritations, and all I want to do is take a shower and get ready for work.  I’m irritable and out of sorts and I don’t want to write.  Of course, this is the best time to write.  This is honing the art of self-discipline, to go beyond feeling and into love.  Recently, I wrote of the power of love, how it requires and transcends emotion at the same time.  I love my Muse and even though I don’t feel like sitting in our chair (the one she and I share), I’m going to sit here anyway and do my work.  This is love that I gladly commit to, even when I don’t feel glad at the moment.  Most likely I will feel glad soon.
I like commitment, precisely because it transcends feeling.  Feeling is a foundation for commitment.  If I had no feeling towards those I love or towards my work, it would be hard to make a commitment.  I love the feelings.  I love the joy and the emotion and even the intensity.  Unfortunately, there’s the opposite of these.  There’s fear and out-of-control emotions and intensity that is unhealthy.  Commitment, however, goes beyond all that.  Commitment says I will stay with this no matter how I feel.  I will write every day.  I will work towards my goals.  I will wait for my Muse and while I am waiting, I will work.  Perhaps commitment, not emotion is the foundation.  Commitment is stronger.  Emotions can change.  Commitment doesn’t have to. 
Sometimes commitment and emotion can be at cross purposes.  For example, I didn’t “feel” like writing a blog this morning.  Sometimes I don’t “feel” like going to work.  I’ve often experienced the feeling of “not feeling like” following through on my commitments.  When I have reneged on my commitments, I have usually regretted it.  When I followed through on them, I have usually been blessed.  Interestingly, this happened again a couple of weeks ago.  I was teaching a class and I was not enjoying the experience.  I didn’t want to do it.  I was in the parking lot of the school and I wanted to call the office and tell them I wasn’t feeling well and then go home.  I decided not to however, and that was the day the experience changed for me.  That was the day I started getting the attention of the students.  Had I gone with my feelings I would not only have missed that experience, I would have probably been back at square one the next day.
I’ve noticed that when feelings are overly intense, especially when they are based in fear or anger, they are not to be trusted.  I’ve struggled with this and I learn it’s best to go with the flow or simply and calmly step out of the way.  I still don’t understand my recent anger about doing sales, but I know that didn’t handle things well because I went with my feelings.
What feelings, then, can be trusted?  Usually I can trust that which feels peaceful, calm and loving.  I can even trust anger when it is in my control.  I can trust the “negative” feelings that come naturally, such as sadness or even some fear.  I can trust these when they lead to actions or decisions.  I can’t trust that which overwhelms me.  When I am overwhelmed I know I am not in a healthy place.  I can trust feelings that come from conviction and commitment.
Now it’s time to trust that I need to Get Started and Keep Going…because I have other commitments.