“When we do what we have to do we are compliant. When we do what we choose to do we are committed.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, American Leadership Coach
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To what degree are you an “extra credit” type of person? Recall your early educational experiences, in which a special teacher or a special subject motivated you well beyond just meeting expectations and passing the course. They motivated you to experience new levels of excellence, achievement, and of course, greater personal growth.
What about today in your vocational and avocational efforts? Where do you choose to go the extra mile and exceed expectations versus simply doing just enough to maintain your employment (for the moment) and get by?
To help you make the shift from compliant to committed, consider exploring the work of Dan Pink in his book, Drive, to see how greater autonomy, mastery, and purpose will help you choose and eventually realize a far more fulfilling and rewarding life.
“It doesn’t make any sense to make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open.”
—Seth Godin, American Author
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The Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back. You can learn more about this remarkable commitment to philanthropy and the causes they support by visiting givingpledge.org.
If you happen to not currently be on the list of the ultra-wealthy, I suggest you consider the Impact Pledge. There, we can all participate in a highly specific project by publicly committing our resources – especially time and energy – to a worthy mission to better our world. In such a way we can all participate in the design of a “key” solution that opens the doors of our most daunting local and world issues.
Consider visiting the Impact Pledge site to see how you might become a critical key to bettering our world.
“I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: Turn Back!”
—Erica Jong, American Novelist and Poet
Image from Unsplash by Jörg Angeli
The majority of people I know don’t normally consider themselves as particularly brave and courageous. Many might look at the amazing firefighters in California and say, “That’s not me” or “I could never do that.”
I’d like you to consider that you might be at least a bit more courageous than you give yourself credit for. Examine times in your personal or professional life in which you stepped up to a particular challenging, heart-pounding situation and moved forward through the fear. Your commitment was far bigger than your comfort.
Where and how can and will you use the signal of a pounding heart to step forward rather than back to more fully realize your most important and valued commitments?
“It is never too late to learn to be on time.”
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Time seems to fly these days, whether or not you are having fun. The pace of life has quickened, jamming our calendars, and stretching our schedules to the limit.
Unfortunately, these challenges come with some negative consequences in the form of emotional, physical, and social stressors.
How do you feel when you expect to be late, or miss an important commitment or deadline? How do you feel when family, friends, or work colleagues keep you waiting or don’t fulfill their promises? What does it cost you, and is it worth the price?
How and in what ways can you simplify your personal and professional worlds by reducing or eliminating the commitments that are simply not a priority? How can these changes provide you the added buffer to not only be on time, but fulfill virtually all of your personal and professional commitments?
“Go as long as you can, and then take another step.”
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How often do you hear yourself or others say, “I did my best”?
What percentage of the time is that statement true?
If you are like me and many others, we almost always leave a little in the tank, knowing that if we truly gave our all and failed, something terrible would happen.
Failing, knowing you could have studied more, worked harder, and gone farther somehow makes our less than optimal results seem OK. We say things like:
- At least I passed
- I was in the upper quartile of my class
- I made partner quicker than most in my firm
Experiment today in taking one more step, doing one more rep of your exercise, making one more call, or working one extra hour. Reach out to one more friend or help one more person.
Notice the energy you experience, and don’t be surprised if there is still more in the tank, ready to go!
“The only difference between a casual interest and a deep desire is the latter inspires a willingness to endure struggle.”
—Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author
Image from Flickr by Faith(@101)
One of my favorite phrases is Commitment Supersedes Comfort. Examine for yourself where and when you and others you know operate outside your comfort zone, rather than taking the path of least resistance.
Hard work, overcoming obstacles, and taking on big challenges are far more satisfying when we are focused on a goal or the outcome we deeply desire.
Select at least one of your deeply held personal or professional desires for which you will accept whatever struggle may be required. What are you willing to endure to achieve it?
“Don’t Give Up Now!”
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When was the last time you stopped trying, gave up, threw in the towel, or outright quit something? Look deeply at your reasoning, or perhaps your gut-or-heart-based perspectives, on the matter.
If giving up freed you up and relinquished a burden that didn’t fit your life direction, good work! If you experienced regret or an aching soul, perhaps sticking things out may have been a better choice in the long run.
Are you at a critical juncture on an important personal or professional matter? How would coaching, or another form of support in not giving up, make a big difference? Sharing your thoughts and feelings on such issues will often provide the added social support that can be so helpful at these critical times.
“Apologizing doesn’t always mean you’re wrong, and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
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I distinctly remember my first argument with my wife Wendy, during our first year of marriage. Our dispute centered on how to wash dishes. The bottom line for me, at the time, was that she was clearly doing it wrong. I had evidence to make my case to anyone who took a logical approach to things.
To make a long story short, I slept (or should I say didn’t sleep?) on the couch that night.
In the morning, Wendy shared a nugget of wisdom that I still remember and use today:
“Are you more committed to being right, or being related?”
Where and in what ways are you making those you care about wrong? Where would an apology demonstrate that you value your relationship more than your ego?