Did you ever make a committment, and then later changed your mind and backed out, or worse, quit? Sure you have, we all have at some point in our lives. For various reasons we have had to back out of committments, whether they be small and simple things to much larger committments.
A former boss told me the story of the chicken and the pig once. He said, “Steven (clearly before I was The Leadership Dr. ), I believe we are going to work great together and I just want you to know I am committed to our partnership. I am the pig.” Now, of course, I had not idea what he was talking about. So, he proceeded to tell me about the chicken and the pig. You see, the chicken is involved with the process, but the pig is committed. The chicken provides the eggs for breakfast, but the pig, well the pig gives up everything to make that the best breakfast ever.
So, let me ask you, are you the chicken or the pig?
In your marriage, are you involved, or are you committed? According to statistics, 50% of us are chickens. (Please note, I am not judging here, only making a point and hopefully inspiring us to be more of a pig!) What about your kids? What about your job or business? Have you done everything necessary to make that a committment?
John Maxwell, one of my favorite authors / speakers said, “If something is worth doing, I will commit myself to carrying it through.” How can we do that?
First, think of the committment you are going to make and plan ahead.
Getting married? Plan ahead. What are the costs involved? Obviously, time (hopefully eternity), money, and sweat. Lots of sweat. Starting your own business? Do not underestimate the costs involved in starting your own business. The time it will take away from your family will be huge. Make sure to schedule dates with the kids – individually if possible – and the spouse. Money? Sure, you have start-up costs, but think about long term as well. And finally, don’t forget about the sweat equity and training you will have to commit to to make this work.
Second, once you have planned it out, make the committment.
Do more than just simply telling yourself you are making the committment. Tell others about it. Write it down so you can see it everyday. Whatever it takes to remind yourself of this committment. Schedule time in your calendar to work on your committment.
Third, keep the committment.
This may seem obvious, yet this is where we all fail. Making committments are easy. Keeping them, not so much. How can we do a better job of keeping our committments is the question. Planning ahead will go a long ways as discussed earlier. Also, review your committment daily. John Maxwell said, “Everyday I will renew my committment and think about the benefits that come from it.”
This is easy to do when things are going well, but do not take it for granted. Just because you are getting along great with your spouse does not mean you skip date nights. Do it anyway. And if you are not getting along with your spouse, all the more reason to do it. Just because you have a great relationship with your kids does not mean you don’t read them a story at night, tuck them in or take them for ice cream once in awhile. Do it anyway. Just because you were the top earner in your business last month does not mean you don’t study a new program, watch a new training DVD, or make the phone calls to new prospects. Do it anyway.
Now that said, some committments need to be broken, and that is okay as long as they are done with careful thought and not just on a whim. Remember why you made the decision to begin with. What has changed? Is that change permanent, or can you correct the issue? If not, then maybe it is time to break the committment, but as I said, do it knowing why you are doing it.