A Coaching Power Tool created by Gopalakrishna G Gubbi
(Life & Spiritual Coach, INDIA)
As anyone can make out, the Commitment and Trying looks very simple at the outset, but when people start looking at the depth of it, one can feel the sensitivity of its impact in one’s life. On a self reflection mode, many of us are tuned to a habituated life pattern and knowingly or unknowingly we are committed to such life style. Taking example of one of my client, he is leading a life of spending 14 hours outside the home and 10 hours at home in a given day of 24 hours. He spends 4 hours on road between home-office-home and engages in office work for 10 hours in a day. Back at home, he takes another 1 hour to clear his late evening mails (office start time for his counterpart colleagues in another part of the world) & takes another 30 minutes to watch the TV news. Of the balance time, 30 minutes for dinner with the family members (wife & son) and ensures relaxed sleep for 8 hours. Well, at the outset, it looks as perfect packed engagement of his 24 hours a day and as per the pattern he is 100% ‘committed’ to this life style.
On the contrary, somewhere he is conscious that he is not giving enough time to his family, not sparing time for his own physical fitness nor taking out required time for studying books, etc. Now, his wish/dream list includes – starting the day with 1 hour physical exercise, sparing 1 hour for reading books of his interest, conversing with his family (house wife & son) atleast for 2 hours. But he is carrying this wish since few years and he is still trying to make this happen. The above story of my client is not uncommon to many working executives. At the outset, his wish looks possible & achievable. The question comes, if so, why he is not making it happen. For most people, it is about convenience/comfort zone vs willingness to do/act with determination. In all normal terms, the ‘Commitment or Trying’ is the conscious choice or conditioned status of the person. Invariably, there is a chosen reason in one’s approach between ‘commitment’ & ‘trying’. Now, let us understand these two precious words in all possible ways :
The very word “try” implies a halfhearted effort at best and a complete lack of commitment. The word “try”, leaves the door wide open for failure, in fact it invites failure. The word “try” can be an excuse not to commit and it comfortably leaves a “back door open for escape.”
‘Trying’ is also a symptom of ‘living by condition’ and not by conscious choice. It is like a child instructed by the parents to study in ‘medical’ field against child’s interest of becoming a ‘astro scientist’. The child ends in ‘trying’ to study hard for score better marks. The child would lead life of victim and may not perform well in the academic results.
Trying can often be a cover-up for an Underlying Automatic Commitment (UAC). You might think, “I am trying to achieve this or that but I can’t seem to do it”. In situations like this, what you are really doing is being more committed to something else. If you believe that you are trying to produce a result and haven’t yet, this is an opportunity to look for the UAC behind your trying. For example, a person might say, “I’ll try to quit smoking next week,” what they really mean is, “I am not ready to commit to not smoking and I haven’t explored the commitments that are fulfilled by my smoking. By using the word “try” I can avoid quitting smoking and I can avoid exploring what my commitment to smoking means.” This is a world away from “I will stop smoking Saturday.”
One way to know if a person is committed is by looking at their actions. If your actions are aligned with your goal, it’s fair to say you are committed. One way of causing this alignment is to put in place a Structure. For example, if you say you are committed to spending time with your children and you end up spending more than the standard time at work and come home after they are in bed, then you are “trying”, you are not “committed”.
As research study indicates, people get into ‘trying’ syndrome for reasons like :
- Underlying beliefs & confusion in facing/handling a issue(s)
- Ambitious of doing it, but lacks determination
Is just in the ‘dream’ & ‘want’ status
- Has not assessed (or not sure of) his ability (capacity) to handle the issue
- Fear of failure
- Enforced by others to work on the issue
- Lack of priority
- Undefined expectations on required solution Intension to do, but does not have zeal
- The resolution to the issue is ‘important’, but not ‘urgent’
- Perceived outcome on a long term period and short term results unclear
- Not ‘convinced’ about setting this issue on priority
- And many more.
Everyone has commitment to something or the other in life. The question is how much of that gives you quality life (both personal & professional) and makes you valuable for others around you. The ‘commitment’ is your choice to move towards success every time. The level of your commitment will be reflected in the level of your success. This is the key to living a powerful, peaceful, fulfilling life.
Commitment is like rocket fuel when it comes to reaching your goals, especially the big ones. It is absolutely vital to realize that consistently producing results requires commitment. Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living”. By examining the behaviors that we engage in and then discerning the commitments behind them, we can decide whether these are the commitments we really want in our lives or whether we want to make and keep other commitments.
“Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality” ~James Womack Once you are clear about your commitment in any given situation, you have your hands “back on the wheel.” You can be in control. You can choose how it’s going to go by replacing your underlying automatic commitment with your chosen commitment. There are always choices to make and therefore we are always committed to something.
If you are committed, you will put in place a structure to make the time available. For example, you will start analyzing the content & importance of your regular work and will try to find out what can be delegated to your colleagues in order to align your workload within the standard timeframe at the work place. Then you know how much time you can spend with your family. These structures show that you are committed to what you say. As research study indicates, people get into ‘commitment’ drive for reasons like :
- Alignment of values, ethics and beliefs with the derived resolution
- Passion driven & determination to execute the resolution on prevailing issue
- Self realization – prevailing priority issue vs self assessed gaps with absolute focus to correct themselves
- Self awareness – realizing their capability to face and handle the resolution/actions
- Self introspection – internal assessment and intuition to work on the resolution
- Self driven – not influenced by other’s expectation to perform / act
- Contended with baby step actions & systematic planning for positive outcome
- Application of resolution in their life is ‘urgent’ and the ‘need’
- Highly determined to work on the resolution and are on non-negotiable status
- Self confident – in planning, controlling and tracking with the intervention from the Coach.