What Are You Committed To?

Such a basic question.

Such a powerful question.

We commit to people, causes, projects, ways of being with our words – the vows we take, the promises we make – and those words create the aim for our actions.

Words are powerful and clarity is crucial. Notice the difference in your belly when I say “I am writing a book and I will be finished with a first draft by March 15th” vs. “I am thinking about writing something sometime.” The first one probably gave you a quiver or a feeling of being more alert, while the second made you a bit sleepy or even tense.

Try on “I am committed to giving away 10,000 dollars in the next 12 months” vs. “I would like to give more to charity.”  Notice the difference.

Fascinating isn’t it?

Words are important and it is in action that we reveal our true commitments.

In other words, look at what you are doing right now: what commitment is revealed?

By writing this, my commitment to being a teacher is revealed.  As I wrestle with these words and thoughts, trying to say something of truth for me, and of use to you, I am living one of my central commitments in my  life.

What commitment are you living right now?

Pause, breathe, and ask with kindness.

And if it doesn’t fit for you, shift what you are doing.

In the action you take now, your commitment is revealed.

Again and again.

So I ask again, what are you committed to?

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Anonymous - November 1, 2011

I’m committed to being present. Being divorced less than a year after a 38 year marriage, I’ve entered the murky waters of online dating, God help me! What I realize is, I don’t really take anything I do casually, even match.com. I can’t throw up (interesting choice of words) a hastily written profile or pretend like a phone conversation is ‘nothing’. I believe it all counts and no matter what I do, I’m going to be there, all 100% of me. 

    jenniferlouden - November 1, 2011

    Jane I meet Bob on Match and he still makes jokes about my long profile and how I got endorsements from friends and all the lengths I went to. Do it right is what I say! Being present with you. 

      Jane - November 1, 2011

      Gives me hope, Jen!

Rachel Gurevich - November 1, 2011

I am committed to writing a poem every day the month of November. 

I am committed to writing my NaNoWriMo “cheat” novel (really writing a story of a writer with writer’s block, who writes short stories, and the story goes between the writer and her block, and her stories….). 

I am committed to spending three concentrated hours a day with my big children. 

I am committed to breathing, and breathing, and breathing… even when it hurts.

I am committed to you, my friend Jennifer, too, watching where you go, how things change, and growing (along with its pains).

Jill - November 1, 2011

Right now I am  committed to restoring order, exercising and downsizing…

Lisa - November 1, 2011

This post is so timely for me  because I was just writing about my commitment level – or some times lack there of – in my morning pages the other morning. I commit to every day a line in the month of November. This will be my creative practice. Thank you for asking!

Leahowell - November 2, 2011

I am in the midst of much life change….and am struggling with commitments. I am completing a degree at the age of 47 after 20 years in my career, and I am currently working in a job that I took “just to have a job”…and it is volatile and completely draining my emotions, my skills, and my desire to go to work. So, now, I am looking at taking travel nurse assignments just to make money…and I don’t want to leave home…but in a one hospital town…not many other options!

I have had a dream to start my own Nurse Consultant business for 12 years, and have taken baby steps over the years to keep the dream alive….but I realize now, that all those baby steps did was delay commitment.
I convinced myself that all those things were my attempts at being committed. The reality is that I have been afraid….and it has stolen my dream.
Now, after reading some of the past blogs on FEAR this month….I am ready to leave the baby steps behind….and start taking STRIDES!

I am leaving this post and signing on to the National Nurses in Business Association website where I will commit to attending the national conference this weekend in Orlando. I told the President of the association that I would come 3 months ago…but never signed up. Financially, it is not smart, so it will go on credit…(even not smarte)r…but I think that I have let the fear of financial strain speak louder than my desire to go.

I feel like there is something BIG in this for me….and I am committed to go see what it is!
Thanks Jen….and others…..for sharing your own thoughts, that speak to us all. I hope I have done that for someone else today!

    Melissa - July 16, 2020

    Hi Lea!
    9 Years Later, how did this go? Do you have any perspective to offer to your past self and well, me?
    I’ve just found this article as I’m seeking some self-awareness re: commitment, and I’m wondering how you did with this?



Kathryn at Good Life Road - November 10, 2011

I am committed to the writer and the ponderer in me. To putting forth the effort and the knee wobbling bravery it takes sometimes to try to express what I can make of all that crosses this path. I am committed to trying to connect with my fellow wonderers by being as true to myself as I can be, and learning so much in the process.

My other commitments may not always match who I am, but it’s ok for now because I have found my margins and I am filling them up, and they will grow just as the rock gives way to the stream. My job is just to stay with the stream.

    jenniferlouden - December 9, 2011


WithinReachBlog - November 15, 2011

This is a powerful post. It’s often easy to forget to make our goals action and time specific. Generalizations tend to lead to inaction. Thanks for the reminder.

The 21 Most Inspirational LeBron James Quotes | Wealthy Gorilla - February 22, 2016

[…] “To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There’s that moment every morning […]

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