Monday, October 3, 2011

On Commitment

One of the things I am excited to find when checking my e-mail inbox every now and then is an inspiring article I subscribe from Bo Sanchez's Practical Soulfood for Successful People. This week, I received one entitled The Magic Sauce of All Success that talked about the importance of having commitment as the secret ingredient of success. One line I liked from the article goes this way: "God’s power works through our commitment."

I can fairly relate to this line from my real-world experiences. Every time I am faced with tasks in my job I am unfamiliar with or have not done before, I would not openly respond with "I couldn't do it"--probably what you'd expect as a pavlovian reaction from some people. Instead, I would say "I will try to do it to the best of my abilities." Others may regard saying "I will try" as a sign of weakness or lack of confidence. But for me, it means commitment. It takes a lot of courage to say "I will try" rather than "I couldn't do it." Of course, I will make sure that I deliver what has been promised no matter how big the besetting difficulties. Sure, it entails hard work and tenacity.

One situation in which I tested my commitment and another's commitment was when my boss asked me to train a co-employee on a particular software. It was during one of those hectic times when I couldn't manage my time well and I felt like I was already depressed in the job--I even had this crazy idea of saving up a two-month salary in order to buy a plane ticket back to the Philippines--that I accepted this job on-the-side. I sincerely gave my best, despite busy schedules, to train him in the same standard our boss trained us. I was committed to make him an expert on that software but it seemed to me that that person was not showing the same enthusiasm and commitment as I had. He would send me the same answers that I already marked wrong and he apparently would forget some items. Being objective and straightforward, I tried to get from him accurate and precise answers as much as possible. I felt he misunderstood my good intentions because I remembered the first words he said the first time we met, "Ikaw pala 'yung nagpapahirap sa 'kin." (You were the one who made my life difficult.) I took it as a humor. But as days passed by, I've been more convinced that he is one of those who worships the god of convenience. He also said that I looked intimidating. Well, I haven't learned to like his unclever cajolings. I'd like to prevent myself from believing he was saying all of that out of spite. I just can't handle his kind of attitude. We didn't finish the training since, for some reasons I don't know, my boss told me that it be temporarily stopped. 

If I don't have commitment, I feel that I don't have a driving force to accomplish something. For me, commitment is like a road map--it gives you directions and helps you calculate the distance of your destination. I've said to myself that I want to be a writer--that is why I would pursue a degree in Journalism, and it is one commitment I've set to myself. Getting the commitment of every member in a team or organization is also important in reaching a common goal. In Toastmasters, a public speaking club in which I'm a member, commitment is what makes every meeting possible. Without at least 6-8 attendees, the meeting would most likely be postponed. Commitment is also essential in realizing one's educational and leadership goals through delivering basic speech projects and performing meeting roles. Since Toastmasters is a voluntary organization, you cannot expect every member to attend a meeting regularly or finish an educational norm. I really like the way Toastmasters puts it, "Your potential is limited only by how many excuses you have." If you have commitment to your club as well as your personal development, you won't probably end up faking illnesses or devising abrupt appointments.

Similarly, God is committed to each one of us. If we experience great challenges right now, it is His way of saying never give up; it is His way of seeing if we, too, are committed to His will. I will never ever say to God that He is making my life difficult because I'm up for the challenge and I know that He will help and guide me all throughout.

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