Here it is. The final part of our three week series dedicated to building others and ourselves up to achieve a greater good. In week one we discussed the importance of curiosity and asking questions. Then, last Sunday we focused on connecting and building relationships. Now it’s time to discuss the importance of honoring your commitments – to yourself and those around you.
A couple of months ago, I touched on commitment, but from a different angle. That post discussed an alternative use of the word commitment – action. This means that whatever it is that you commit to, or whoever you commit yourself to, you must be proactive and take action. If not, then the end result isn’t going to be as promising as you’d like.
I’ve been teetering with how to best approach this week’s post. As I sit here and begin writing this post (today is Wednesday), I know that on Friday morning I am proposing to a special person who has become my best friend. And the more I think about upholding commitments, the best analogy I can think of is that honoring your commitments is equivalent to saying ‘I do’.
The words ‘I do’ bring a lot to the table. Whether it be a job, school, or person in your life, the moment you say these words is the moment when you accept ownership in assuring that from here on out, you are committed to this person or ‘thing’ until the end. To be in it until the end, what exactly does that entail?
For Better, For Worse.
No matter what it takes, you must see it through to the end. There are going to be bumps in the road and you will be forced to adapt, but your commitment means that you will not give up. You will overcome adversity and be a stronger and better person because of it. When you begin a marathon, by God you are in it for 26.2 miles whether you are prepared or not. Regardless of whether you run, walk or crawl across the finish line, you will make it.
Three years ago, I used the exact phrase. When the very same girl who is now my fiancé decided to accept a position in Guatemala, I told her “I’m in it for the long haul.” We have overcome distance, time separated and plenty more adversity, but we have made it. No matter what, we are in this together, for all the years to come.
There are going to be days when you don’t want to attend class. There are going to be days when being in the office doesn’t sound appealing. But guess what? Tough Shit. You knew what would be required of you when you enrolled in your first semester of classes. You knew what you were signing up for the day you accepted your job. Show up and do what is required. Wake up each morning and commit yourself to the day’s tasks regardless of what other ‘things’ may seem more important..
I Promise to be true to you
To date, I have run 5 half marathons and 4 full marathons. By no means am I writing to be prideful or boastful, but rather to dig into the deeper meaning. With each of these races, I clicked a button or signed on a line that read, ‘register now’. In that moment, I made a promise to myself that I would prepare myself as best as possible for the ensuring 3-4 months in preparation.
I can’t begin to count the number of days I have spent these past three years waking up at 4:30am for a training run, stayed in on Friday night for a long run on Saturday, or completed double workouts to prepare myself physically and mentally for the challenges I would encounter in a race. Did I have to do this – no. Did I promise myself I would – yes. I have realized that if I am unable to keep the promises I make to myself, then I am never going to be capable of maintaining the promises I have with others.
As part of a promise to one another, my girlfriend and I committed to running a race together both internationally and nationally. The intention of this goal was to simply enjoy the races, ignore the time, and value that the experience with one another. While living in Guatemala, we completed a 25K throughout the busy streets of Guatemala City, and most recently the Kentucky Derby Marathon this past April. I’m sure they won’t be the last races we complete together, but the importance lies in the fact that we held true to our promises.
No matter what realm of life, be it work, family, school or religion, the surest way to lose credibility is to make false promises. We have all heard the quote, ‘people will forget what you say, but they will remember what you do.’ Hold true to your promises, be honest and show that you care.
Until Death do us Part
We can’t reach the end on our own. Until the end is here, it’s important to rely on our resources to help us get to where we would like to be. Unsure as to how to approach a sales call? Read a sales book or ask questions or a seasoned veteran. Unable to solve the calculus problem that you have been working on for hours? Ask a friend who is doing well in your class. Provided you have been authentic with these people, you should receive genuine help.
There is no doubt in my mind, I would not be where I am today without the help of many of the people I am surrounded by. Whether I have asked for their help directly or indirectly, they have provided me with the support and encouragement to be the best person I can be. I know that I can’t do it on my own, and I am forever appreciative of those in my life who are committed to helping me in all of my endeavors. As I begin this next chapter in my life, thank you to all of the people who have taken a vested interest in my journey.
At the end of each weekly post, I usually ask a few questions to reflect on and respond if you want. If anything, at least get your gears turning and thinking about how to apply the post to your own life.
This weekend, I want to ask, “What are you going to commit yourself to this weekend and why?” What is it that you will say, “I do,” to? I’ll start by giving my own answer.
It’s now Sunday, and on Friday morning in the middle of a run at Navy Pier in Chicago, I proposed to my girlfriend. I am committing myself to spending my life with her because she loves, supports and cares for me unconditionally.
Many thanks to all of you for following the past few weeks! I am looking forward to continuing to grow this community in the weeks and months to come!