What Happened to Commitment?

What happened to Commitment?

We live in a society today where people have lost the value of commitment.  People are choosing alternative lifestyles that constrain important relationships and adjust solid values.  We live in a society faced with daunting choices that cause us to have impulsive thinking and actions.  We have stopped valuing the choice to choose what’s right over the choice to choose what feels better.  Life seems to be more driven by the nature of how something brings pleasure versus the strength of enduring patience.  Commitment has become a term that asserts its position based on the exchange of satisfaction.  We wear our ego so high, it voids the grounding of our values.  So, my lack of satisfaction is reflecting on how I choose to allow you to make me feel about a matter.  If that lack of satisfaction becomes persistent, then I retreat to comfort and pleasure.  It takes us back to the psychological notion of fight or flight? 

The Wikipedia definition of commitment is as follows: Commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.. It is also known as a pledge or an undertaking.

If we examine the phrase “state of being” in its context, we can derive different interpretations.  The subjective interpretation would mean ones’ quality of existence.  With that being said, it can be understood how we may allow our dedications to a cause or activity to sway as our quality of life diminishes.  So, it would safe to assume that our quality of life (commitment) is structured around ability to thrive in our causes or activities.

So, why do people change their commitment?  There is a scripture that says, “You did run well, but who hindered you?”  I would interpret that means someone started in an activity in which they held deep convictions, unwavering dedication, or strict beliefs/attitudes towards a cause.  The initial commitment was fierce and determined.  This state of being is typical for many individuals during the New Year who make resolutions about matters of importance they want to change or enhance. 

People get themselves prepared to gain momentum.  You will see them very focused and driven in the beginning.  They become persuasive about their regard to their cause and get others around them excited about the fresh wind they’re riding.  The momentum remains strong for the first 30 days, then all of sudden we begin to notice they down shift a gear.  Someone who was committed to weight loss begins to stop exercising daily to 3 times weekly.  They once cut out all sugars and began drinking sodas again.  The next time you see them, they are back to their original routine of life that existed before the committed to their cause (losing weight).  We see this scenario in many facets of events in our lives.  It is not uncommon to see ourselves shift as we endure other obstacles within our lives.

Commitments are taught in a collaborative approach as soon as children start school.  The pledge of allegiance is a solid example of how society begins molding an involuntary commitment to support our nation.  We are born into commitments whether choose to follow them or not.  We are born into the commitment of religion.  We are born into the family beliefs and values.  Most of us know how to recite pledges whether it is an oath of marriage or oath to protect our country, however, how are commitments enforced for others that may have never had guided structures to lay a foundation of faithful dedication?

The problem with staying committed is not that we do not have a desire to enforce changes and restructure habits, but we lack a clear perspective of how to endure through the stumbling blocks that occur as we commit to our cause.  The best way to help yourself remain committed is to be real and deliberate in the challenges that will possibly come against you.  When you set a goal to pledge on making something work, you should also set the parameters for which you will remain steady on your course.  Going back to the scripture, “You did run well, but who/what hindered you”, is a statement of meaning that the reader has to begin to assess.  Most people will choose to ignore the problems instead of investigating the heart of the matter that caused their commitment to change. 

There are effective approaches to uncover potential blocks that will hinder your plans from reaching their maximal efforts.  Always remember, “This is what I want, This is what I need to do to get there”.

Here is an example of deliberate approaches:

Desire/Pledge:  I promise to love, honor, and obey as long as we both shall live.

Challenges:  lose interest, feelings get hurt, life struggles occur, kids, career changes, drifting apart

Boundaries/Parameters:  I’m willing to honor you as long as you don’t choose infidelity.  As long as you don’t raise your hands to harm me.

Challenge #1: Lose Interest

  1. I will commit to daily vows to enforce the long term vow
  2. I will ensure I listen to you daily for at least 5 minutes concerning your day
  3. I will ensure I communicate my feelings to you when I get bored.
  4. I will come up with one new activity per month that we haven’t done.

Challenge #2: Feeling Get Hurt

  1. I will not allow my anger to cause me to verbally disrespect you.
  2. I will talk with a close friend that supports my marriage when I feel I cannot talk with you.
  3. I will not talk to my mother about how you have hurt me until you and I have talked about the problem.

Long term goal was set without providing intermediate activities to enforce the course of the plan.

The example above shows us how to remain focused and engaged on making our plans work.  Although, things happen in life that may not allow us to see our desires manifest, we can be confident in our ability to remain committed and true to our passions and purpose.

For more helpful hints, follow me on twitter @icanlady, visit my website www.shannonbattle.com, or listen to me every Thursday at 10am, on www.wccg1045fm.  This is your Life Stylist, Shannon Battle, bringing you your ICAN Moment!


I am a resource for consultation with those who are stumped by a particular problem or hindered by a particular obstacle or barrier.


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