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What do the following people have in common? Mahatma Gandhi helping to bring about an independent Indian state and my friend Gareth who ran the London Marathon for the Alzheimer Research Charity? The answer is that they have both done extraordinary things that surpassed their expectations of what was possible. What allowed these amazing people to be successful? One key part of the answer is their absolute commitment to achieving their vision.
Commitment means dedicating time and energy to a purpose or goal. Commitment requires focus, determination, overcoming setbacks and boundless enthusiasm. It requires springing out of bed on a cold January morning to pound the pavements in the rain. It involves risking your own life and liberty for a cause you believe in. Committing 100% is not a magic bullet for success, however it means never stopping in pursuit of a goal and that makes success much more likely.
Commitment is underpinned by having a clear set of beliefs and values and sticking to them. Gareth was driven on through his tough training and the 26 miles by the importance of the cause to his family and by the commitment he made to his sponsors. Gandhi believed in equality, justice and civil rights for all and this drove his actions with absolute conviction. These underlying values provide the motivation and energy that fuel the boundless pursuit of success.
Take a moment to think about your life right now and ask your self these questions:
- What are you using your time, energy and amazing talents on?
- Which three areas are most important to you?
- What are the values or beliefs that make each area so important to you?
- For each important area of your life, how committed are you at the moment (on a scale of 1% to 100%)?
- What would it look or feel like to increase your commitment by 5% to 10% in each area?
- What is the first thing that you could do differently to increase your commitment level?
You have the potential to be extraordinary in every part of your life and commitment is the fuel to fulfil this potential. Commit to making the changes you identified in at least one area of your life for the next month and see what difference that commitment can make.
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