“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
– Mario Andretti
During the black belt test while sitting on the testing board, I was blessed with the opportunity to watch my martial arts instructors perform an amazing Aikido demonstration. As husband and wife, they worked as a team throwing each other around in front of the board and a small audience. It was a thrilling and educational event showcasing over 25 years experience leading up to earning their 6th Degree Master black belt in KiMudo. From raising children up to college and beyond, working full-time on top of running and owning a martial arts school to multiple injuries and sickness, receiving this honor reflected the ultimate dedication and perseverance.
Following my instructors’ performance, the rest of the black belts and black belts-to-be began their three-hour grueling, exhausting and exhilarating black belt test. But there was no shortage of dedication here. Included in the group was our 17 year-old prodigy who rocked it by throwing, punching and kicking her way towards earning her 3rd Degree black belt. It was 12 years in the making starting at five years old. At first, she was a shy and timid girl but worked hard never giving up fighting her way to badass status. Now grown up, she has become a fierce martial artist with a force to be reckoned with.
Then, we had our group of young boys testing for their 1st Degree black belt. And these guys struggled over and over again barely making it through their classes and practice tests. Melt down after melt down left us wondering if they would make it through the real deal. But guess what? They did. And they earned their black belts with focus, determination and effort.
How did these vastly different groups of people overcome their challenges and obstacles to achieve their goals? Commitment—100% unending and unwavering commitment.
To accomplish any worthwhile goal in life, you need commitment. If you are going to school to earn a college degree, you must commit. If you are changing careers, you must commit. If you decide to have children and become a parent, you must commit. If you learn to play an instrument, you must commit.
Without solid commitment to your goals, you will give up when it gets tough or be sidetracked with other things come along. To achieve something meaningful, you must make a sincere commitment in your heart to see it all the way through to the end. You grab your stake shoving in the ground and say, “BAM! This is what I want, I am going to do it and nothing will stop me.”
If you are ready to commit and not sure where to start, here are some suggestions I have tried and hopefully they will help you.
To accomplish any goal, you must have passion and desire in your heart. If you don’t, you will give up when it gets hard. Passion is the fuel driving you through the tough times. It sustains you when you’re exhausted and gives you hope when there’s no end in sight. When your heart beats passion, it makes you strong and energized where no situation or person can stop you from keeping your vision alive.
When you commit to goal, you will have to sacrifice something to achieve it. You need enough time in your day to complete the tasks necessary towards earning your goal. Plus, it frees and opens up your mind to learning the things needed to bring your vision to life.
Create one big goal breaking it down into smaller goals. Make the goals realistic, measurable and attainable. Set deadlines to create progress and accountability. As you meet your smaller goals, you’ll build confidence and become inspired to keep moving forward. It’s like eating an elephant. Instead of eating it all at once, you eat one bite at a time.
Work Hard and Smart
Being committed is hard work. It requires effort, and you must show up every day. If you are tired, you show up. If you are in a bad mood, you show up. If you are angry, you show up. You just do it, plain and simple. But, you also have to work smart. Only do the things necessary without the busy work and the fluff. Use your time wisely with laser-beam focus mindfully working on one thing at a time.
With all of the hard work and discipline required for commitment, remember to smile and have fun! Enjoy the process. You are learning and growing while becoming a better person so be grateful for this experience. Allow yourself to let loose once in a while. By relaxing and having fun, you’ll rejuvenate preventing burn out.
No matter what happens, stay true to yourself. There will be naysayers, family members who disagree, friends who don’t understand, and that’s OK. It’s your goal, your passion and your life. Be authentic living true to what feels right in your heart. Never let anyone tell you different. Use your intuition to know what’s best for YOU.
Being committed to a goal whether it’s becoming a black belt, starting a new career, writing a book or going back to college, is a challenge. But to realize your vision and achieve your personal best requires 100% commitment. There will be days when you are too tired, too sick or too bored to move on. If you stay focused and dig deep pulling from reservoirs of your inner strength, you will accomplish your goals.
Right now take your passion and hold in your heart. Stake it deep in the ground and say, “BAM! I commit to taking my vision and seeing it all the way through to the end. And not anything, anybody, and or even myself is going stop me.”