Some of the most profound needs that we human beings have are to be loved and to experience good health, wealth, inner peace and freedom (1). These needs require different things for different people, yet they all need to be fuelled by commitment in order to actualize.
Solid commitment brings forth the mindset and behavior that supports us in achieving a prosperous life. This is the true value of commitment and self-discipline. It gives us the drive and the will to get through seemingly unpleasant, uncertain, and unwanted experiences in the present moment which will lead to reward in the future.
This applies to every aspect of our life, whether it’s our love life, social life, work, health, finances, hobbies, etc. Everything we set our heart and mind to will require some kind of commitment in order to reach completion.
Some Commitment from the Founder
“First Marathon! I peed blood … worth it.” – Matt Prindle
Those are the words of the co-founder who created our very first challenge. The 30 Days of Brave Challenge. He had always dreamed of committing to a marathon, but had never been able to do it until he did his own Brave challenge! Check out his video of Day 30 in the challenge below.
If you’re looking for a tool to help you with commitment, we can’t think of a better one than that 30 Days of Brave Challenge challenge he created.
Life comes with a lot of temptations, and you may have noticed this already. Every day brings many chances for us to “stumble and fall”, break our promises, forget our commitment and do some stupid stuff (2). This is just how life works.
When we create a clear goal for our future, for example: to lose a lot of weight, we can be sure that on our path to achieving that goal there will be cravings, the breaking of rules, suffering, self-doubt, cursing, etc. Many times we will stop to wonder is this worth it?
“To abstain from enjoyment which is in our power, or to seek distant rather than immediate results, are among the most painful exertions of the human will.” ― N.W. Senior
How come commitment tends to be so excruciatingly painful for our body, mind, and spirit? More importantly, why do we still commit despite the suffering?
When we want to change or create something in our life it all starts with a decision. If we are determined and contribute to that decision time after time, we can start calling this commitment.
Psychologists call that initial decision “the commitment device” and define it as “a decision you make with a cool head so that you don’t do something regrettable when you have a hot head”(3).
According to this definition, we as humans seem to have two different dispositions while making decisions when it comes to the matters of temptation.
Cool Head or Hot Head Dilemma
When we think with our “cool head” we allow our rational decision making to take the lead in choosing what is in our best interest while respecting the well-being of everybody else concerned. This head has the ability to look into the future and predict the potential consequences of the actions taken in the present moment.
While the Cool Head can simply wait for pleasure and rewards, the Hot Head is very passionate about receiving instant gratification. Hot Head operates from the conviction that there is only the present moment, therefore the consequences of current actions do not matter at all.
On our path of a lifetime commitment to any goal we have set for ourselves, we will have to deal with these two fundamentally different sides of our inner self. Our “heads” will try to make decisions for us and sometimes put at risk valuable relationships, possessions or experiences that we hold dear in our life.
How to Keep a Commitment?
In order to overcome the unequal battle between the present self and the future self in the battle to keep our lifetime commitment, we need to practice and strengthen some specific “mind muscles” (4). This process can take time and effort but can be the most valuable investment that you have ever made in your life.
Here are the essential commitment “muscles” worth exercising:
Following a budget, throwing away junk food from your cupboard and not replacing it, limiting social media, etc., are all actions that can support your self-discipline and help you stay focused on your goals. Waking up early also plays an important role in working on your self-discipline muscle (5). By doing this you are strengthening the power of your rational decision maker, allowing your Cool Head to have a voice in most of the decisions you are making throughout the day.
The best possible way to train patience is through the practice of meditation. This practice makes changes in how your brain is wired and widely supports your energy levels, decreases stress and impulsive tendencies, and eventually strengthens your willpower. Willpower is crucial in terms of solid self-discipline (6).
Meditation contributes to mind mastery that directly enables you to keep lifetime commitments.
There are many different practices of meditation available today and it doesn’t matter which one your choose as long as you follow the practice consistently (7). In time (approximately after two months), you will experience its benefits which improve the quality of your mind and thinking.
As previously mentioned, commitment brings some suffering into our life. It is a necessary part of growth and change. If we want to live a prosperous life this is the price that we must be willing to pay. The good news is that it gets better over time and the more we train ourselves to build powerful habits for personal development and commitment the less effort and suffering it takes. For this to happen we need to keep moving and progressing. We need to be flexible, open-minded, connected and motivated.
If we get stuck in life, suffering increases. We need to do our best to act on life instead of reacting to it.
Lifetime commitments are possible and they often require a lot of work. Choose wisely what you commit to, devote yourself, resist temptations, and in time you will experience the benefits of your noble actions.