a matter of commitment?

by mch on May 12, 2009

I’ve certainly been guilty of thinking that accomplishing something is largely (if not claiming it’s purely) a matter of setting one’s mind to it and making it happen.

Sure, commitment is a large piece of the puzzle, but to claim it’s the only piece feels incomplete.

I love it when people tell me inspirational stories of the great things they’ve accomplished because they committed to them (went back to school, wrote the great american novel, stayed at home with small children, took a year off) – and those stories absolutely start with a plan, a purpose, and a lot of drive. None of those things could be accomplished (in most cases) without commitment.

However, to say commitment is the only factor doesn’t tell us the rest of the story.

I wonder about the other parts:
What had to be sacrificed to make those great things happen?
What had to wait?
Who had to help you?
What was lucky?
What did you have to give up along the way?

These are the pieces of the story that help make them feel achievable in a strange sort of way to me. It can be hard to make a commitment if there are obvious obstacles when it sounds like others who’ve accomplished great things didn’t perceive any in their paths at the start. Knowing that obstacles, sacrifices, and alterations are a part of accomplishing seemingly impossible things somehow makes them sound more possible.

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