Monday, February 8, 2016

Commitment

Commitments are the things we need to do on a regular basis because we have already received the privilege.  For example, because we have all received a body, we have certain obligations to care for it.  There are rules that we need to follow to keep it in homeostasis, otherwise it will die.  It is a given that the body needs to breathe, eat, drink, and stay within a certain temperature or we will not have our body anymore.  Some of us try to keep these commitments with as much balance as possible.  We strive for optimal health--as much as is in our personal control.  Others of us barely keep these commitments.  We push the body's laws to the limit.  We allow quite a bit of imbalance and are only motivated to obey the laws by adverse results.  Most of us keep our commitments somewhere in between those two extremes (#BellCurve).  That choice has been given to each of us.

Optimally caring for any of our privileges is difficult.  Slacking on our commitment keeping is easy to do.  But as we all know there are different consequences for these choices.  Most of us swing like a pendulum to some degree between optimal commitment keeping and mediocre commitment keeping (I know I do).  We each choose just how committed we will be to our commitments.

Take a few minutes to reflect on your commitments and goals.

What are your Commitments?
  • How much time does each take per day/week/month?
  • How much time in a day do you have?  When do you wake up?  When do you go to sleep?
  • What time do you do each of your commitments?

What is your new Goal?
  • How much time will it take per day/week/month to work on obtaining it?
  • How much time will it take to maintain this privilege once you obtain it?
  • Do you have that much time, given your present commitments?
  • What time of the day/week/month will you work on your goal?
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.” ~Luke 14:28-32

Sometimes our goal is to become more committed to our present commitments.  When we work on this, we increase our balance and self-confidence.  There is no better way to obtain real confidence than to develop the ability to keep the commitments for the privileges we are already enjoying.

Sometimes our goal is to add more privileges to the ones we already enjoy.  There’s no better way to add excitement, energy, and challenge to our lives than to embark on a Goal Achievement Journey.  But if we desire to add more, we need to be able to fit them into our lives.  We need to have a space for them.  We need to be able to fit them into our budget—time, money, space, etc.  

The more we optimally care for our present commitments, the easier it becomes to care for them.  It’s kind of like when we first set out to create a good habit, it’s hard, time consuming, energy consuming, and requires much of our focus like a young child learning how to walk.  But once the skill is learned, it becomes second nature and we can keep doing it while adding other skills to our repertoire.

Commitment keeping is best done if it is motivated by gratitude.  We maintain that gratitude through remembering.  For example, over the past ten years I have learned so many new skills that enable me to maintain my balance in the face of adversity much more than I was able to before 2006.  My benefactor is Jesus Christ.  I am more grateful for his training than I am for anything else I have ever learned!  Where I was before, compared to where I am now is like black and white.  As he was teaching me through the scriptures, through my prayers, and through personal revelation I remember being astounded by the simplicity yet profoundness of it all.  His love completed me.  Every new step was an exciting challenge.  Before, I could not respect myself because I knew the way I was responding to adversity wasn’t right.  After, my faith in Christ increased and I learned how to actually put his teachings into practice.  That's when I could feel that I was right ("If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted." ~Moses 5:23).  The contrast between the way I felt before to the way I felt after was remarkable!  

For a while this contrast kept the blessings fresh in my mind but now it has been a number of years since the first stark changes. I sometimes forget how it used to be.  And that causes me to forget my gratitude for what he did for me.  It almost seems like I’ve always been this way.  But I haven't!  Before it was a kind of hell for me.  After it has been a kind of heaven!  When I regularly read the journals I’ve kept over the past ten years, I am reminded of this change and the joy comes flooding full force into my soul again as if I were reliving it.  And that motivates me to continue keeping the commitments that maintain those precious skills.

Listen:  “Me Without You” by TobyMac