With Lorraine Lusinje:
I have heard people say they have commitment issues or heard others talk about commitment issues their friends or relatives have. I have found myself saying the same thing or asking someone if they have commitment issues when they fail to follow through on something. Now, the interesting thing about commitment and commitment issues in light of human nature is that they are not mutually exclusive at all.
To clarify, I will use the words I heard at church sometime back; a class leader said a few words that have stuck in my mind. She said: “We don’t have commitment issues, we have value system issues.” The subject of the day was our commitment to achieve what we need to in our religious journey. The statement hit home because it was accurate.
Commitment is a state of being dedicated to a cause. For instance, if we are committed to our education, it means we consistently dedicate ourselves to the activities and expectations around that education. Lack of commitment means we fail to dedicate ourselves to something—commonly referred to as commitment issues. Commitment issues were usually in light of romantic relations but became a general term, thanks to the sheer complexity of a human being.
Why did I say commitment and commitment issues are not mutually exclusive? Our commitment or commitment issues are subjective. Most of us are consistent about certain habits and behaviours but inconsistent in others, which clearly demonstrates that we are very capable of committing to a cause when our hearts are set on it. Commitment or lack of it is not a case of either or in our lives, but is dependent.
For instance, some of us have been drinking every weekend for the past decade or two decades but fail to finish a project we have been working on for four years and blame in on lack of time or money. Some of us have supported Manchester United or Arsenal or Bayern Munchen from the time we discovered football but we hoola hoop from one relationship to another because we do not commit to them.
The issue is not commitment. The issue is what we choose to commit to because of what we rank as important in our lives. We find excuses for the things we find less important but practise dedicated or even blind loyalty towards the things we value e.g. that English football team that keeps losing or our favourite political party. It is all about what we prioritise in our value systems.
Our lives, our families, our friendships, our careers and even our country are shaped by the value systems that we hold and where we choose to pour our commitment into. If we, as a country, remain committed to corruption and trivia, we will remain a poor and mediocre country that stalls on progress. But if, as a country, were main committed to innovation and patriotic dedication to development activities, we will see this country progressing at a speed we never thought was possible.
Sometimes, we look at other people and how their lives are progressing and conclude that they are just lucky or ‘blessed’, when, in essence, their lives are a manifestation of what they have committed to. We cannot sow spinach seeds and expect to harvest watermelons; we always need to be conscious of where we are investing our efforts. We are all capable of commitment and consistence but we choose what to commit to.
Author and motivational speaker Brendon Burchard writes: “Perhaps the universe isn’t giving you what you want because based on all of your distractions it is simply unclear what you are asking for”. Sometimes, we do not actually know what we are really looking for and we commit to everything and nothing, consequently achieving chaos and confusion. We are blue and we are green and we are red and we are yellow; we have no clear definition. It is important to have a clear value system we can use to evaluate what we want to achieve in our lives and commit to the activities and behaviours that will lead us to achieve the goals we need to achieve.
At the end of the day, we are all lucky; we just need to align ourselves to grab the luck with both hands when it comes our way.
I rest case.