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Does Commitment Make All The Difference?


Photo by Memphis CVB via Flickr

We are re-naming this site to better align with our mission here. The name Drunken Sportsmen had a place and time I suppose, but that time has passed. So, we’re about to laser off this out-of-date tattoo. If you have any feelings on the name or the new name, please let us know in the comments or at drink@drunkensportsmen.com. You’re the best. Thanks for reading.

I wrote this post as part of Lift.do’s 500 words every day challenge. The prompt was commitment. If you find it useful or terrible, I would love your commentary at the bottom. Thank you!

Commitment doesn’t mean much until you experience it. I haven’t fully committed to much in my life. When you’re fully committed to something, it seems the notion of commitment isn’t even conscious.

My relationship with my wife is one of those things I committed to without ever thinking about it. There have been rare moments where I consciously remind myself that this commitment is as important as any in my life and that thought drives me to go the extra mile when I don’t feel like it.

Over the last few years, I’ve pushed myself to drink less. In late December 2013, I made the decision to give up drinking for all of January. I knew this was a challenge. I hadn’t gone more than a week without getting a good buzz on for probably over 10 years.

I told people about my goal. On some level, I knew I wasn’t describing a goal but rather predicting the future. It wasn’t a choice. While there were moments of temptation and longing for a drink that January, I knew that I was not going to drink. I was committed.

True and full commitment is like breathing. You’re just going to do it. You don’t have a choice.

What’s the value of commitment? Perhaps it is a barometer that indicates the things we truly want to achieve in life. I have completed things without what I would describe as a full commitment. School for example, I completed high school, college, and law school all without any real sense of commitment. You could argue that I was committed on some level, i.e., I just did it without thinking, but it feels more like I was programmed by my upbringing to do  things than I was committed to do them.

Maybe commitment is more about the programming. Maybe it is programming. I programmed myself that December in 2013 to not have a drink for the entire month of January. I told people about it. I declared it. I programmed the success ahead of time. My parents programmed my completion of my educational programs at a young age by ingraining (you could say brainwashing I suppose) education as a core value of my life. If I didn’t get educated, I couldn’t survive.

I just used a word count tool (wordcounter.net – the keyword density tool is cool) on this writing to see if I was at 500 words. I’m not, but I suppose this is commitment right here. I have been saying I want to write every day because I want to be a writer. Well, here I am at the end of a long day and I am exhausted and I continue to peck away at this keyboard. Why? Well, when I saw this challenge in my email from Lift tonight at dinner, it looked enticing. Maybe the public nature of this and the coaching will push me to those greater heights. I hope so.

Commitment is how great things are accomplished. Without it we might get through the things that we just do without thinking. I’m not certain you create or complete anything truly great without a deep commitment. Great endeavors are challenging to the mind, body and soul. Commitment carries us through those dark times when we question if we have what it takes, and we come out the other side with a better appreciation of our strength and our potential.

Photo by Memphis CVB
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William W Barnes

Creating and evangelizing world-changing products. I like Lions and Cows.
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