Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Commitment Myths

1. "Are you committed or not?"
2. "My commitments are my decisions."
3. "Fear of commitment"

1. "Are you committed or not?"

Commitment is not binary. It is not a matter of yes or no, but to what degree. It is very difficult to get all of your resources pointed toward a certain outcome. Resources include your bank account, your reputation, your friends, your family, your body, your mind and perhaps others. So to the question of are you 100% committed, the answer is unbelievably likely no.

2. "My commitments are my decisions."

Yes, many commitments start as ideas and decisions. And some even start as your ideas and decisions. But not all.

Consider the company you work for was just bought out by Big Tobacco. Your commitments have just changed. That is not to say that this would be enough to make everyone loyal to Big Tobacco but, like it or not, this would align your interests with theirs. That is to say that it would now be better for you to protect Big Tobacco than it was before you started working for them.

Consider the following value chain. Your income has value. This gives your job value. And that gives you company value. All of which gives the preservation of that company and all that it depends on a value.

An interesting note is that you don't even have to know that you have been bought out to be newly committed. That is to say the above value chain is still valid even if you are not aware of its implications. You are committed to something without knowing it.

3. "Fear of commitment"

This is a contradiction of terms. Fear *is* a commitment. It may very well be fear, but it is not of commitment. For commitments are not created but transfered. We are all committed to something. The fear would be of the implications of the potential commitment, not of commitment itself.

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