When one says he is committed to something, does it mean a trade? Does it mean that I will do this or that only if you do some other this or that? Does this commitment expect something in return from the other side? Will the commitment waver if one doesn’t get a response from the other side? In my experiences over the last year or two, I have realized that our aim should not, and cannot be to change a person or situation in any way but to do our best in whatever capacity we can. If our commitment wavers because of a lack of response from the other side, then maybe that was not even commitment in the first place.
Maybe that is the difference between interest and commitment. If I am interested in something or someone, I will act to get something for me out of it/him/her. Also, it will be very easy to give up in the case of an interest when circumstances turn averse or not turn out as we expected. Because as we no longer see the interest getting fulfilled, we have reasons to back out. But commitment is bigger, it is a promise you make to yourself (more than anybody else) and then there are no excuses, but only results that matter. For example, a mother has commitment for her child, and she will even go hungry to feed her child. A mother doesn’t demand fairness from her son, she just loves her, for that is her commitment, irrespective of the situation or whatever obstacles life throws in front of her. As they say, any obstacle will have to go over her dead-body.
So how do we know if we are committed or just interested? Wait for the tough times as real commitment is only tested in the face of obstacles and conflicts, and that is what reveals the true character of all of us. If we can let go of our attachment to the outcomes of our efforts and just focus on the fact that we are committed to do our best, we are more likely to achieve success regardless of how the world shows up. It will always be tempting to give up when we don’t see the outcomes we expect, and that is the threshold of ‘interested‘ and beyond that the world of ‘commitment‘ starts. Every time we experience being upset, irritated or frustrated, we know our commitment is wavering. The question is, “Can we cross this threshold?” And once we step into the world of commitment, we experience being calm, happy, at peace and confident. An interested person will get angry at an unexpected result, while a committed person will accept that fully, and take the next necessary action to stay committed to his goals without freaking out.
If I see back in my life, the times I thought were the toughest have given me the best lessons in life. I am really grateful for them for making me what I am. These tough times have also taught me that we should not define success by the outcome of one’s results, but by the efforts being put in. Being really committed also gives us the freedom of doing our best, yet be completely fine with the final result not being what we expected. No effort is a failure just because it doesn’t result in an expected outcome. It is a success if we gave our best!
If we notice carefully, this dilemma comes up in every area of our lives. Look at the things you got angry over today, and ask yourself – Were you interested in an outcome in that situation? If commitment was present it would not have mattered. Be open to life’s little surprises, and experience its beauty when it does that. Allowing these surprises to happen without getting upset is one of the best things we can do to ourselves.