Commitment is a willingness to give your time and energy to something or someone in which you believe. It is a pledge or a promise to act. Commitment is an all-or-nothing quality; either you are committed or not. One can no more be partially committed than partially pregnant. It is a fundamental aspect of human nature that commitment comes from connection. If people do not feel connected to a cause, a group, or a mission, they will not commit to it.
So, the question is, “How do you build connections.” Communication is critical. The best gift you can give a person is your time and attention. People need to feel accepted and their input matters. Shared values, beliefs and activities help build connections. Many large companies go to great lengths to avoid talking to their customers. They want them to solve their problems online or by talking to a robot. Then they wonder why client turnover is high. Without connection, there is no commitment.
I believe that human connection is one of the main requirements for success. But to successfully connect with others we must first connect with ourselves. It is hard to love others if we do not love ourselves. Connection is a main thread that flows throughout my book. If we lack this connection, having a meaningful relationship with others is extremely difficult.
Sometimes to connect with others we must be willing to get out of our comfort zones. Some people intentionally go out of their comfort zones to connect while others retreat into their familiar shells. Two very good friends of mine; Albert Koopman and Lee Johnson wrote a book entitled How to Escape Your Comfort Zones. The following is a quote from the book.
Slipping into a comfort zone is a simple process. When we are comfortable, our activities and behaviour tend to take on familiar patterns. Patterns become habits; habits become routines; and before we know it, those routines become a rut. And the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the excavation!
Staying in our comfort zones is an ego-driven response. In a world of accelerating change, defending the status quo can be fatal. We need to take risks, connect with others, and give to others as much as we have received. Our relationships must be symbiotic, not parasitic. We are all on this journey through life together. To quote Albert Einstein
“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others—above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labours of my fellow humans, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.“
Now retired from diverse roles such as officer in the Canadian Army, training manager at a large engineering company, and business owner, Bill Carpenter credits more than 25 years of research and almost eight decades as a student of life as the foundations that led him to write this book as a means to wake people up to the potential life offers. Carpenter also enjoys singing, recording, golfing, spending time with family and friends, and helping others. He lives in Langley, British Columbia.