Time to time, I get credited for my strong qualities of dedication and commitment.
- “You’re so dedicated to working out!”
- “Ugh, I wish I can eat as healthy as you do.”
- “Wow, you’re vegan? That’s a lot of commitment.”
But here’s the thing. According to our favorite teacher, Google, the word commitment has two definitions. Weird, right? Here’s what I found after a little search on the Internet:
- “Commitment (noun): the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.”
- “Commitment (noun): an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.”
Obviously, these definitions are worded similarly but have drastically different connotations! While the first seems like being part of a fun volunteer organization, the latter illustrates a boring 9-5 office job. To make the comparison even more concise, the first is a donation, and the second is a tax. Which one would you rather pay?
The truth is that I don’t see anything I stick to as the second definition of commitment. Rather that, I see it as an integral part of myself. Whatever I find fulfilling to my life and my own well-being becomes integrated into my everyday lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that I can’t dial it down to a minimum or even skip it once in a while if I desire or need to, but a commitment is out of my personal nature that I would still stick to without any extrinsic reward.
For example, physical activity is just as important in my everyday routine as brushing my teeth to the point where it’s part of my basic physiological function, as I think it should be for everyone else’s–at least to a bare minimum. Sure, I can say that exercise does have some kind of extrinsic reward because you improve your physique and your overall fitness, but also for me personally, I don’t feel or perform my best cognitively, mentally and emotionally when I skip my workouts or do not move around enough. The intrinsic motivation I find in working out is the aftermath where I know that I’ve exhausted a lot of my subconscious frustrations and have done a huge favor for my physical health.
As for eating healthily, prioritizing the consumption of whole plant-based foods over anything else is
Another example would be my transition into veganism: so often people ask me if I miss X, Y, and Z (mostly cheese, eggs and meat). Truthfully, I don’t. This is coming from someone who used to live a diet heavily based on “fitness protein” such as egg white omelets, salmon, Greek yogurt, chicken breast, Quest bars and cod. Despite the amount of education I gained about veganism before my transition, I’ll admit that the earliest days of eating a plant-based diet did feel taxing. I made a lot of mistakes, but with patience and positive regard for myself, I finally found the intrinsic factor that I was searching for to make the true connection. Ever since, anything that would ever trigger my desire to revert doesn’t seemed to matter.
To make it clear, the biggest mistakes that I often see in people trying to make a commitment is the fact that they view it as something that they absolutely have to do in order to gain something back. It’s true that you win some and you lose some, but with anything you “commit” yourself towards, you do not have to view it as a sacrifice.
See the beauty in something with 20/20 vision. Do a double, triple, even quadruple take. And don’t underestimate the value of intuition. If you find that whatever you are facing is something that you feel optimistic about yet struggle with, then be patient and continue to challenge yourself. But if it does not feel right, then you need to create a new strategy.
At the end of the day, we are all human and we can only be so strong and qualified. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t be that person who works +30 hours a week, leads three clubs, goes to the gym six days a week, aces all classes, and has a million friends. Success is a subjective measurement; so as long as you continue to push yourself past your own limits and face constant challenges with open-mindedness, then I say, you’re a badass. Keep it up. ❤