Commitment or Committed

Blog Author Richard Newman

Several times each day I think that I should be committed to some sort of institution where I won’t be a menace to myself or others. My single-mindedness and sense of purpose can at times be hard for anyone else to understand. But for me, there is no other way.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful that I've been lucky enough to be able to exist in this world. I have no problem feeding or dressing myself. However, when confronted with a situation where I am forced to support something I don’t believe in, there can and will be trouble.

I remember being in a focus group where an outside expert was brought in to evaluate our team’s personality types and identify our best “fit”. The expert called me "virtually unemployable". Now there’s a business card for ya! I’m sure the reason behind his assessment was due to my level of passion. Passion fuels commitment, and that commitment fuels a deeper understanding of who I really am within myself.

Here comes the punch line. Recently, somehow, I’ve gone through some kind of late-in-life maturation process. I’ve always said that I believed in my work, but I’ve never really had to put it to the fire. Now all that has changed. I do know what commitment means and that it can, at times, be uncomfortable.

I truly believe in a piece of work that I have created over the past 2½ years. As I’ve begun to share this work with others, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback, which at times has been hard to listen to, but I did listen. And when I considered the comments, I found some of them to be valid and some not so much. I have learned to take the comments that made me feel uncomfortable and examine them for truth, and at times those comments (as hard as they were to hear) have made my project better because I addressed them. I listened with an open mind, and I acted with the desire to create the best possible end result.

Then came the call that said if I would only change one thing, the golden carrot would be mine! Oh my, what to do? I looked at the change suggested, I tried to change it, and it didn’t work. It wasn’t that my ego said I had done it right the first time, it was that my rational mind told me it was right the way that it was. Every way that I tried to change it made it into a different piece of work. No golden carrot to be had from this outlet, I guess. So I stood my ground.

Was I right? It made me uncomfortable. I wanted to change it. I wanted the carrot. But I couldn’t make myself do something that I could not commit myself to. Commitment or committed? Your call. I welcome your comments—

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