COMMITMENT

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I have vivid memories of learning to pronounce the Hungarian “r” sound as a child. I would sit on my own for hours trying to roll my tongue and working my facial muscles until I got tired, and even after that. I would ask my parents again and again to demonstrate how to do it, so I could practise more. My persistence has paid off, I have no trouble chanting nursery rhymes with “r” words any more.

A few years later I started to learn to play the violin. If you have ever  learnt to play a musical instrument, you know how much practice you need to make your strict music teacher nod with satisfaction while you are a bit tense holding the instrument in your hands playing a simple Bach piece. Although not enough, I did practise between classes. I did this for a few years, then the number of practice sessions started to drop, and then I gave up learning music altogether.

I know someone who still has not learnt to produce a rolled “r”. Her native language is English, so she does not particularly need it. However, most of her friends have acquired this skill and she herself would love to impress the foreigners she knows by being able to perfectly pronounce words in other languages. Still, she has not put any effort into learning and practising. On the other hand, she can play several musical instruments.

My British friend and I obviously have very different backgrounds, but we share the ability to become seriously committed to a goal. It could be argued that our motivational drives to put all the effort into what we did were entirely different, but it is a fact that both of us achieved what we were committed to.

So what exactly is commitment? It is sportspeople, dancers and mountaineers that tend to prove the existence of obsession-like willpower that enables you to achieve anything. There certainly are mountaineers who give up before reaching the peak because they cannot cope with the cold, the pain and the fatigue. We do not normally hear about these people. People that make it to the news use their incredible willpower to get over the difficulties; a power that comes from their commitment to the goal.

We all experience commitment in our everyday life when the alarm goes off on a Sunday morning so we can put our boots on and go hiking; when we are woken from our deepest dream just to get on an early morning flight to take us on our two-week holiday by the sea; when we start knitting a jumper and finish it. I have only knitted one jumper in my life, and by the time I finished I did not like it. However, I am willing to spend long hours – or even a day – in the kitchen preparing delicious cakes, even though nowadays everything can be made within 30 minutes out of a box including all the measured ingredients as well as the disposable baking tray so you do not have to wash up afterwards.

We also experience the lack of commitment every day in the form of broken diets, unfinished language courses, jobs not applied for. In coaching we discover what it is that stops us from committing ourselves to a diet, a regular daily routine or taking a big step. You will ask yourself the questions: how committed am I to my goal? Is this commitment going to help me through rough times? Is the goal important enough for me to give up my routine and security? What can I do to feel more committed?

It is a fact proved by an endless list of mountaineers, businesspeople and scientists (just to mention a few professions) that humans are capable of incredible performance if they really want to achieve something and are willing to make sacrifices. Coaching does not only help you experience momentary commitment but also join the club of successful people.

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