Why do so many people today struggle with commitment?
Not just in Network Marketing, Internet Marketing or other small businesses. It seems that lack of commitment is a growing problem in relationships, careers, business, and it affects all age groups.
From young children who can’t be bothered to continue going to sports practice after the novelty has worn off to Baby Boomers who dump their spouses after 40 or more years.
Why do so many of us launch new ventures full of enthusiasm, then lose interest at the first bump in the road? Why are we so readily seduced by the easy route of abandoning our goals, justifying giving up by blaming the recession, the economy, the weather or whatever excuse sounds good.
Frequently, the real reason, not any one of those that sound good is lack of commitment.
Why should there be a lack of commitment?
Many reasons, on two levels, some related to that particular goal, venture or relationship, and deeper reasons that reflect our values, beliefs, upbringing, experience and self-discipline.
Some of the reasons related to a specific goal could be:
- The goal is too big – impossible to achieve.
- The goal is too small – not worth the effort.
- The wrong goal – chasing someone else’s goal.
On a deeper level our values have a huge effect on how we act and react in almost all circumstances.
I am sure that most Baby Boomers will remember very different childhoods to those experienced by younger generations. Discipline in the home and at school was stricter. Breaking the rules had consequences, sometimes painful but generally immediate.
Excuses had to be of world class standard and verifiable. “I was sick” or “the dog ate my exercise book” just did not work for failure to hand in completed homework. A death in the family with a parents letter for confirmation would have been better.
But children also had more freedom then. It was considered a safer world for children (statistically this is not true for many major cities where it is actually safer today) children did more for and by themselves, spent more time unsupervised and had far fewer electronic distractions.
Playground fights were not considered a crime against society as they are today, most ended with little blood, more bruised egos than black eyes and were rarely repeated by the same combatants. Bullying and other unacceptable behaviour was dealt with in the schools by teachers who had not been cowed into ineffectiveness by political correctness crusaders, sensation seeking media and incident chasing lawyers.
Most Baby Boomers had at least one parent or close relative who had served in World War II. Even if we did not hear all the details of their service, the knowledge that a whole generation had risen to the call of duty and made huge sacrifices, instilled in us our own sense of duty.
Many of our generation also served our countries in different wars, either as conscripts or volunteers. Yet another strong discipline builder.
Perhaps another strong influencing factor is that large numbers of the Baby Boomer generation were raised on or near farms. The tide of migration to the suburbs was still increasing.
There is nothing like caring for animals and crops to teach youngsters the importance of commitment.
So is all this just the reminiscences of an aging boomer yearning for his lost youth?
I don’t think so.
There have always been and always will be, some of us who find it easier to keep our commitments than others.
What I do believe is that each new generation that is denied critical character building experiences and value forming influences, becomes further insulated from the realities of life and starts with a severe handicap in the commitment stakes.
Is it too late to hope for improvement? No, the recession has brought many people face-to-face with reality, a new generation is getting accustomed to the idea that a college education is no longer a ticket to a job for life and a pension. That financial security depends more than ever on developing our own income from more than one source.
The changes sweeping the Arab world right now will have repercussions far beyond the Southern shores of the Mediterranean sea, who knows what effect these changes will have on Western economies? Higher oil prices for a start.
So how is your level of commitment?
Wishing you success in all your endeavours.
p.s. If you want to learn more about why so many people do not reach their goals and how to fix this problem, I really recommend Noah St.John’s book.
The Secret Code of Success: 7 Hidden Steps to More Wealth and Happiness