TLP 11. The comforting power of commitment.

Related to my post yesterday, it is interesting how a feeling of commitment can be so comforting. Having gone from one commitment to another basically my entire life, I have never really understood the power of it until now that I’m without one.

Perhaps that is why we as kids are so carefree, because we are simply following the commitment already laid out for us, to go to school. We didn’t even have to make that choice ourselves. The older we get, the more choices we have to make, and every choice, every big decision, is in turn a commitment to someone or to ourselves. We might worry when choosing University or degree (those fortunate enough to have that possibility), but once that decision is made we are comforted by that commitment and by the fact that we don’t have to worry about taking another similarly life steering decision for at least four years. As humans we naturally resist change and it feels good to follow an existing track laid out for us, to know what to expect from our future.

The same thing comes around again for our career. We might have a hard time choosing a career and a company to work for, but once it is done, once that decision has been taken, that commitment gives us peace and comfort, regardless if the actual job feels right for us or not in the long term. We simply don’t like hanging in the unknown, to not know where we are heading. By instinct we prefer security and stability. So in many cases we would rather just make the choice, make the commitment, instead of staying in that uncomfortable indecisive zone of not knowing where to go. This is the pressure, the struggle, that I’m feeling right now. I’m right there, deep into that zone of the unknown feeling lost, I don’t know where I am heading and my instincts are craving assertiveness.

I google up Steve Job’s old commencement speech that I’ve seen a hundred times, I read through it twice, watch it once, and feel my confidence and patience coming back to me, I feel hopeful again.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

 

All love and no fear,

Philip

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