the c word

As we fill in our time literally passing from one screen to the next, I am reminded of the Pixar movie Wall-E.  The Earth is no longer habitable as the rubbish has overtaken every square metre of space. The human race now resides on cruise liners in space. The essence of being human has been lost as people are confined to their electric chairs because they have lost the use of their limbs due to in action. Their entire life revolves around “screens.” A kids movie but such a powerful reminder to keep moving body, mind and spirit.

As we can access literally any thing immediately including any information or products, immediate books on kindle, any App that you can think of that will make your life a little easier, online courses that supersede the now seemingly obsolete face to face in the class room, we are driven for an insatiable desire for more. More satisfaction, more fulfilment, more money and yes even more spiritual knowledge. With so much vying for your attention, it can be really easy to trade in your old model and constantly look for new and fresh stimulation. The internet makes it so easy. With the masses changing their minds so quickly, whatever you do, don’t ask them for “commitment,” you will have them running for the hills.

I thought that I knew the meaning of commitment. But with my first marriage I had a foot out the door as soon as the honeymoon ended. I had no idea about emotional commitment and I can put this down to distant parenting and being in a job where by I was constantly meeting new people. My bad. Fortunately over the years by repeating the same mistakes over and over again and dealing with the huge amounts of pain, including a what used to be called a nervous break down but is now commonly referred to as a depressive breakdown, all self-inflicted, I have grown up, and I now know what emotional commitment looks like.

Commitment has many faces. We say that we are committed to our friends and family, but some how the pet pooch receives more attention and love. The on again, off again round a bout that we may experience with friends and family simply because someone stopped trying or got a better offer. Time is the real equaliser. As time passes the gaps in-between making contact can widen and before you know it 6 months has passed, or even worse a life time. Commitment takes effort. None of us wants to end up like the humans in Wall-E, but the easy path is the path of least resistance. No one likes to hear; “but why didn’t you call?”

Long term commitment is one of the secrets to my success. In business, I am committed to my suppliers, my legal team and my accountant. I am committed to my studio and it’s location. I have been tempted many times to change this or that, upgrade my accountant or move to a bigger and better location. But you build a relationship with people, and with in that relationship, trust is built.

I have been training and studying Martial Arts for almost 40 years. I now feel my martial arts from the inside out. I no longer have the desire to want more techniques or train the moves over and over again. The moves are part of me and I am part of them. I can feel an expertise now that encompasses my entire being. I did chase my self around the world, sniffing out masters that I could learn from. Though I trained with many different people, in the process I committed to certain teachers for many, many years. If I had not done this, the mastery that I now feel would never of happened. Now that is commitment.

At my martial arts dojo, I do not ask for any more than 1 months commitment from the adult students. I have tried over the years to ask for more, but from experience I have come to the conclusion that if you ask for more, some may agree to it only to try and squirm their way out of it when they realise that commitment means ups and downs and at times it is just plain boring, so they do as they have always done; cancel and go to the next stimulation. It is too late for adults, the die is cast. Though we do have a chance with the children, but we need to be quick.

I ask for commitment from the children and they have no problem with it. It is usually the parents that have the commitment problem. It is great, and just what the kids need. A 6 month enrolment is a perfect introduction into the “C” word. With the support of the parents, nannies and wider family, the children can really feel and get to know what it takes to have a commitment. They get to understand that it is not all plain sailing and fun. There will be times when the children are tired, hungry or bored. This is what commitment is all about. Without it, you will just move by default from one activity to the next, never finishing one, never feeling the substance gained through longevity. Weather the hard times for your greater good. Expand the practise of commitment in your life.

1 Comment

  1. Leigh McLaughlin on June 3, 2019 at 9:36 am

    I enjoyed reading this Andy…an apt message for life in the modern era. I agree: find your people and your path and stick with them.

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