Have you ever had a problem achieving something you’ve promised to yourself? Chances are, you were 90% committed to getting or doing what you wanted. As soon as there is anything less than 100% commitment, there’s room for negotiation.
If you want to exercise and you are 98% committed to daily exercise, there will be a limit beyond which you won’t go. It may be it’s too cold. It may be you feel lacking in energy. It may be that it’s raining outside.
Making a 100% commitment may even be wrong in some circumstances. It is totally inflexible and that’s usually unwise. But I believe you are wise – wise enough to make the right choice.
Bankruptcy has been fascinating for me. I’ve (remarkably) been made bankrupt twice. It’s not something I’m proud about. It still smarts. However, it has helped with my level of commitment. Now, I am 100% to not borrowing. That makes life surprising easy because it is not negotiable. There’s no wriggle room! Decision-making where it comes to credit is blissfully straightforward – I don’t borrow.
May you carve out some time out this week to reflect on your own non-negotiables. These values can define our characters. I’ve tried compromise on a massive scale – and I really think the ‘freedom’ it offers is over-rated.
Former generations made much of ‘duty’. This was, in part, a form of collective madness… a madness that cost us hundreds of thousands of lives in conflicts. But ‘duty’ within the right frame is magnificent and noble. I believe far too much weight is given to personal freedom and even ‘happiness’. My neighbours, in their quest for personal freedom, disturb my peace. Does their right to do what they want to do exclude my right to live life as I would choose? I would argue freedom that leads to a detrimental effect upon others is not true freedom.
As John Donne says in his famous poem, “No man is an island.” I’m sure he was meaning to be gender neutral!
'No Man is an Island'
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Today, I’d invite us to become consciously noble – to commit to some non-negotiable values and principles and to proactively live by them. They will define us and the future of this planet for our children.
A Moodscope member.
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