There are certain words in the English vocabulary that I believe to be Power Words. They compel us to action. With that noted, I want to focus on a Power Word that I believe to be absolutely critical to your success – personal and professional alike. I cannot overemphasize its importance. It is foundational to achievement and should be embraced as a personal value. If you aspire to leadership, it is non-negotiable. It must be on display at all times. I’m talking of commitment. Today I want to challenge your commitment and I want you to be honest with yourself and evaluate your commitment level. I’m a firm believer that our level of success is directly related to our level of commitment. If our commitment level is low, our success level will be low. If our commitment level is high, our success level will be high, also. I always like to review my personal level of commitment at the start of the new year. What does my commitment to the Lord look like? What does my commitment to my family look like? What does my commitment to my career look like? What highlights those respective commitments? How do I know that I’m committed. What do my actions suggest? When speaking of commitment, most people not only don’t display it, the vast majority don’t even know what it is (although they claim to). Therein lies the first challenge to pursuing its substance. We must first be able to define it. Commitment is a differentiator, a divider, a segregator. It separates the common man from the uncommon man. The successful man from the unsuccessful man. The winners from the losers. Commitment is not for the faint of heart. It certainly doesn’t align with the weak. No sir. Commitment calls out our intestinal fortitude and beckons our ideals. It necessitates mental toughness, it requires consistent effort. Commitment spawns from conviction. It springs forth from our most dearly held beliefs. Yes – if one seeks to define commitment – one must begin with conviction. You see, our convictions serve as the very root system of our commitment. When the soil of character is rich, the roots of conviction run deep and spread wide, and the subsequent commitment grows tall and strong, not easily persuaded from the occasional storm that would seek to obliterate it.
When I think of commitment, I think of Jesus. Jesus had everything – comfort, fellowship, fame, acclimation, love, adoration, and anything else you could imagine. But – He elected to leave it all to come to earth and abide with us, and ultimately die for us – so that we could live eternally with Him. He loved us and desired relationship with us and He knew that the only way for us to have that was through His sacrifice. When He decided to pursue this marital path with His creation, it was for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death due us part (or in this case, till death join us together in holy matrimony forever). His conviction was so strong that it created an unbreakable commitment that weathered unbelievable hardships – difficulties unimaginable and unparalleled in human history. The end results were worth it though. Although He was ridiculed, starved, stoned, embarrassed, whipped, taunted, tempted, beaten, crushed and crucified, He did not break His commitment. He stayed the course.
So, what can we extract about commitment from our Savior whose life is a model for us to live by? If you are taking notes this morning, I would encourage you to write down these four bullet-points as it relates to commitment.
#1 Commitment starts with conviction. Show me your beliefs, and I’ll find your commitment. In order to have solid convictions, you must first be a person of character. Your integrity drives your beliefs. As it pertains to developing a solid career with staying power, it’s important that you are aligning with an organization that shares your beliefs.
Questions for self reflection: Are you living a life of integrity? Would people that know you describe you as a person of strong character? Do you believe in One Life? Not just the opportunity, but more importantly, the organization. The people – what it stands for.
#2 Commitment is the product of a resolute decision. Jesus made a decision that He was going to redeem His people. He was going to save His creation. He eliminated any future “think work” in the process. From the point of decision onward, it was all about execution. How much time do we waste during the day, during the week, during the month, and during the year with “think work”? With indecision? What if we could eliminate it altogether? I submit to you today that you can. It starts with a resolute decision. Decide to be committed and then begin focusing on daily execution. Focus on the process. Focus on the plan to win. Focus on the grind. Embrace the hustle.
Questions for self-reflection: Have you made a decision to be successful at One Life? It’s really that simple. No need for any other questions as it relates to this bullet point.
# 3 Commitment is an absolute. Don’t you just love that word!! It eradicates contingencies. It removes all back plans. It depends on dedication, which implies that there will be trying times. Jesus understood this when He left the comfortable confines of Heaven. Anything worth having or achieving in life is not easy. The road will be marked with challenges to overcome, but a winner’s mindset produces victory over hardships which allows for learning and growth in the process.
Questions for self-reflection: Are you dedicated? Are you ready for the inevitable challenges that will come your way? How have you prepared yourself for these?
#4 Commitment requires sacrifice. Be prepared to give up something. Jesus gave up His life. On the road of commitment at One Life, you will have to sacrifice to be successful.
Questions for self-reflection: When you review the past year, what sacrifices did you make to be successful? What are you prepare to sacrifice in 2016? Money? Time? Comfort?
In closing, I want to summarize by imploring you to take some time this week and get to yourself. It’s important that you are able to engage in unimpeded self-reflection. You owe it to yourself to start of the new year by considering your situation. What is your position in life? Are you where you want to be? Do you even know where you want to be? If so, how do you get there? I think it starts with knowing who you are and what you are about. Then, you need to align with like-minded individuals, or better yet, people that you aspire to be like that will challenge you. Drive your proverbial stake in the ground and get committed. Learn to identify opportunity and embrace it with a no holds barred mentality. If you will just do these things, I promise you that you will be taking a productive step in the right direction.
President & CEO
One Life America