Have you ever known someone who starts a lot of things and never seems to finish anything? Perhaps he or she joins a sports team, or decides to take music lessons, or commits to helping a friend with a project. Does the person quit before the season is over, stop taking lessons before the lesson schedule ends, or not show up to help out a friend?
In each of these cases, a personal commitment is being made. It’s not forever, but there is a reasonable time implied by the commitment. In the first two cases it is a period of time. In the case of the project the commitment is to see it through to completion. Think about what happens if you did not live up to these commitments. Some may think, what’s the big deal if you decide to quit after making a commitment? What if you just do not like it. Shouldn’t you have the right to walk away? Think about the answer to this question. How you answer it could define you for the rest of your life, and could set the tone for all personal achievement (or failure) to follow.
It’s easy to be a good starter, but it’s a lot harder to be a solid finisher. It’s easy to quit. It’s harder to remain committed regardless of the outcome. Ever know someone who was losing a game and just quit trying? It happens all the time.
However, to be high achievers we MUST honor our commitments. No excuses. We must do our very best to the end.
Those who get in the habit of making commitments only to break those commitments later will not only become quitters for life, but they will find that most people will not trust them to deliver anything they say they will. It would be better to not make a commitment at all if you knew you could not deliver.
Living up to commitments teaches us many skills we need to be high achievers. Things like being a great teammate, building trust, demonstrating good sportsmanship, being a person others can count on, setting a solid example around work ethic, being respectful of others, handling adversity, managing your time effectively, learning how to be resilient, and much more.
Next time you make a commitment, follow through. Finish what you start – every time. You’ll be glad you did.