Commitment is a verb, it’s an action word which aptly describes what it takes to be committed.
Since commitment is a verb, it’s an action word which aptly describes what it takes to be committed. People commit to many things; the environment, their families, work, hobbies, causes, beliefs, friends. It is those things to which we give ourselves that often define us. A Researcher does research. A Pilot flies aircraft. A golfer spends an inordinate amount of time chasing a small white ball around a perfectly manicured lawn!
In my spare time, I’m a sailor and have been since setting sail on a 26’ sloop in 1976. Since then, I’ve sailed on lakes and oceans, short and long races, in narrow fjords and many miles offshore. My commitment to sailing has taken me through Alaska's Inside Passage, down the entire length of the Baja peninsula, and to Maui’s shores. Along the way, I’ve had to learn sailing terminology, such as ‘cunningham’, outhaul, aspect ratio, drifter, boom, staysail, ‘hank’, clew, not to mention sailing strategies as well. Chart plotters, GPS, SatNav, SSB, Auto Pilot, and the like showcase the technologies used in sailing I’ve committed to memory.
It has taken time, countless hours on the water, reading the wind, the waves, and the boat. In 2006, I was helmsman for Toison D’or, a 36’ Jason sailboat, during a 210 mile race. Coming on watch one morning at 6:00 am, with coffee in hand, I was greeted by the site of three humpback whales that were surfacing, blowing, slapping their flukes against the water’s surface, and singing to themselves and to us as well! After what had been an exhausting prior day of sailing and a fitful night’s sleep, I realized my commitment to sailing was paying off. This was one of those moments you thank yourself for persisting, for pressing on in the face of the stormy sea, for trimming your sails, for doing all the endless dockside chores, for reading your charts, for plotting a course, and running the rhumb line.
Commitment takes learning, patience, practice, persistence, immersion, knowledge, curiosity, and a consistent application to the task or tasks at hand. If one can be consistent, one can be committed.