January 3, 2011

Day 3: 18.7 miles/1:09

Day 3: 18.7 miles/1:09  There Is No "Try" In A Commitment

 “A plan is a desire or an intention to accomplish something.  A commitment is an unrelenting promise of actions and behaviors to make certain something is accomplished.”

Brandon and I have had many discussions about commitment.  When people make a commitment, consciously or subconsciously their decisions are all measured against their commitment.  What I am struggling to understand from a non-addict perspective is, if you want to stay clean, how can you consciously make decisions to use.  After all, using involves finding money, contacting a dealer, acquiring the product, and then using the junk.  In that very simplified description, there are at least four steps where a decision to honoring a commitment could prevent someone from breaking their commitment.  Now I recognize the notion on unconscious dependency in this situation; but, if Brandon had made a conscious commitment not to use, his decisions should support a path that avoids use.  Of course this all assumes, incorrectly, that there is logic associated in an addicts mind.

The depth of a commitment is measured by how steadfastly determined you are to be measured and held accountable to your obligation.  To commit to something does not give someone license to judge you for not honoring or failing in your commitment; however, it does mean that you recognize and accept accountability to make certain that your commitment is honored.  That is why few people are comfortable with the term “commit”.  Intuitively we know that to commit to something is the strongest obligation we can make.  When I ask people if they are committing to something, they start to back-up and ask for conditional situations where they may not be held to their own standards of a commitment.

Commitments are very powerful and can be the source of great accomplishments.  When a commitment is made and honored, great things can and do happen.  The bigger challenge is simply becoming comfortable with making commitments.  Once you understand how motivating and driving a commitment is, celebrating the success of having followed through on one will empower you to make more.  That is the source of my frustration as it relates to my son.  If he would allow himself to see the potential and the power and the influence of his commitments, he would likely be in a much more capable place to influence and manage his outcomes.  Until he makes that commitment he will struggle to make decisions and consistently engage in the behaviors that can’t save him.

It is the same with all of us.  We often know there are things that we need to be doing—losing weight, exercising, being a better spouse or parent, giving more of ourselves, communicating better, etc.  Making that commitment to doing it is another story.  And sharing that commitment is an even bigger story.  Until we make those commitments, we will likely make incremental changes.  When we make a commitment, we will make monumental improvements.

Commitments are very empowering and lead to exceptional outcomes.  Take “try” out of your vocabulary and insert “commit” in its place.  You will be amazed at the results.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.