To my beloved friends and followers.
I pledged no word for the year that has passed. It was a blur. Perhaps resilience or perseverance are fitting, but I will mark 2021 as a year to “strengthen”. Each moment reminded me to dig a little deeper, give a little more, be a better person and stay strong, with a promise of better days ahead.
Here we are in 2022 and my word is Commitment.
I have always been a “committed” type of person, making commitments that have completely changed my life for the better, but at times they were for the worse.
This year, I commit to prioritising and honouring my body first, investing more time in my reading and completing my study, spend more time with the people I love, and providing excellence to the people I work with/for. Nothing extraordinarily different to my usual way of life, but I am making a concerted commitment to measuring them, instead of rolling along with them day-in, day-out. I’m putting these commitments into a container of sorts… to give me some boundaries to my experiences. But the tricky part of “commitments” is knowing whether I have met them…or not. Is there something measurable about an experience? I guess without a container, without boundaries, my commitment has much less meaning, so the answer has to be yes.
Setting boundaries, especially as an entrepreneur, means that my commitments are going to require a high level of perseverance. Yep… there are going to be times when I need to distinguish between healthy perseverance and dysfunctional stubbornness. I am aware that I can be as stubborn as a mule! Just ask anyone who loves me! But, perseverance in general has worked for me when it is in the positive pole of discipline, but not when it is in the negative pole of unchanging. In my past, the reason perseverance has taken me into the negative pole and becomes stubbornness has been my choice to listen to that ego-based four letter “F” word – Fear.. especially of failure. I have experienced this as a mother, a friend, a wife, a business owner and employer where perseverance has moved me into holding on and becoming “attached” because I was afraid of failing, or going it alone or the fear of being hurt of abandoned… The negative pole of stubbornness has caused me to be completely non-adaptive to possible changes needed for a better life. Today, I am aware that these are failures, and they are the building blocks of my experience and the blessings of my past.
Success is possible only through failure. That kind of seems counter-intuitive, but the lessons I have learned from fear of failure have helped me move the needle to the positive pole of discipline, guiding me with perseverance through challenges and difficult times (and people). We have all been persistent in the face of adversity. Look at the past 2 decades with a double-whammy Global Financial Crisis AND a Global Pandemic. The way we move through life amplifies the difference between failure or success in the long term. Right now, I especially thank God for the gift of perseverance.
The main question I am going to keep asking myself this year is “Am I operating out of fear or out of a position of strength?” By the same token if I am committed to excellence in my business and I sacrifice my commitment to my health, my loved ones, and my spiritual life to make it happen then I know this is not a good form of commitment. Why? Because it a commitment born of fear, an ego-based wish for success at all costs. Ironically, my past is my guide.
So, during the year or 2022, I promise to approach my commitments without ego, instead by essence to be impeccable with my integrity, and to make maximum effort with everything I have agreed to, or to behave toward others with loving kindness and goodness no matter what the situation.
If you have read this far and feel like joining me in this year of commitment, make sure you think your promises through carefully. Commitments involve your integrity and it is best not to play dice with that. Ask yourself what your commitments are and to whom. What do they actually involve? Your commitments should be few and doable. Mostly they should be to yourself.
Also, try not to be too rigid about them. It is way better to commit to meditating five days a week for at least 30 minutes for 6 months, than to promise you will meditate for 1.5 hours every day, forever. KISS.
If you’re a business owner, and trying to make decisions about your life or business direction, you may be considering committing to new ways to grow value or maybe you’re thinking of selling or winding up. Try not to let that decision dance around in your head too long without action or commitment. Set ego aside, make a decision and commit to going one way or the other, then put it the commitment in a container for 12 months and set some boundaries so you can actively measure your experience. You will be amazed at what you can achieve when you contain and focus on something you’re committed to it! Let’s give it a go?
The truth is… nothing can be accomplished without commitment. Sure, it’s going to be difficult for us most days to measure what is in our container, especially in a world where everything feels so uncertain. It can be all too easy to invite doubt and drop people, goals, and projects without giving it genuine effort. So feel free to join me on my journey (subscribe to my blog below). I will stay committed to my decision, but flexible in my approach and I will commit to keeping you updated every step of the way.
Thank you for your ongoing love, friendship and support.
Wishing you commitment to love, patience, prosperity and persistence in 2022.
PS. Did you know that the word commit meant exclusively the commission or perpetration of a crime or doing something God-awful? Then, in 16th century France, ‘ment’ (as in govern-ment) was added to the end of the word and this made it refer exclusively to committing someone to the state, to a prison or a mental institution. Eventually it morphed into our present understanding of a pledge or a promise, a self-imposed obligation, the act of committing to something like a marriage, partnership or a project. This commitment to a responsibility or a goal is very different from being committed to prison although we still sometimes use the word commit this way.
For some light-hearted reading, check out my past yearly pledges below:
2020 ▪️ENGAGE: https://kirstenlowis.com/2019/01/01/this-year-engage/
2019 ▪️MAGIC: https://kirstenlowis.com/2017/12/31/this-year-magic/
2018 ▪️LOVE: https://kirstenlowis.com/2016/12/31/this-year-love/
2017 ▪️TIME: https://kirstenlowis.com/2016/01/01/page-1-of-365/