Commitment is perhaps the most distinctive attribute you need to find your ikigai and live a purposeful life. Without it and your unwavering dedication through both the hills and valleys of your path, you may ultimately place yourself in a position where your goals become unattainable and your dreams elusive. As a result, you delay your purpose in life, and your ability to keep to your journey will be jeopardized. Ikigai takes commitment.
It is what separates those who live their lives to the fullest, pursuing their passions and dreams from those who just wish it would happen. It does not mean that reaching those goals will be sudden, nor will your course be free of challenges. Indeed, they will be. But through your dedication, you will find purpose.
Commitment is more important than motivation
There is a common belief that motivation is the key to living a meaningful life. Indeed, it provides the drive to get you started and often keeps you going. On top of that, when you are highly motivated, all of your efforts, big and small, seem worthwhile regardless if there is instant gratification or not.
However, motivation is temporary and inconsistent. It comes and goes on any given day. Surely you know what I mean. There are times when you feel a ton of energy and excitement, and there are other times when you feel a bit sluggish and unmotivated. Sometimes you are just not motivated to do the work it takes to get to the next stage, right? So, what happens then? Do you pause?
If you do, make sure it is not a long one. Before too long, you might find yourself taking a break, a little bit here and a little bit there, and after some time, you run the risk of stopping completely. Beware. It is at times like this, when you are faced with a decision, to either take a step forward, however small or large, or stop altogether. Procrastination is the biggest killer of dreams.
Motivation is what gets you started.
Commitment is what keeps you going.
Whatever you do, don’t stop. Make a promise to yourself, a commitment. As long as you are committed and remain true, your ikigai will remain in motion, always.
Commitment builds trust and respect
Sticking to your plans and keeping your promises fosters trust and respect. People admire those who can always be counted on. How much your friends and family trust you is a natural barometer to just how committed you are.
Camaraderie flourishes and loyalty builds when you are a person of positive character who is committed to their purpose. Commitment enhances your ability to influence and lead like-minded people who would also enjoy a more meaningful lifestyle or professional relationship.
After all, it is your actions that speak louder than words.
There is courage in commitment
Not knowing which path to take can cause doubt and fear. You may find yourself feeling like you are not ready or good enough yet. It is easy to lose confidence in what you are doing, your plans, or even your purpose.
Knowing your passions and having the perseverance to follow your dreams when there is uncertainty takes an unwavering commitment. Commitment provides you with the courage to move forward not only when motivation is high, but especially when it is less so.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by your own thoughts and hit the pause button, or even worse, throw in the towel way too soon. But, should you stay strong on your path and committed to your ikigai, you will learn the skills and knowledge you need to know. This is called wisdom.
Commitment builds action
There is no end game to ikigai and certainly, commitment does not equal success. However, with every “small victory”, you build perseverance, productivity, and sustainability. The more you engage in your passions the more likely you are to create habits that lead to success, especially when you are just starting out on your journey.
Identifying short term goals that are attainable will facilitate sustainable motivation. Ask yourself where you want to be one month from now, and what you need to get there. Then make efforts to get from point A to point B. Identify the obstacles before you and potential opportunities as well.
Above all, make sure to enjoy your ikigai. Afford yourself the time to do the thing you love each day. Create a sustainable habit, and of course, make good on your commitment to having a more meaningful lifestyle.
The point is, get started by focusing on meeting some easy, but necessary, small victories to get you moving.
No matter how slowly you go, remember that when you get there, you will experience a tremendous sense of accomplishment. In fact, you will find that as you grow and change, so does your ikigai.
Commitment is necessary to realize such lifestyle transformations. Dedication to yourself builds character that you can be proud of and meaningful relationships where you earn credibility and trust based on principles and actions. Above all, commitment is the bridge connecting your aspirations with your plans and leaves you with no regret.
Your determination to follow through with your plan will lead you to find solutions to problems. With each new day, you are bound to face a number of unexpected barriers, but over time, you will learn what and what not to do. Consequently, you build wisdom from which you can rely on. Eventually, you will see all challenges as learnings.
So, take that step forward. Move at your own pace and within your own resources, as fast or as slow as you like. Importantly, however, make the commitment. It begins with you.