The 365 Commitment

Day 39 – Tell Yourself – Run! Commit

Use your will, and make strong commitments in life.   You are the one who acts, not the one who observes.  You are the one who responds, not the one who spectates and comments.

I just realized I am channeling Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.”    I did not appreciate his greatness until I read the Pulitzer prize winning biography “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.”  Read it and I think you will agree  Worthy of note, the voice talent in the audio book makes for a great listening experience.  So, let’s reflect on this quote from this truly great man:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt

Commitment means you have to let go of your options.  Don’t give yourself options, just focus on seeing your commitment through.  Options are over rated. They are seductive.  If you allow yourself options you will take them; you will talk yourself out of following through.  Don’t let it happen.  Stay the course for 365 consecutive days and see what happens.

This 365 practice is a character building exercise. See it as such. Recognize that you have already explored the “keeping your options open route” and the “going with the flow route” the “you deserve a break route.”    The importance of the goal helps, but more important is simply keeping the commitment. Build that mental muscle.  It really is just a head game.

We are small beings, and life is inherently difficult; this circumstance seems to be a baseline or a given. How can we make this tough existence bearable? I believe that taking on a heavy load, a worthy load, generates meaning and value in life.  Responsibility is freedom. Freedom from nihilism and resentment and apathy. The 365 Commitment is a practical training ground for building your capacity to create meaning in life.

There is a haunting lyric from a Pink Floyd song that goes, “Ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”    Well, don’t wait for someone to tell you. Tell yourself – Run!  Commit.

Ben Wagner (45)

Member 365 Commitment

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