Too many times, I’ve committed myself to certain tasks and invested countless hours in them, only to encounter a familiar brick-wall somewhere in my head. I begin to question the relevance of that project, its potential for impact, my interest in pursuing it, and whether I am supremely qualified to embark on that task. Once a while, I soldier on; but on other occasions, I park the bus for a while and allow the idea to grow within me. My jotters are strewn with multiple ideas that I developed and placed on pause.
That’s not a bad thing. Not in the least. An entrepreneur whom I deeply respect once made an observation about ‘moments of obligation’. According to him, most successful leaders get these tugs in their hearts on a daily basis, and over the course of their lifetimes, they ignore 99% of these moments of obligation; they ignore those good ideas that seem to be on the prowl, seeking someone to implement them. He said that successful leaders only act on 1% of their ideas, and they almost always transform those ideas into profitable ventures or causes. I wouldn’t have believed him 100% if I hadn’t interviewed him earlier and learned about the multiple ideas he considered before deciding on one. Of course, 1% of ideas do not equate to one single idea; my model entrepreneur runs a few successful projects.
With the ideas that I develop on a near-daily basis, but actively pursue only sparingly, I realize that I’m not an anomaly. Some projects are really worth pursuing until the end, but several others are tiny bits that must crystallize into a whole somewhere down the line; pursuing those tiny bits vigorously is tantamount to eating single grains of maize for lunch, instead of a whole cob. The mind of an achiever is constantly seeking to connect the pieces in life towards a profitable cause to be pursued with all of one’s energy. And once that cause is decided, there must be no turning back. The role of commitment to a project cannot be second-guessed.
A committed heart does not wait for conditions to be exactly right, because they are never exactly right
Having considered multiple ideas and implemented a few, I know a thing or two about the importance of commitment in leading a successful project. The heart must be in it. It’s been said before that the unifying factor between the world’s greatest criminals and the world’s most successful leaders is their commitment to those causes. Andy Andrews, a famous author wrote in The Traveller’s Gift that “A committed heart does not wait for conditions to be exactly right, because they are never exactly right”. He emphasized the importance of keeping one’s focus on the target and not wavering in the course of one’s pursuits, and that is a gem worth keeping.
Success, he said, requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. “When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution, while the undecided heart searches for an escape”. If you find yourself always escaping from the mental requirements of your assigned tasks, you might need to check where your heart is. If you are not committed to the success of your job, your family, your personal development, or your budding enterprise, you need to go for a heart check. Have an honest conversation with someone who can help you get through the roof in your life. You must realize that your reach is ultimately higher than your grasp, and then go ahead in full force and pursue your dreams.