I just got home from a really awesome and jam-packed weekend at Hell On The Hill 2017 (I wrote that mini update on while I was there…using my PHONE! I’ve never blogged from my phone before!) and I’m exhausted. I didn’t even run the race, I was there to give my support, but still, it was so high-energy that I just came home and zonked on the couch!!
I really didn’t want to pull myself up to write a blog before crashing for the night, but since I’m doing this 100 Day Project, I took a second to open my laptop and look up the definition of commitment.
The one that stood out to me in this moment was this:
Commitment: an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
It’s funny, because when I was writing my original post about commitment at the beginning of this year, it was a different definition that stood out to me.
Committed: feeling dedication and loyalty to a cause, activity, or job; wholeheartedly dedicated.
It’s interesting to see what jumps out at you when you read, based on how you’re feeling at the time.
But let’s go back to that first definition.
An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
At first glance, that doesn’t sound all that positive. Obligation. Restricts freedom. Those words can have a really constrictive feeling to them. When I read them, my breathing gets shallower.
But, as I wrote about in this semi-dramatic post When We Cross Our Own Boundaries, I remember the exact moment when my feelings about discipline and commitment changed – it was when I read a quote on a Starbucks cup many years ago. I can’t remember the year or which Starbucks I was in, but I can remember how I felt when I read it.
“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.”
So, actually, to say that commitment is an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action…this can actually be a really freeing thing in many ways.
It takes away our decision anxiety.
“To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your LIFE.”
The truth is, committing to writing every day does restrict my freedom of action, but in a good way – it restricts me from having the freedom to make excuses. It restricts my ability to let my resistance run the show (yes, this is something I write about every time I do any kind of writing challenge!)
So, some days, I write because I feel “wholeheartedly dedicated” to writing. Those days, writing feels GOOD and the words just flow out of me.
And other days, I write because it’s “a commitment that restricts my freedom of action.” (i.e., I simply have no choice, I’ve committed, so I will put my fingers to the keyboard). Like today. It feels like a struggle to open the laptop, but it feels so very, very, very good to press that “PUBLISH” button.
I honestly think it’s one of the greatest highs in life, pressing that publish button.
Ah. Sweet victory.
Goodnight, dear world.
More to come. Ever, ever so much more.
I love you,