It’s nearing that time of year…
When we dare begin to look back, with either satisfaction or regret. Or both.
There will be plenty of time to get stressed with buying the right thing for the ones we love. And then to pause and be drunk with merry!
And with certainty we know that as the month goes by, we will begin to feel anxious about the new year peeking over the horizon… daunting emergence of new possibilities and yet unmet expectations.
Knowing this pattern, what shall we talk about now?
We can talk about our best intentions…
But, intentions are not real. Not yet. They are metaphysical seeds, holding potency and possibility.
Sure, we can talk about what exactly we could do with the most valuable resource we have: our time left to live.
But, seeds of intention go nowhere. They rot actually, without the commitment to nurture, with wisdom and care on a regular basis.
So, lets not set ourselves up to fail, yet again.
Lets not take out and waste the fine seeds we have.
Not until we sort out where our priorities lie.
We could talk about the most effective strategies…
There are so many fine tools out there…
Productivity hacking and goal setting seem to be a booming industry!
I could post links to my favourite ones, but, what use are more tools, if we are facing the wrong direction?
So, then, lets get clear about that first…
Just to warn you, it will mean that we need to talk about something you might find uncomfortable. At least initially.
Lets talk about the “c” word…
It seems like a double edge sword, doesn’t it?
The first definition sounds admirable to me… “being dedicated to a cause…” Except that I have many causes, or many mouths to feed around me (metaphorically at least). Hard to choose. Makes me feel a bit guilty that I’m not out there saving the world all of the time.
Or a singular genius plugging away at mastering the one skill or one task that may one day transform the world!
Then again, more often than not, the idea of commitment — the way we use the term — fits the second definition above. It makes us feel like we’ve been caught in a trap.
We commit to one person in a marriage for life.
This may feel amazing and perfect when we are in love.
But, what about when inevitably the honeymoon fades?
You don’t have to answer that.
We all know.
Human beings are wired to seek closeness and certainty — from our mates and our tribes. But, we are also wired to pursue freedom and variety. Both helped us to survive for millennia.
So, why bring up commitment, right now… especially around the topic of endings and beginnings and new chapters?
I’m not trying to be cruel or to jolt you with guilt.
Instead, I believe that commitment is a magic key.
Given the image above, you may think I’ve started to entertain some magical thinking, but bear with me.
Here is my reasoning…
What I COMMIT to unlocks my FREEDOM to pursue it.
It’s a simple equation.
We are easily distractible creatures. Another feature of evolution. And there is a trillion dollar industry (marketing, sales, ads, online everything) which employs the cleverest people to try to hook and steal our attention.
Why? Because it pays them to do so, per click and per second.
Now, do you remember what we were talking about?
See. As our attention spans have shortened and we have lost our ability to sustain them, we have also lost the power to be fulfilled. Truly and deeply fulfilled.
My level of satisfaction co-relates to the fullness of my presence.
Now. If you want to be more fulfilled… not just next year… but right now….
L I S T E N carefully…
I’m not speaking to you actually, but you are reading these words and it feels like you hear me, right? And I want these words to make a deep impression on you because if they do then it could make a profound difference in your life, especially in your relationships.
I decided 4 months ago, as I got diagnosed with cancer, that I was committing to zero bullshit in my life.
I know I can’t control anyone else. So this commitment starts with me.
No more white lies.
No more telling myself nice things that made me feel better but were not true.
And yes, I am throwing in this pic above because of this quote speaks directly to what I’ve been saying and ‘cause I am being political. Everything is political. And I have an opinion. You are welcome to yours also.
Now, I am here to be real with myself and with you, because I care about you.
Okay, if we are strangers, that may seem like bullshit, but I am writing this piece first and foremost to be read by my dearest friends (so not bullshit). Hence my tone is one of treating you as my confidant. And there is a slight chance — if we are strangers — that we might become friends one day. Who knows? And I can care about strangers, like you, also!
Anyway… from this ground of honest soil, we could plant some seeds, but first, lets see what is in the soil growing already…
Whatever you are giving your most undivided attention and presence is what you most committed to.
Don’t think too hard about that last rule.
Notice what you do in an average day with your most complete attention.
Be brutally honest.
Most of our days are filled with two ways of being…
- Tasking — do this, do that, chicken with head cut off looking to feel productive…
- Giving partial attention — scrolling, half listening, yadda yadda….
Stop that bullshit right now.
And recall the last time you did something with your whole damn being, even for a few seconds.
What was it?
- Watching porn.
- Playing with your kids.
- Working on some creative project.
- Playing a video game.
- Working out in the gym.
- Shooting up with heroin.
- Watching a favourite movie/tv show.
- Looking at your partner with love.
It doesn’t matter to me.
I ain’t here to judge.
Just know this.
Whatever you do most often with that deep level of attention is what you are most committed to.
Argue with me if you want.
I know it to be true.
Why else would you invest the most important capital you have: your time alive and your god damn life force to spend it with?
You might have all kinds of reactions to this article.
Go ahead. Feel them.
Take a breath and let the truth sink in.
One more question…
So. Today we discovered that commitment is powerful.
And that whatever we do with most focus and time, is what we are actually committed to.
Intentions be damned.
Strategies on hold.
The question I leave you with… that’s like a dog begging to be taken on a walk now… is this:
Are you deeply and profoundly fulfilled by that which you are most committed to, right now?
I do a happy dance for you! Keep doing what you are doing! Share the love if that feels right!
I give you a bow of respect, commend you for having the courage and honesty to own that, and not lie to yourself.
Join me in living a zero bullshit life.
I’m here to share my trip with you so that you can help me to stay honest, living up to the questions I pose here.
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David Jurasek is happy to be alive and grateful to have the lifestyle and support from his dear family to be able to write here.
If you have any comments or want to engage more in conversation, do slow down and leave a genuine comment below.
He will write back, being honest and a decent human being in doing so. He promises.