I have this idea, not well researched, but felt deeply, that a lot of anxiety, stress and feeling of failure comes from people not being able to follow through with long-term commitments. In my mind swirls the ideas of New Year Resolutions lost in the clutter of life, marriages falling apart because they were formed on shaky foundations, and the employee who severely dislikes the career path he/she chose coming out of college, but never found the courage to pursue something else.
Reality is that long-term commitments can be pride issues in disguise. We have a tendency to hold onto things that we might need to let go of to prove a point. We want so badly to show society we’re right in our decision-making therefore neglecting other opportunities that may arise in our lives.
Not all long-term commitments are bad though. I’m very much an advocate for marriage, for being a life-long student, for cheering on your favorite sports team through the good and the bad, and for working at a company more than five years. A long-term commitment becomes bad when it feels forced or you feel stuck. When the decision isn’t yours and there is no joy or excitement in what you decide to do then you may need some time to consider some alternatives. Coincidentally, I found this tweet which I see as being completely relevant to this post:
Here’s the thing, your commitment to any one thing is dependent on you. You ultimately must decide the value and worthiness of everything you put your energy into. Don’t be so easily influenced by the opinions of the people around you. Don’t stick with something you dislike because you want to show everyone you can do it. That’s no way to live. Finally, I’ll leave you with some of the best advice I’ve ever received and it comes in six words: