The Case For Commitment
It has been a while since I poured out my heart on a subject.
It's 7.56 am London time as I head into town for a few meetings.
Train journeys remain some of my best “private” moments alone.
I find peace and creativity in this space.
Headphones on and I'm listening to the “Best Film Scores and Cinematic Music” playlist on Spotify.
In particular, “A Game of Strategy” by Steven Price, as I write this.
As I look around me, I see lots of people mostly looking miserable.
Most are clutching onto their phones and staring into something to offer them an escape perhaps.
The only 2 people smiling are a good looking and unmarried young couple (circa late 20s).
They are staring into each other's eyes and about to share a kiss.
These two look like they're in their own little universe alone even though this train is packed full.
It dawns on me that this is a rare moment together with the people on this journey.
Yet we never say a word to each other.
I'll probably never ever see this formation of people together ever again.
I smile as I appreciate this rare moment. Life happens so quickly that we don't often stop to see a moment.
As I stare out at the gloomy autumnal sky, the one word on my mind is commitment.
And the question that pops to mind as I look around at everyone here is –
To what extent has the level of commitment that we put into things got us all to where we are now?
How has commitment got me here? Sitting, thinking, dreaming and writing.
INTERLUDE: Music changes to “Awake the light” by Borrtex.
When we think of the word “commitment”, we often think about it from the perspective of relationships.
Whilst this is important, I also want to touch on this from the perspective of our dreams.
First, though, let’s go back in time…
“Bro, why don't you just commit…?”
Isn't it interesting how certain moments in life stick with you forever?
Many moons ago before I met Mary, I lived the single life.
As exciting as that life was, it also carried with it a lot of turbulence.
I really just couldn't make my mind up.
Should I stick with this relationship or is there something shinier and more exciting out there?
Boys and girls can probably relate to this.
The words “ME, ME, ME!” probably characterised that era of my life.
If it wasn't working for me, then it wasn't working.
Everything was ok with me and 100% wrong with the other person.
Nothing was working out and to be honest, I was miserable.
I knew I was being selfish but I just couldn't bring myself to admit it.
Guys struggle to talk about these things to anyone and I was no different.
So the last place I expected to get life-changing advice was from my brother.
As ever, things had fallen apart in my relationship and as ever, it was their fault not mine.
So I called my brother to complain and seek an ally.
Afterall, he'd understand because he'd seen years of turbulence himself.
My brother is always making jokes but once in a while, he's dead serious and says something profound.
This call would change my life forever.
As we spoke, laughed and joked, he suddenly said:
“Bro, why don't you just commit to one girl and that's it? Pour everything into it and you'll see a change.”
That was it.
Delivered like a fierce slap in the face. It hit me like a lightning bolt.
It was a simple and elegant solution, yet I'd never quite seen it like that.
I had to hear it from someone I cared about.
But that was not enough… There was a missing ingredient.
Committing to Commit
My mind raced for a few days as I pondered this new solution.
I knew this was it. It just had to be.
Beyond seeing the change, I had to accept the change.
And that meant accepting the trade of commitment.
In this area of my life, it meant accepting that I had to grow up!
I needed to be a man and do what I knew was the right thing to do deep down.
That meant letting my guard down and accepting that I had faults.
It also meant accepting a future partner for who they are and realising that they won’t come perfect.
I had to rip to shred my list of requirements in my ideal partner and hit the reset button.
The final trade that I had to accept was that I had to think long term and with no end date in mind.
This is perhaps the biggest commitment journey ever.
As life would have it, the next person to enter my life’s sphere was Mary.
Mary came into my life in 2009, and that commitment journey began.
10 years later, has it been worth it?
Well, I’d end up writing 10,000 words if I had to tell you the many reasons why committing was the best thing ever.
What I will tell you though, is that it has been the best decade of my life so far.
I’ll share more on the benefits of commitment below.
Before that though, here is my reflective thought on commitment today:
Commitment is an old economy currency that's more relevant than ever in our current age of instant results.
INTERLUDE: Music tempo changes to something more upbeat “This is not drill” by Henry Jackman.
Commitment and Dreams
There is no day that passes that I don’t get an email from someone who has a dream they’d like to pursue.
Such emails start off with a lot of hope but as soon as I engage, I quickly realise that it’s all words.
Many people are not prepared to give what it takes to make their dreams come true.
And that’s because many have not given enough consideration to the ingredients required to succeed.
I’ve talked in the past about consistency as a secret sauce for achieving much success.
Going a layer deeper, commitment is the prerequisite for consistency.
I’ll illustrate using the last 2 years of my life:
In 2 weeks' time, The Humble Penny will be 2 years old.
Those 2 years have felt like 4 years because so much has happened in that time.
Related post: One Year Anniversary: Highs, Lows and Surprises
The content that you consume on this blog is a manifestation of a commitment that I took right from the beginning.
You see, when I decided to set off on this journey, I gave myself 3 years to succeed or fail spectacularly.
As far as I was concerned, anything that happened from 3rd December 2017 to 3rd December 2020 is what I must cope with.
This meant that I had accepted that trade of commitment, and with that came many other things:
No matter how tired I feel, or how hopeless this journey will be, I will not give up.
I have encountered so many challenges in the last 2 years and fought many private battles to stay afloat.
But even with all of that, I feel a certain level of peace that is difficult to explain.
And that’s because I know what I have bought into and my whole being has accepted it.
With the above peace comes unrelenting focus to achieve my goals over this 3 year period.
My brother reminded me over dinner yesterday that when I started The Humble Penny, I only had about 10 people on a WhatsApp group.
That group was were I initially tested the need for my content and a place I initially started to find my voice.
Today though, what used to be 10 people that I could message has become about 10,000 via email.
Why? Because growing my email list was one goal I had.
You tend to grow what you focus on and measure over time.
With some growth and acceptance of my unique voice comes the belief that I have something to offer the world.
Where I used to think that it would be nice to be recognised as a reputable Personal Finance blog, my vision is a lot different now.
Although they scare me at times even speaking them, I prefer to do so because I fear my own vision less by doing so.
So here it goes, here are a few. One day –
- ‘The Humble Penny’ will negotiate with governments on specific causes that will improve people’s lives.
- Rather than just focus on the UK, what if we could have a global impact? With the right heart, we can and we will.
- We will collaborate with people and organisations at the highest levels with shared values. With the goal of providing real and practical solutions to issues such as the wealth gap, crippling consumer debt, structural discrimination, etc.
- We will make our own documentaries to shine the light on important life issues often not given enough attention.
- We will create a curriculum designed to empower the family unit to give them a path to financial joy.
That list continues.
And because we have spoken it jointly, we've begun to call this vision from the intangible world into the physical world.
The dots will connect (because I know this is beyond me and Mary), as our level of belief increases and the doors open.
Over these last 2 years, I have grown in my ability to fear less.
This has happened because each day that passes, I understand who I am a lot more and what matters to me.
I also better understand why I have been placed on this planet and each day, I do the work that I am meant to do.
And because I do it without worrying too much about what others think, I find that my faith is stronger and my belief matches my actions.
With every challenge that comes every day (and there are many), I stand strong led by my deep-rooted values.
Therefore, action, faith, belief, and understanding together, help me fight the fear that leads to living a mediocre life.
Call to Commit
I have written this blog post as a call to commit as we gradually enter the new decade.
It’s my way of telling you that there exists a catalyst (within your control) for the life that you want to live.
If you look around your life today and see that you’re living like everyone else, you can’t exactly expect a different result.
You MUST cut against the grain and do something else.
- If everyone is going into debt and living for today, choose a simpler life and live for tomorrow.
- If everyone fears the economy is in decline, choose to believe that you have limitless abundance.
- If everyone is working the 9 to 5 for money, choose to believe that you can disconnect your time and money.
- If everyone is being petty and scrimping every penny, choose to believe that you can triple your income and give generously.
- If everyone is thinking of just themselves, choose to think about others.
Cutting against the grain though begins with choosing an alternative and expansive life plan and committing to what others won’t do.
Whether you fail or not along the journey is all part of the fun.
When all is said and done, remember that that future life you desire begins with accepting the trade of commitment.
And with that comes many other interesting life possibilities.
What to Read Next>>
- Growth Mindset: How to Start Your Day With Purpose
- How To Stop Living A Financially Ordinary Life
- Your Name Is Your Asset. Embrace It
- What Do You Have In Your Hands?
- 6 Ways To Start Attracting More Money To Yourself
- 9 Tips For Living A Simpler & More Fulfilling Life
What to Watch Next>>
Check out Our YouTube Channel for more content on life hacks:
What have you been running away from committing to for some time?
Do you feel you aren’t pushing yourself to achieve your goals even though you know you’re capable?
Are you afraid of commitment to an idea or a future life path? If so, Why?
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.
Chinnie Nwandu says
This is awesome, Ken. Thanks for this rallying call to action. I needed to read this as I journey through the ever constant labyrinth of change.
The Humble Penny says
You’re most welcome, Chinnie. A post that only a minority will respond to naturally. One for the person who wants to stop kidding him/herself!
Thought provoking post, Ken. Clicked through from your Metro.co.uk contribution which was an interesting read too.
The Humble Penny says
Thank you, Ros! Exactly the reaction I’d hoped for 😉
Ms Campbell says
The Humble Penny says
Thank you! 😊
Read this today. It is a sign I needed to take action. Thank you
The Humble Penny says
Amazing, Faith! Do it!