Showing posts with label commitment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label commitment. Show all posts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What is Your Why?

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Why do we do it? Sometimes I wonder what it is that keeps me going? Perseverance, commitment, fortitude, diligence, they’re all great, but if there isn’t something deeper, more basic powering those qualities, you won’t really get that far in life. Quitters aren’t winners and Cheats usually get caught, sooner or later. Sure they can live the high life for a while, but there’s almost always a downfall for taking the quick and easy way; the cheap and dishonest way.

Where does that drive and fuel for continuing on when things get hard come from? Who and what, or how did it get instilled in me to not quit, to never give up? I can point to good people in my life that taught me lessons, some painful, some wonderful, but all valuable.

Maybe because when I was young, our family was so very poor, not working, giving up, and slacking off meant hunger, homelessness, and despair. Maybe it was after I got my own job and discovered I could provide for myself. Maybe it was studying through college and realizing I could excel to greater heights if I applied myself and kept learning. Maybe it was enduring the hardships of Naval bootcamp, struggling to make it through despite fatigue, distraction, the unknown, homesickness, loneliness. Maybe it was when I truly was homeless and vowed to never let that happen again. Maybe it was being a single parent, knowing a child depended on me for everything and I held the responsibility of teaching and nurturing alone. Maybe it was when I fell in love again.

Maybe, just possibly, my whole life is one great lesson in understanding that perseverance and fortitude are developed over time, given the right circumstances and influences. I may never reach a level of ultimate success or fortune. I may continue to fail just as much as I succeed. If I’m a good person and that karmatic energy is passed on, perhaps the net gain of my life is more than just mediocrity.

If that is so, I wonder just how other people manage, when they don’t have the same influences I had. Some people I’ve met excel despite mistreatment, abuse, neglect and disregard. Others flounder even after being cared for, loved, nurtured and respected.

I don’t think there is one answer. I believe certain qualities innate in people can enhance or sabotage their lives, but influences, by others and circumstances, events and chance also play a role in driving their lives forward. I guess though, in the end, we all have a choice. 

Despite and in spite of all that we see and hear, experience and learn, choosing to continue down a path we know and understand to be right is the only real power we actually have. Like Neo in the Matrix, I choose to persevere. It’s my choice. That is my ‘why.’

What’s yours?

Thanks for reading.

Questions and comments are welcome.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Shapes Your Desire?

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

“If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it.”
-Brendan Francis

What is want? I’m not talking about the basic wants humans all need, like water, food, shelter, and companionship. I’m asking about the want for something not needed, but truly desired. Desire can be a funny thing. It can give you direction by helping you to discard the superfluous, keep you focused, determined and motivated. But desire can also hinder your life by making you close minded to new things, ridged in your attitude and perspective, and in the worst cases, lead to obsession. Once desire becomes an obsession, there’s a whole new world of problems to deal with.

There are things I have wanted for a long time. I’ve desired them. Specifically, being a published author for one, finding true love (as cliché as it sounds), a life of leisure, and a youthfulness throughout my days. Now I’d say on a certain level, all of those things are possible, at least to one degree or another. But why do I want them? Why are my wants and desires in line with some people and wildly out of synch with others? Our life experiences and relationships help mold and create an ideal that helps to drive our life’s activities. 

I’ve often wondered about when I was 10, if we didn’t move from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, how different my life would be. It was a profound life event for me, obviously at 10 years old something like that would affect just about anyone. But how much of that contributed to who I am now? I can tell you that for the first two years after we moved, I became reclusive, much more introspective and hid inside my own imagination. I found solace in Science Fiction and Fantasy. TV, movies and stories dealing with space, time travel, other worlds, dimensions, and the like spoke to me in a way sports, hobbies, or other things could not. Eventually the want to create those things on my own took hold and there you have it. This was the nucleus of my desire to begin writing. My life altering event of moving helped spur my creative life as a dreamer and writer.

So where do you go after you’ve identified where and why you have a want? I would say judging just how powerful that want is must happen. If you truly want something, I would say a feeling of almost uncontrollable action should take place. Not so much that you are possessed, but that you feel the value of committing to that want. When you know the superfluous and extraneous minutiae of life can be done away with and you still feel fulfilled driving toward you desire, that is when that want becomes a passion. And there’s nothing wrong with passion, as long as it’s tempered with reason, otherwise you fall into the trap of obsession.  

Do you know what your wants are? Are you controlled by them? Even worse, are you so beaten down that you’ve forgotten what it is you truly want? I believe self-examination is important from time to time to make sure I am not wasting my life away. There have been times when I came to the realization that I Was completely off course. What a wonderful yet sobering feeling. Remember, as long as you are alive, there’s still time to change course. Give it a try.

Thanks for reading.
Questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Committing to the Dream

There’s an old cliché that says “Dreams really do come true”. And if you talk to some of the people closest to me, they’ll tell you they hate it when I use clichés and generalities. I understand why they say such things, but in this case the cliché works to touch off a discussion about an issue I have been thinking about for quite some time. My thought is simple: What does it take to make a dream come true? Let me first start off by telling you that I don’t have the definitive answer to that question for you. The details of each dream dictate the course of action necessary for success and if I knew how to make every one come true, I’d be rich, famous, powerful, and living the easy life on a tropical island paradise.

Okay, so I don’t have minute specifics for you but I think I can come up with a few basics. Knowing what you really want, having a plan, a support structure, and effective guidance all sound like good elements to include in your master plan. Sprinkle in determination, persistence, resolve, and of course commitment… Oh that word Commitment. It’s the bane of many a person’s existence; the fear of it, talking about it, actually doing it. It’s enough to make any boyfriend go running for the hills (oops, I’ve fallen into a cliché again). Really though, committing to the dream is at the top of the list of things required to making a dream come true. But why?

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. A couple of years back, my brother and I started a very small business. We tried to sell t-shirts with whimsical, funny, and irreverent sayings and designs on them. We lacked practical business experience and knowledge as neither of us studied it in college, but we had a dream. We set out to educate ourselves on all the necessary business aspects needed to make our project a success. I even started this blog to get more attention for our website. To make a long story short, I tried to make the business work, but my effort proved insufficient. I gave it my all and still failed. Or did I give it my all? You see the most valuable lesson I learned about the whole endeavor was about commitment, although I learned the lesson far too late. At the time I didn’t recognize how uncommitted I was to the project. You know how some people live, breath, and eat totally focused on their goals? Well that wasn’t me and it negatively affected my performance in making things successful. So why couldn’t I commit? The short answer is I followed the wrong dream. You see I didn’t really know what I wanted out of my t-shirt company, so it blurred my perspective.

I guess it might be fair to say that if you can’t commit to a dream, really pour your talent, time, energy, and thought into it, that thing probably isn’t really your dream. It’s not a pleasant thing to fail, but in a way all of that might have been necessary. That experience taught me two valuable things. First, I realized I really wanted to commit to writing, something that would fulfill me professionally and creatively. Second, l learned truly committing to something meant that all my actions should reflect my efforts in achieving my goal. To put this into a different perspective, I refer back to the conversation where my brother curtly stated that I was not a writer. And what did I do in response to that statement? I wrote a novel. See that’s commitment. I know, and knew then, writing was part of my identity. I just needed a push (some might say violent shove) to solidify that perspective in my own mind. I’m not a businessman, but I am a writer.

Can you think of anything you want or wanted that ultimately proved out of reach? What kind of commitment did you devote to it? Was it really worth it? I’d say for a dream to be worthy of your total commitment it really must excite your passion, almost to the point of obsession. Don’t go crazy mind you, just let that commitment really fuel your drive for success. So, it comes down to a simple choice: are you willing to commit to your dream?

Thanks for reading.

Questions and comments are welcome. 

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...