I’ve started and stopped about six different posts this evening. Believe it or not, it’s not that I’m distracted, but rather that the ideas aren’t coming together the way they normally do. And I can’t blame the hard cider, either, because some of my best stuff comes out after a light drink.
In any other month, I’d simply close the computer and call it a night. But because of this daily blogging project, that’s an option I won’t give myself.
That’s the interesting thing about the power of public commitment. Let’s be real here: there are only a few hundred people who are following along actively enough to notice if I didn’t post tonight. I’m not sure anyone would call me out on it, either, due to their compassion and because it’s not nearly as important to them as it is to me.
None of that really matters, though, because I would know that I didn’t do what I said I would do. Whether my wiring regarding commitments to others is good or bad, it’s what it is. Best to play the card wisely since it’s part of the deck.
During a hike this last weekend, Angela and I were talking about the project and about what has made it work so well. A large part of what’s made it work is that the daily frequency has accelerated my forming the habit and the habit has been working for me, but the other major portion is that public-commitment piece. My ability to follow through on commitments to myself has never been reliable; over the course of a lifetime, I’ve checked my fair share of boxes, but there’s no rock-solid way to predict which ones I will check and which ones I won’t.
But it seems that the larger the number of people I commit to, the more likely it is that I’ll do something, assuming it’s something that aligns with my values and goals. I’ve known this about myself for quite a while, but I just haven’t tapped into it for a project in a while and it creates the type of motivation that fuels me to be my best.
It reminds me of a line from the Tao Te Ching: “Because the Sage is aware of her faults, she is faultless.” I’m by no means a Sage and I have plenty of faults I’m not aware of, but the real point isn’t about faults and deficiencies but rather about self-mastery. To be all you can be, you’ve got to use all that you’ve got – weird wiring and all.
What bits of your weird wiring are you not using? How can you use it to help yourself achieve your goals your way?