The Varying Degrees of Commitment

How do we buy into something, and how do we know when our commitment (or someone else’s) is solid? I suppose one way to know is to examine the varying degrees of commitment.

First we have compliance; defined as the action or fact of complying with a wish or command.  Sometimes compliance simply comes by way of obligations – to our job, to running a household, etc. Sometimes it is met with some resistance – think of our teenager and our requirement that they keep their room clean. Generally speaking, if we comply with something, but don’t really agree with it, it tends to lack buy-in and passion.

Next is conditional commitment. This type is defined as made or granted on certain terms. To some degree, our jobs are based on elements of conditional commitment. After all, we agree to work for a company after we know the pay we are to receive, the weeks of holidays included and so forth. Same can be said of our teenager when we say “You can have the car tonight after your room is clean.”

And lastly, we have personal commitment. Defined as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity, this tends to be the one that we are most likely to feel passionate about as it is tied to our personal values. Our commitment to keeping our relationships healthy, our desire to have a cozy home, our dedication to a cause.

Our lives tend to be governed by choosing behaviours and actions based on all three varying degrees of commitment. The quality of our wellbeing; however rests with having enough personal commitments to keep us feeling good about our lives; thereby bringing meaning, purpose and personal fulfillment to the forefront. 🙂

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