Early in my career I learned that mastering one’s way to the top can never be a part-time job. Half-hearted efforts get you nothing. Heading for whatever top you’re going after calls for a full time commitment. As I took the steps leading to success, I put forth not only a full time effort but overtime. Making commitments is something we all do. Some commitments are deeper than others, and some we have to struggle to keep, but whether easy or difficult, they all challenge us.
When we buy a home or lease a dwelling, when we purchase a car, when we take out insurance of any kind, we make a commitment to mortgage payments, the rent, the car payments, or the insurance premiums. Commitments appear in other areas of our lives too. When we marry, we commit ourselves to our spouses. When we bring children into the world, we commit ourselves to their raising and their support. When we sign a contract of any kind, we commit ourselves to living up to its terms. We commit ourselves to our families, our friends, and to the goals we set for ourselves. That means keeping all the agreements and promises you’ve made to yourself and to others as you forge ahead to reach success in the business world or in other endeavors. Their strength lies in the truth that life works when you keep your commitments to yourself and others. Nobody says that keeping commitments is easy. It takes a lot of willpower and self-discipline.
Here are a couple of ways I used to stay committed to my goal of becoming a successful automobile salesperson. First, at home after putting in a day at the dealership I wrote down what I planned to do the next day. I never listed more than three objectives for the next day. It’s easier to keep your commitments if you limit them to three. And writing them down fixes them firmly in your mind. Your list becomes a visual aid. Second, at the beginning of the following week, I’d refer to another visual aid—a phrase I had printed on a large file card and had thumb tacked on the wall of my office. It read:” I’m going to beat last week’s record!” The visual aids reinforced my determination to keep my commitments. Visual reinforcement worked for me. Try it; it could work for you.
Certainly there will be occasions when staying committed to your business or other goals will bring on periods of discouragement as well as moments of great satisfaction. It may often seem that for every two steps you take forward, you fall one step back. I know from personal experience that this can happen. But I never dwell on a backward step, for that only puts out negative vibes.
I found that staying committed was easier if I shared my satisfaction times with others. Doing so reinforced my efforts and gave encouragement to others. I also realized that sharing personal discouragements with others served no useful purpose. If you want to be successful, keep your troubles to yourself. Even if you’re not having a good time at the moment, make people believe you are. I gave that advice one time during a lecture. As usual, people came up afterwards to talk to me. One young salesperson said: “I’ve heard the expression ‘crying on the inside, laughing on the outside’. Is that what you’re suggesting?” I told him that was exactly what I meant. People have enough troubles of their own. Nobody wants to see your tears. Keeping them hidden calls for self-discipline. And self-discipline is one of the keys to keeping your commitments!