The Difference Between Deciding and Committing

| Mar 1, 2022

There’s a story about three frogs sitting on a log looking at some beautiful lily pads floating in the water. They are all sitting there for some time. After several minutes, two of the frogs decide they will jump onto a lily pad. 

Here’s my question for you. How many frogs are still on the log now? Most people say one frog. But they’re wrong. Three frogs are still sitting on the log. Two only decided to do something. They didn’t commit to the action.

When an athlete is flying through the air or going insanely fast, and there’s no turning back; it’s at this moment they cannot stop their momentum. The commitment is complete. Commentators will say, “he’s committed now.” The initial action is the beginning of the commitment habit—that moment of activity where you can’t go back. 

To be sure, you must decide to do something, but you haven’t committed until you’ve taken that initial step of no return. Until then, there isn’t enough follow-through on the decision yet. 

Think about it this way. Have you ever gone skydiving? Even if you are in the plane and the light is green for you to jump, you’re still not committed. You may have decided to skydive, but commitment is jumping. 

It’s when you put your hands on the outside edge of the plane and feel the wind in your face that you are getting close. Then you begin to lean out the door. There’s a certain point where you cannot climb back into the plane. This point of no return is what you need to reach. In some cases, this will be a daily commitment. 

A trick to helping you do this would be to imagine yourself in a situation where you’ve reached that point of no return. What does that look like for this particular goal? Leverage that to help you with your self-accountability. 

Self-Commitment is acting on your decision. Have you ever attempted to plunge into ice water before? There comes this point in your mind when you decide that you’re going to do it. Commitment happens when you bend at your knees and hips, pull your arms back behind you, and then begin to jump.

It is that point when you “lose gravity” that you’ve committed. Where in your business and leadership do you need to “lose gravity”? To let go of control and plunge in. This idea is the second S in PASS. Self Accountability – deciding and then committing to yourself that you will follow through. 

Here are a few areas that you could commit to and get to that point of no return. 

  • Commit to yourself
  • Commit to following through on what you started
  • Commit to your word
  • Commit to not quitting
  • Commit to risk
  • Commit to success
  • Commit to growth
  • Commit to others
  • Commit to empower

When you make these commitments and many others, you demonstrate a self-accountability mindset. You are challenging yourself and everyone around you when you maintain the habit of commitment. 

Even with the Accountability PASS, it can be hard to put your money where your mouth is. No matter how many reminders, to-do lists, or people you inform, it can be challenging to get started and finish the task. 

Let’s Put The PASS To Work Right Now

Begin by recording your goal with a due date in your notes now. Use the commitment and accountability sledgehammer to nail this objective to the wall. Here are the steps.

  1. Write down your goal with a due date.
  2. Make a list of at least twenty people you can tell about this goal.
  3. Make a list of 3-5 people you could ask to meet with you weekly or biweekly to discuss progress made on goals.
  4. List 5-7 “Structures” you could use to help keep you accountable for accomplishing this goal.
  5. Create a contract in your mind or on paper to build the necessary self-commitment to this goal. 

Remember, the Big Bad Wolf is always there to stop us from achieving our objectives. The winds of fear, failure, lack of information, and analysis paralysis are the wolves’ way of knocking down our goals. You won’t have any worries if you’ve constructed your leadership with the SAGE pillars. 

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