During my keynotes and retreats on college campuses, I talk a lot about commitment. I even have an audience member break an arrow with their neck [without using their hands] as a demonstration of being truly committed.
I recently took on a big commitment. I started P90X. It’s an extreme home fitness video series that’s a 90-day commitment. My commitment to the program is tested daily because the workouts are so extreme and I push myself to the limit every time. When you add to the mix raising two boys, being a husband, running a business with traveling and speaking… that’s when it gets really challenging.
The other week I was on the road facilitating a leadership conference at Sonoma State University in northern California. I spoke all day, went to dinner, took a hike in the beautiful red woods of John Muir forest and then drove to my hotel in San Francisco. By this time it was 10:00 p.m. and I still hadn’t done my P90X workout video. I could have called it a night, but I had made a commitment. So I moved some tables and chairs around, fired it up and got extreme. Half way through the program I received a call from the hotel manager who asked, “Is everything alright up there?” The occupants in the room below me were complaining and I couldn’t blame them since they were hearing someone jumping up and down while grunting for 35 minutes. And, truthfully, it was a little late.
So I had a choice to make. The easy way out was to shut it down and go to bed, but I asked myself, “How committed are you, Troy?”
My answer was “100 percent,” of course. So I took my computer outside to the parking lot [good thing for batteries] and finished my workout in a parking spot. Afterward I felt great! No regrets.
Your commitments will be tested. If you’re 100 percent committed your choice will be easy. Well, maybe not easy… but the choice will be obvious.
Troy Stende uses experiential learning-based leadership programs to help schools develop student leaders and increase student retention. He believes those two things are inseparable and has been helping colleges and universities create connections and strengthen campus community since 1998.