Are you a commitment-phobe?

I’m in a coffee shop today. For better or worse, I have time to write because of a missed connection. We had a plan, and then all of a sudden circumstances were not what the other person thought, and those plans no longer work. Those last minute cancellations can be a blessing and curse all at once!

A most mysterious and mystical process begins when you commit. It’s like the universe is conniving for your greatness, at first. Things begin to shift into place. Random order as a concept starts to make more sense. But then sometimes we fail to show up to those commitments.

What’s the balance between planned commitments and a natural, go-with-the flow style of moving things forward?

My bias reflects my psychology education and intercultural communication training. You’re more likely to achieve your goals when they are written, when details are clarified, and when you hold steadfast to your vision, not letting other things get in the way. Sounds pretty stoic, eh? And definitely not very innovative.

But the truth is, I’m very flexible. I understand that contexts are constantly changing for people, and I appreciate a little adaptability in my team as well. If we spend our time trying to grasp hold of yesterday’s plans, today’s forces will likely leave us, at the end of the day, empty handed. We all need more compassion in our lives.

Enter the concept of re-commitment. Try, try again, my friend. ‘Failure to act’ is failure, not a failed action. Learning is sometimes a long string of failed actions, and what do we get at the end of the day? Mastery.

So choose mastery this month—instead of shirking your responsibilities in embarrassment, own your failures-to-act and recommit liberally. Your team will thank you, and they’ll probably start to return the favor.