“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.” - Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln’s idea is that one’s character is made up by how one lives up to one’s commitments. As an antidote to this withering of our social fabric, FutureShapers offers this model for encouraging true commitment from its members.
FutureShapers has set a standard for commitment that instills character, consciousness and meaning into one’s life and one’s work. Members in FutureShapers Roundtables are encouraged to aspire to unconventional levels of awareness in what they say, how they say it and what they mean by what they say. They become aware of distinctions such as the difference between an opinion and knowing, a belief and a fact, a promise and an indication of interest, a desire and a preference, to name a few. Here are aspirations to which FutureShapers Roundtable Members are asked to commit:
• Seek self transcendence, deepening self-examination/exploration, increasing my experience of equanimity and serenity;
• Be authentic; integrate my mind, body, heart and soul; be consistent with my walk and my talk;
• Continuously examine myself - personality traits I can improve upon, my stories and my beliefs that limit me, and my attitudes and actions that negatively impact others;
• Do no harm; whenever I am wrong, promptly admit it and make amends for any harm I’ve done to anyone;
• Treat others as I would like to be treated (“The Golden Rule”);
• Seek out ways to be in relationship with a power greater than my own egoic mind;
• Spend at least 20 minutes each day in meditation/quiet time;
• Do the right thing always; whenever there is a question, follow my heart and my conscience, not my head;
• Be more compassionate about others and reverent about life, honoring my interconnectedness with all living things;
• Accept my leadership responsibilities as an honor and a gift, not an obligation or cause for self-importance;
• Consciously be a role model for others; and
• Create workplace cultures where these aspirations are honored and respected.
Until one can truly commit oneself to something larger than oneself, one is destined to a life of mediocrity. Explorer William H. Murray said it most succinctly in his 1951 book, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition. He writes, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.”