The essence of commitment is recommitment

We sometimes resolve to do something constructive such as exercising, meditating, studying wisdom-texts or becoming more tolerant in our relationships. But we often fail to stay committed to our resolutions. On experiencing repeated failures, we may become disheartened, thinking, “Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be committed.”

Thankfully however, we all have what it takes to be committed; we just need to understand how commitment works. It works not by our making one mighty resolution that transforms our life forever; it works by our returning to our resolutions repeatedly, no matter how much we deviate in between.

Why do we deviate? Because our mind is restless (Bhagavad-gita 06.34). We become committed when we learn to maintain focus in spite of our mind, not because our mind maintains focus. And that means whenever our mind wanders off, as it inevitably will, we refocus it, patiently and persistently (06.26).

Consider the example of driving. While driving, the key to staying on-course is to keep coming back on course whenever the vehicle goes off course, as it inevitably will because of its mechanics and momentum. As we become more experienced and expert drivers, we get the car back on course so swiftly that it appears as if it never went off-course.

What applies to driving also applies to becoming committed. We set ourselves up for failure when we expect that commitment means our mind should no longer be distracted. Instead, we expect our mind’s distractedness and prepare to recommit ourselves. Such preparation for recommitment means that every morning we begin by reminding ourselves of our resolutions and repeat the reminders throughout the day whenever we get distracted. When we become expert at swiftly recommitting ourselves, we become committed.

Thus, when we ready ourselves for recommitment, sticking to our resolutions becomes less discouraging and more transforming.

Think it over:

  • Why is commitment so difficult?
  • Explain how commitment works with an example.
  • What do you need to recommit yourself to? How can you do so?

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5 Comments

  1. Commit to God ,conquer the world

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  2. Beautiful article, Prabhuji 🙂

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    • Hare Krishna Prabhuji!

      This article is so much applicable in our day-to-day life.
      But when it comes to spirituality, I feel that commitment is inevitable or a prerequisite for spiritual advancement.

      Commitment is difficult because it involves controlling our mind which is likened to training a wild horse. To me, Commitment means not giving in to our mind’s nuisances, procrastination, laziness and it’s dominance in keeping us dormant or in inertia. In many situations, we need our intelligence to take over the reins and make loud decisions to silence the noisy mind.
      As you had mentioned in one of the recent lectures that “Mind may stray away, but let it not stay away”.

      I’m currently applying this principle of re-commitment in becoming consistent with my daily Japa.

      Thanks,
      Shilpi

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  3. From the time immemorable we have been entangled in the material world and it is only due to mercy of the lord, we got devotees association during this birth which has brought us closer to Krishna. But the Maya is so strong that it keeps on attacking us every time we become weak. Since we understand that we cannot get Krishna if we are covered with Maya, we always need to keep Maya at bay. However, our commitment to stay out of Maya must be persistent and should not deter with any amount of failures. The Maya become more powerful when she sees our failures as at that time, we are most vulnerable. Therefore, at that time, instead of asking for the help from Maya, we should recommit ourselves to stay out of Maya. Practically, I have faced such situation while committing for following all the regulative principles of Krishna Consciousness, specially, forbidding intoxication. My commitment to follow this principle was possible primarily due to change in my associations. I can follow this principle quite easily despite being engaged in the same for a couple of decades before coming to Krishna Consciousness. However, whenever I am in association of non- devotees, the urge for intoxication again start troubling. At that time, my recommitment to these principles help me keeping that urge at bay. Thus, it is apt to say that the essence of commitment is recommitment.

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