Richard Dama, LPC, Counseling & Clinical Hypnotherapy

Commitment, the Engine of Purpose

file00093418448-300x285The other day I posted a blog explaining my take on the meaning of life. If you’ll remember I stated that life itself is meaningless and only takes on a meaning when one finds a purpose for which to live.

While that did generate a little email, I was actually disappointed on the general lack of comment. However, it was one of the best viewed posts I have had this year so I am happy with that.

If you haven’t read it yet, please go to and check it out. Comments and counterarguments are still very welcome.

Almost immediately after I posted that blog, I began to wonder what I was going to do to follow that up. Today, while meditating, a single word began running through my mind “Commitment.”

That is a word that I was terrified of when I was in my 20’s. It seemed that every woman I dated more than twice began throwing it me like an aborigine chucks a boomerang.   I was lucky enough to dodge that stick until my very late 20’s when I met my wife. Then “commitment” didn’t seem so scary any more. In fact, it was something I wanted to do very much. I’ve never regretted that decision.

Susan wasn’t my first commitment either. When I chose to put on the uniform of an Air Force officer, I took an oath and made a solemn commitment to support and defend the Constitution of the United Stated against all enemies, foreign and domestic, with my very life if necessary. It was a commitment I took very seriously and I am still honor that ideal almost 17 years after I retired from that life.

There are several ways to look at commitment. The first is as a promise to be faithful to or deliver something. The second, and much harder to live up to, is as an attitude of personal determination to do or accomplish something.

The first definition is, I think the most commonly used and the most commonly broken. We all make promises. Unfortunately, many people make promises they either have no intention of honoring, don’t know how to honor, or give up on when honoring that promise becomes difficult or inconvenient.

The second definition speaks both to the first and to my previous blog on The Meaning of Life. Commitment in this sense speaks to a personal dedication and resolve to see a commitment through to the end no matter what.

Purpose and commitment go hand in hand. They are two sides to the same coin.

Choosing or discovering a purpose to your life is a wonderful thing, but like so many promises, many people abandon their ‘mission’ when things get difficult or worse, when others convince them that they’ll never succeed.

Purpose without commitment is like breaking wind in a hurricane; it might feel good but it accomplishes nothing.

When you find the purpose of your life then you have to make a commitment to follow through no matter what happens. True commitment is a matter of personal integrity; it’s the promise you make to yourself that even if you fail to accomplish your purpose, you will do so at the expense of everything else, including your life.

That’s why a person with both a purpose and commitment is a juggernaut. These people may be the most soft-spoken, mild mannered individuals you will ever meet, yet when you’re in their presence you can sense a strength and energy that can fill an auditorium. They give off an aura of resolution and integrity that most others find either irresistible or highly unsettling. Either way you leave the encounter changed in some way, perhaps small or perhaps life-changing. And after your encounter you know to the very center of your being that for good or ill, the world and your life will never be the same.

How committed are you?

Here’s hoping you have an intentionally and resolutely great day.


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