Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

On Commitment

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"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. The whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: 'Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.'"

(from W.H. Murray, "The Scottish Himalayan Expedition")

This message is equally important for entrepreneurs and lovers alike. Until you really commit, things will be difficult, uncomfortable and sometimes just plain pain in the neck. When you're sitting on the fence over an idea or regarding that I-think-she's-special person, the things that feel bothersome are high in number than when you are committed to the idea or the person. And here's where you realize the subtle difference between 'decide' and 'commit'.

From my geek perspective, the word commit is used numerous times in a day. Yes, for 'committing' code I've written into the repository. This repository remembers everything that I've changed, updated, added, deleted. It keeps a track of _everything_ I've done with the code. And before I commit the changes, I always take a moment to review. Even if it is a private repository where nobody else will see the code, I pause, check the changes confirm I'm not doing anything that I'd be embarrassed about later and then issue the command to commit the code.

This reminds of some of my very early ventures, they were just ideas that I thought were interesting. I decided to work on them, I never committed. The moment difficulties cropped up, I shifted to other ideas. Not being committed to the idea made me lose focus easily. In retrospect, some of them could had struck big if only I had committed.

With commitment comes patience, perseverance and grit. Adam Smith has a great blog post about grit being more important than self control and IQ, I highly recommend it. The99percent discusses that grit happens to be more important than talent, another great read. More about grit some other day.

How much do we think before we commit ourselves? Do we over analyze and refuse to commit to things because we're afraid? The magic of committing is that things fall into place once you've given yourself to the idea or relation. It's a big leap of faith, but without it, the chances of failure are higher. Is there a middle ground? Unfortunately, no. Commitment means either you are in and willing to do everything to make it work, or you do not care – which translates to "it's perfectly fine if this fails". Choose your commitments wisely, but don't be afraid to commit – sometimes it's the only way things will work out.

Cheers to entrepreneurs! Cheers to lovers!

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Written by hiway

December 23, 2011 at 7:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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