The Incredible Power of Single-Minded Commitment
People that I have been mentoring as of late have been mired in doubt about the direction in which they should take their lives. When we are at a fork in the road like this, it’s easy for us to start having second thoughts.
It makes perfect sense that this would be the case: if you are unsure about your purpose, pursuing a single option may leave you with a great feeling of uncertainty.
How can I tell whether this is the right approach to take? What if I’m not good at it? What if I don’t succeed? What if I choose the incorrect option?
But being mired in this type of uncertainty and indecision is often far more detrimental to one’s mental health than selecting a single option and then being unsuccessful with that choice.
Even if you are unsuccessful at anything, at least you tried your best and gained some important knowledge from the experience. You gave yourself permission to take action, you gave yourself permission to deal with fear, you gave yourself permission to empower that decision, and now you can give yourself permission to empower the next option.
When you are paralyzed by indecision and self-doubt, you almost always end up feeling terrible about yourself. You will not achieve any success if you continue to remain in this type of phony safety.
Therefore, deciding to work toward a singular goal, even if you are confused about what that goal is, might be one of the most effective things we can do for ourselves.
Simply by deciding to put all of our focus and energy into one endeavor, we may see outrageously significant improvements in our lives. It’s the most productive step you can take at this point.
The Repercussions of Being Confined
Although it is natural to worry that we may make the incorrect decision, that other people will think we are stupid, or that we would be judged by others if we were unsuccessful, that brings us negative results:
- Indecision may cause us to vacillate between a number of different possibilities, which implies that we are giving each option just a portion of the work that we are capable of, if that. This incomplete attempt will not provide satisfactory outcomes for us.
- When we have doubt, it’s possible that we won’t make any choices or take any steps. The outcomes that we receive from doing this are certain to be terrible. If you don’t create the organization, it will imply that you are helping no one. If you don’t make your art, you’ll never be able to truly express who you are, and you won’t be able to make other people happy.
- If we do not pursue a course, then we will not acquire any new knowledge. It’s possible that this is the most significant disadvantage of them all: taking action is a means to learn, both about how to pursue a specific aim and about whether or not this is the proper cause for us. If you choose the road of teaching music, you will learn far more about teaching music than if you do nothing about it. If you have fun throughout the process, you may find that it is something that seems like a calling for you.
- All of this leaves us with a terrible impression of ourselves. And this may be the most distressing aspect of the whole situation: because we are unable to go on and because we are not following a course of action that has a meaningful purpose, we feel horrible about ourselves. People may sometimes declare that they have accepted their fate and are pleased with it, but in my experience, they are really harboring negative feelings about themselves due to the fact that they have accepted their fate.
The following are some important takeaways from this:
- A decision may be made to do nothing and avoid making one. It is often a far more serious problem than making a poor decision.
- There is not truly an option that should be avoided. You can only learn anything by making a choice and acting on it, so even if it turns out that the option you chose isn’t good for you, the only way you can learn that is by making that choice and acting on it.
- Our greatest concern is often that other people will consider us stupid because we are going to attempt to do something that we are not very good at. This presupposes that other people are truly concerned about the decisions that we make about our lives. The vast majority of people do not, and we allow ourselves to be governed by our own preconceived notions of what others believe and how they feel about things. Therefore, it is often best to operate under the assumption that the only opinion that counts is your own when making this type of decision.
The Outcomes That Come From Focusing on One Thing
Let’s compare these sorts of outcomes to the ones that occur when we focus all of our energy and attention on a single objective.
Choose one course of action to concentrate on for at least some period of time, and you will discover the following:
- You’ll acquire a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the trade. If you were interested in manufacturing DIY jewelry, you may significantly improve your ability to do so by devoting your whole attention to the endeavor. You will learn how to express yourself as well as about various tools, materials, and approaches, as well as what others like.
- You’ll find out a lot of interesting things about yourself. You’ll get insight into the things that excite you, the things that make your heart sing, the challenges you have yet to master, the things you don’t know about yourself, and the things that you adore. If you pay attention to what your gut is telling you as you work on the task at hand, you may figure out whether or not this is the path you were meant to follow.
- You will acquire the skills necessary to cope with uncertainties, challenges, and worries. These are essential life lessons that may be applied to the pursuit of any vocation.
- You get the ability to take action and to concentrate intently on one thing.
- The fantastic rewards that you obtain as a consequence of taking this step and focusing your attention are that you will produce more art than you ever have before. It doesn’t matter whether you’re making movies or writing code; you’ll have a higher production value and better quality than you could ever have hoped for in any other circumstance.
- You’ll be able to assist a lot more individuals if you do it this way.
- Taking action will make you feel much better about yourself compared to how you would feel if you did nothing at all.
- When you eliminate the back-and-forth of hesitation, you release a substantial amount of the mental energy that you would have spent attempting to make a choice. The toll that ongoing uncertainty has on our mental health and overall level of energy is often overlooked and difficult to quantify.
I’m not going to sit here and claim that picking a single course of action and devoting your whole being to following it successfully is easy and never challenging.
It is inevitable that it will be challenging and frightening. However, not following one course of action is likewise challenging and nerve-wracking. And going for one’s purpose with one’s full heart opens up a lot more doors of opportunity.
Taking a Blind Step Forward in Faith
When we don’t know what we want out of life, how can we choose a goal to work toward?
by reducing the need for clarity before taking action.
You may do this by asking your heart what it thinks your calling could be. What makes your soul leap with joy? What is it that you have always been frightened to do, but you have a sneaking suspicion could be your thing?
Which paths have you eliminated from consideration? About what have you been hedging your bets?
Record all of the responses, no matter what they are. Examine the list, spend some time with it, and make room in your life to genuinely sense in your heart what it is that you are supposed to be doing.
You should give yourself a deadline of one week to sit with it. At the conclusion of the week, you should check in with your heart to see what’s been speaking to you the most. So you should put your faith in it.
Commit. You are going to have concerns and worries. Regardless, commit. Share your plans with another person and make a definite commitment for a certain amount of time.
Let’s say a year. Or three months if you think a year is too ambitious. If even that seems like too big of a commitment, you may make your choice for the next three months. But commit.
Have some trust and take the plunge. This is a necessary condition. Ask yourself what steps you would take to pursue it if you knew for sure how to do so.
Then devote yourself to achieving this goal as if it were the only thing in the world that matters.