On September 25, 2016, in Monday Motivator, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
Listen to an audio version of this message.

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” Unknown

One of my favorite success quotes is attributed to the actress Mae West. “An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”

We live in a world where people are increasingly choosing careers that suit a 9 to 5 schedule. Gen Y kids are said to switch jobs in a heartbeat, if it doesn’t fit their lifestyle. And everybody knows about the uncomfortably high divorce rate.

In the elite world of high performance you always need to be on your A-game. The difference between leading the field and getting stuck in the pack is the work you’re willing to do on the extra mile.

It’s easily forgotten that the single most important behavior that leads to achievement is commitment.

“Unless commitment is made,” said management guru Peter F. Drucker, “there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”

My mentor, Jim Collins of Good to Great fame, writes, “The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do, an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step.”

Jim’s words remind us that the habit of excellence is based on the foundation of commitment.

Commitment is taking the time to figure out what happiness really means.
Commitment is due diligence before decision.
Commitment is an inoculation against distraction.
Commitment on both sides is the steel that forges a lasting relationship.
Commitment refines and transforms dreams as they come closer to reality.
Commitment is malleable but unbreakable.
Commitment overcomes fear.
Commitment repels negativity.
Commitment is the fuel that recharges energy.

How many of these definitions fit your outlook, your goals, your behavior?

When NBA hall-of-famer Earvin Johnson used to come by WVIC in the days when we were both in East Lansing, it was clear, even then, that Magic was focused. “I was able to see what I wanted to do,” he wrote later. “I could see the opportunity, even when others could not. I stay committed to doing it and doing it well, no matter what.”

How about you? How do you feel today about that central dream that drives you?

If we expect excellence, we tend find it. But, like all things in life, it has a way of being attracted to people who are committed to it.

Have a great week!

Feedback welcome to or @MSUScottW on Twitter.


1 Response » to “Commitment”

  1. James Moore says:

    Scott – on a campaign trip with the late Gov. Ann Richards years ago we were in some podunk place in W. Texas for a breakfast speech. She was doing a q and a afterwards and it got quiet and she said, “I can’t win this without y’all’s help. I need people to do what is necessary to help us win.”

    A rancher sitting at a table nearby was eating his ham and eggs and was tired of the campaign talk and looked up between bites. He said, “We’re involved, governor. We’ll make it happen.”

    Ann was unimpressed. “You’re involved,” she said. “Being involved isn’t enough. I need commitment to win. And if you don’t know the difference just look at your breakfast. The chicken that laid those eggs you’re eating, she was involved. But that ham steak? The pig was committed.”

    As I recall, he spit out some coffee laughing. But she eloquently made her point.

    As usual, I agree with what you’ve written here…