I’m here to tell you to quit feeling guilty because you can’t seem to commit. Some of us just aren’t meant to. At least not in some areas of life. Now, I’ve talked to you in the past about getting along with people right? But more specifically we understand ‘romantic relationships’ when someone mentions ‘commitment’ don’t we? Well that single word can embrace so much more in your day to day experience then only who you will or won’t love.
Here’s the question, do you ever look at your life and feel like there’s one constant that you can’t shake? Does it drive you nuts that you can’t seem to commit to things? Whether it’s hobbies or jobs, after a while the initial excitement disappears and then you’re back to hunting for a new idea to obsess about?
Some of the things we try in life, result in a lot of discomfort.
I think we start developing that characteristic in our childhoods. And while that start may be so subtle that even our moms and dads can barely tell where the patterns begin, their effects will last a lifetime. Some of those effects will ‘pay off well’. And some will ‘hurt like hell’.
Years ago, I noticed something in myself that could definitely be entered under the ‘Hurt Like Hell’ category. I realized that I have a pattern when it comes to my interests. Something catches my attention, I ‘take a look at it’ and before you know it, I’m taking a class or running out and buying a bunch of beginner books and supplies. I dive into learning all the how-to’s of my newfound passion. Hours spent on reading, trying, learning and more doing…………….
Too bad the fire cools, but sometimes it does!
And just about the time that I can say that I’ve got a basic idea of how this all comes together or works, the drive to do it, cools. And before you know it, something else has taken that interest’s place. New learning, new reading, more trying, more reading and learning. That’s my pattern, I can’t seem to commit long term.
Years ago, pottery caught me in a weak moment. Watching the teacher in that first pottery class, take that blob of mud and turning it into a beautiful, graceful shape in a matter of moments just mesmerized me! It was like watching a flower grow and I was in love with the idea of it. So I subscribed to a pottery magazine, bought books on pottery and by and by, set up my own little studio in the garage.
The ‘set-up’ for a new interest can be half the fun can’t it?
I had to put in walls, insulate, get wiring changed and build shelves. Then I shopped for my wheel, chose my new kiln and picked out the hand tools I’d need. This part of my new fascination was a blast. And by the time I finished all this, I had a really cool little first time potter’s studio. It was bright, interesting, and it had a bank of empty shelves just waiting for the masterpieces that I was going to create.
I spent hours, kneading my ‘mud’, making my pots and then firing them. Most were total flops for all kinds of reasons, but once in a while, I’d pull something out of the kiln and I’d actually feel kind of good about it.
As my pattern dictates, right about the time that I was beginning to get a little consistency and finesse in my bowls, we decided to move. And I decided not to take my studio along. It wasn’t really a hard decision either and I don’t recall that I felt any real pangs about it. The fact that I can’t seem to commit kicked in easily.
And it can be hard or maybe sometimes easy, to justify in the moment, our changing interest.
Looking back, I think I’d suddenly realized that when I did get good at this, I’d have an awful lot of pottery to deal with. And I had no interest in doing craft fairs. So it actually became an opportunity I guess, to get out from under a future problem.
The ‘hurts like hell’ part in this example is the amount of money that I spent vs. the amount of money I got back from selling my equipment.
When we moved, I’m sure I took up some other interest although I can’t recall what it was. But that’s not the point is it? What’s relevant is the pattern. And the fact that we have these patterns of living that either work for us or against us.
All of society (including mom and dad) encourage us to focus for success!
Once I realized that I was getting through life like this, I actually found it kind of frustrating. The mantra of ‘focus deeply and you will succeed’, with the goal of money and glory dangling there in front of you, rings in our heads. We hear it from our moms and dads, schools and in the media.
That idea is everywhere but that’s not where people like me and lots of you, are. Focus deeply……until we get the hang of it. That’s where we’re at. Proverbial ‘Jack of all trades, masters of none’. Can’t seem to commit? Yeah, we’ve definitely got that happening!
Not all bad habits are terrible habits though. Are they?
BUT I had a thought today, that sometimes, those patterns that we live by, can be bad, but still have a little bit good in them. Sure, I lost some money on the whole pottery experience, but it’s what I gained that’s really important.
I learned about basic construction and about design and function. As well, I learned about a craft that is almost as old as man and I learned about the chemistry of glazes. I gained in all those areas and I learned focus and patience as I went through the entire process.
You can spend your life, chasing a single dream.
And yes, spending your life pursuing one thing and becoming an authority on it is a good thing. And can usually become profitable too by the way.
Are there any pluses to hold onto when you can’t seem to commit? There’s gotta be something right!
But there are some pluses to the sort of life pattern we’ve been looking at. Not as good for your wallet for obvious reasons, but still good for you personally.
I’ve come to the realization that when we lose interest in an activity and take up a new hobby, that in itself is an act of creation. You’re essentially, re-creating yourself over and over again. And each time you add a new layer to the complexity that is you.
When you can’t seem to commit, it doesn’t mean you’re a complete failure at life. It only means you have an endless curiosity and interest in the details of life. And while you’re trying all these new things, you’re learning new skills and new ways to solve problems. And isn’t problem solving at the heart of the human brain’s uniqueness?
Life is all about balance. The hard part is recognizing that balance and finding your joy ‘in spite of it’.
There will always be areas of your life when you have to dig in and see it through. Getting through life is an ongoing balancing act. You balance the things you gotta do, with the million other things you want to try.
So go ahead, try them for as long as you get that rush and then move on when you get bored. I’m telling you now, that if you can’t seem to commit, that’s okay. You aren’t just like the next guy, so you can’t be expected to go through life just like the next guy. And don’t beat yourself up for it either! Sometimes I think, commitment is over-rated.
Even ‘dabbling’ can pay off so don’t hesitate to follow your heart.
And you know, there may come a point, after having dabbled in all those hobbies or experiences, that one of them may hold onto you for long enough for you to actually become an authority. That’s when you’ll see the shift over to the ‘Pays Off Well’ column.
….Share your thoughts and let me know what you think. In the meantime, be safe, be kind and enjoy your day wherever you are!
As always, I will remind you that I’m not a medical doctor. I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health however. And that’s what I’m sharing here. All of it based on my own experiences and also the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. But I suggest strongly that you talk over any changes in your routines, with your doctor. This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.