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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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What is Commitment?

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More Articles By Praveen Panicker


By Praveen Panicker: Mahatma Gandhi won freedom for India from the mighty British Empire using the novel weapon of non-violence, Thomas Alva Edison invented the Electric Bulb after numerous failed attempts , Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a great struggle for the emancipation of the blacks in America.

Do you know what is common to all these great personalities?  - nothing other than Commitment

Many successful people are hailed as visionary leaders. If we carefully analyse then we can find that they hold firmly to a simple set of commitments. It is the strength of these commitments, religiously followed, that led to their success.

The most important single factor in individual success is COMMITMENT. Commitment ignites action. It means practicing your beliefs consistently. As an old saying "Stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

The combination of a strong, positive commitment to self, society and the organisation makes an individual successful.

First and foremost is to attain the self commitment. For which we have to be persistent.
Believing that you are unique, valuable and with a purpose is essential. If you are following your passions and purpose, why would you give up? Yes there will be intervals, roadblocks and such. Use your challenges as learning opportunities and renew your commitment. 

Then behave as if we already have what we seek. Consider what you want, what you believe is possible. And focus on it. So donít wait till tomorrow comes.  Live your life as if that life you envision is occurring now.

Finally invest in yourself. The programs weíve studied, the mentors who have helped us, were invaluable. Your self-investment will help you overcome the confusion and stuckness?? we all encounter.

This we can see from the story of Florence Nightingale, She was born in a wealthy family in 1825

Florence parents want her to marry and settle down when she reach the age of 21. But she doesnít want to entrap in domestic responsibilities. She believed that she had a calling to serve. In 1853 Crimean war broke out. It was a bloody war and the stories from the battle field shocked the entire nation. Florence went to the Crimean in 1855 and was asked to organise a group of nurses. Florence soon blended her unique passion for cleanliness with her compassion for the injured and dying. Stories reached the English press of how comforting she was to the injured soldiers and her name became synonymous with caring. Florence Nightingale returned to England after the war and opened a school for Nursing at St Thomas's hospital London

 Florence Nightingale is not famous because she became a Nurse, she became famous because she thought outside of the box, did something she was not supposed to do, disobeyed her parents and followed her dream to help people and make a difference. It is easy to follow a path that is already marked out, but making a new path takes courage and determination, how easily she could have failed to achieve her goal, thankfully she succeeded, she has a place in history because she was motivated and determined.

What does the word commitment mean to you in your marriage? Is it something you've thought about much? Was it an issue when you got married?

 Yes off course commitment between the husband and wife is the key to a successful marriage. Since every relationship is unique, what that means practically will vary from couple to couple. We show our commitment to each other by being aware of each otherís needs, joys, hurts and hopes. We also show it by checking out our attitudes and behaviour to make sure they're helpful to our relationship. That doesn't necessarily mean being a "Yes Person". Sometimes we need to challenge each other lovingly.

The truth is, demonstrating commitment is not an easy task we need to put lot of hard work. Wavering commitment is usually seen as no commitment at all. The only way to achieve a reputation for commitment is through determination and persistence. Genuine commitment stands the test of time.

Commitment is most difficult and most readily proven during tough times. How someone weathers the storms most clearly demonstrates their basic beliefs.  "a captain earns his reputation during the storms." The real test comes when you can hold the line against the easy route of compromise.

David Livingston would have made history if he had compromised his commitment, a European after living in East Africa for more than 12 years he had a desire to travel to west. It was not possible to travel alone. So he decided to seek the help of the tribal chief for sending a group of people along with him. Tribal chief was not in favour of that since he knew it is not going to be an easy task also he felt Whites are not trustworthy. But Livingston promised him to return his people. He pledges his life to show his commitment.

The journey was every bit as dangerous as it was thought to be. But finally, they made it to the west coast, and they stumbled into the port of Luanda, which had been their target, they were amazed by finding a British warship there. And that warship had been sent from England for the specific purpose of finding Livingston and bringing him back, on the orders of Queen Victoria.

The captain came to him and said, "Sir, Queen Victoria has sent me to urge you to return. All England is waiting to honour you." Very tempting. The request, even the order of the Queen, because when the Queen invites, that is a command in most cases. And the thought of going home, and the thought of being honoured, but Livingston had a problem. He had made a promise. "Well," they assured him, "the promise of a white man to an African doesn't matter. And the Queen is more important than a chief."

Livingston had made a commitment, and despite all the urgings of the naval officers who were there, he turned his back and headed back into the jungle. The round trip ended 2 1/2 years after he started, with him delivering those people back.

To honor his commitment.

That was probably why, when Livingston died, the Africans were very committed to bury his heart in Africa. They were more than willing to listen to a man whose word was something they could trust. It was also something very important to Livingston - his whole life was staked on a very simple promise

Remember, Commitment is a two-way street. You only get it if you are willing to give it.

Theodore Roosevelt: Quote: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

 Praveen V Panicker

He can be contacted at



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