Are You Interested, or Are You Committed?

Being Interested isn't enough. Get committed instead

I was interested in getting fit but never committed.

I've watched many motivational fitness videos, tried out multiple workout programs, and experimented with different diet styles and plans.

However, my results are far from being good—or better put, consistent. I was at 15% body fat at my best shape, only to see it climbing back to 24% in less than a year. The pattern goes on for many years while I explore and learn more about health and fitness in general.

It took me more than a decade to get committed and start making little but consistent progress.

When you're interested

Being interested is fine. Having multiple channels to get curious and express creativity is essential to us.

But being interested isn't enough.

When we're interested, we feel motivated and pumped up to do what needs to get done but only for a while. Once the hype wears off, we fall back to our old identities and habits.

When we're interested, we do what is convenient and make us feel good. When things get hard and uncomfortable, we find excuses and hop on the next shiny object—then, the next one.

When we're interested, our eyes are locked on the prizes. So much so that we ignore the path.

By being interested, our attention and focus move outside-in.

  • We see the Wall Street guys owning nice cars, so we go after a similar career.
  • We see a ripped guy getting the attention we want, so we hit the gym and eat chicken breast and broccoli every day.
  • We see creators living the dream life, so we start a YouTube channel.
Outside-in focus of being interested

Often, the things that pull us towards are very different from those that help us get there. We're interested in the outcome, not the process.

When you're committed

Instead of being interested, be committed.

When you're committed, your productivity doesn't depend on extrinsic motivators. Instead of hyping things up, you take baby steps and make consistent progress.

When you're committed, you do whatever it takes to move forward. You become anti-fragile by being resourceful. You explore and experiment with multiple potential paths by thinking like a scientist.

When you're committed, you aren't just looking at the prizes. Instead, you figured out the price and are ready to pay it.

When you're committed, your attention and focus move inside-out.

  • You have a purpose of serving people in need, so you become a healthcare professional.
  • You know you're a healthy and fit person, and working out and having a balanced diet are parts of you and your lifestyle.
  • You're a creator; writing or filming is the work you do—even when it sucks.
Inside-out focus on being committed

By focusing inside out, you adopt a long-term view over the things that matter to you. You know it takes time to get what you want and focus on making small progress from moment to moment.

Time might even becomes irrelevant when being who you are is all that matters.

How to get committed

Being committed is all about moving your focus from outside-in to inside-out.

  1. Decide who you want to be.
  2. Figure out what this person does.
  3. Allocate your time, energy, and attention to the work.

Interestingly, no one ever jumps from nowhere to commit to something right away. Think about something you're committed to; it's likely what interests you at first. To be committed, you need to be interested first. Then, figure out what's truly important to you.

Ultimately, we want to get interested in many things and commit to a few that matter most.

Footnotes

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