Make a Commitment... and You’ll Move Mountains!



                     LESSON 4

Make a Commitment... and You’ll Move Mountains!


What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.

— Alexander Graham Bell


used to think I knew what commitment and persistence meant. Trying hard. Making a lot of attempts. However, I didn’t grasp the true meaning of these concepts until I read a small paperback book entitled The Ultimate Secret To Getting Absolutely Everything You Want, by Mike Hernacki.

   Commitment is the essence of The Ultimate Secret. According to the author, the key to getting what you want is the “willingness to do whatever it takes” to accomplish your objective. Now, before your mind jumps to conclusions, let me add that in saying “whatever it take s” I exclude all actions which are illegal, unethical or which harm other people.

   So, exactly what do I mean by this “willingness”? It’s a mental attitude that says:

If it takes 5 steps to reach my goal, I’ll take those 5 steps; 

If it takes 55 steps to reach my goal, I’ll take those 55 steps;

If it takes 155 steps to reach my goal, I’ll take those 155 steps.

   Of course, at the outset, you usually won’t know exactly how many steps will be required to reach your goal. This doesn’t matter. To succeed, all that’s necessary is that you make a commitment to do whatever it takes — regardless of the number of steps involved.

   Where does persistence fit in? Persistent action follows commitment — that is, you first must be committed to something before you’ll persist to achieve it. Once you’ve made a commitment to achieve your goal, then you’ll follow through with relentless determination and action until you attain the desired result.


The “Magic” Of Commitment

When you make a commitment and are willing to do whatever it takes, you begin to attract the people and circumstances necessary to accomplish your goal. For instance, once you devote yourself to becoming, say, a best-selling author, you might suddenly “bump into” a literary agent or “discover” a television program offering advice on this very topic.

   It’s not as if these resources never existed before. It’s just that your mind never focused on finding them. Once you commit yourself to something, you create a mental picture of what it would be like to achieve it. Then, your mind immediately goes to work, like a magnet, attracting events and circumstances that will help bring your picture into reality. It’s important to realize, however, that this is not an overnight process; you must be active and seize the opportunities as they appear.

   The magic which flows from commitment has never been more eloquently or more accurately described than in the following words by W. H. Murray:

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely 

commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.

Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.

— Napoleon Hill

“All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”


Doors Will Open

Here’s another miraculous feature of the power of commitment: You don’t have to know at the outset how to achieve your goal. Sure, you’ll be better off if you have a plan of attack, but it’s not essential that every step be mapped out in advance.

   In fact, when you have the willingness to do whatever it takes, the “right” steps are often suddenly revealed to you. You’ll meet people you never could have planned to meet. Doors will unexpectedly open for you. It might seem like luck or good fortune is smiling on you; in truth, you’ll have created these positive events by making a commitment and, thus, instructing your mind to look for them.

   Here’s an example of how a door unexpectedly opened for me. In 1989, I started writing motivational articles. I’d learned about the power of a positive attitude and the other success principles, and I was committed to sharing this information with others who could benefit from it. But I had no idea where to start. Do I send my articles to newspapers... submit them to magazines... write my own book?

   The first thing I did was submit an article to a local newsletter for people involved in training and human resources. That article was printed in the summer of 1990. A few months later, I got a phone call from a gentleman named Stuart Kamen, a freelance writer who also worked with businesses to produce newsletters. Stuart said he’d seen my article while visiting the home of his best friend —and was very impressed with it. 

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.

   — Sir Thomas Buxton

   Then he asked me, “Have you ever thought of writing a newsletter?” Quite frankly, I hadn’t thought of doing my own newsletter. We arranged a meeting and Stuart explained how we could work together to produce a newsletter that would make these self-development concepts available to thousands of people.

   About one month later, the first issue of Attitude is Everything newsletter was published. And we’ve been going strong for more than nine years — and have reached hundreds of thousands of people with this life-changing information!

   How did it all happen? I was committed to sharing these principles with others. I had a positive attitude. I started writing. And then, Stuart Kamen, a complete stranger, entered my life — someone who knew just how to turn my dream into reality.

   Ah, the magic of commitment!


A Word Of Caution

Before you get too excited about waltzing easily toward your goals, I caution you. Even with a commitment, everything won’t be rosy on your path. Life will test you to see how serious you are about achieving your objective. Obstacles will arise. You’ll make mistakes and suffer disappointments and setbacks, some of which may be quite severe and even tempt you to abandon your goal.

   That’s when it becomes important to follow the sage wisdom of Winston Churchill, who said: “Never, never, never give up.” Or the advice provided by James J. Corbett: “You become a champion by fighting one more round. When things are tough, you fight one more round. 

   If you’ve made a commitment to accomplish a goal, you can overcome temporary defeats... and you will triumph!


Commitment Pays Off For Aspiring Novelist

A few years ago, American Way magazine carried a fascinating interview with best-selling novelist David Baldacci. Baldacci is the author of the immensely successful novels Absolute Power, Total Control and The Winner. Millions of copies of his books have been sold.

   Let me assure you, however, that Baldacci was no overnight success. His accomplishments and financial achievements were the result of his total commitment to developing his talents as a writer. Like me, Baldacci started out as a lawyer. He started law school in 1983 and didn’t give any thought to becoming a best-selling novelist. He simply enjoyed writing.

   Yet, at the outset, Baldacci knew that he didn’t have the necessary writing skills. So he made a commitment, as he put it, to learn the craft of writing. For the first five years, he didn’t finish any of his projects. Every day, he just worked on characters, plot development and other writing basics.

One person with a commitment is worth more than 100 people who have only an interest.

  — Mary Crowley

   At the time, he was a practicing lawyer, and he and his wife had two young children. When did he find the time to do this writing? Baldacci worked on his writing every night from 10:00 pm until 2:00 am. Now, that’s a commitment to do whatever it takes! He pointed out, however, that he had fun writing — it wasn’t a chore. By the way, I’m not suggesting that you stay up all night to pursue your goals — that 10:00 pm to 2:00 am shift certainly wouldn’t work for me, and it may not work for you, either!

   After 10 years of writing, Baldacci had completed some short stories and a few screenplays. His total sales: ZERO. All that he had to show for his efforts were a lot of rejections from editors.

   In 1996, all of Baldacci’s efforts paid off... big time! He received millions of dollars for the literary and movie rights to his blockbuster thriller Absolute Power. The star of the movie was Clint Eastwood.

   Such is the power of a person who is committed.


He Refused To Quit

I’ve learned a lot about the magic of commitment from my good friend, Jerry Gladstone. In 1986, Jerry started his own company, American Royal Arts, selling a variety of collectibles. One year later, he decided to concentrate on selling animation art. He secured licenses with Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera and other, smaller studios. But he realized that to really grow his business, he needed to sell Disney art.

   For three years, he wrote letters and called Disney head-quarters requesting permission to sell Disney art. Each time, he got the same answer from Disney: NO.

   That didn’t stop Jerry. He kept contacting Disney executives. One executive finally had just about all she could take of Jerry. So she told him, in a voice and tone reminiscent of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, the evil queen from Snow White and Cruella Devil from 101   Dalmatians all rolled into one, “You’ll never get a Disney

license!”


The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.

  — Ted Engstrom

   Time to give up, right? Not Jerry! Through all these rejections, he kept a great attitude. He called more executives at Disney. And then one gentleman at Disney, hoping to get rid of Jerry once and for all, said, “Well, the only two places we would consider allowing a gallery offering Disney artwork to open would be either Minnesota or Massachusetts.”

   Jerry’s business was in New York, and he had no desire to open a gallery in a remote location. Guess what Jerry did? He flew to Boston the very next day. And by the end of the day, he had signed a lease for a place on Newbury Street in Boston!

   He called the Disney executive to report that he had the Massachusetts location. They both had a good laugh. And then the executive said to Jerry, “If you had the courage to go up to Boston the next day and open a place just like that, we have to put you on the Disney program.” Within a few weeks, Jerry opened the Boston gallery featuring the Disney line.

   Within a year, he was given permission to market the Disney line through his New York store. Jerry has now done business with Disney for 10 years. He has sold millions of dollars of Disney art and is the largest volume Disney animation art dealer in the world!

   Talk about commitment... talk about keeping a good attitude in the face of rejection! Jerry was going to get the Disney license no matter what it took. Just ask Jerry, and he’ll tell you “in a New York minute” that attitude is everything!


As Long As It Takes

I’d like to share with you the story of Benjamin Roll, who lives in Newport Beach, California. In 1990, at the age of 67, Roll graduated from law school. Naturally, before he could start practicing law, he had to pass the California Bar Examination.

   On his first attempt at the examination, he failed. On his second attempt, he failed. And he failed the third time... the fourth time... the fifth time... the sixth time... the seventh time... the eighth time... the ninth time... the 10th time... the 11th time... the 12th time... and the 13th time.

   Let me add one important fact: the Bar Examination is given only twice each year. So, at the time of his 13th failed attempt, Roll was now 73 years old. Most people would have quit, but not Benjamin Roll!

   He took the exam for the 14th time... and he passed! In 1997, at the age of 74, Roll was admitted to practice law in the state of California. Now, here’s a guy who’s committed... and willing to do whatever it takes. As Roll explained, “I was going to pass that cotton-pickin’ exam if I lived long enough. And I did!”

   Does this story tell you anything about the importance of attitude? Most people wouldn’t even consider starting law school in their 60s. Yet, here’s someone who not only enrolled in law school, but was willing to spend six years after graduation studying to pass the Bar Exam.

   Wow! Benjamin Roll’s story is simply further proof that attitude is everything!


Time To Make A Commitment

Now, let’s assume you have a goal in mind. The next question to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal?” If your answer is, “I’ll do just about anything, except that I won’t do _____ ,” then frankly, you’re not committed.

    And if you’re not committed, it’s likely that you’ll be derailed and not achieve your objective. For instance, many people start a new business with this approach: “I’ll give it six months to prosper. If things don’t work out after six months, I’ll quit.” This is not a mental attitude that leads to success.

   Where would novelist David Baldacci be if he had said, “I’ll try the writing for one year... and if I can’t sell anything, I’ll give it up”? He’d have missed out on the opportunity to do what he loves... have financial independence...and live his dream!

   Now, I’m not suggesting that you just bull ahead without a plan and hope for the best. Of course you should set timetables, deadlines and budgets so you stay on course and succeed as quickly as possible. But the reality is, despite your most careful plans, you don’t know how long it will take to achieve your goal... and you can’t foresee all





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