Two months ago, Mina my partner in life and in business, organised a public speaking workshop for about 30 people. Three speakers were invited, each would speak for about twenty minutes about a topic related to public speaking. On the morning of the workshop one of the speakers texted Mina that she could not present due to being sick. Mina almost had a breakdown. The morning of the workshop? Could she not have told her earlier? I listened to Mina’s complaints; I nodded my head as she cursed the world; I held her hand as she cried; I handed her a tissue as she rang all her contacts to find a replacement speaker. I told her that things like this happen, people do get sick (bad mistake on my part).
The workshop went ahead, and the audience were satisfied, whilst being oblivious to the last-minute line-up change.
I am organising and hosting a show next week. Fourteen performers in front of a 100+ crowd. This afternoon I felt I am getting the sniffles. I am coming down with something. As a bloke, I love to be coming down with something. It gives me an excuse to check out of the rat race, to sit on the couch for three days and to ask for hot tea.
Being sick has been a great excuse to not do something on many occasions. But this time, many other people are relying on me to do my job. I have given them my commitment. So what shall I do? There is only one thing I can do. Follow on with my commitment. What else could I do? Cancel the event? Let down fourteen performers and a hundred eager guests who have paid some money to see the show? Of course not.
Mina’s workshop was not paid, and it had a smaller audience. But should the speakers be any less committed? I believe commitment rests with the person making it, and not with the size of the commitment. Many of us make the most simple mistake. We place a relative value on the thing we are committing to. What we should be placing value in is our commitment.
I have committed to running a show next week. Nothing short of a bus hitting me will stop me doing that. But this should also be the case if I commit to something as simple as visiting my grandmother. Not many people will see my commitment, but it will help me build good habits.