Commitments vs. interests in creating legacy

‘Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.’  Peter F. Drucker

Creating legacy through deciding on your commitments

In choosing a legacy project with which you can create legacy, it is important to distinguish between the areas you are interested in and what you are prepared to commit to.

There is no real upper limit to the number of things you can be interested in. But nothing very much is likely to come of any of your interests, unless you turn some of them into commitments.

The problem with commitments is that you can only keep a limited number of them. This is because commitments imply exclusion. You cannot be committed to everything you are interested in; you can only keep a few commitments, and the rest of your interests will have to wait, or you might never get to them.

A concrete example of interests vs. commitments

To give you a concrete example, the list of areas I’m interested in is extremely long: writing, psychology, entrepreneurship, academic research, acting, politics, media, music, fashion, painting etc.

Within each of these areas, I’m interested in many other things. For example, I have an interest in writing both fiction and non-fiction; each of these types of writing requires different (if at times overlapping) skillset, training, mindset etc. and the number of legacy projects I could start within each of these areas is endless. And it’s the same with each of the different areas I’m interested in.

Which means, sadly, that I have to neglect a large number of my interests so I can dedicate my energy and attention to the few areas I have decided to make a commitment to.   

How knowing what your commitments are can help with creating legacy

It is only within those areas to which you are prepared to make a commitment that you should start your legacy project. Also, limiting your actions to what you are committed to will make the real difference to completing your legacy projects.

Knowing what your commitments are is an essential part in choosing a legacy project, and later in organising your day so as to be able to make steady progress on it. This means you can use your commitment as a signpost to help you decide what you should be doing at any given time, and thereby doing real work (which leads to real progress on your legacy project) instead of busywork. 

What are your thoughts?

Have you found this distinction between interests and commitments helpful? What sacrifices are you prepared to make in terms of your interests, to make sure you honour your commitments? I’d love to read your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at www.alexaispas.com