Sunday, January 04, 2015

Save yourself from your own weakness

Commitment is the greatest productivity secret on the planet. It’s one of the few strategies guaranteed to create a gravitational field that draws good things into it. 

The challenge is, most people are terrified of commitment. It makes them feel vulnerable. And that’s understandable. But as my favorite literary realist once said, to be vulnerable to risk is to risk being shattered, but without the shattering, there is no glory. 

What people need, then, is a commitment device. A physical object or prototype that makes the effects of your work real and visible for all to see, even in the early stages of production. It’s a way to lock yourself into a situation that you might otherwise dodge. 

Like the writer who prints mock covers of the novel he hasn’t published yet. Or the entrepreneur who designs and distributes business cards for a company that hasn’t gone public yet. Or the chef whose unfinished blog redirects visitors to a landing page where she collect emails for future contact. 

Each of these people created a commitment device. A way to handcuff themselves and put restraints on their behavior through the power of psychological pressure. Because that’s the social norm. By virtue of the public commitment, people feel obligated to follow through with their promises to avoid cognitive dissonance. 

Without the commitment device, the writer might never finish his novel, the entrepreneur might delay the launch of his startup, and the chef might never go public with her recipes. 

Lesson learned, always burn the boats before storming the beach. 

It adds energy to the system and moves the story forward. And it reminds you that it’s not about getting everything right, it’s about getting something moving in the right direction.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your commitment device?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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