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Have you slowed down to wonder recently about what truly motivates your life?  

Deep down, when you get in touch with your deepest motivations, do you know what they are? 

I often find myself in conversations with people who are motivated to avoid pain, avoid suffering, avoid hurting someone’s feelings, avoid being judged, avoid rocking the boat. You see the theme, right?  

And I know that internal place all too well myself. It’s where I self-silence and camouflage myself to be more palatable to others, where I avoid conflicts by keeping quiet, where I maintain the illusion of peace and harmony even though I carry a deep inner conflict that I’m afraid to express out loud.   

Whenever I find myself hijacked by my fears, I make lower quality choices and decisions. I find myself reacting to life instead of co-creating my life. I find myself in “management” mode instead of leadership mode. I find myself falling into victim-consciousness instead of staying grounded in a more inspired vision for my life.  

At these times, I find it very helpful to ground myself in my deeper desires and my deeper values, and I often find myself asking two important questions:

  1. Who do I want to be in the face of this? 

  2. What commitments and values do I want my life to serve?  

This week’s blog post outlines the five commitments that I regularly return to. Over the next several weeks, I’ll expand on each of them in more detail.

First, let’s begin by defining what I mean by a commitment.  

I like to think of a commitment as a pledge, an intention, a promise to myself, something that I find intrinsically and consistently motivating and meaningful in my life. I invite you to use these ideas as an invitation to define your own commitments to yourself. They may be similar to mine, or they may be different. What’s important is to know who you want to be and what you are personally committed to in your own life.  

Here are my five core commitments:  

  1. Consciousness: My willingness to wake up and work with reality as it is. The practice of mindfulness and contemplation. The commitment to see clearly, dropping my defenses and moving out of denial.  

  2. Compassion: My desire to alleviate suffering in myself and others, rather than using suffering as a motivation for myself and others.  

  3. Choicefulness: My willingness to ground myself in my ability to respond to what life sends my way, instead of succumbing to victim-consciousness. My commitment to keeping my attention on those things that I can control, instead of succumbing to the hopelessness and despair I feel when I focus on all those things in life I cannot control.

  4. Courage: My willingness to be uncomfortable when it’s in the service of my deeper values and integrity. My willingness to approach the hard conversations that I may want to avoid, to say the true thing even if it rocks the boat, to choose the more difficult path when it serves a deeper purpose and value of my own. My willingness not to default to the easier or more comfortable path.  

  5. Collaborative Co-creation: My willingness to inhabit a space of shared power and shared humanity with others, to walk myself down from grandiosity and to walk myself up from shame in each moment, to engage with my imagination and serve what Charles Eisenstein called “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible,” instead of settling for a normalized and dysfunctional status quo. 

Tune in again next week as we begin exploring these commitments in more depth, considering the specific ways they manifest in our daily lives and how we can harness their power. Again, these ideas are shared here as inspiration for you to define your own commitments. I invite you to take some time in the next week to contemplate: What are your deepest values that serve as guideposts for living your most empowered life?


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