Subject: What Are You Really Committed To?
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Monday, April 3, 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Welcome Notes and New Features
2. What Are You Really Committed To?
3. Coaching: Truth Creates Real Commitment
4. Quotes: Desire Begets Commitment Begets Action
5. Reading for the Journey
6. Humor: Professions
7. More Resources for Your Journey: Suggestions for
8. Ask Coach Margo: Keep Your Boundaries Light
9. Have Your Best Year Yet: Acknowledge Your
10. Shameless Marketing
1. Welcome Notes and New Features
Welcome to our 39 new subscribers this week. That takes
us well over 600! Who do you work with who might
appreciate CTJ? Send it along to them as a gift from you.
Hitting that ‘forward’ button is an easy way to let someone
know you support them in celebrating their life’s journey.
As a result of the response to last week’s request for
suggestions for improving CTJ, you’ll notice some
changes. I’ve added some New Features and revamped
some of the old ones. The overall result is longer and
better organized. Read what intrigues and interests you,
and skip the rest.
At the suggestion of Suzon Lommel and Betty Molloy, I
will be increasing the focus on reading recommendations
and will occasionally pass along information about a
workshop that sounds especially interesting.
Jeanette Hendrickson suggested a question and answer
section. Hence the addition of Ask Coach Margo. Each
week I’ll select a question and give a coaching tip on it.
What will make this possible is for you to send your
questions. Fire them at me at
Carol Pucak, a Best Year Yet Workshop graduate, asked for
a tie-in to that workshop. Each week there will be a
suggestion, reminder, or question that will stimulate you
to focus on your plan to make this Your Best Year Yet.
Enjoy CTJ in its new form. And let me know what you
2. What are you REALLY Committed to?
What is a commitment? My dictionary uses words like
pledge, promise, duty, responsibility. A commitment is an
honorable thing. When we commit to something we are
stating clearly that our intention is to do that something.
But is that really what we mean?
How often have you made commitments like these?
I’m committed to losing weight
I’m committed to working out 5 times a week
I’m committed to not being late
I’m committed to quitting smoking
I’m committed to spending quality time with my kids
I’m committed to earning more money
I’m committed to…
And yet the result was
Not losing weight
Not working out 5 times a week
Not being late
Not quitting smoking
Not… Not… Not…
You get the picture. Section 7 of this CTJ contains Phil
Humbert’s suggestions for achieving any change you want
in your life. The first step is to tell the truth. Do you
REALLY WANT to make the change? Are you REALLY
willing to do what it takes to make the change? Is your
heart’s desire truly to make this change? These are the
keys to it all.
You say you’re committed to quitting smoking. Are you
REALLY willing to go through the withdrawal and stress
involved in that?
You say you’re committed to earning more money? Are
you REALLY willing to educate yourself on how to do
that, take the risks that may be involved, make major
changes in your life in order to do that?
Often when we say, “I’m committed to getting more fit,”
what we’re really saying is, “I’m not sure I’m really willing
to do what it takes to get more fit but I know it would be
good for me so I’ll commit to it and maybe then I can do
What you’re really committed to in this situation is one of
1. Not getting more fit
2. Beating yourself up about not getting more fit.
Either way, you lose.
Telling the truth is the primary prerequisite for making a
commitment. We make commitments very lightly in our
society today. And everyone loses when they’re not kept.
Make a commitment only when your desire is strong,
when you know you’re ready, when it isn’t based on
trying or should. That creates a winning situation for you
and all those around you.
In the last 6 months, what changes or actions have you
said you were committed to that didn’t happen? Make a
For each item on the list, ask yourself, “What was I
REALLY committed to? Your answer might be:
Not doing it
Trying to do it (trying never gets something done. It
only accomplishes trying!)
Making myself wrong
Beating myself up about not doing it
Now you have told the truth. Commitments based on “I
should” are rarely kept. If your truth is that you know you
should quit smoking, and you don’t want to do what’s
necessary to accomplish that, own that you’re committed
to not quitting smoking. That is your truth. Own it. And
by owning it, you create the environment to change it.
4. Quotes: Desire Begets Commitment Begets Action
It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its
own opportunities, but its own talents.
You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5
You can’t build a reputation on what you’re GOING to do.
Then, like a wave rolling up on a beach, the deep, soul-
level desire to get to the top swept back into my being.
With a whispered, “Okay, God, let’s go,” I continued
To The Summit
5. Reading For The Journey
Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams
The jacket of this book includes the following text:
“DO IT! is a book for those
• who want to discover — clearly and precisely –their
• who choose to pursue that dream, even if it means
learning (and – gasp!- practicing) some new behavior
• who wouldn’t mind having some fun along the way
• who are willing to expand their comfort zone enough
to include their heart’s desire — and maybe even a dance
This delightfully readable, wisdom-filled, inspiring,
laugh-out-loud funny book provides a fabulous model for
committing to those things that we truly want and then
taking the action to achieve them. It continues to be one
of my favorites which I revisit on a regular basis. Click
here to buy it for just $9.71
Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters,
by Phillip C. McGraw
Phil McGraw is a widely known motivational speaker,
courtroom litigation consultant, and Life Strategist (read
Life Coach!). His matter-of-fact, somewhat in-your-face,
tough-love style is very effective. He is determined to
make sure that his readers are creators of, rather than
created by their lives, and he is almost fierce in his
demand for personal responsibility. This can be off-
putting to those of you who are looking for a gentle way to
grow. Phil is not gentle, and this book is about results
rather than process. I find it an exceptional addition to my
library, both personally and professionally. If you want to
get clear about what’s true in your life, what you really
want, and the actions to take to get there, this book will
tell you how to do it. This is a book that truly changes
lives! If you’re looking for a change, click here and buy it
at a 50% discount for only $10.98.
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
In this fascinating book Daniel Goleman busts open the
old “IQ idolizing” myths and makes the case for
“emotional intelligence” being the strongest indicator of
human success. He defines emotional intelligence in
terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation,
empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends,
partners, and family members. People who possess high
emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed
in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and
lasting, meaningful relationships. This book is about
heart-based success and how to achieve it. A fascinating
journey into new territory. Do some exploring and click
here to buy it:
6. Humor: Professions
These came to me via The Twisted Straw, an email
humor newsletter. You can subscribe by sending a blank
email to mailto:IWANTTWISTED@keepahead.com
A topologist is a man who doesn’t know the difference
between a coffee cup and a doughnut.
An accountant is someone who knows the cost of
everything and the value of nothing.
An auditor is someone who arrives after the battle and
bayonets all the wounded.
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when
the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins
to rain. (Mark Twain)
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why
the things they predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.
A statistician is someone who is good with numbers, but
lacks the personality to be an accountant.
An actuary is someone who brings a fake bomb on a plane
because that decreases the chances that there will be
another bomb on the plane. (Laurence J. Peter)
A programmer is someone who solves a problem you
didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.
A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking
for a black cat which isn’t there (Charles R. Darwin)
7. Resources For Your Journey: Suggestions To Achieve
Any Change You Want in Your Life
1. It has to be something you genuinely want. Some
people really don’t want to lose weight, quit smoking or
make more money. We all know we should want those
things. But the first key is to tell the truth. Never “try” to
change anything you don’t really want to change. Wait
until the time is right. Wait until you know you’re ready,
that your time has come, that this is something you really,
really, REALLY want to do.
2. There has to be a way to make it happen. Human
beings need a map, a guide, or at least a flashlight to see
our way. We don’t boldly strike out at midnight in a dark
forest hoping to stumble to the top of a mountain. We
just don’t do that! We need to see a path, a way to actually
achieve our dreams. That’s the value of books and tapes
and coaches. They help us find paths to get where we
want to go.
3. The path has to be credible, and safe. To make big (or
little) changes in our lives, we need a path that we believe
in, one that we know will work for us. Too often, we
strike out on paths that have worked for others, but we
don’t believe they will work for us. We suspect it’s too
steep, or requires skills we don’t have, and our doubt
dooms us to failure. Make sure you have a path that
makes sense, one that you trust to take you where you
want to go.
4. The path has to be easy. I believe in the virtue of
laziness. We don’t do things that are hard. Humans do
things that are easy, that make sense, that fit who we are
and what we want in our lives. To make big changes, find
a path with plenty of rest areas! It’s great if friends go
along to encourage you, but always find a path that suits
you, that fits who you are. Take the scenic route!
5. The path has to be exciting, or at least interesting. We
make changes when the process itself makes us stronger
and more alive. We make changes when we are stretching
and becoming the person we always believed we really
were, to begin with. To create change in our lives, we
have to enjoy the journey, not just hope the destination
will somehow be “worth it” after the pain and struggle.
To make big, wonderful changes in your life, find the
things that you really want to change, then find smart,
easy, and interesting ways to get there. Read books or buy
tapes or hire a coach to help you create strategies that
make sense, that will work, and that are rewarding along
the way. Change and growth are natural human
behaviors. We learn, we explore, we mature, we
“become” all the time. It’s easy! It’s virtually automatic.
Find a path to create the life you really want, then have
fun on your way. And, I’ll see you at the top!
The source of these great suggestions is Phil Humbert. His
website is chock full of great tips and tolls for your success.
Check it out at http://www.philiphumbert.com.
8. Ask Coach Margo
This is a new feature. Each week I will address a reader’s
question from a coaching perspective. What’s bugging
you? What’s not working in your life? What would you
like more of? Less of? Any of? None of? What would you
like to do and don’t have time for? Email your questions
to me at mailto:email@example.com, and I’ll choose
one each week to answer.
H writes, “I’m having trouble knowing how to handle a
friend who constantly brags about herself… her daily
comments on how everyone thinks she is so gorgeous,
talented and etc., are getting me down. Should I be happy
for her self-affirmations or gently let her know how
irritating her bragging is? I love her dearly and we have
been friends forever, and this is a new behavior for her.”
What we have here is a boundary issue. It is absolutely
appropriate to let another person know what behavior is
not acceptable around you. This is not controlling another
person; it is simply letting them know what’s not OK
around YOU. It doesn’t have to be heavy or judgmental.
One of the most common mistakes people make in setting
boundaries is to get very heavy around the process. Keep
Use words and a tone of voice that are neutral — neither
judging nor whining — to let your friend know that she is
doing the bragging behavior, and that it’s uncomfortable
for you. Make a request that she not do it. And then ask if
she agrees to your boundary. A boundary isn’t set until the
other person agrees to it. With a situation like this,
sometimes a compromise works well. “I love you, and I
love hearing what you’re doing, but I want to talk about
other things as well. So you’ve got 2 minutes to talk about
you, and then we’ll move on. Deal?” End with a smile.
Simple, light, clear.
9. Supporting Your Best Year Yet
Jinny Ditzler who developed the Your Best Year Yet
workshops says in her book of the same name, “We
human beings have an enormous capacity to remember
our failures while forgetting our successes… When you
find achievements to celebrate, you nourish your spirit
and motivate yourself.”
What have you accomplished in the last week? Take a few
minutes to make a list of all your successes for the last
week, big and small. Celebrate them: throw confetti, check
each one off in a different color crayon, read them one at a
time and holler, “Yippee.”
Do this each week and watch your self-confidence grow!
10. Shameless Marketing
Your Best Year Yet Special!
I have 4 YBYY workshops scheduled in the next two
months. I’m offering a 20% discount on registration to all
CTJ subscribers for any Your Best Year Yet workshop in
the months of April and May. John Gray said about Your
Best Year Yet, “Personal success does not have to be years
away. [Your Best Year Yet] masterfully guides you from
thought to action and inspires you to start actualizing
your heart’s desires this year.”
Can the next 12 months of YOUR life be your Best Year
Yet? You bet it can! This 3 1/2 hour workshop leads you to
a simple one-page plan for exactly that, and provides
tools to support you in following the plan. It’s a small
investment with a big return!
Workshop dates and locations are:
Aspen, Colorado, Sat. 4/15, 8:30 am – noon
Grand Junction, Colorado, Mon, 4/17, 6 – 9:30 pm
San Diego, California, Sat. 4/29, 8:30 am – noon
Boston, Mass., Fri. May 5/19, 8:30 – noon
Visit https://www.tothesummit.com/YBYY.html for more
information or click mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to
receive a registration form or answers to any questions.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to create a successful life and have the time to enjoy
it. Every dedicated athlete has a coach. Why not
have a coach for the most important game of all: the
game of life. Visit our website at
https://www.tothesummit.com for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an email to
Give yourself the gift of heart-based commitment this
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My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey to creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others’, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
ways to improve CTJ. I welcome your emails at
Copyright © 2000, all rights reserved, by Margo Chisholm
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“At every moment of our life we have an
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Henri J. M. Nouwen
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
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