Commitment and the questions we ask

imagesI used to coach high school basketball outside of Indianapolis. There are a number of good private schools in the area where I coached. To be honest this changed how we coached and changed the mindset of many players and their parents. If players were unhappy for whatever reason there was always a possibility that they would choose to go to a nearby private school. Just below the surface kids and parents were always asking themselves “Are we in the best situation for us?”

I also played high school basketball. It wasn’t always perfect but as far as I was aware there wasn’t an option of playing anywhere else.

Due to the fact that there were no other options the question I subconsciously asked myself was, “How can we make the best out of the situation we are in?”

When faced with options we subconsciously ask the question, “Am I in the best situation for me?”

The question we ask ourselves changes how we handle the circumstances we find ourselves in. 

Some guys I care deeply about once asked me what is the point of getting married until you are having kids?

Until you are married you are like the basketball player with unlimited options. When conflict arises the underlying question is, “Should I stay in this relationship?” (Is this the best situation for me?)

Once you have made a commitment the question becomes “How do we handle this conflict together?” (How do we make the best out of the situation we are in?)

This may be the most rewarding part of marriage and it cannot be experienced outside of a commitment to each other. 

The prevalence of divorce is heartbreaking for many reasons. This is one of them. When divorce is considered a viable and easy option than we never shift the underlying question.

This concept carries over to every situation in our lives.

Your job:

Try giving yourself a limit to how often you can evaluate whether it is a good fit or not. You don’t need to make the same kind of commitment to your job that you do a spouse (don’t we millennials know that!) but if you are evaluating day by day or week by week whether it is the right job for you you will never shift the question and never give it a fair chance. My suggestion is to put it in your calendar to allow yourself to evaluate your job every 6 months.

Your choice of college: We all know too many people who were ready to transfer after their first semester of college only to wait it out and discover they love it after a year.

Parenting: I know this is difficult and I hesitate to give parenting advice but we need to do our best to help our kids understand this. When we swoop in and give our kids options to get out of every difficult situation we teach them to continually ask “Is this the best situation for me?” rather than “How do we make the best out of the situation we find ourselves in?”

** In each of these categories there are appropriate times to get out of the situation. Certainly in situations of abuse or maltreatment than you should get out.


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