Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Passion vs Commitment

My husband said he wants to start up a blog titled "The Adventures of My Wife, The Pig."

I've been overeating again, and this time, I seem to have surpassed his highest expectations. Although he pretends to be shocked, I know he's actually proud of my piggy achievements. But just to rub it in and give him a rash of goosebumps, I went on and on about how nice it is that he is so proud of me. And asked him what else is he proud of me for?

To my surprise, he took me seriously and said he's proud of my mindset towards work, and my passion to reach out and make a difference to people, and my commitment to 95%.

That shut me up for a moment. I had to deal with my own goosebumps!

Funny, it was only recently that I was sharing my views on passion vs commitment.

What I believe is that it is easy to be committed when the passion is strong, and I am loving what I do. So giving my all to 95% is mostly a joy. Even when I am exhausted. Actually, I think in the past 3 years, I have only had one brief spell of dreading to come to work. It requires very little effort to do what I do. It is easy, it is natural, and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

Now, I don't call this commitment. Or rather, my commitment isn't being called for yet.

I think that commitment is called for only when passion fades. Passion provides energy. Commitment is what keeps you going when you have no energy left, when you'd much rather be doing something else. Commitment is keeping your word, even when your body, mind and heart is crying out for you to run away and lead an easier life.

This is what I have seen Sonny doing. At his previous job, and now again at his current one. He goes in with a purpose, and no matter how tough it becomes, no matter how tired he gets, or how much he dislikes doing what he does, he will see it through. He will not leave until he has fulfilled his word and turned the place around. Now that is what I call commitment. That is what I admire and respect.

I think it is the same with relationships too. When passion is strong, no problem. But when life kicks in, that's when commitment is called for. It takes commitment to remain open when you'd rather shut down, to be accessible when you'd rather be left alone, to listen and empathise when you'd rather be blaming and judgemental.

Actually I see this quality in many people around me: my brother Ken and his wife Wati of course, and Mom & Dad who will be celebrating their 60th anniversary soon. And also my dearest friends and colleagues Peter and Shahnaz - we've been through rough times and still going strong!

Whether it is at work, or in relationships and friendships, I'm glad I have people to show me what commitment truly is.


Blogger yenny said...

and thanks for sharing dis wonderful thought, Janet. I was trying hard to get what u meant in ur previous email, and now I got it clear here. I think I already got the call.


8:48 PM  
Blogger iwannaeatporkchoptonight said...

You know, you are just so inspiring! :) I've never seen both elements independently before. I thought when you have passion, then you automatically have commitment and vice versa. I'm still not feeling my passion yet. Advertising is one of them but, I realised that's only half the time, the other half, it's a commitment. Gosh, I wish I could be like Jamie Oliver. Now, that's real passion :)

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Florence said...

Passion and Commitment can actually be viewed as mutually exclusive variables, well, very good analysis indeed. In fact, a rather convincing one as well. Applying that theory onto my current state of life, I think I'm graduallly feeling the passion for work. Thanks for writing out this piece of thought, making me realising this growing passion of mine, finally.

On a second thought, have you also ponder that perhaps the energy that comes along with Passion energises our mental and physical strength, thereby enable us to be naturally committed to the subject matter easily, with much struggle for adherance? Such being the case, genuine Commitment is then a natural by-product of being truly passionate, lacking of which, artificial/man-made Commitment shall then be required.

12:01 AM  

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