Russell Turner

Seek essentials and give the most

Make Selective Commitments


Commitments aren't bad. I commit to brushing my teeth every night. I commit to paying the electric bill. I commit to giving my kids baths and filling up the gas tank when the gauge gets close to the E.

The problem comes when the day is filled with commitments. Or worse, when the pile is so high that you begin to suffocate and think you'll never escape. And so you escape to check email, or social feeds, or eat, or drink coffee.

When we're committed, we don't feel like we have a choice. Our past self charged the credit card and now we're stuck paying the bill.

The opposite of commitments isn't nothingness, it's freedom. Freedom to choose what to do with our time and resources. Freedom to direct our energy where we see fit. When we're committed, we're stuck with a choice that didn't have the full context. In the moment we have the ability to see the whole picture and take the best path.

We can optimize for freedom by doing things now instead of adding them to a list for later. By saying, "No," or "I'll let you know" and being ruthlessly selective about our promises. By reframing our internal commitments (like our resolve to get to the gym or practice writing) so that we're teeing up a flexible menu of desired outcomes.


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