Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Commitment And The Willingness To Have It All Work Out For Everyone

Mutualpark, Pinelands, South Africa

June 7, 1983



This essay, Commitment And The Willingness To Have It All Work Out For Everyone, is the companion piece to Commitment Creates The Space For Keeping Your Word To Happen.

It is also the first in a quintology on Commitment: It is also the second in a group of twelve adapted from my thesis BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING:


In order to take a closer look at exactly what keeping my word literally implies, I decided to start a project and give my word that I would complete it, then notice what takes place as I made it happen.

I realised that the appropriate context for that project would be one in which the only point of making happen what I said is going to happen would be that I gave my word that it would happen.

After considering various contexts from which to observe that process, I chose skydiving because it fulfilled all the requirements perfectly.

That is how, never having jumped before from anything higher than a garden wall, I came to complete the training course offered by Atlantic Sskydivers, and early one Saturday morning in May, stepped out of the door of a Piper Cherokee 6, two and a half thousand feet up in the sky.

What I discovered in that laboratory, if you will, is that the essence of keeping my word is not conscious intention, as I had originally hypothesized. Even though I had a strong intention to jump, it was not that which finally got me through the door.

While sitting out there on the edge with my feet dangling in space, the idea of jumping somehow did not seem so attractive anymore. Having gotten ninety nine percent of the way there, my original intention was no longer motivating enough to prise loose my white-knuckled viselike grip from the side of the airplane. Adrenalin pumped.

The quality that ultimately made the difference and allowed me to experience completion was commitment. When it finally dawned on me that I was already committed to completing the jump no matter what my mind or my emotions had to say about it, I let go.

Five minutes later I floated out of the clear blue sky and landed safely in a field next to the airstrip.

Commitment is not your birthright. You are not born with it. You literally need to make it up, to create it out of nothing. To do that, you first need to be willing to be committed.

Commitment is what allows you to make happen what you said is going to happen because commitment is the ultimate context of keeping your word. Commitment fosters completion, nurtures it, it is what makes completion real and sanctifies it.

When you are willing to be committed, when you are willing to create commitment, you begin to notice that without commitment, nothing really works. When you are willing to have all of it work out, it is likely to.

For everyone.


The project described in this essay, Commitment And The Willingness To Have It All Work Out For Everyone, is documented in my thesis BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING which is available at

http://www.laurenceplatt.com/breakthrough

The essay BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING introduces the thesis.


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