SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- People who are afraid to commit to anything drift through life. Those who make commitments and honor them gain favor and a good reputation, accomplish their goals and reap the rewards, according to David Burton, county engagement specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“If you are interested, you will do what is convenient. If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes,” said Burton.

For example, Burton says in high school he was interested in playing the baritone. 

“I practiced at school, never at home. I had a friend who was committed. She practiced every day and even took lessons. She got a college scholarship for her trumpet skills and still plays. I’ve not picked up an instrument since high school graduation,” said Burton.
A person that is merely interested in something will believe their excuses about why they cannot achieve the goal. Many times they will focus on the excuses. 

“I have talked myself out of many things that I was merely interested in doing,” said Burton. “If you are committed, you will begin to let go of your excuses about why you cannot achieve something.”

However, a person cannot be committed to hundreds of different things. Burton says we must set priorities in order to have the time and mental energy to commit to something.

“In fact, deciding between interest and commitment can help you determine which things should be your priority,” said Burton.

To achieve or to lead we must commit to something!
If you are committed, you upgrade your knowledge. 

If you are committed, you upgrade your skills. 

If you are committed, you will spend your time figuring out how you can achieve your goals. 

If you are committed, you will focus on why you must instead of why you cannot. 

“In my opinion, commitment is the foundation for great accomplishments. It causes you to work hard and to get better,” said Burton. “When you are committed, you have ownership in the outcome. You are enthusiastic about the topic and you can even absorb a setback.”
Burton suggests measuring your commitment by spending a few hours figuring out where your money, time, and energy go every day.


Community development specialists with MU Extension help people create communities of the future by tapping into local strengths and university resources. The Community Development Program works collaboratively with communities to foster economic development, leadership development, community decision making, community emergency preparedness and inclusive communities.

For more information, contact any of these MU Extension community development specialists working in southwest Missouri:  Pam Duitsman in Christian County, (417) 581-3558; David Burton in Greene County, (417) 881-8909 or Maria E. Rodriguez-Alcalá in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158

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