Commitment: The key to realizing the fruits of our labour.

February 29, 2024

Details of apples laid out like a classic wallpaper

The key to realizing the fruits of our labour is commitment.

This isn’t just a catchy and appetizing phrase. We literally want you to think about fruit.

Consider this:

You’ve just finished a delicious apple and are holding its seedy core dreaming of a fresh one. There isn’t a supermarket around (adding that detail for the snarky reader in the back), so you decide that it’s a good idea to grow your own. This way, apples will be plentiful going forward.

But an apple tree isn’t grown in a day.

First, the seed needs to be coaxed to sprout – in a sheltered environment where you can ensure the moisture and lighting conditions are not-too-much and not-too-little. After a time, you expose the seedling to the elements – at first for just a few hours, so that it can get used to wind and weather. Eventually, hardened and ready, you plant it in a place that is suitable for both today and decades from now. You continue to water it for the season.

But it doesn’t stop there. As the years go by, you sustain the effort of nurturing the tree: protecting it from the foraging munch of animals, wrapping it in burlap to shield it from winter’s frigid bite, and watering it in seasons of threatening drought.

If all goes well, after seven years that little seed will finally be producing fruit. Well established, it no longer requires much effort from you at all. And after all the hard work, you can finally sit back and enjoy that apple you dreamed of so long ago – literally enjoying the fruits of your labour.

The takeaway? A tree is not grown in a day and it takes consistent effort to get it to bear fruit. That, and we should never take what’s readily available at the supermarket for granted.

What does tending a garden have to do with conflict? Well, yard work is not the only hard work that takes time to realize the fruits of our labour. So too it goes with learning anything new.

In conflict resolution, a tough situation is usually what spurs us to begin looking closer at it, and so we come to it from a place of deep need. We want quick results – which might be possible in terms of addressing acute issues with a third-party mediator – but are less realistic in terms of actually changing the deep-seated habits at play.

Just like planting a seed and walking away is not enough to sustain the potential tree within it, the process of growth within ourselves takes time to integrate with our lives.

A chalkboard with the written exclamation: Commitment over motivation

Motivation is what often brings us to explore conflict resolution, but it is commitment that helps us stay the course.

It’s easy to be motivated when we’re focused and inspired, but the unexpected hiccups in the complicated real-world can pose a challenge:

There’s no getting around the fact that achieving lasting change is difficult. If we’re focused solely on an outcome in these frustrating situations, motivation wanes and leaves us feeling discouraged. That’s why it is important to emphasize commitment as a driving force instead.

Commitment is more important than motivation. So many times we need to learn the hard way – despite our best efforts. When this happens we need to keep going. As much as we love the energy that motivation brings in driving us forward, waiting for it can hold us back. On the other hand, commitment involves dedication to the process rather than a desired outcome and does not waver when motivation ebbs.

We might not always want to get up early to water the apple tree, but commitment to the process is what prevents us from hitting the snooze button. So too with facing the discomfort of conflict in our lives.

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got a free webinar for just that: Conflict 101: Demystifying Conflict Through a Psychological Approach is the perfect place to start.

Looking for a particular seed to water? Browse our current online and offline training programs to explore ideas that will support you at home, work, and in your community.

Despite the hurdles of learning something new, over time we can look back and see results trending in the positive direction we’re aiming. Let this encourage you to remain committed to the long-term benefits of the process – where we can overcome initial challenges, walk the longer path, and reap fruitful rewards from our efforts.

If you have questions,
please don’t hesitate to call.


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