Have you ever seen a small child attempt to pour a drink from a pitcher of water or from a carton of milk? His little muscles begin to quiver, his jaw tenses – maybe his tongue sticks out from the side of his mouth for balance. He has the best of intentions, but for some reason the majority of liquid goes anywhere but in the cup. As if the laws of science were against him, the milk pours back down the front of the carton and onto the little boy’s clothes.
I have been that little boy, the one with the milk covered pants. My mom taught me an important lesson to remedy this problem – Commit to Pour.
The goal is simple. Get the milk into the cup. We raise the carton and tilt it towards the cup. A small splash flies in the wrong direction and we begin to retreat. Our good intentions do not bring about the desired result. We must cease hesitating and Commit to Pour.
I think a lot of us have set excellent goals for investing ourselves in the people around us. Maybe a father has set a goal to spend more quality time with his children. What if he can’t fulfill this commitment? Rather than face the possibility of failure, he retreats. A business woman returns from a charity event determined to give back to her community. She wants to serve, but strays away from making an actual commitment. What if it comes into conflict with her business or social life? Perhaps you have recalled the influence another person has had on your life, and have considered mentoring someone. What if you give them bad advice? What if they find your leadership lacking?
We know what the goal is, but we hesitate because we fear that we might make a mess. You might make a mess, but you will never reach that goal if you always retreat.
There are many empty cups, because people won’t Commit to Pour.