One of the most important things I think in life is commitment. Not only do I believe that you have to have commitment and be committed to whatever it is you're doing, you have to be committed to your commitment. You have to be committed to the process.
You know, marriage isn't easy. If you look at the statistics in the United States, almost 63% of marriages end in divorce. I went through a tough time in my marriage. All marriages go through tough times, I think. The only thing that really saved us was our commitment to our commitment.
I can remember traveling to Long Island to meet with a counselor, someone whose book I started to read and had that AHA! moment. When I called him, and honestly I didn't even think he was still alive because of the picture of him on the back cover of the book he looked like an old man already, and the book had been published years earlier. When I called the number that I had found on the internet, a woman answered the phone.
I burst out telling her that I just needed to let someone know that right now, not only was this book saving my marriage but at that moment it was saving my life. The woman was amazed, and that's when she asked me if I wanted to talk to the author of the book.
In my surprise I blurted out, "Is he still alive?"
She said, "Not only is he alive, but he's also my husband."
When he got on the phone and I started to tell him what we were dealing with, he said to me, I'll never forget it, "I need to see you right away because this might be the worst story I've ever heard."
I was proud to be the best at something!
When Deborah came home, she asked me what was going on because I had already started packing. I told her that we were headed to Long Island to meet with someone who would help us save our commitment. When we arrived, we went to the basement of his home which is where his office was. When we walked in and sat down, we sat in two separate chairs that were separated by a coffee table.
The problem for me was, I couldn't reach Deborah.
I couldn't hold her hand, and that has something that we've always done.
I took a moment, as we were the only two in the room, since the counselor hadn't come in yet, and I moved the table from in between the two chairs.
Deborah said, "What are you doing?"
I said, "Well, this just doesn't work for me." We rearranged the room so that we could sit next to each other and hold hands.
When the doctor came into the room, he's a doctor not in the medical sense but a doctor in the psychological sense, I guess you would say he has a PhD.
He looked down at where we were sitting.
He looked down at the rearrangement of the room.
He smiled and he said nothing.
He walked to his desk, sat down, introduced himself and said,
"And you two are gonna be just fine, I promise you."
What he shared with us was that in his 40 years of practice, he had always waited for that moment where someone did exactly what we had done. In 40 years, no one had ever rearranged the room. He told us that those chairs and that coffee table were arranged purposefully to see what people's reaction would be. I'm really amazed that it had never happened before, but it was our commitment to our commitment with each other that helped us through that tough time.
I'm Michael Ponte, and in My Course I'm going to share with you how not only to be committed, but to stay committed to your commitment.