She was a young girl when she first came to Mumbai from a small village. She was born into a dalit family and had faced discrimination all her life. After marriage at a tender age of 12, it got even worse as she was beaten up by her husband's family and tortured daily. She could not take it and ran away to her father's house. But the Indian society always looks down at a woman who leaves her husband. The pressure was too much for her to take and she tried to commit suicide at the age of 16. Her aunt saved her and inspired her to live her life on her own terms. That day, this 16 year old Kalpana made a promise to herself to live her way. She went back to Mumbai and started working at Rs.2 per day. She worked 16 hours a day. Soon, she started her own business. Subsequently, as luck would have it, she got a chance to run a metal engineering company - Kamani Tubes - which was in massive debt. She could understand the plight of the people best as she had already been in that situation once. She soon turned the company around and is today the CEO of this multi-million dollar company. Her commitment to herself, to never give up, finally paid off.
|Mary Kay Ash|
When you are committed, you set standards of excellence.
COMMITMENT GIVES YOU A REASON TO LIVE
AND A REASON TO DIE FOR
One man who gave up his life for a cause, a commitment, was Ernesto Che Guevara. He said, "We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it." In 1955, Che, who was just a troop doctor then, met Fidel Castro. Slowly, he developed close bonds with Fidel. Soon, Che understood the cause for which Fidel was fighting and started believing in it. He started fighting with Fidel - and from a doctor of the group, Che soon became its most courageous soldier. He was deeply committed to the cause of the oppressed and the exploited and was ready to fight for them, irrespective of which part of the world they lived in. He was from Argentina but he fought in Cuba; he even fought in Bolivia where he met his death. This is what has made him the most famous revolutionary of the world. He is a man whose life will continue to inspire many, even years after his death, for he lived his life for a cause and even died fighting for it.
Similarly, you find someone interesting and fall in love; but to make a marriage last, takes something more. A deep commitment to the relationship and a lot of hard work are required. Today, many are ready to fall in love but few are ready to commit to it; so the number of divorces are increasing because that commitment to love, no matter what obstacles or temptations come your way, is missing. Passion without commitment is of no use.
COMMITMENT IS FREEDOM
Commitment is a choice to give up choices. Once you have committed to a cause, it actually gives you a lot of freedom, for it removes all distractions; it removes the burden of finding other possibilities. You now become free to put all your energies into the one cause you believe in. When you commit to something - or someone - your life acquires a whole new meaning. Lack of commitment makes life unfulfilled and boring. Commitment makes you act, builds a sense of discipline, and gives you direction and satisfaction. Anita Roddick was one such leader. She was the founder of the company The Body Shop (which is now owned by L'Or‚al). She made cosmetics from plant extracts. She also made a commitment to herself that unlike other cosmetics companies, she would not test her products on animals. She operated a business of cosmetics but she was committed to the society. She once said, "I would rather promote human rights than a bubble bath." It was this commitment that helped her make all policies and make all the tough decisions. It is this commitment that made her company such a special company, for her customers too believed in her and in what she believed in - and loved her for it. She died in 2007 but her brand, her way of doing business, lives on. She showed the world that business could be done to help principles and ethics; and yet, one could make profits.
Ford Motor Company had been plagued with losses, yet the company stuck to its commitment towards the environment and did not succumb to pressure under hardships. Its focus and vision paid of and in 2011, it was voted as one of the world's most ethical companies. Its commitment to the environment was actually its key differentiator and helped it to beat its rivals. No wonder, it was the only auto company that made it to the list that had 110 companies in all. Ford made a comeback - but without compromising on the key issues it believed in.
All companies that have survived over generations, all relationships that have grown over decades, all leaders whom we talk about... all of them have chained themselves to certain ideas, certain philosophies. If you want to succeed, first find an idea that you want to commit your life to, that you want to be tied to and bonded to forever, for then you will find the freedom to really work and achieve what you want. It's a fact that with commitment comes true freedom, and being chained to a cause brings true success!