Monday, February 29, 2016


Tomorrow I'll be taking vows to love and be with someone for the rest of my life. So, today I'm going to talk a bit about commitment.

To be honest, marriage vows won't seem like all that much more of a commitment than the things Laura and I have already done together. I mean, we bought a house together and have been living in it for nearly a year now. Comparatively, tomorrow feels less like a new commitment and more like we're dotting the i's and crossing the t's on the commitment we made in December 2014, when I proposed and she said "yes." To me, the contract was sealed in that moment in every way but legally, and the legal part was more or less settled when we signed the mortgage papers.

In short, I've been emotionally, legally, and physically bound to Laura for quite some time now. Tomorrow is just the ceremony, and next weekend is the celebration.

That said, I know some people have trouble getting to that point where they're willing to commit, whether it's to a person or an idea. I think that hesitation comes from an (understandable) fear of making a mistake.

As humans, we like to keep our options open. It's psychological, like a fox making sure there are two exits from their hiding place. Commitment is, in essence, voluntarily shutting down our escape route. This mindset is protective, but we do this even when it doesn't make sense. There's an entire chapter in the book Predictably Irrational in which they performed experiments on people to demonstrate this phenomenon (Chapter 8: Keeping Doors Open - Why Options Distract Us from Our Main Objective).

Our lives are filled with moments of second-guessing ourselves. However, as I often note, our time is limited. For some, that limited time means they don't want to waste precious time with a potentially wrong decision.

For me, though, I'd rather make the decision and trust that I'm right, then deal with the consequences later if I was wrong. I have a pretty good track record of correct decisions and another pretty good track record of recovering from wrong decisions. As such, I have confidence in my decisions, and confidence that I can overcome my mistakes.

That kind of decisiveness has helped me professionally, and as a result I've become accustomed to commitment. Or, perhaps, I'm predisposed to be comfortable with commitments, which helped me to become a decisive person.

Either way, my point is that I can understand being afraid of commitment. But, like many fears, I don't have the time for it. I gather the information I need to make a relatively informed decision, then I make the decision and move on. It seems necessary in order to get things done and to enjoy life.

The decision to marry Laura was not made lightly, but it wasn't a difficult decision either. It's one of the least-scary decisions I've made in the past few years, and I'm looking forward to our life together.

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