Living Value: December 2014
Living Value: December 2014

Many people associate the word devotion with spiritual affiliations but devotion goes beyond the spiritual links. It is a noble virtue necessary to live a fulfilled life.It is what spurs people to take action and be willing to give a hundred percent to achieve their goal while putting aside personal gain and recognition. Being devoted is a willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill and follow through with a responsibility. It may not even be what we most enjoy but being devoted means that you are going to do it regardless.

Devotion is a commitment or dedication to some purpose. It is a deep sense of love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. It is considered an essential component to achieving one’s purpose in life.It is a virtue that demands energy as well as physical and intellectual effort. It is a virtue that has made men and women great leaders.

Each of us comes from a diverse and varied background and has been devoted to something at one time or another that may have provided momentary significance in either a personal or professional life. For example, academic pursuits, hobbies, philanthropy work or even building good relationships, all which are things worth being devoted to.

But being devoted to something for the long haul takes passion, love and a sense of humility. Love allows you to give yourself through feelings, thoughts and deeds. So, devotion involves giving of yourself loyally and with deep affection. Humility on the other hand is humbling yourself before others. Being devoted is part of growing and transcending to the next level.

Two conditions make it possible to be devoted to something – possession of a sound set of beliefs and faithful adherence to those beliefs. For devotion to be effective, there has to be persistence with a purpose. Devotion is difficult to practice, but that does not mean that it cannot be done. In spite of this, when one has a belief system that they are faithful to, it becomes easier to commit.

Before being devoted to something or someone, it is important to get one’s fears out of the way. Fear is a normal reaction to commitments especially those that need one to give a lot, like marriage. Even so, fear may mean that one needs to spend more time to think about what commitment to a particular goal or person will require of them and whether they are ready for it.

Successful leaders in different fields are those who have held fast to this virtue, which they partly attribute their success to. One of the most interesting stories told is that written in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. In the book Malcom discusses the 10,000-hour rule, which hypothises that it takes about 10,000 hours of devoted practice to truly master a skill. He says that if you examine the greatest athletes, entrepreneurs, musicians and scientists, you will notice they only emerged after spending at least three hours a day for ten years practicing.

Malcom gives examples of the Beatles, an English rock band in the 1970s that enjoyed successful musical careers and influenced pop culture, and Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and the world’s richest, and argues that the biggest factor in their success is not innate talent or blind luck, but rather devotion to their chosen craft.

We should all be challenged to be devoted to something and will see positive results.

Reflections

“Devotion, when it does not lie under the check of reason, is apt to degenerate into enthusiasm.”

Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright and politician

“In the uttermost meaning of the words, thought is devout, and devotion is thought. Deep calls unto deep.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Philosopher, poet, author and essayist

“I learned that landscape by drawing it, and I came to care for it with a lover’s devotion.”

Philip Pullman, Author

“True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself.”

Henry Miller, Author

Your thoughts

Devotion calls for maximum selflessness, putting off procrastination and fighting against all odds. It is that rare quality that sets apart those who make it in life. Everyone should strive to be devoted to a worthy cause in his or her life.

Muturi Mwangi, Banker

 

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Published in December 2014