• Cass Lau

I Have Commitment Issues: Time to take Ownership

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

It's about time for an update on that 1-year deadline (self-imposed) when I left the corporate world.

A year ago, I had an ultimatum put upon me by the queen of my household, my mother. That if "this fitness thing" did not work out in a year (i.e. 2019), I would have to start handing out my CV to companies come 2020.

I know alot of you may be thinking, WOW this 27 (coming 28 oh gawd) year-old needs mommy's permission to get her life together?? Well, YES. This 27 year-old lives with her parents and has no intention of moving until she gets her sh*t together. So as long as I'm living under her roof, there's alot of things I need to put up with to maintain my passport in her palace.

So has "this fitness thing" worked? I'd like to think so. A year on and we've had a growth in membership, and soon, a physical growth in the box that I will update and link here because that deserves a whole post on its own.

And with these tangible results and a need for me to see this through no matter the cost, I found myself with a different mindset from before.

A year ago, I was constantly on tenterhooks, worrying that I would not make enough money to be self-sustainable in this field and I would much rather "waste" my time training to get a muscle-up which ain't going to put food on the table.

When old and GOOD connections in the industry reached out to me with a job offer, my resolve to stick to this 1-year run in the fitness world wavered. That, coupled with the FEAR that the queen would lay down the law and tell me to get my fingers-a-clicking on the mouse and refresh my LinkedIn put me mostly in a state of LIMBO.

Cue radio tunes by The Clash: Darling you got to let me know. Should I stay or should I go?

In my limbo I could not help but be half-hearted (can I please upgrade this fraction??) in my commitment to projects, business decisions, etc. After all, how would I know if I would be here a year from now to see this through?

Most of the times I felt guilty. People were pulling their 110% while I was straddling behind at 80%-- I still pulled it off pretty well if I daresay so myself.

Fast forward to today, a year on and guess what? I managed to assuage the queen's antsy-ness throughout the year to another 1/2 year checkpoint. But with this additional time bought, I am approaching it with a different mindset.


In a recent cell-group meeting (small group meeting with a bunch of girls I help mentor-- we meet every week), my co-leader shared this message that was very timely for the season.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:11-18 NIV

Characteristics of the Good Shepherd vs. the Hired Hand

We were split into 2 groups, and tasked write out characteristics of the 2 main characters to the passage up top☝🏻. Here's what we came up with:

Pardon the teeny-tiny handwriting, but it's clear that the two characters contrast each other starkly. The good shepherd is responsible and selfless, while the hired-hand is irresponsible and selfish.

The diction "hired hand" is used, because the guy is merely an employee. We used to call ourselves "pawns of the company" and likening ourselves to "no more than a cog in the machine", one who "wouldn't be missed", one who is "replaceable."

In school I used to be frustrated at groupmates who would not pull their weight. I'd end up staying up late to finish assignments on behalf of a group who would get the same grade regardless of the amount of work they did. Because I took pride in a piece of work I had to put my name on, I put in that extra work.

YET, as I entered the working world, I learned that not everyone appreciates the thankless worker. But the mantra seemed to be "no one is irreplaceable". While I repelled that thought originally, I found myself falling into that perception of the world.

Well, reading this passage was a splash of cold water.

I had become that hired hand that I swore I would never become.

And when it dawned on me that I must be like a good shepherd, in "nurturing the flock", my business, my work, my members, my designs, etc., it was like a veil had been lifted off my eyes. And my heart was burdened to deal with my own irresponsibility.

The hired hand is above all, calculative.

This revelation shocked me. I was calculative with the time and energy spent at doing stuff for my various jobs and roles because I was not sure how they would add to MY CONTINGENCY PLAN. I was calculative when I grumbled at the additional work I had to do when it "was not in the job scope" or when others did not pull their weight. Don't get me wrong, I still did the work to the best that I could. I just thought about the repercussions to my time a little bit more.

What happened in this process?

I was robbed of the joy of work.

I was robbed of the chance to push the envelope of the events and projects that I was assigned to do.

And perhaps even robbed of the ability to identify new opportunities because I was blinded by my selfishness, just like the hired hand.

(might as well call me robert... lame joke please excuse me #sorrynotsorry)

Come 2020...

I want to be the shepherd of my business, and the ministry entrusted to me by the Big Guy.

My work, as well as my girls are my ministry. And if I'm not faithful in these little things, I will not be given bigger things to look after.

Thank you for reading with me thus far... and I'll leave you with this thought:

Don't commit to anything unless you can COMMIT to it. And if you put you name on that event/project/work/sentence/item/etc. you do it to the damned best of your abilities.

Love, cass.

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