Founder Story: Pledge
The mantra “Pledge” helped bring significant meaning to my life.
I had been working in middle management for a company for more years than I care to admit. I knew in my heart that the company wasn’t my final destination and that middle management didn’t suit me. I knew I wanted to start my own business. But I wasn’t doing much about any of it.
I was riddled with doubt. What if it failed? What if no one wanted what I wished to sell? How would I support my wife and kids? What would that failure say about me?
I was at a seminar when a coach named AJ told me to embody a single commitment – to center myself around a single pledge. He insisted that we don’t find this pledge in our heads, but rather, in our hearts. I struggled with that. To find it. To hear it. After all my decades of life, my brain had figured out how to keep my heart quiet. But it wasn’t quiet anymore – it was screaming. The only problem was I still didn’t know what it was trying to say. All weekend, as I watched everyone else, one by one, let pledges flow from them like water from the faucet, I struggled to hear it. To hear myself. I started to wonder… am I even capable of hearing it?
Then someone asked me how I would feel on my deathbed. What would I regret? Who would I regret it for? That was easy. I would regret it for my kids. I didn’t want to tell my kids about how to live a meaningful life, then never really truly live one myself. I couldn’t live with myself. My regret at the end of my life would be if I only lived a life that was fine. That I didn’t take the plunge to live a life that was truly great.
On the final day, I knew the first pledge I would ever make to myself: “I am a commitment to find that great and meaningful thing for me to do in my life and do it.”
My pledge wasn’t an answer – it was a question. A question I now had to go answer. I asked AJ, “But how will I find the answer? And when I have, how will I know that I’ve found it?”
“Go on a lot of walks,” AJ said.
And so I did. Three months later, I made a new pledge: to start Bodhi Band. I’ve been making pledges ever since.