• Keeping promises while facing challenges or the temptation of an easier path
  • Seeing something through to the end and keeping the right attitude about it
  • Honoring my responsibilities with diligence, even when it requires sacrifice


This past weekend, two of my children were in a music recital. There were dozens of kids involved, representing a broad range of ages and experience levels. The childrens’ performances were grouped together by instructor; and, after each grouped finished, their instructor would perform a piece. It was fun to see all the kids, and you could quickly get a sense of their skill level; but, what really stood out to me was when the instructors performed. It immediately became obvious to me why the instructors were doing the instructing. They had skill, experience and dedication to playing their musical instrument – and their performances were really, really good.

Watching performers at the recital, I thought about this week’s GuideMark: commitment. Do you want to make beautiful melodies with a violin or piano? It can be done, and the outcome is amazing; but, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without years of practice and sacrifice. It requires tutoring, and classes, and rehearsals, and recitals, and practice, and practice… and more practice. All of which takes commitment: sticking with it when sacrifice is required. I’m quite certain that those talented music instructors had many opportunities to quit playing their instrument over the years. It generally isn’t very convenient to be committed to something for the long haul. I bet there were events that they missed or things that they would have liked to have done that they didn’t do because they had a rehearsal (or recital) to attend.

There are very few things in life that we can do well without commitment. It takes sacrifice to practice. It takes dedication to show up consistently. It takes diligence to try again; and all this points to an important truth about commitment: it comes down to choice. And not just one choice, but hundreds, even thousands of choices. Making the choice to try again. Making the choice to get out of bed. Making the choice to go practice when I don’t feel like it. Making the choice to not give up. Making the choice to keep a promise that is hard to keep.

At Funds For Learning, we are committed to being professionals and to being the very best at helping schools and libraries get funding for technology. It’s a choice that we have made and are making. We choose to pursue excellence in our work, and in our work environment, and we strive to provide superior customer service. It isn’t always easy being committed, but when we are committed to doing something (like playing a musical instrument, or seeking federal E-rate funding), the results can be pretty amazing.


Key words and phrases

Sticking with it; Faithfulness; Worthy of trust; Diligent and reliable; Dedication to a pledge; Dependable; Sacrifice to keep a promise; Taking ownership of a situation

Opposite terms

Not finishing the job; Undependable; Not worthy of trust; Wishy-washy


GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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