Which Promises do you consistently break? I’ll bet they’re the promises you make to yourself.
Isn’t a promise a kind of binding contract you make with others or with yourself? Why do we make promises so sincerely and forget about them so easily?
When my sons were little we talked about keeping the promises we made. In our world the word “promise” was sacred and promises were not to be made lightly.
I’m embarrassed to admit that one day I violated this sacred word with one of my sons, in a way that was rather shameful.
Here’s what happened.
Around lunchtime, one of my sons asked me if it was time to go to Taco Bell. I was very busy and had forgotten that we had talked about going to Taco Bell for lunch on Saturday when we’d be the only ones home.
I responded that after I got through with something I was doing, we’d go.
The poor kid waited and offered to help in a way that only a six-year old can help. When we were finished, he said, “Now can we go to Taco Bell?”
I responded with, “I’m too busy today. We’ll go another time.”
He said, “But you promised.”
“No. I didn’t promise, I just SAID we might go.”
His eyes filled with tears as he responded accusingly, “You said we would go…and NOW…(dramatic pause)…you’ve broken your SAID.”
Needless to say, we went to Taco Bell. I didn’t want to be accused of breaking a “said.” Besides, I was completely out of integrity.
It’s so easy to break a “said.” An example is when we say, “I’ll call you,” and we never do. Or I’m going to the gym every day…and after one session, the gym is forgotten or dreaded. Then there’s the promise to do something special for yourself that you never do.
Like magical bubbles, thoughts about change float into that part of us called “good intentions.” So off we go, making promises to ourselves and to others because we really do intend to keep those promises.
For example, did you promise yourself that you would:
- Lead a healthier lifestyle?
- Mend a broken relationship?
- Change jobs?
- Write that marketing plan?
- Clean that closet?
- Treat yourself to a day of pampering including a massage?
Usually when we make promises to ourselves it’s because something is bothering us and we want (vow) to change it. This could take the form of those last 10 pounds we’ve vowed to lose, the messy desk we vowed to clean, the person we met last week and said we’d contact.
Much of this is because of the overwhelm we find ourselves roped into in this fast-changing, fast-paced world.
So, what “should” could you let go of today? What habit can you change today that will free you up to lessen the overwhelm? What promise have you made to yourself that your really want to keep?
Too often we over-promise and under-deliver. Would you treat a valued client or person you love like that? Remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself?”
Here’s a new rule for you: “Do unto yourself as you would do unto others”.