Starting with your own heart and the promises you make to it.
Whenever you break a promise – you break your own heart. Think about how many times you’ve done this and perhaps James Frey’s ‘a Million Little Pieces’ might come to mind.
We judge folks on promises broken. What they promised to do that they didn’t do when they said they were going to do it. What they promised to do and never did at all without even an offering of an excuse as to why.
But how often do we make promises to ourselves that we don’t keep? In his book ‘Today We Are Rich’ Tim Sanders says “your subconscious will always remember if you kept your word, and because your self-image is important, that’s one audience you need to satisfy.”
His (grand)mother Billye said it this way “If you don’t respect yourself, you cannot maintain your confidence, regardless of how well you follow other principles of success. Nothing will inform you as a person more than your actions, specifically your promise-keeping ratio during your life. It defines you as either a truth teller, or a liar.”
After reading Tim’s book – this one principle stood out for me – when you make a promise – keep it.
The effects of not keeping my promises were detrimental and probably the main reason for a lot of my heartache in life. In particular those promises I made to myself and subsequently broke. Yet my subconscious kept note so whenever I did attempt to do something again – there was the dreaded feeling and the little voice that whispered “you can’t finish anything you start. Don’t bother. Always doing stuff half-way…you’re not going to succeed.”
Made me realize that before I go making promises I must be prepared to take 100% responsibility and know that I have what it takes to follow through. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, author of ‘The Social Contract’ wrote, “He who is slow in making a promise is the most faithful in its performance.” Chew well on promises before you spit them out.
My favorite quote on the subject of promises comes from Norman Vincent Peale “promises are like crying babies in a theater; they should be carried out at once!”
I’ll be thinking a lot about promises though.
I smell change-a-coming…starting with my own heart and the promises I make to it.