We lead busy lives today and it’s especially important that we keep track of all the commitments we’ve made.
A commitment is a promise. You may not think of it like that but it is. Here’s an example. Say you’ve met your dream date and you set a time to go out with him or her. In truth, you made a promise to be there at the time you said. If you don’t show up, or you’re late, you made a first impression you can’t get back.
Fred Smith has a wise saying that applies to commitments: “Nothing happens until someone says, ‘I will’.” Isn’t that true? If Steve Jobs had never decided to start Apple, would we have the devices we use today? Maybe so; or then again, maybe not. Steve Jobs said, “I will.” Then he did.
As important as it is to keep your commitments, it is even more important to choose them wisely. We all like to function in our areas of strength. Making a commitment means we are going to be doing whatever activity that commitment entails. If it’s something you hate, then you’ll be miserable even though you’ve kept your word. And that will show. If you want a balanced life, you have to temper integrity with passion.
Adding passion to commitment will make it much easier to be honorable in keeping them. Sometimes you might not like what you’re doing but you have to do it to move forward. The solution may be to dig into a bit deeper and find something to like about it. Another option is to make a fun game of it, perhaps making it a bit competitive. Set a goal and see if you can’t beat it. Then set another.
Since life isn’t perfect or fair all the time, you’ll break some of your commitments. It may be due to circumstances beyond your control, like a traffic jam or an accident on the way to an appointment. Or it could be your fault. You might get lost, oversleep, or put the wrong date on your calendar. When this happens, take Dale Carnegie’s advice: “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” We’re all human and all but the most hardcore perfectionist can forgive the occasional blunder. Admitting you’re wrong shows you have integrity.
When you keep your word, you’ll build integrity. It’s a great investment.