I have written and spoken about the need to keep the promises we make to ourselves earlier. By changing that one practice alone, we can change the way we live for the rest of our lives.
Why is it hard to keep the promises that we make to ourselves?
There are many reasons bu the number #1 reason that I can think of is that “we start believing in our own (weak) excuses” for not keeping that promise.
Here are a few examples:
You don’t wake up of course. You explain it away saying that “you were very tired” last night because of some project pressure and you postpone.
2. Your promise: You want to read a few great books before the end of the year
You don’t end up reading even one book from the list. You say that “with so many things happening in your life, nobody in your position could have read a single book”
3. Your promise: Connect with at least five your old classmates within a month
You don’t end up connecting with even one of them. You say that “you could not find them anywhere on the Internet and nobody that you know has their contact information”
Excuses are OK but the real problem is when you actually believe in those excuses. The fact remains that the best excuse is still an excuse. By fully believing in that excuse, you have reducing your level of responsibility and accountability to your own promise. When you do that, nobody else, but YOU will get hurt.
People around you don’t even know many of the promises that you are making to yourself. When you break them, chances are you are the only person that you have to explain it. If you explain it to yourself with a “good enough” excuse, you have “escaped from guilt” for a short – probably not knowing that you have a paid a “heavy price” on your future.
Next time, put your excuses to test and see if you really believe in them. It is better to be “guilty as charged” than to be believing in “weak excuses”.
Note 1: Here is a Squidoo lens that links to most of the previous articles in this series:
Squidoo: Distinguish Yourself
Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)
Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)