Doing What You Say

Lesson number: 

Did you ever wonder what this world would be like if people would follow-up on their promises? If they would simply do what they say they will do? I am often intrigued as well as saddened by the fact that so few people can actually come through on what they tell you or promise. Thus, I thought I would ponder in this week's lesson the importance of coming through on your promises and provide a formula that works for me.

I believe that your integrity is one of the most valuable character traits you can possess. We all have to look in the mirror each day and watch our aging process. Our physical appearances may show our age; our minds may age; and all of our organs may age. The aging process is not very kind to all of us. As an example, just watch a re-run of a TV show or a movie that was made 30 or 40 years ago. The actors displayed incredible energy and beamed with youthful attractiveness. Then we fast forward to recent appearances with these same actors and some look horrible. A good example would be Robert Blake, who led his life down some horrible roads to get to his present place. It's difficult to believe he's the same individual as the character he played on Beretta.

However, in contrast, our integrity never ages. It can remain positive and strong throughout our entire life. It can beam through us and touch people positively regardless of our age. As an example, just take a look at former President Jimmy Carter's smile and demeanor at age 80. If you have seen him recently promoting his new book, you will know what I mean. He appears as an individual of high integrity, beaming with pride and confidence.

Doing what you say is perhaps the simplest and easiest way to build a strong character and develop a high self-esteem. Developing a reputation for always coming through on your promises will create more value in your life than you can ever imagine. You will be respected by your family, friends and business associates. Your words and ideas will be more meaningful and valuable to your clients and you will see a marked improvement in many relationships. Once you believe in the importance and benefits of developing the highest level of integrity, your life will never be the same. It will turn uphill and remain positive.

Now to the instructional part of how you can actually do what you say 99.9% of the time. If you are expecting some complicated theory and explanation, then I am sorry you are not going to find it here. But here's the simplest formula I have to offer:

Promise very little. Only what you can absolutely handle.

Whatever you do promise, leave more than enough time to come through.

Always write your promise down in detail as described IMMEDIATELY.

Make sure you routinely read your notes.

Strive to come through like a champion slightly ahead of schedule.

That's pretty basic stuff. However, you can't omit any part of this formula.

Let's review each line of the formula. Too many people promise too much. They are always shooting their mouth off and get themselves in trouble. You know who these people are. Everyone knows who these people are. Don't follow their formula. Be very stingy with promises. Also, be very careful if other people have to perform some of the tasks for YOU to come through on YOUR promise. Make sure that when you are committing someone else's time, you have reasonable control over their priorities.

The second part of the formula is all about good judgment. Buy as much time as possible. I'm not professing to become a turtle. However, always use good judgment when promising a time to come through. Make sure you can do what you say.

Next is the downfall of most people who don't come through on their promises. They never write any of them down. They're just mouthing off and making commitments and have no system in place to insure that they will remember what they promised. Carry a tiny notebook or small digital recorder and KEEP TRACK of your commitments. This is a critical step in the formula.

The next step is to make sure that you review your notes or messages on your recorder as often as possible – at least once a day! This is also critical. The best notes are meaningless if you forget to review them. Get into a routine to review notes at certain times of the day, to make it a productive habit.

Last, but not least – always try to come through on what you say or promise slightly ahead of time. This part of the formula will propel you to the top of any field and gain you more respect than you can ever imagine. This part of the formula is the icing on the cake that only a chosen few ever master. However, once it becomes a routine – it's not as difficult as it may seem.

So there you have it. My simple formula to help you to do what you say, and keep your promises. Make your contribution to building a better world and do your part to always come through on your promises. Then pass on this information to others you care about. Every person counts if we want to make this world a better place.