Keeping Your Word

If we have been doing our jobs right this past week or so, you probably had an exciting time, experimenting with this whole new world of goal-setting. Are you working with each of them twice a day? This brings up another question: How good are you at keeping agreements . . . with yourself? Think about this, for a moment.

In their book “Life 101,” John-Roger and Peter McWilliams pointed out that the agreements we make are always with ourselves, although sometimes they include other people. In that sense, they are like relationships. All of our relationships are with ourselves, but often they include other people as well.

Now, your word is one of the most precious things you have, but many people think very little of breaking it. This is a mistake for two reasons.

First and most obviously, it weakens, if not destroys, your credibility with other people. But even more importantly, it weakens your credibility, trustworthiness and reliability with yourself. You can’t help but act in ways that reflect your willingness to break your word. Our behaviors are a direct reflection of our beliefs. So, once you make an agreement and give your word, you want to do everything in your power not to break it. A broken word, like a broken cup, can’t hold much for very long.

When you lovingly keep your word, that is, keep it strong, keep it dependable, and keep it true, you will know the power of accountability. And when you lend this power to a worthy cause that you believe in, its effect will be doubly powerful. When you have no credibility, and people know that they cannot trust you to keep your word, you have no power at all.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Trusting yourself is the first secret of success.” But how can you trust yourself unless you honor your agreements and keep your word – especially your word to yourself?