Keeping Your Word – to Yourself

How good are you at keeping agreements – with yourself? Have you given much time to this question? It deserves a closer look, and we’ll do that today.

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’re like relationships. All of our relationships are with ourselves, but often they include other people as well. We ourselves are the one common denominator in all of our relationships.

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 your credibility with other people. But even more importantly, it weakens your credibility with yourself.

When your innermost picture of your credibility, trustworthiness and reliability is weak, you can’t help but act in ways that reflect it. So once you make an agreement and give your word, 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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that trusting yourself is the first secret of success, but how can you trust yourself unless you honor your agreements and keep your word? Trust seems to be a rare commodity in today’s world, but it can be rebuilt. That rebuilding starts within each of us.