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Many people make commitments either formally or informally.
To meet someone for a meeting
To do something
Many people don’t seem to take these things seriously.
If you’re a few minutes late, no big deal (no!)
If you say you’re going to do something then do it!
If you don’t then you are a liar! I know it sounds harsh but that is the reality. So we need to stop lying to ourselves and to others.
Now there are two ways to help with this
- Before you make a commitment, pause and think to yourself if you can actually do it and if you are willing to actually do it. If not, it’s ok to say no. Saying no is a very freeing thing. It is much better to say no than to say yes and then not do it. If you say no, you always have the possibility of changing your mind and going and doing it later but if you say yes but then don’t do it you are making yourself a liar. So be careful committing yourself to things
29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father?
- When you do make a commitment, you need to make sure that you do it. If you followed step one and really thought before you said yes then you have already decided it is possible. So now you just need to make preparations to be sure that you follow through.
How late are you normally? Add 5 minutes to that and start preparing to leave that much before you normally do. If you really struggle try being ready to walk out the door 15 minutes before normal. That way, worst case scenario, you just have to sit and wait for 15 minutes before leaving.
Sidenote: Find out when it is appropriate to arrive. For a meeting with a specific start time where people will be waiting on you it’s a good idea to be at least 5 minutes early so that you can start right on time. For some things, like parties or other gatherings where people are coming and going then being a few minutes late doesn’t really matter.
When you say you are going to do something, make a way that you can remember it. Add it to your to-do list, set a reminder on your phone, add it to your calendar, etc
Make sure that you can follow your commitment to get it done!
Over time, people will start to be able to tell what type of person you are, whether you are the first son or the second son. They will know whether or not they can trust your word, in other words they will know that you are a liar or not. I know it sounds harsh but that’s really what is going on. You are naively lying to people.
Now when you make commitments to yourself you need to follow similar guidelines. If you decide you want to start a new habit or two, make sure that you are willing to do what it takes before you commit to it fully. It’s ok to say that you are going to try to be a little better here and there until you’re ready to fully commit yourself. It’s better to not commit fully and then do it anyway than it is to commit and then not do it.
When you have decided to commit to yourself to do something. Plan accordingly, like with commitments to other people, you should make sure you remember and make a plan that’s easy to follow that will allow you to get the thing done.
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