You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

I don’t know about you, but one thing in life that really chips me off is when people tell me they are going to do something and then never get around to it.

Now I’m also preaching to myself today because a while back I made of list of things I had promised other people but never got around to. I had to go and make things right. Now some folks had moved on and when I didn’t keep my word they did other things, at that point I could just apologize and move on myself. If someone won’t let me make it right when I offer I am not going to beat myself up over it. I made a mistake and then tried to rectify it. It comes down to simply making time, taking time and creating a space in time to do what I said I would do.

You might have the same issues in your life. We mean well but goodness, life getting in the way crowds out our good intentions and that is my thought for today. I gave this statement a while back in one of my other shows but it keeps popping up in inbox. It must mean that I still have more work to do and the phrase is this: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

For being so simple it is profound. What I find so interesting is the type of people who hold on to the promise of what we say we’ll do versus others who just chalk it up to life getting in the way if we never get around to doing it. It is good for all of us when our friends don’t hold us accountable for our lapses of commitment.

Children actually hold us accountable to this saying. If you say to your kids with good grades we’ll go eat a cheeseburger and then go to the zoo. A year or two later you will be reminded of what you offered when the report card has good grades. Kids remember our promises as truths—we said it, we promised it – we must deliver or according to them we’ll break their little heart. I even discovered  there are websites dedicated to Lies Our Parents Told Us. Ouch!

And is it is not just kids who keep score. I have found that many of my parents’ generation also expect us to do what we say we’ll do (imagine that). For many, it’s not about a promise but about a honest measure of a man or woman’s worth by keeping their word.

Now here is what I find so interesting. Rarely does someone ask you to make the promise. You make it whether in haste or with the best intentions. You made a commitment, so now you must deliver. Promises made should be promises kept – even the little ones.

I have learned some hard lessons about curbing my tongue on making promises I cannot keep. It’s so easy to be generous until you’ve got to pay the bill, it’s so easy to offer other people’s time until they tell you they cannot help you out. And it’s easy to throw out a big idea but then not have the wherewithal to make it happen. And what is so interesting to me is we all do it with the best intentions but then many of us fail because we never make a start.

So what promises have you made that you have not kept?

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