Since 2008, I’ve read hundreds of personal development books. (You should check out the latest book I’m reading, btw … it’s amazing.) After a while, as you can imagine, you start to see similar themes.
One consistent theme, discussed directly or implied, is being impeccable with your word: Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture, Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, Napoleon Hill in the classic Think and Grow Rich, to name a few.
With so much of the world living mindlessly, we say and do things all the time that we really don’t want or mean. A white lie here, a white lie there … no big deal, right? That is until we’re saying yes, when we really mean no, or acting one way, when the reality is we actually hate when we do that. It’s no wonder we have meltdowns.
I often refer to this as living out of alignment. When our words don’t match our actions it eats away at us, little by little. We feel weak, vulnerable, uncommitted, stuck, or worse.
I’ve been practicing living my word now for a few years and I’ve seen a dramatic difference in my life. I live with greater integrity, further aligned to my truths, more content in relationships overall, and more confident and committed than ever to my goals.
For all those reasons, I love this Because I Said I Would campaign. I think the promise cards are brilliant. I’ve been leaving sticky notes all over my apartment for a while now, but to seal it with a promise ups the game entirely.
We are a culture who will begin that thing tomorrow, or Monday, or at the start of the month, or next year. Our commitments to ourselves and others are a joke, let’s face it, not one of our finest qualities.
Because I Said I Would challenges us to follow through, to keep our word, to make more promises, to live in alignment, and to raise the bar.
Two recent promises that I made to myself are to find a water polo league and learn a new language. I’ve been talking about them both for years, seriously, like more than a decade. Last night, at my first water polo practice, I felt invigorated, accomplished, fulfilled, etc. and that’s coming from someone who swallowed a crap-ton of chlorine and nearly drowned;)
I leave you with this: These promises can be made to you or others. For best results, they should start small and increase in difficulty/complexity over time. Consider your word the bible, why don’tcha? And speak your ever-loving truth!
Oh yeah … I also joined a garden the other day. I stopped in. I enjoyed it. I talked to my new friend Beatrice, and turns out she’s in charge. She gave me her number, like to call her–at home–and invited me to become a member. I like dirt. I like Beatrice. So I did the online thing, printed the form, wrote the check, mailed the check with the form and a stamp in the box, I totally joined … why, you ask? –because I said I would. BOOM!
PS … the learn a new language promise is already under way, sort of. More news on that soon.