Treat Personal Promises Like Professional Ones
“Your life works to the degree you keep your agreements.” ~Werner Erhard
It amazes (and confuses) me that adults—thinking businessmen and women—often treat their personal agreements with less respect than they do their professional ones.
Business agreements (in general) carry more weight in our minds, primarily because there are often serious consequences for failing to carry through on a commitment: loss of a client, or a promotion, or even your job.
But don’t think that there aren’t consequences for failed personal agreements. It’s simply that they are usually “explained away” with justifiable reasons for lack of performance. And because personal agreements are with our friends, or family, we allow the reasons to rule the day, despite our disappointment.
Pebbles of disappointment create a mountain of resentment.
Consequences: they just take longer to manifest.
First to go is trust. Then affection. Then contact.
Personal agreements are as important—if not more so—as business contracts. This doesn’t mean you’ll never break an agreement; you’re human. But giving up the bullshit excuses, to yourself as well as to others, is a critical component of character development.
Pretend you wrote a contract when you agree to meet someone, or call, or participate, or perform, or listen, or lead.
Pretend there’s something important riding on the line if you don’t show up or follow-through.
Because there is.