It is easy to take our commitments for granted. We make commitments every day but many times we do not stop to think about the seriousness and the consequences that go along with these commitments.
It’s easy to say “yes” or agree to do something, but when it becomes time to perform we allow distractions to get in the way. We allow other offers to grab our attention. We allow personal gratification to supersede fulfilling the needs of other people. And, we can loose sight of the importance of just showing up for a friend or colleague.
Before you ever do anything you think it. How you think is important. Paying attention to what comes into your head matters. We know what we should be doing in most situations, but yet we allow ourselves to go down a road that will yield less then optimal outcomes. Many times people will make a commitment and then justify a “better opportunity.” When you have a track record of making and keeping commitments then people respect your word, they know what you stand for and you inspire them to raise their standard.
In any given situation we have to ask and answer one simple question. Are you looking for a way out or are you looking for a way in?! People who keep their commitments are always looking for a way in. They are always looking to fulfill their promise, show up, help out and be there as promised. We all know people who are great at showing up and we know people who are great at not showing up. Is there a physical difference? No.
The difference between these two types of people lies in what they believe. Their ability to keep their commitments, to be accountable, flows not from what they do but rather what they think and believe. When you have determined that your word is your bond, you show up. When you determine that people can depend on you, always, then you are always there for them. When you put others first, then they know it and you create a track record of keeping your commitments.
Priorities do come into play and there are times when we are challenged. I may commit to attend my daughter’s soccer game but if a friend is sick and needs help getting to the doctor I will help my friend and my daughter understands. Keeping your commitments involves good faith, sound judgment and honest intent. We need to tap into these attributes both when making the commitment in the first place as well as when faced with obstacles to keeping our commitments.
When we believe that commitments mean something and that they are important then we are going to keep them. When we keep our commitments to people we become accountable.