Whenever I promise my three-year old nephew something, for example a ride in the car or another activity, he tries to repeat my exact words as if to hold me to that promise. I find this very interesting.
It is as if the very action of repeating the words will prevent me from letting him down later. Obviously, sometimes he’s the one who forgets, but the point is I do my best to fulfill my end of the bargain.
A promise made and delivered is the hallmark of someone who is dependable. Actually, to keep one’s word is a great habit that can be practiced and nurtured. I say nurtured, because in the long run when practiced consistently, it is like a bank account that will accumulate reasonable interest on your deposit of promises.
But unless deposits are regularly made, the account holder cannot expect a reasonable interest. Likewise the practice of keeping one’s word over time and once compounded is like withdrawing profits of trust and respect from other people and may open doors to new opportunities.
People observe our ways even when we may not be aware of it and add on to their store of knowledge about what they think of you.
One of the most closely observed characteristics of human beings is how people act out their words. Haven’t you heard the common adage ‘walk the talk’ or ‘actions speak louder than words’ and ‘practice what you preach’?
On this basis, we are frequently judged or celebrated.
Recently, a person I personally look up to, promised himself to walk to his place of work the next morning instead of driving, in order to improve his physical health.
Lo and behold, it was raining heavily the next morning, but he was out there in a rain coat trudging to work.
Keeping one’s word sometimes may become a difficult choice, because of the prevailing circumstances, sometimes unforeseen, like in this case. It could have been easier to postpone the walk. It was heavy rain and someone else would even have reasoned, ‘I could get sick”!
But he made a promise to himself and that is the one you cannot afford not to keep.
No wonder renowned French statesman Napoleon Bonaparte said “The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it”.
The onus is really up to an individual’s intent and sense of honesty. The pros of keeping one’s word weigh heavier on a weighing scale, it is worth the sacrifice if we consider the fruits that come afterwards. Keeping your word fortifies you!