Is Your Word Your Bond: How Keeping Your Promises Impacts Your Life

Is Your Word Your Bond: How Keeping Your Promises Impacts Your Life

As I have stated in the past I frequently get frustrated with people that say they will do something and then fail to keep their commitment.   “I’ll meet you at 6:00” they say, then roll in at 6:15 with a casual “sorry I’m late.”  Or “I’ll call you first thing Monday morning” they say, then respond with “I was just about to call you” after you call them at noon on Monday.  I believe that keeping your word, especially in the small things, is a gigantic key to your personal and professional success!

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image credit: thereback.com

How often have you committed the crime of not following through on a commitment, regardless of the “size?”  Let me open your eyes to a fact: your word is a direct reflection of your character, period.  If you say “I will call you back on Monday at 9am” and then fail to do so, it speaks volumes about you as a person.  It tells the jilted call recipient that they are not a priority to you, that you are not a very detail oriented person and, most importantly, that your word cannot be trusted.

Some would argue that such small things don’t carry enough weight to influence other’s opinions, when in fact it is the small things that are the most important!

If you are continually late, your inability to keep your commitment reflects a life of disregard, disorganization and elevated self-importance.  In other words your friends and family find your tardiness inconsiderate and rude. You may not realize it, but your continual tardiness says you find your time more important than theirs.  Want the truth just ask.  The polite answer will be something like “we understand it’s just how he/she is” or “we’ve just gotten use to them being late.”  The truth is people find it inconsiderate of others to be late and it speaks badly of your character and your ability to hold to your commitments.  And this will affect your professional life also.

If a friend knows you are often “fashionably late,” they will be reluctant to pass on important, professional business contacts.  Why?  Because they know they cannot trust you to respect the time of said important contact by showing up on time.  And they will entrust their business with someone that will not keep the client waiting.  This is a fact that I have experienced first-hand.

Think about this situation: you run your own business selling thingamabobs and have a huge customer looking for a personal recommendation for someone to help design their new conveyor system.  It is important to make a good recommendation as it will reflect on you and your business.  And it just so happens that you have a friend that is in the conveyor business.  The only problem is this friend is terrible about calling people back, responding to emails and is habitually late to appointments.

On the other hand, you have a guy you know that does equally good work, but he is very prompt to return phone calls, responds to emails and is always early for appointments, never late.  Who do you choose and why?  I go with the guy that I know I can trust to treat my client with the respect that will shine on me and create an even better business relationship for all involved!

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image credit: occasionalplanner.com

On the rare occasion that I meet an individual that shows up early or on time, calls me back at the time they said they would or responds promptly to my email, my respect for that person goes through the roof.  It shows a general respect for others and their time, shows me that they are organized and shows me that the person can be trusted to do what they say they will do.  And trust is the single most important necessity in any relationship!

Take time and think before you commit to anything; big or small.  Do not casually tell someone you will do something and then more casually blow it off.  That shows low character.  Be the person that considers keeping their word a sacred oath; a precious gem.  You must make your word your bond and show those in your life that you are a man or woman of high character and principles.   Wars are won and lost in the smallest of battles; never forget that.

I promise people will notice when you keep your word.

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47 thoughts on “Is Your Word Your Bond: How Keeping Your Promises Impacts Your Life

      1. I’m so glad to hear you’re alive. Just do a short update post that tells us that you’re alive and write a longer one when you can. There’s so many wp friends that miss you. We talk about you now and then and wonder how you are. Get well and be back with all your superpowers! Love ya 💕and your 😎🤗🐍🦀🦀🐕🐕and👼🏻+🐈. Take care 🙂

  1. I tell my kids all the time to not make promises/commitments that they cannot keep. As a former Manager, being late was a MAJOR pet peeve of mine, as it shows absolute disrespect for your time. For me “on time” is 15 minutes early!

    1. This topic came to mind because of people’s general inconsiderate attitude toward one another. When you do not show up on time, you are 100% telling that person that you view your time’as more valuable than their time. Slap in the face in my opinion.

  2. An excellent point. Being late speaks volumes. I once worked in Human Resources. It is the first and major strike against an applicant to show up late, even among those with the best resume. It matters.

    1. To me, it matters in all things. Casual, professional, doesn’t matter. If you tell me to meet for lunch at 12, then be there at 12. It is simple respect.
      Danny

  3. We are a culture of people who habitually roll in late for appointments and this is true the more high up in the hierarchy one is. I have seen this in many a business meetings. What is worse is if they don’t turn up at all and also no apologies. I haven’t seen that it has affected any of the tardy people in any way, infact, I have seen them go up the corporate ladder.
    I try to be on time but I do turn up late to work, because there is no supervisor watching over me. ( I will try to remedy this).
    thanks for the reminder, Danny.
    Susie

    1. I promise you someone, somewhere is noticing AND they will notice you always being early. I can tell you in a previous job, it was not uncommon for my boss to randomly scan our surveillance videos and watch the entrance on a given day to see who showed up on time and late.
      Danny

  4. Totally agree. Integrity is an important value for me, and I expect those I interact with to keep their word. Nothing turns me off faster than the deception of not following through on a commitment. Say what you do and do what you say sums it all up for me.

    1. I closely watch people and the respect they give to small details. Everyone’s lives, the truth of their life, appears in the small details. And being on time stands out as a huge sign to me. So few people arrive early that you should be doing it to be recognized. What a simple way to stand out from the crowd!
      Danny

      1. Vince Lombardi, legendary Green Bay (USA) football coach said on time to him meant being 15 minutes early. I’m probably early 99% of the time, maybe more. Part of who I am.

  5. You are so right. I always try to be in time and also do what I promised to do. It isn’t always easy, but I try to not be that one everyone has to wait for. As you say, why should they wait for me and waste time on that. I also don’t wait for people who are late. If I have better things to do I “waste” my time on that instead when I can. This post got me thinking of how important it is to respect time 🙂

  6. A friend and I were having a serious discussion about integrity, and how it seems to have died a painful death. We are in mourning. I try to keep my promises to the best of my ability – if I even make a promise. That word doesn’t often come out of my mouth. Rather, I just do what I say I’m going to do; no need to dress it up with a word that carries no meaning.

    1. I think so few look at what they say as binding so they brush it off casually. To me, if I say I will meet for lunch at 12, I will be waiting at 11:50. Shows respect for the other person.
      Danny

  7. I have once in a blue moon done that for good, legitimate reasons. But I’ve been more on the receiving end of that stick. After reading this post, I definitely need to reevaluate my friends. If you’re really committed and care, you won’t let anything stop you from fulfilling a promise. People these days…

    1. Keeping your promises speaks to you as a person. If you are willing to break your word, then what else are you willing to compromise. I try to surround myself carefully. I allow high character people in my life. People I want to aspire to be like, not the other way around.
      Danny

    1. You cannot be held responsible for a traffic jam. But if you live to be on time the majority, you will be given leniency and the benefit of the doubt. One reason professionally I recommend being early is because so few are that it glares and makes you stick out from the crowd.
      Danny

  8. Oh my, I agree with your point. I too am trying hard to keep track of what I’m promising to others. Most of the time, I feel bad to just turn down invitations that I just kept them hanging, unconsciously replied yes to them all, and finally forgot all of them. This post is a reminder for me to be more aware of the things I say. Thanks for sharing!

    1. If operating a growing blog has taught me one thing: it is okay to say no. I receive lots of requests for things, but have learned that I cannot be all things to all people. Learning to say ‘no thank you’ is a valuable tool.
      Danny

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