Let’s talk about two things I think many people today struggle with.. 1) KEEPING THEIR WORD and 2) TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY.

Over the past 2 years I’ve learned a tremendous amount around these two areas and I think they’re incredibly powerful leverage points for anyone who’s looking to make dramatic, effective changes in their lives.

1) Now there’s a lot of different forms and understandings around the term “keeping one’s word.” But in this context I’m really talking about is how strong your are to your commitments and decisions you make with others as well as YOURSELF. On a scale of 1-10 where do you stand if your peers rate you on holding true to your commitments to them? On a scale of 1-10 how committed to yourself are you? For some people this isn’t nearly as big a deal, but if we’re talking about being successful and making massive changes in your life this is one of the most paramount things I think you can strengthen. Any sort of lasting, massive change will require you to go against forces and resistance of old habits and patterns and if you have very little practice keeping true to your commitments you’ll be that much more challenged.

Your word is lot like a muscle.. the more you tone, shape and refine it, the more powerful it gets. Neural pathways in your brain wire together the more you practice anything. The less deviation you have, the more true and precise it gets the more powerful it becomes. With a strong enough word you can say things like I’m going to double my team size and I’m going to move to Austin and it’s not just a – maybe it’s going to happen, but it becomes an absolute foregone conclusion. 

For me word is probably the single most important thing. When I start interacting with someone who doesn’t keep their word, I almost instantly lose faith, trust and respect for them (Stay way from FLAKES!). It sounds harsh but I realize that direct, honest, commitment is something that’s simple (not easy) but simple not to do. The former comes from quality people I want in my life. The more people and friends I can feed into my life that are committed, decisive and on their path to greatness the higher the quality of my own level I must be summoned to play at.

At times I really struggle with this because a lot of my older friends, colleagues, and social comrades aren’t nearly as tight with their word and commitment as I define it today. My best friend used to be 15-30 mins late all the time. It wasn’t absurd, but if you were inviting him anywhere he’s probably going to be late. And it had become his identity where you could literally expect that to be the case.

I used to operate and show up 5-15 mins late. I would allow myself to work right up to the next appointment and then I’d forget, not account for the travel/transition time and I’d be 5-10 mins behind. Now I plan my meetings with at least a 30 min buffer in between them. For me I don’t want to be rushed to get out of a quality discussion and I want to have some moments to reflect on the content. I want to be there, present and ready for that next appointment.

I also want to built have a character of doing what I say. With those that I lead, as well and even more importantly for my own self. If I can’t even keep my own commitment with myself how can I expect anyone to rely on me?  If I’m not reliable and consistent with them how can expect and demand the same level from my team!? Do you walk into your meetings even a minute late? Ask yourself why you’re doing that? Does this happen often? What sort of story are you telling yourself that makes it so that I don’t put as much value on the time of others as I do on my own.

2) Full responsibility! It’s pretty straight forward, you’re responsible for EVERYTHING you experience in life. You’re responsible for achieving all that you desire, for creating whatever it is you want, for building the relationships that best suit you and your team. You take an extreme ownership in every aspect of your life and you don’t volunteer to be a victim of circumstance of tragedy.

For a long time I DID NOT think I was directly responsible for feeling EVERYTHING and I ended up angry, anxious, depressed and overwhelmed. I thought certain feelings would come from the life circumstances, things completely outside my control. I shifted blame to my life situation instead of understanding my perception was on overdrive! It took me a long period of time to really understand that the meaning I GAVE THAT THING was directly in my control and something I was 100% responsible for.

If I’m in a meeting I’m responsible for making that experience as powerful and effective as possible. One thing I’ve done for my meetings and other events is not only show up on time but also show up w/out eating anything or multi-tasking. I can bring water, but anything else (yes I’m talking about gum as well) is a distraction. I’m taking full responsibility for a pristine experience.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your level of responsibility and your commitment to your word I’d highly suggest you start listening to Jim Rohn and Jocko Willink. Jocko, might be a bit extreme for some but for most Jim can resonate very well and both will preach well on the topics of keeping your word, responsibility and self discipline.

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