Day 2 of Niya’s series!
Words with Friends and the importance of keeping them.
This post isn’t about iPhone Scrabble. I’m not about to give you
strategies, tips and tricks to boost your score, have your friends
curse you as you wipe the Scrabble board with them, or generally make
you a better Scrabble player. Frankly, I’m a terrible Scrabble player
because I don’t play strategically, so I’m the last person who should
be giving advice.
No, this is about words in a different sense. It’s about those
promises that you make, those things you commit to, those words that
become your bond. At it’s core, this is about integrity. To clarify, I
don’t mean integrity in any sort of moral sense. If that’s what you
want it to mean, that’s perfectly fine. Integrity in this case,
however is about consistency
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistency). It’s about deciding what
you you’re going to stand for when it comes to your actions, values,
methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes – and then
actually standing for it. This means not making promises you aren’t
going to keep, both to yourself and others. These are differences from
promises you intend to break. These are the ones that you didn’t
realized you didn’t have the time, resources, skills etc to keep.
Essentially, do what you say you were going to do, when you said you
were going to do it. Stick to that plan. Scary as it sounds, commit.
It’s so much easier to say these things that it is to do them. We
spend so much time talking that words have ceased to hold real meaning
– which is why being your word and maintaining your integrity is so
important. Life gets really interesting when you get a sense of which
promises you keep, and which ones are easier to break than others. I’m
known for serially breaking the promises I make to myself, but very
rarely breaking my committments to other people. It probably says a
lot about me. Think about your pattern when it comes to keeping your
word. What does it say about you?
When you learn to only make promises that you can keep, and about how
far you can push the bounds of the reality you know, in order to keep
the more unreasonable promises you want to make, you’ll find yourself
in a life that’s more feasible. Not overcommitting (i.e. Yes, I’ll
proofread your paper even though I have 5 other priority items that
actually matter), or being guilted into things (i.e. Yes, I’ll spend
the weekend with your parents because I love you even though I’d
rather be doing anything else), or agreeing because social convention
dictates you should (i.e. Of course I’ll volunteer for your
fundraiser, even though I’m working on 6 others, because if I say no,
I’ll look like a terrible human being) means you can stick to the plan
What does integrity have to with making an impossible seeming life
workable without an assistant? If you only make promises you can keep,
you’ll have a much easier time remembering them. Also, knowing which
promises you can keep means you have to have a pretty good handle on
your time and resources, which means you’re aware enough not to need
So keep your word. It’s vital for the next part of how to achieve
really mind blowing things without an assistant: Networks and the
importance of mobilizing them.