Rules of Life: Be True to Your Word

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Rules of Life: Be True to Your Word

A few days back I wrote an article about being Honest, Open and Transparent, called ‘I’m one HOT guy!’. Many see this as being the right way of being, but others, maybe understandably, are cautious and worried about the implications. Some feel that by following this type of philosophy they are leaving themselves defenceless to attack and deceit by others.

Maybe at times this is the price you have to pay, but in my books the benefits outweigh the price that you have to occasionally pay.

The feedback that I have received has made me think quite hard. Other circumstances of the weekend just gone have allowed me to think deeply and consider many things.

I have been considering the importance of personal integrity in all areas of our lives. Integrity underlines the link between the choices we make and the results that follow. A person of integrity is honest, reliable and trustworthy. It is true that it is not easy to always maintain these qualities but is there many things easy in life?

To have a high integrity you must do what is right, and yes at times this can be tough.  Simply, a person of integrity cannot take the easy way all the time. But I do believe that everything worth having is worth fighting for. Having a high integrity can be one of  the most difficult qualities to achieve, but once you have achieve it, it can be so satisfying.

Imagine right now, that you have complete peace of mind, absolutely no guilty feelings about anything at all.

How great would this feel?

Can you 100% honestly tell yourself that you carry no guilt at this very moment?

Here is something that I don’t want you to question, I just want you to accept it,

‘You will feel good, about yourself, and about life, when you know you are doing the right things!’

“It’s not always easy to do the right thing. But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think. In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone. But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions.” Queen Latifah

To have integrity means that you do the right thing, make the right choices. To me it means having good moral values, and integrating them into how you live your life.   It means, of course, being honest, open and transparent, and I also believe it goes together with good leadership.

“Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” Jim Rohn

An important principle, associated with integrity is ‘To always keep your word’.

If you say you are going to do something, then make sure you follow through on it.  By always keeping your word, you keep your Integrity. Always keep your promise, and if you cannot, don’t make them.  When you give your word that you are going to do something, your word has to be your bond.  Please learn not to make promises you don’t intend to keep, and certainly don’t pledge yourself to something you can’t follow through on..

If you give your word to another, then stick to it.

If you give make a promise to another, then abide by it.

If you say you are going to do something, then do it.

 “Breaking of your word is a folly, a dishonor, and a crime.  It is a folly, because no one will trust you afterwards; and it is both a dishonor and a crime, truth being the first duty of religion and morality; and whoever has not truth, cannot be supposed to have any one good quality.” Lord Philip Stanhope Chesterfield

You want to be somebody that others know can be counted on. To become this type of ‘leader’ you need to maintain your Integrity, uphold your Dignity, prove your Trustworthiness, maintain the Respect of Others and of course show Honesty, Openness and Transparency.

Fisher DeBerry a former American football player and coach in the United States said: “If you give someone your word, you have to realize what that means. Your word is the most important possession you have.  If I tell someone I will do something or be somewhere, I will do everything within my power to do it.”

“If you propose to speak always ask yourself – is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?” Gautama Buddha

Ask yourself before you give anybody a promise:

Is this something I actually want to do?

Is this something I can actually do?

What do I need to know or have to get this done?

What can possibly get in the way of me completely this commitment?

It is hard to overstate the importance of ensuring that your actions are consistent with your words. Show that your words are of value.

Another article I wrote, ‘Get Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Down, And Move On’ shows that your communications and interactions are essential when it comes to relationships.  When you are faced with any type of problem within the relationship that diminishes your sense of love and togetherness, you must be willing to communicate until that problem is resolved. You must not rest until the result has been produced, until understanding and agreement has been reached. At times purposeful, powerful communication is needed to succeed in all relationships. But of course choose your words wisely, and then make sure you stick by what you say.

“The promises of yesterday are the taxes of today”.  William Lyon MacKenzie

Two people in a relationship are unlikely to experience the same event or reality in exactly the same way. Each has there  own “internal reality” about whatever has happened, and these internal realities must always be taken into account. But together you can reach a position of accord, but leave nothing unsaid. Don’t leave unanswered questions to vibrate around in either of your heads,

As a business owner, and as importantly a coach, I am fully aware that I will not succeed if no one trusts me. People need to believe me, have confidence in me, depend on me. Losing trust is easy. You forget a promise you made. You fail to do what you said you would do. Keeping my word, fulfilling my promises is essential.

As a parent, it is of so much importance to keep your word. We will never be able to inspire a character trait in our child if we don’t have and prove it in our own behaviour. Children are very sensitive to our genuineness. Boosting our children’s expectations and nurturing the trait of trustworthiness in them are two of the benefits of keeping our word, as well keeping them away from disappointment.

Has something similar to this, ever happened to you:

“But Daddy, you said”

“Yes, I know, but I didn’t know that I would have to stay at work!”

“I don’t care! you said we’d all spend time together today!”

“But Darling, I can’t walk away from work!”

“But you said… you promised … we were all going out for the day”

“But I had no choice, sweet heart”

“Yes Daddy, you chose to break your word to me!”

Please make sure that you create in your children the expectation that what you promise, you will deliver. Each time we keep our word, each time we do what we said we were going to, we are building for their future an expectation of fulfilment instead of disappointment.

So in life, you need to make a commitment to yourself, and to those around you, to keep your word, if you said you would, then you will, that needs to be one of your principles in life. So choose your words wisely and be prepared to stand behind them.

My next Rule of Life will focus on “Invest time to share knowledge and passion with others so that they can grow.”

“Losers make promises they often break.  Winners make commitments they always keep”. Denis Waitley

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
  1. Jessica Mokrzycki says:

    Great post Larry! We should all definitely learn to choose our words wisely. They can have a direct correlation towards feelings of guilt later on! Best to avoid ill chosen words….or perhaps just keep them to ourselves 🙂

  2. Steve says:

    Though it has lost importance in present days, it is very important to be true to yourself as well as others. Being true to yourself first is very important because it is then that you can practice honesty. Thanks for a motivating and guiding post!

  3. I totally agree with you Larry,I have come to realize this in a hard way,and now do control myself as far as possible.

  4. Our integrity, the dependability of our words and promises, is priceless in a world where too often we find a lack of trust. I love the quote from Buddha about asking ourselves before we speak, “is is true, is it necessary, is it kind?” This is one all of us should take to heart!

    Thanks for the inspiration as always!


  5. rimly says:

    I loved this post of your Larry. Honesty, integrity and openness are hard to come by these days.

  6. Cathy says:

    Great post Larry! This is something I always practice. My friends and children always know that I am a person of my word. Thanks for sharing this!

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