Achieving a goal is essentially a promise kept. Setting a goal, be it financial or otherwise means committing to take the steps required to see it to its fulfilment. You break down your goal to action steps and follow through. You do what you said you will do. This is the stuff achieving goals and fulfilling dreams are made of. It speaks of integrity – oneness. Walking your talk, saying what you mean, and meaning what you said. The moment you give your word, it is as good as done. You can take it to the bank.
We often underestimate the importance of keeping promises. We often take promises lightly, to the point of not meaning what we say. Sometimes we make promises knowing full well we do not intend to keep it. In negotiations, this is referred to as “bad faith”. It happens often in negotiations between unions and management or government. After strike and negotiations, a deal is signed and sealed, but problem is the promise is not kept. Years later, the same issue that was signed and sealed gives birth to another strike, another season of promises and more damage inflicted on both sides.
We often think that we can break promises we make to others and keep the promises we make to ourselves. It does not work that way. A promise is a promise. When we make a promise and do not follow through, our sub conscious mind comes to the conclusion that we are not serious. When we then make a promise to ourselves – lose weight, save a certain amount a month etc, it believes we are not serious too. So what happens is that there is no unity within us. Our mind sets a goal, our sub conscious minds says you must be joking, our body is confused, like a driver taking directions from two bosses. The car goes in a zigzag fashion. That is the key reason we do not follow through. We exercise for two days, and return to status quo the third day. We save one month, and then spend what we saved the next. We take one step forward and then one step backward. We lack integrity – oneness. There is no unity within us. We are not promise keepers.
The magnet and a nail are both made of same stuff – carbon steel. Their physical and chemical (molecular) composition is identical. The difference lies in the arrangement of the molecular structure. In the magnet, all the north poles are pointed in one direction, resulting in a strong magnetic force field. In the nail, the north poles are aligned haphazardly, resulting in the magnetic forces cancelling out resulting in zero net magnetic force.
Another interesting phenomenon is that while the nail is attached to the magnet, it becomes a magnet itself, attracting every metal that comes within range of its new found magnetic force field. During this time, the magnetic field of the magnet forces the nails’ structure to line up properly, effectively becoming a magnet itself. Sadly, when the magnet is taken away, the magnetic force ebbs, and the nail returns to its disorderly existence.
That is what happens when we lack integrity. Like the nail, we are all over the place. We say one thing and do something else. We no longer trust ourselves. We begin to doubt ourselves. We don’t take ourselves seriously. It becomes a maybe. We set a goal, but we know deep down we may not follow through. We start but we do not finish. We litter the landscape with abandoned projects and unfinished businesses. This is the stuff New Year Resolutions are made of. A wish list – an empty annual ritual which has become the butt of jokes.
When we come to the realization that promises are made to be kept, we start to slow down on making promises, and step up on keeping promises. We under-promise and over-deliver. We think before we promise or commit. We are not afraid to say NO. When we start to value our words, when our word becomes our bond, we think through before we speak. We refrain from promising and actually do, than promise and not do.
It starts by making small promises and keeping them, then making slightly bigger promises and keeping them. Your body, soul and spirit become one and move in one direction. When you say yes, you mean it from bottom of your heart to the depths of your soul. As you start keeping promises, your confidence and self esteem begins to grow. Your words become powerful, because they surely come to pass. It is simply a matter of time. When you say you want to lose 10kg, it is a done deal. You give it your all, and never back off until you cross the finish line. When you say you will save N10,000 from your salary every month, you just do it, come rain and high water. When you say you will read a book on investment, you actually seek out the book, buy it and read it to the last page. When you get to this point, you are virtually unstoppable. You are a promise keeper. Your word carries power. When you promise, your word is good enough. People can depend on your word because you always follow through. You do not have to swear, or show proof. Your cheque does not have to clear first before the goods are released. Your word is good enough. It is good enough for others. It is good enough for you.
-Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .