Dependability: keeping our word

word of month character

Our word of the month is dependability.  All of us know that if we are dependable then we keep our word, we follow through on our promises.  In our day to day life we make promises to others all of the time.  In fact many times the promises just slide off our tongue very easily and before we have thought it out completely. 

Many times that happens most often with our friends and family.  Why is that so?  I believe that we take for granted that they, because of our relationship with them, will ‘forgive’ us if we do not keep our promise just the way we said it or at least they will be more understanding. 

Is that really fair to them though?  What is the long term effect if we make this a practice?  I know as a parent that when our children said they were going to do something and they did not follow through it was disappointing.  Then when we asked them to give their word again we would ask them again and again.  (that can be annoying for both the child and the parent)  If it is a really big issue, like what time will you be home or if your home work is complete, it could lead to losing privileges. 

We have talked about this many times too that we may also lose the trust of the other person.  If you are a child reading this – there is nothing that is worse than losing the trust of your mom and dad.  Do everything you can to maintain that trust.

One more part of this puzzle too.  When you do not keep a promise there is the feelings that you have about yourself.  Do you know that feeling I am talking about?  That guilting feeling?  The one that everytime you see the person you promised something too you just cringe.  That has a long term affect that I will talk about later.  But for now we can all work on keeping our word and doing so as quickly as we can after giving it to another person.
 

Dependability: Definition

word of month character

November word of the month at Balanced Life Skills is Dependability.  Being dependable is about our promises and commitments, our actions and being accountable for those actions.   This month we will explore this even more, to find ways that we can demonstrate our dependability at home and in all parts of our life.   Our students will learn the role that dependability plays in creating a good reputation.

 

Young students:

Dependability means: You can count on me!

Older students:

Dependability means: Following through with commitments even when it’s challenging to do so.

There will be more discussions on this site of this word to help everyone discuss it with their own children and to look at it more deeply with themselves in the coming month. Check back with us or you may join our community for even more information.

 

Rewards for keeping commitments

word of month character

Everyone of us has had a time when someone promised to do something for us and then did not keep that promise. How did it make you feel? Frustrated, angry, let down? We have also experienced, hopefully more often, the times when promises were kept and our feelings were the exact opposite. We were relieved, happy, and felt like we knew someone we could rely on.

If we are a young child and we promise mom and dad that we will clean our room and then we keep that commitment – without being asked to do it again and again – your parents are feeling very happy about you being so responsible and trustworthy. Believe me as a child this is a good thing for parents to feel this way!

At the same time when we keep a promise like that we can say to ourselves that we know we are dependable and that we can reach our goals, because we stick to our commitments. Guess what? The same is true for adults! The people around us begin to trust us and see us as leaders and reliable when we keep our commitments. It makes a big difference.

If we break our commitments though others may not feel that they can trust us, they may be upset with us and it will impact the lives of many other individuals. It also has a big impact on ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. When we keep promises to ourselves there is a pride and feeling of accomplishment. Here is a quick example. When it is time for me to do my work out I sometimes do not feel like doing it. Have you ever felt that way? But as soon as I get started it is OK – but when I am done I feel so good about accomplishing a task that I committed to my instructor and have made known to the entire community I would do.

You will feel the same when you keep a commitment to yourself and to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.

Keeping your commitment

word of month character

When times get tough or things get hard on some front, it is very easy for us to release ourselves from a commitment. When we are good at something, or when it is fun or when we just love doing it and we get rewarded in some manner that meets our needs then it is easy to keep our commitment. In fact we will fight for the ability to keep our promises to ourselves and others.

But when things get hard or doesn’t come as easy as it use to, or we are feeling a bit bored by the activity, or a friend is no longer a part of the activity, then these are obstacles that we need to fight our way through. If we were to give up for one of those reasons we will not reach the goals we originally set out to accomplish.

What would you do if you made a commitment and now were having trouble with it? First we need to be sure that we are talking to ourselves the way we would a friend. We would want to encourage ourselves and give a little pep talk. We would never hang out with someone who constantly told us that we could not do something. So I would suggest that we should not talk to ourselves that way either. Second get some extra help, which means we may have to decide what we need and then be willing to ask for it.

Ultimately we are responsible for our choices. Napoleon Hill said, “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” Connecting success with commitment is paramount to staying the course. Ask yourself if there are other distractions or poor influences that you must choose to deal with so that you can keep your commitment.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.

Keeping our commitments – a personal story

word of month character

It is very interesting that when I talk to our students about subjects dealing with character, it always make me stop and think about myself. We have been talking about why it is easy to keep our promises to ourselves and others and why it can be hard sometimes too.

It is always easy when it is fun, or we are good at something or if we just love doing it or being around the people we are involved with. On the other hand it is a lot harder when it is something that we do not understand or is boring to us. There really are 3 things that get in our way of keeping a commitment.

I read recently that they are considerations, fears and roadblocks. I have noticed with myself that many times that all three of them get in the way many times all together.

First you have the negative talk, considerations, that happen and you can quickly come up with all the reasons you cannot do something. That many times can lead to fear which are feelings. They may include fear of failure or rejection (two that I battle all of the time). Then of course as soon as the first road block comes up your fears are realized and you are sure that your original considerations were true and so you get frozen.

Now back to promises. The promises we make to ourselves are very important. I have promised to complete the Ultimate Black Belt Test the best way I know how or better than I know how at this moment. I must learn how to overcome the considerations, fear and roadblocks to keep this promise. No matter what comes up I must overcome the negative voice, the fears, and those roadblocks that are bound to get in the way.

Commitments to ourselves

word of month character

One of the most important kind of commitments we ever make is the promises that we make to ourselves. We know that our ability to keep promises to others will have an affect on the way they view us. They will see us as someone they can trust, or that we are reliable, dependable and responsible.

Did you know that the way we keep or not keep promises to ourselves has the same effect on us personally. If we continuously make promises to ourselves, and then break it we are not showing the same respect for ourselves that we show to others. This has a very negative affect on the way we feel about ourselves.

Lets say we promise ourselves to take a walk everyday for exercise, and we do so for 4 days straight. But then we let various things get in the way of our keeping this commitment. In affect we are lying to ourselves, and we begin to see ourselves as not reliable or dependable. This then allows us to give up in other areas of our life on commitments and soon we find that our self respect is very low. Do you know how good you feel about yourself when you keep commitments to yourself?

Showing commitment to ourselves will make a difference in our success in life and it will help us keep our commitments to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.