“Of all the values Billye holds, integrity is tops. ‘That’s all you’ve got in the end,’ she told me once. She’s right, too. If you don’t respect yourself, you cannot maintain your confidence, regardless of how well you follow all the other principles in this book. Nothing will inform you as a person more than your actions, specifically your promise-keeping ratio during your life. It defines you as either a truth teller or a liar.”
Tim Sanders from Today We Are Rich

How’s your promise-keeping ratio?

Following through on our commitments is *huge.*

The quickest way to stress yourself out and erode the trust of those around you is to make a lot of promises you never fulfill.

Stephen Covey’s Habit #1 in his classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to “Be Proactive.” The most powerful indicator of whether you’re being proactive?

Per Covey: “The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity.”

So, let’s get REALLY aware of the commitments we’re making and ONLY make commitments we intend to honor.

We want to remember Norman Vincent Peale’s wisdom that “promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.”

Next time you make a promise, see if you can carry it out at once.

P.S. Are there any promises you’ve made that you need to go carry out? Go ahead and rock that. Take care of that screaming baby. We’ll be here when you get back. 🙂

* This is a Big Idea from my Optimal Living 101 classes.

Brian Johnson is the Philosopher and CEO of en*theos—a company he created with his wife, Alexandra. Brian has a daily video series called “Optimal Living 101,” created PhilosophersNotes, wrote a little book called A Philosopher’s Notes, has a monthly “Big Ideas” column in Experience Life magazine, and was featured in the documentary Finding Joe. You can also follow Brian on Facebook and Twitter.