Keep your commitments to yourself

As luck would have it, I’ve re-entered ‘writing a book’ world in the very same week as I re-enter ‘teaching at uni’ world. One involves very comfortable pants. The other involves giving scary lectures on what will happen if deadlines are not met.

I realised this week, however, that while I can never let ‘writing pants’ see natural light, I do need to give myself the ‘scary deadline talk’. Why? Because unless there’s a pressing external deadline, it’s all too easy to let personal goals go in favour of … absolutely everything else in life.  non-pressing work commitments. Social obligations – because your friends know you largely set your own hours, you can always be counted on to drop everything in favour of seeing them. Domestic tasks need doing that the nine-to-fiver in your household can’t manage? look no further.

But when we let our commitments to ourselves be eroded, bit by coffee date and bill-paying bit, a little bit of our soul gets eroded along with them. The sneaky thing is that it can happen slowly, so you don’t always notice it, until the end of the year, or you turn a significant tenner, and suddenly think ‘where the **&^ did the year go?’

Keeping the promises you make to yourself, needless to say, are essential if you ever want to achieve anything of value. Sure – keeping commitments to others is important, and you’ll certainly add value to your company, family etc – all fine and wonderful things. But when we hon our those little promises we make to ourslelves we give birth to the kind of deep, inner contentment that we can’t find anywhere else. No matter the results.

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