Winners make commitments they always keep.
" - Dennis Waitley You know the usual process regarding a broken promise, don't you? We'd accept the challenge given to us by a friend or family member and seal the deal with the words, "I promise".
Then when the time came, we just couldn't deliver.
What really gets us is when we start coming up with a pathetic/elaborate excuse to tell them.
That's the part when we realize we've really screwed up.
What is it about promises that makes them so easy to accept, but so hard to keep? It might be the fact that the person is coming from a position of vulnerability and what happens in their lives next is in your hands (I know, big responsibility right?).
Maybe you're just curious to see what happens if you don't do it, even though you know the outcome anyway.
Or you could have just plum forgot.
Whatever the reason, promises are delicate things.
They are binding agreements that no one should break.
Understand the promise You have to understand the conditions of the promise.
First of all, who is asking you to promise? Your friend? Superior? Family member? This will instill the gravity of the promise in your mind.
Next, you have to comprehend the circumstances around the promise.
Have you broken this agreement before? Or have you followed through on a consistent basis? Is this the very first promise asked of you by this person or is this the last promise? It's okay to say "no" Simply put, if you know in your mind that you can't meet the requirements needed to accept the promise, it's probably best that you say "no".
It's going to hurt both of you in the long run if you agreed to something you know you can't do.
Most of us tend to say "yes" regardless of this fact for fear of hurting the other persons feelings or feeling that it's just the right thing to say.
This is wrong.
Don't take for granted the trust built around a promise.
And if you accept a promise and it turns out you can't follow through...
Do something right then and there to make it up to them You were clearly in the wrong for accepting, but show them that you are willing to do almost anything (but nothing out of line) to gain their trust back.
Depending on the brevity of the promise, it may take a while to regain the trust of the person wronged.
However, don't make a habit out of doing this because it'll no doubt make things worse.
Similarly, do not say "I'll do it next time".
There may not even be a next time, let alone friendly communication between the two of you.
As you can see, it's really not that hard to keep a promise.
All it takes is commitment and some careful planning to ensure whatever you promised gets done.
The main challenge most of us face today is that we treat a promise like it's just another form of communication.
Know that it takes character to actually fulfill a promise because anyone can just accept them.