Please do yourself a favor; read last week’s post (Let your life speak for you (Part 1) to get a comprehensive understanding of this life-changing process.
There are four essentials for letting your life speak for you:
- Believe you can make a difference.
- Promise what you will do.
- Do what you promise
- Hold yourself responsible for your commitment and efforts, even when you can’t control the outcome.
Believe you can make a difference.
The more you feel you have the ability to change something for the better, the more obligated you feel to do whatever you can to make that happen. In an election year, for example, if you believe that your vote won’t matter, it’s likely that you won’t vote and will feel justified in not doing so. Whatever you think you can’t affect, you generally take little or no responsibility for, and you tend to down-play or minimize your lack of involvement.
Alexander Graham Bell believed that he could find a way to help deaf people hear. He felt accountable to turn that belief into action. The critics and obstacles did little to deter him because he believed he could find a way to make a difference; he accepted the responsibility of doing so.
Promise what you will do
Once you believe you can make a difference, it’s necessary to get crystal clear about what you’re going to do about it. When you commit, be as clear as you can, so there are no hidden ifs, and, or outs. Although you cannot always guarantee the results of what you promise, you must enter into each commitment to fulfill it. When you give voice to our obligations, you feel more accountable for them. Promise clearly and humbly, while committing yourself to do more than anyone else may expect.
Do what you promise
It is when you promise time after time and deliver that you win the trust and loyalty of others. What you imagined and hope for is manifested through keeping your word.
Taking even the smallest step to turn words into action gets you moving in the right direction. Jot notes to others describing what you’re embarking on or following through on “as promised.” Don’t worry if, at first, others don’t seem to notice. Do whatever you’re doing primarily for your own sense of honor and contribution. Over time, people accord genuine respect to others based almost wholly on doing what they promise. Demonstrate an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to accomplish the best long term results, even when this is very difficult.
Hold yourself responsible for your commitment and efforts, even when you control the outcome.
None of us is guaranteed tomorrow as you wish it to be. Today, with all of its complexity and beauty and sadness and possibilities, it is all you have.
When you commit yourself to do what you promise, you let your life speak most compellingly – by example. Accountability rarely depends on a specific outcome – which may be beyond your control – but on the quality of the effort you made and how you honored your commitment along the way. For example, what you learned in class at school, or didn’t learn, is most important, whether or not the grade reflects this. Look in the mirror, not out the window, to assign responsibility for poor results. It’s rarely justified or useful to blame others, external circumstances, or bad luck.
From time to time, all of us miss the mark you were aiming for, But, when you are willing to keep your word and give your best effort, and then speak as honestly as you can about the results of that effort and what you learned along the way you are worthy of respect.
Calling, Cause, and Destiny – we all have one.
Listen, Think, and then Act!
Speaking With a Purpose: “We help you bridge the gap between … Where you are versus where you want to be.” Our ultimate goal – help you become a better you!