Keeping your Word

July 8, 2021

I was 10 years old and standing outside the local mini-mart eating a candy bar. I was with my father at the time. I had mentioned I would do a chore but didn’t do it. I didn’t think much of it. My father then said something to me that I would remember for the rest of my life. “Eric, my father told me to always keep your word. Your word is the only thing you have.”

For some reason, that stuck with me. It wasn’t an emotionally charged event. The candy bar was unremarkable. But I don’t remember having a strong sense of guilt or shame. Perhaps it was the fact that this was “wisdom passed down through the generations.” But for whatever reason, I solemnly vowed to keep my word forever.

Let me tell you something. That’s not an easy task. Especially starting at 10 years old. But it would come to define how I approach life, others, and even myself. In order to keep your word, you first need to think about what you’re about to say. What you say needs to matter. Then you need to make sure that your actions follow what you said, so you need to have thought about the actions you can or cannot do prior to even saying those words. Finally, random stupid things happen all the time. So somehow, at 10 years old, I needed to also figure out what would possibly happen in the future that would prevent me from taking the actions I said I would take.

This is all too much! But it was worth hit.

I knew I changed that day. I wasn’t always 100% successful but I always tried my best and made up for it when I could. However, I made one fatal mistake. I projected my value for integrity onto others. And I believed that other people also keep their word with the same level of intentionality. As you can imagine, I’ve been disappointed many times since 10 years old. But because I had a religious core. I always forgave and always hoped for the best. It was only until I started studying Psychiatry that I began to understand what was really going on.

I’ve found that High Performers are able to keep their word. That is why they are able to perform at such a high level. They don’t lie to themselves, they don’t lie to others, they don’t live a deceptive life. If you deceive yourself, if you deceive others, if you live a deceptive life, how can you perform at a high level?

If you keep you word as a High Performer, you can more easily spot other High Performers and work with them. This High Performing network then produces more than the competition while always facing challenges without delusion. Sounds like a dream, right?

If you want to build this team of High Performers, it starts with you keeping your word.

Dr. Eric

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