What is it that causes us to commit to something? And what is it that causes us to actually follow through and accomplish that which we committed to do?
I always find it interesting when people talk a big game. We’ve all done it. Some more than others. But we’ve all done it.
“Oh, I can’t wait to do X” or “I am so excited to go to X.”
But, when the time comes to do X or go to X, that person doesn’t do it. For whatever reason they don’t. It could be that they’re “too busy”. Or that they’re afraid to actually commit.
You see, the further away something is, the easier it is to commit to doing it. To be more consistent and commitive, we need to understand how we might feel about actually doing X or going to X when we make the decision in the beginning.
How can you do that?
Pretend it’s happening in a few days.
Example: Your friend has invited you to a fund raising event which is 2 months away. You say “For sure, count me in!” You tell her that you want to go (when in fact you don’t) because you hope that in the 2 months leading up to the event, one of several things will happen:
1) The event is canceled
2) Something more important comes up and you can easily bail on your friend
3) Nothing happens but you just end up not going, making up some lame excuse the day after the event
4) Anything else which could help you let your friend more gently than by initially saying “No”
What is it about our society which causes us to do this? Why can’t we just be honest? Or better yet, why can’t we say “Yes I’d love to go” and mean it? I mean really, what other “better” thing do we have to do? Sit at home and watch tv? Go out and get drunk like every other Friday/Saturday? To be a friend to someone means that when they have something going on which is important to them, we try and support them. Even if we can only be there for half an hour.
Riva and Andrew Mackie, the owners of Riva’s The Eco Store (http://www.rivasecostore.com) recently had their 1 year store anniversary. I had things going on before and after their event, but I made sure to stop in and show them my support. I spent about half an hour chatting with them and looking around the store. When I have some funds coming in, I would love to shop there. They really have some great quality stuff.
But anyways, I’m saying that if we commit to something, then make sure you make it a part of your life and follow through with it. If you have no intentions of actually accomplishing what you say you will, then don’t commit to it in the first place. It just creates an expectation on you over time and will disappoint people.
When you say “yes”, mean it.