I’ve always felt that integrity is an important part of what makes up our character, and helps define “Who we are” as people; to me, a huge part of integrity is the habit of “keeping our word”, and always, always, ALWAYS doing what we say we will do, plain and simple. And personally, following up on promises and commitments simply “Because I said I would” is a top priority – not to do so would break my word, and cause both myself, and others, to question that integrity that I hold so dearly.
I truly believe this trait is a cornerstone of “Who we are” as people, and believe that (in my case) is part of what makes me feel successful (according to my definition of success) in life. Keeping my promises means whatever I say I’m going to do, I’ll do – period. It tells the people that I make commitments to that they can “Count on me”, and that“My pledge to them is also important to me”. The long and short of it is that if I’ve said I’ll do something, then in my mind there is absolutely no alternative but to keep that promise and do it – regardless whether “it” is something small like making dinner, big like travelling for 11 hours to get my son to the camp he wants to go to (rather than the one that’s convenient for me) or even if it’s just the right thing to do, like visiting an elderly friend of my long-since deceased parents for a nice cup of tea. I must always to do all the things I say I’m going to do, for no other reason than I said that I would; because my honour, integrity and self-worth would be at stake if I didn’t.
Recently I read about a gentleman named Alex Sheen who also believes strongly in keeping the promises he makes; but in his case it’s to honour his late father for whom this was a very, very important character trait, and one that he bestowed in his son. Alex was so moved by how his father used this trait as sort of an “inner compass” to guide him, he felt compelled to spread the word of the importance of keeping the promises we make to both ourselves, and to others. He began a small movement called “Because I Said I Would” in which people could write their promises on small cards, and post them in places to remind them to honour their commitments, just the way he’d been taught to by his father.
Along the way, a couple of remarkable things happened: First, the movement caught on, and people really responded to Alex’s message. It gave them hope, strength, but most of all, it made them accountable to themselves to keep the promises they made – and this made them feel good about themselves, and “Who they are” as people… and that alone is a remarkable achievement. But then something else happened; something you may have already heard about in the news, but weren’t aware it that it came about because of this movement, all started by one man. What happened was this:
To learn more about Alex Sheen’s incredible movement, “because I said I would”, go to his website or Facebook page. And while you are there, find out how to get some promise cards so that you too, can benefit from this remarkable movement. I’ve ordered mine and am just waiting for them (and the T-Shirt!) to arrive so I can proudly support this amazing movement.
Until then all that I can say is “Thanks Alex, you and your team rock!”