When I began dating my husband (whom I had known for almost a year) in 1985, I was thrown for a loop. I was used to guys who flattered at the drop of a hat. They adored me and thought I was the most beautiful woman on earth and wanted to be with me forever, almost immediately after we met. But Sam was not one of them.
Not only was he conservative about his praise, he was incredibly careful about impressions he gave and about affection he claimed. In fact, I told him I loved him before he told me. And it was awkward to say the least.
“I think I’m falling in love with you.”
“That’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.”
Seriously? Can I crawl in a hole and suffocate now?
His careful choices about relationships, however, served him well. When he finally told me he loved me (quite some time after he felt it (trust me on this, my version is the correct one)) I absolutely knew down to my bones it was the honest truth.
Be careful about when and where you give your word. Do it only when it matters and when you know you can follow through. A good reputation is critical to your future success.
But not only should that reputation be guarded with others, but with yourself. If you easily make and break commitments when you set goals, you will sabotage your reputation with yourself. You will begin to see yourself as flake, a loser, an incompetent. And when you think that’s who you are, it harms everything you do.
If you look at successful people in any field, you’ll find that they’re not necessarily the brightest, best looking, fastest, or strongest of the bunch.
They are the ones with the deepest reservoir of commitment.
Be the person who makes honors commitments. Be the person with the great reputation that everyone trusts. It will serve you again and again. And anyone can do it.
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