We talk over and over again about reasons to stay on the path, reasons to keep going, to keep succeeding, to keep the promises we make to ourselves and to others.
Yet we rarely talk about the reasons we never keep our promises. Maybe if we did, we’d learn how to take those reasons and destroy them one by one.
While I can’t pretend to be an expert at keeping my promises and I’ve had my fair share of broken promises or straying off my path, here are the reasons I found most likely to influence me breaking my agreements:
1. I never meant it to begin with.
It sounded good in the moment, I felt brave and for a second I envisioned myself on the other side, having kept that promise. A second later, everything changed, and I realized I got caught in the spur of the moment and chances were I never planned to keep my promise anyway.
2. It’s too hard.
We don’t give up because it’s easy; we give up because we find it too hard, too complicated, just too much. We’d like to do it in an ideal world with the ideal circumstances, but when it comes to overcoming things to get to where we need to be… well, it just gets too hard.
3. I can’t see the benefit in keeping the promise.
Yes, I made an agreement, I said I would do something, but on second thought, I really can’t see what’s in it for me. The motivation goes out the window and the action along with it.
4. I can’t see the damage done by breaking a promise.
Sometimes, breaking little promises causes the most harm; breaking promises over and over again makes us lose the most important things in our lives. However, sometimes we don’t think about that when we break the little promises; we only see it when we get to a point when we’ve done so much harm that nothing will make up for it.
5. I think I have unlimited chances.
Sometimes, we think we have an unlimited number of chances to keep the same promise and therefore, think we can break it as many times as we wish. What we fail to realize is that getting a first chance is a blessing, getting a second chance is a miracle, and getting anything more than that is pure magic. But most of the time we don’t even realize this. We just keep testing the people around us, we keep breaking their trust.
Sometimes keeping promises is incredibly difficult; other times it’s everything we have, but paying attention to our agreements makes the most difference. Take a minute to think about it before making a promise, meaning it, and keeping it.
In the book The Fault in Our Stars, recently adapted into a movie, John Green writes:
“’Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,’ I said.
‘Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.’”
Maybe, just maybe, the reasons for which we’ve never kept promises before become reasons to value our agreements from now on and to understand how important it is to keep our promises to others… and most importantly to ourselves.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Jamie Khoo/Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s own