KEEP YOUR WORD
Everyday I’m reminded of a simple yet invaluable concept a good friend of mine, Roger Ezell, shared with me years ago. He told me, “always do what you say you’re going to do so that people will trust you”. Words are important and keeping your word is very important. What I find is that people who don't keep their word to themselves never keep it to other people.
I'm going to use a simple example. Have you ever had somebody tell you, "Hey, I'll call you right back" and then they don't? It's the simple things. It's the little things. This is where you win. Success, it's never really that huge win. I hate to use the word "grind" because it's so frigging popular now, but man it's the grind. It's the day-in the day-out. The monotonous. It's when you just keep plowing through, doing what you have to do. Keeping your word is no different. It starts with you.
One morning, I told myself I was going to go work out. There was nothing I wanted to do less in that moment than work out. I was up the day before at 2:00 in the morning and started working and finished later that night. I got done with my last meeting. It was about midnight and it had probably been a 23 hour day. So then I slept. I probably slept 4 hours, maybe a little less. That's no big deal and that's neither here nor there. I don't tell you that so you can say, "Oh wow, look at that schedule".
I said all of that to say, told myself I was going to go work out that morning and God dangit, I didn't want to do it. I simply didn't want to go. I didn't want to walk in that gym. In fact, I hated it, but it was all about keeping my word to myself.
Do you keep your word? Do you do those little things? When you say, "I'm going to call you back." do you make a note and call them back? If not, then just quit saying that to people. Stop lying to them. It's far better to say, "Hey, I'm right in the middle of something right now. I'm answering to let you know you're important to me. Is there any way you could call me back this afternoon? My schedule is a little freer. I don't have anywhere where I can make a note to call you back. Is there any way you can call me back?" That's far more honorable than lying to people just to get them off the phone. At my company, we’re big on personal development and so my entire team read through “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I specifically had them commit to the first agreement which stated “Be impeccable with your word”. Don Miguel Ruiz does an incredible job breaking this down into four key attributes. 1) Speak with integrity. 2) Say only what you mean. 3) Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. 4) Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love. Instilling this caliber of intentionality in our company has vastly impacted the nature and consistency of simply getting things done that we said we were going to do. I highly recommend checking this out for either yourself and/or your team.
Health and fitness is a big thing for me now because I haven't always been healthy. I ate shit, felt like shit, looked like shit, and would have died 20 years earlier. Some years ago, I was on my way to a doctor and just to be open and honest with you, I picked up some McDonald's, drank a Frappuccino, and had gotten wasted drunk the night before. I tend to live my life full-tilt, simply meaning If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right. I've never understood the person who wants to go out and have a beer. A beer? Have 24! Go out and do it right, if you're going to do it. I'm an extremist. So anyway, so I'm now at the doctor's office and he says to me, "Look, your glucose reading is 217 and your A1C is 7.4". For those of you who are diabetics, you know that those are not good readings.
The doctor continued, "You're 225 pounds. You tell people you're 5'10". You're not. You're like, 5'9", 5'9" and a half. So, you should be 165 pounds". He said, "You're a diabetic. You need to pick up some medication. You'll be a diabetic the rest of your life and you need to make sure you buy life insurance now because you're going to die 15 years earlier and leave your wife a widow."
It pissed me off so bad. I'd been healthy my whole life, right. My blood pressure was high then, too, and I was in a stressful place, as well. I looked at him and said, "Dude, take this into consideration you little skinny human!" Actually, he wasn't skinny. He was overweight. I actually asked him, "What about you fat boy?" and so naturally, he and I got into it. I left his office with these final words lingering in the already tense atmosphere, "Hey, I'm going to be back in six months and you're going to take that shit off my medical record. You understand me? I won't be the same person when I walk back through this door in six months."
Six months later, I walked back through that door and that old codger had retired. I younger female doctor began looking over my record. I happened to have the same lab technician. After running my lab, she said, "If I wasn't the one that did your labs, I would not believe what I'm seeing now." My A1C was 5.2, which is perfect. My blood glucose reading was like, 76 or 82 and my blood pressure was flawless. My heart rate was perfect and I weighed 184 pounds. I lost 40 pounds and I was healthy. I felt good and they had to reverse all that on my medical record. In fact, they made me come back six months later before they would make notations of it to make sure that this wasn't some kind of sickness that I had gotten or something.
It was a lifestyle change and it started with me keeping my word to myself. When you keep it to yourself, you automatically start keeping it to others. You automatically are very aware of the words that come out of your mouth and your reputation. It's who you are, right? So, keep your word.
One of my good friends, Thom Shea, 23 Navy SEAL veteran and author of “Unbreakable: A Navy SEALS Way of Life” is massively driven by this vital principle of keeping your word. It’s an imperative anchor in his teachings surrounding the 13 Unbreakable Lessons covering all areas of your life: physical, wealth, relationship, intellectual and spiritual. You can find out more about his online course at ThomShea.com/Online. To further challenge myself to create a lifestyle of keeping my word, I recently went on Thom Shea’s Unbreakable 24 Hr Challenge where we literally walked for 24 hours straight with the objective of identifying and overcoming the mental roadblocks that cause us to quit short of success. You can quit at anytime, but rest assured, you will forfeit the opportunity to discover what it truly means to keep your word when everything physically, mentally, and emotionally is begging you to give up. Needless to say, I stuck it out to the end. It was incredibly transformative and I high recommend it!
All in all, keeping your word is all about doing what you say you’re going to do, with no “plan B”. There is no alternative. You either do it, or your don’t.