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Are you a Winner or a Loser?

April 11, 2011

Denis Waitley said “Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep” I am a big believer in setting expectations and thus in making commitments. I love being in sales because the expectations are usually pretty clearly defined ahead of time. There is no guesswork involved–hit your number and you get the reward (bonus, accolades, promotion, etc). Don’t hit your number and you are subject to some type of negative consequence. While not always easy, it is most certainly a simple concept.

I set expectations and commitments with my children too. Expectations for grades, chores, behavior, daily agenda, the list goes on and on. The commitment for good grades is that they get $1 for each “B” and $2 for each “A” on their report cards. This makes the daily act of homework a much less stressful both for themselves and for me. Chores in our household, are designed more as a lesson in life than a means to get “real work” accomplished–cause lets face it–doing yourself it most often the easier route. We have a master list of common chores and a commission value for each. When I ask the kids to do a chore, they get one chance to earn the commission. If I ask them again, they still get to do the chore but without pay.

Another lesson, I learned very early on in motherhood (if you’re a parent, you know too) is to never, ever tell a kid your going to do something, go somewhere if you are not 100% confident that it is going to happen. My husband and I often will not tell the kids we are going somewhere until we are already in route. My promises are gold–if I say we are going to do something fun, we will do it; if I say you will be punished for a bad behavior, they same rule applies.

As you might have guessed by now, commitments and promises are pretty important to me. So why is it that other people don’t have the same understanding of commitment? Recently, I have been disenchanted by others’ lack of commitment. People who I have considered to be very close friends completely falling short on their promises. Please, don’t tell me you will do something if you aren’t going to! Now, I’m am not perfect – by any stretch of the imagination. But if I tell you I will do something, there’s a 98% chance it will happen, and most likely prior to the time frame I promised. Norman Vincent Peale once said that “Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once” Now, go do what you said you were going to do!

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