One of the most important traits that one needs to develop in his path to a successful and meaningful life would be to do those things, he once said that he will do. The other day I was reading the bible and the Parable of Two sons (Matthew 21:28-32) came into focus. The second son, who assured his father that he will work in the field and later didn’t go resembles a classic trait I have seen in many people including yours truly, both in personal and professional lives. Politicians are normally famed for actions that are not measuring up to their promises. Seldom do we realize that sometimes we are in fact worser than politicians in promising too much and not delivering at all.
In our fast paced lives, we would always love to be seen as being the right one. In our family life, our meetings with friends, our interactions with our community and in our place of work, we would like to be seen as politically correct and also would love to appear the righteous and flawless one. It is so easier to pin all the negativity and blemish on others, because we are perfect and all that is good in the world is within us. Due to this urge to be the right one, we end up promising a lot, because with all the superior qualities bestowed upon us, we are always right and dependable. Then the greatest tragedy of life happens, when we cannot deliver what we once promised. I have seen that sometimes people do put in arduous amounts of effort to ensure that at least something is done and showcased. It is often at a heavy cost of poor shoddy work and sometimes even loss of reputation.
What then is the secret to prevent such a situation? I would never say that we should never aim to be the right one, but if we ever claim to be so, one needs to live up to it. Have you ever faced a situation where you couldn’t match your words with action? I have been guilty of this offence a million times from what I could remember. I remember that one of the managers under whom I worked with at one time, called me a ‘dangerous optimist’. I have seen myself tire our because of this nature since I promise a lot and sometimes end up delivering a shoddy product. Most of the time it is the urge to be active and productive, but what is the point in doing so if you cannot produce a quality product?
What then is the solution? Is it the 80/20 rule where you would do 20% of the tasks to at least an 80% satisfaction. Or is it being intentional on to what you can actually do. I think it should be part of understanding what type of person you would like to be in life. Do you want to be like the younger son who is a people pleaser but is hollow inside because he never intends to do anything at all in the first place. The challenge is to be honest and forthright about what you can do and the promises you make. Being intentional about yourself and understanding your limitations and thus being open about it may not help you to get friends in life or sometimes even lose the ones you have. It may make you an outlier within both your family and community. But who cares, you are what you are and if you can deliver what you said you will, you are a winner.
“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” C.G Jung