For some reason, a moment has been seared into my brain for a few years now. It was honestly more of a non-moment when I look at it subjectively. Just me doing me, and hanging with one of my best friends at a gig at his house with his family and friends. And this is one of my newer “best friends,” having only known each other for less than 10 years of our adult male life.
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I can’t remember what we were doing exactly. Maybe I was just standing and chatting with him while he worked the grill, or we were just having a drink away from the rest of the crowd. Regardless, he mentioned that a few friends had bailed at the last minute. I’m sure they had various and legitimate reasons, but the result was that quite a few people that he cared about…and clearly wanted to see…weren’t there. Then he said:
I doubt that he realized how much that little mention meant deep down inside of me, or that it’s been replayed so many times in my head. Heck, he may not even remember it, but it was a big deal to me. Yes, there is a coincidental harmony here, since a simple “little thing” mentioned by him clearly made a big impact on me.
See, “doing what you say you’re going to do” is actually one of the most important things I think we can do to be good human beings. I take giving my word extremely seriously, even for things that might seem like little things in the grand scheme. Unfortunately, I think follow-through is something that’s a bit lacking in society these days.
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“I Didn’t Think It Was A Big Deal”
Maybe the reason people might think that missing a small engagement, or not showing up for something that they think isn’t a big deal, is that it goes without mention. I think many people are too kind to call someone out when they don’t follow through a few times, especially on the little things, and they just sweep it under the rug. This creates the illusion that it is acceptable behavior.
Since I’m an empath and also hyper-critical of myself, I seem to have a heightened awareness of how my little imperfections could hurt someone else, but also how they could whittle down at my own credibility. My concern is that even with the little things—like not showing up here or there unless I’m having a super crucial diabetes episode, or say…bleeding out—that I’ll become known as someone untrue to their word. Yes, this makes for some tough internal dialogue, but it also just feels right to be confident I’m doing the right thing.
What’s Your Point Jason?
This little ditty wasn’t just some opportunity for me to feel good about a moment in my life. I want it to be an inflection point for us all. If you’ve made it a habit of bailing on things you “didn’t think were a big deal…” just choose not to be that person…starting now. Hell, even throw a sincere apology out there if you have a moment or two where you even potentially let someone down in the past.
As a single person (at least as of this writing and for a chunk of my recent past) it’s easy to allow myself to fall into the trap of only being held accountable to myself. But I feel that letting others know about our intentions of self-improvement is super-important for accountability and thus execution.
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There’s no better time to accept our imperfections and start moving on and bettering ourselves than right now…as they’re top of mind. No need to “find a good time” or plan for bettering yourself…just start immediately, with one positive action. Stop letting the little things be little things, and give them the importance they deserve.
And I hope you have people around you willing to let you know when you’ve positively impacted them through your actions or intentions. If not, then maybe it’s time to start taking a deeper look at who you’re surrounding yourself with. (Yes, there’s actually a chapter about this in the book. 😉)
OK. Much love.
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