Few things anger us like promises unmet because the making and keeping of promises is one of the planks in the foundation of any healthy society. Everything from commerce and citizenship to friendships and family depend on us keeping our word, our self-control, and our promises.
Children understand this. Remember when you told your kids you would do something with them only to have plans change due to unforeseen circumstances? They probably looked at you with that accusatory stare and shouted “but you promised!”
Yes, we are experts in pointing out broken promises. But what about promises we should make to ourselves? Ethical living boils down to keeping an essential set of promises we have made to ourselves.
Taken together, they form our ethical position on personal integrity. These promises form us as people, but only if we keep them consistently. Here are a few suggestions.
I will be self-aware: Self-awareness means seeing yourself as you are both from outside yourself and from inside your head. It is recognizing your character flaws, weaknesses, excesses, and trigger-points as well as being honest about your abilities, strengths, insights, and duties.
But self-aware people don’t stop there. They also work hard at improving their weak areas and using their strengths for the good of others. Self-aware people are comfortable in their own skin, and this makes them great partners, spouses, teammates and peers. Success in life is largely dependent on seeing yourself correctly – both good and bad – and taking the steps necessary to be a better person tomorrow than you are today. Make the promise of self-awareness, and keep it.
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