Morning. Breakfast topic at my Dad’s table… His 88th birthday…
Hey Dad, what do you think about keeping promises to yourself?
The topic floats out and my dad is ready…
“Well my Grandpa Shepard [my dad’s Grandfather] used to say, ‘Always do what you promise but be damn careful what you promise.'”
“Speaking of promises…”, he jumps into a story about a woman who made a promise to herself before her marriage to crochet a doll every time she was angry at her husband… and she made him promise never to look in a certain box….When she was close to death she thought it was time to reveal… what was in the box.
And inside the box were…
2 crocheted dolls and $95,000 in cash….
“Oh!” I say, “So she was only angry twice. How nice…”
“No.” my dad retorts, “The $95,000 was from all the dolls she SOLD! She PROMISED herself she would crochet a doll EVERY time she was angry.” He laughs. Then says, “I’m going to go get my hair cut and my beard trimmed…”and without another word he walks out of the house, gets in his car and drives away…
I guess he promised himself he was going to do that. LOL
I made a promise to myself to write or record a Daily Mind Mastery message…. well. DAILY. Even on “vacation”.
So here I am at my dad’s house, totally out of my “routines” and wondering what to say when the topic of promises comes up.
I promised myself to do this. So here I am doing it.
How many of us make “resolutions” or Promises to ourselves that we just don’t keep? It is so easy to give ourselves a pass and readjust whatever we “said we were gonna do” when it is not exactly convenient or pleasurable… But when you promise SOMEONE ELSE to do something and you know and THEY know whether you are being true to your word, you might find yourself being a bit more diligent about fulfilling your promise.
That’s why I PROMISED a DAILY Mind Mastery Tip… I could have invited you to opt-in with the handy form for content when and IF I felt like sharing it… But consistency is the king in the content business…
Our challenges keeping our promises to ourselves is also why personal coaching has become a growing “industry” or profession.
That’s why hiring a personal trainer helps you to commit to showing up at the gym for your appointment. You are held accountable and have made a promise to someone else… and you are thus more likely to actually show up and work out.
But what is the secret ingredient to making a promise to yourself that you can’t help but keep?
I think the answer is partly the ecology and congruence of the promise.
This is honest hypnosis.
If your conscious mind (will power) makes an outrageously wishful promise that is not exactly supported by your unconscious mind (imagination), you have what we will call, “An EMPTY promise.”
Whatever that promise is, unless it is congruent and ecological, you will fail to keep it.
But if there is a conscious desire that is in ALIGNMENT with your unconscious desires… it would take wild horses to keep you away from fulfilling your promise to yourself…
For example, I love reading, thinking, exploring ideas and putting them into practice in my life and sharing the results of those lessons with other people who are interested in saving time and energy along the path. That does not excuse them from doing the work of walking the path it only makes walking the path more effective or satisfying…
The mountain guide knows the path. He knows the shortcuts. He knows the places where last winter’s avalanches have obliterated the path. Going with a guide is not a guarantee that there will be no hardships or hazards, only that wasting time taking the wrong paths can be eliminated or reduced significantly.
So for me to sit down with an empty page in front of me or a video camera set to “record” on a daily basis is perhaps the greatest pleasure I can experience… So the self discipline required to keep my promise to myself is minimal.
And that’s actually the key to effective self hypnosis (all hypnosis being “self-hypnosis”) When you understand that your Unconscious Mind is a pleasure seeking “animal”.
You can keep a promise to yourself more easily by promising to do something that not only gets you positive results in the real world but that literally causes you to experience pleasure.
So my promise to myself to connect with you each day… doable… with an edge of challenge in the area of consistency.
Consistency has never been my strong suit but I consistently experience massive pleasure whenever a new song wants me to write it… So it’s not like I haven’t been consistent in some areas… all my life I’ve had an unspoken promise to myself that whenever a song idea presents itself strongly enough, I will basically put everything else aside in order to dive into that pleasurable songwriting mode…
The same is true for this. The “self discipline” of sitting down and embracing the blank piece of paper.
Most people make promises to themselves that involve doing something they despise. Something they “should” do in order to get a result they want… But it is clear that they don’t really want to do the grunt work that will actually get them where they want to go…
So there has to be a way to turn that “grunt” work into pleasure. And that is where the power of focus comes in. If you focus more powerfully on the pleasure you will experience from keeping your promise to yourself than you do on the discomfort of the work or journey or process of getting the result you want, you will be more likely to keep it.
Believe it or not, there are people who LOVE working out. They love pushing themselves. They love sweating. They love the feeling in their muscles that is actually pain. Because they have learned how to INTERPRET those things as PLEASURABLE.
It becomes a feedback loop that reinforces the behavior they WANT.
So your take away today, should you choose to use it, is to make a promise to yourself that you would truly enjoy keeping.
Make a promise to yourself that to your old way of thinking (the way 99% of the world thinks) seems selfish and narcissistic!
Pleasure yourself with a promise that would feel so good to keep that you’re almost embarrassed to admit it in front of others…
Keep it simple. Keep it small at first. Keep it to something that you can actually measure or keep track of…
And do it FIRST. BEFORE you do anything else at all in your day. Certainly do it before you do anything for anyone else. Start your day with it. End your day with it.
Go do it now.
And write now. (pun intended) I have followed my own advice…
Ahhhh sweet pleasure of a promise kept!
p.s. if you haven’t joined the Transformation Tribe yet you can do THAT now as well… It only takes a second and you can unsubscribe at any time… Your pay off is you get first crack at your Mind Mastery Daily… Put your daily mind mastery tip into action in your life and you will be amazed at the results you begin to see in your own world… Make a promise to yourself that you can keep!
p.p.s. See you on the inside! :o)
Photo credit – Copyright: hjalmeida / 123RF Stock Photo