We’ll See

Have you ever heard the old saying “promises are meant to be broken?”  Well, I say they’re not.  I think promises are gifts you can give to others that are not meant to be broken.

When my kids were younger I learned very quickly not to make a promise unless it was for something I was certain I would do.  Otherwise I would inevitably hear the bitter accusation, “But Mommy – you promised!”

So instead I would say, “We’ll see.”  This was easier to back out of if I needed to.  For instance:

“Mommy can we go to Kings Island next week?” they would ask. *

“We have a lot to do and it’s expensive, but we’ll see,” I would answer.

Then they would crow, “We’ll see! She said we’ll see! That always means yes!”

“No that means we’ll see if we have time and if we have the money.”

Often times “we’ll see” did turn into yes.  But sometimes it turned into no.  So what’s the point?

The point is about not losing  trust.  That’s Psychology 101 – do what you say you are going to do.  If you don’t you will lose people’s trust and they will stop believing your words.  If I make a promise to them that we are going to the movies tomorrow then we better be going to the movies tomorrow.  Maybe it’s not such a big deal when you are talking about going to the movies.

The bigger the promise the more important it is to keep. Tweet: The bigger the promise the more important it is to keep. https://ctt.ec/592c7+

In the United States we are in an election year.  The stakes are high.  Politicians of all people should be aware of Psychology 101.  Don’t make big promises if you don’t intend to keep them.

So how then would it be if instead of making promises I always say “we’ll see.”  I’m not certain, but I don’t think that would pan out well either.  If you can’t ever make a promise you would get the effect of appearing to always be wishy-washy.  People would feel they couldn’t count on me for anything.  Thinking of the aforementioned politicians they would appear as if they didn’t stand for anything.

So instead promises should be made when they are called for.  Not only will the task at hand be accomplished, but also trust will be built.  If I tell my manager I’ll do the presentation at the meeting and I deliver it as promised.  Voila!  I’ve taken care of the work that needed to be done and I’ve built a little trust with my manager that she can count on me.

If you don’t like the phrase “we’ll see” maybe you could try “barring unforeseen circumstances.”  That is what my aunt always said.  Added bonus: if you are using it with the kids it is also a vocabulary lesson.  If you are using it at the office it sounds more intelligent than “we’ll see.”

Ack! There was something else on my mind I was going to add about this, but now I can’t remember what it was.  Maybe you can think of what it was?  Add a comment and let me know what you think.  Otherwise, when I remember I’ll add it later.

*(Kings Island is a nearby amusement park. I’ll tell you more about that another time.)

via Daily Prompt: Promises

Happiness and Engagement

So if you have read any of my previous blog posts you might be asking why I’ve been reading about happiness. I want to stop here and clarify that I am happy with my life. I’ve been given opportunities that not everyone gets.  Some of them I’ve blown, but I like to think that more often than not I open the door when I hear opportunity knocking.  If I were to quit right now and do nothing different for the rest of my life I’d say I’ve been successful.

However, at a recent employer for the first time ever I felt the message coming from others that I’m negative and “not happy.”  What? Me? The same person that often gets accused of smiling too much?  What I discovered is the people pointing at me were only doing so because I disagreed with some of their practices which I felt to be unethical.  I didn’t follow along and do everything I was told to do without question which I’m sure was frustrating for them.  So they labeled me “unhappy.”

I must admit that I do have a little bit of sadness the creeps in when I see others struggling.  Some people I know would say that those struggling do so because of the choices they make.  I don’t believe that to be full-proof reasoning.  I know that people often struggle due to circumstances out of their control.

The challenge I face then is how to remain positive and hopeful despite some of the injustices that I see all around me.

I am thankful for this good life I have. Tweet: I am thankful for this good life I have. https://ctt.ec/KdAby+

How do I speak up for myself in a non-confrontational manner?  How do I speak up for those being trod on that can’t or won’t speak for themselves?

That leads me to engagement.  It seems everywhere I turn I hear conversation about increasing engagement.  I think it is hard to have positive, happy, and engaged people if they are made to feel powerless.  When people feel powerless people lose hope.  When hope is lost, happiness and engagement are lost too.

So the question leaders should be asking themselves if they want engagement is how do I empower others?  The answer is simple.  Start by caring about them and the things that matter to them and impact their lives.

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