Over the course of our lives, the world will ask a lot from us. Our employers, our schools, and our communities will ask a lot from us. Our families, our friends, and even our church will ask a lot from us. But character and integrity are developed when a person starts asking tough questions of himself.
One of the most important questions a person can ask himself is, “Did I do what I said I would do?” The honest answer to this question will be quite revealing, because the answer will reveal the fiber of a person’s character and the philosophy of his life. It will reveal whether he uses people or serves people, whether he possesses an identifiable purpose or is merely feeding his appetites while he extracts as much as he can from others.
To answer this question honestly in the affirmative is to realize that your life has meaning and that you have already impacted more people than you realize. It means that you care about others and that you pursue a purpose in life that is bigger and nobler than yourself. But the second question every person must eventually ask himself is: Did I do what I said I would do when I said I would do it?
People count on us. Therefore, the commitments of one person directly affect the ability of others to keep their own commitments. So learn to say what you mean and mean what you say. Learn to speak only those words that are true and to make only those commitments you intend to keep. And learn to follow through with your commitments in a timely manner. To conveniently “forget” them or put them on the shelf is to dishonor those to whom you made them.
Nobody has forever to wait on you. Those around you are affected by your timeliness, and they will remember you according to your willingness to honor and respect them.