January 27, 2014

About Broken Promises

You always want to be remembered as a good person, don't you? Someone who mattered in the lives of other persons. Someone whom people can trust. I am no different. I am constantly on the edge, scared to lose family and friends. How would all the money, fame and happiness matter if you have no one to share with? 

A good friend leaves this week after 2.5 years of being together, and I am sad and pained, as always. The thought of not meeting a close friend anymore gets too overwhelming sometimes. So, whenever they leave, I try not to think about it until they are gone for good. 

But severing true friendship, while easier, is far more painful than cutting off from friends. If friends go away, you always have hope that you can get them back. But if friendship is lost, it's probably lost forever. And one of the easiest ways to lose friendship is to lose the trust of friends. And one of the easiest ways to lose trust is to break promises. And this is what I have been doing. And recently more often than not. And I certainly don't feel good about it. 

There have been innumerable instances where I have promised something and not delivered it. Or more appropriately, not delivered it on time. Often I just get into something interesting and then just can’t resist the temptation to continue with it, and don't care about the consequences of not keeping my own words:

  • So many times I have cancelled my meetings because I was watching an interesting movie or reading an interesting blog or story.
  • So many times I have been late for my appointments just because I wanted to listen to one more track from an album before I start getting ready.
  • So many times I have let my friends wait because I was probably coding something or writing a piece and didn’t want to leave it in between (or was too lazy to bath and get ready).
  • So many times I have promised to call someone but never did, just because I was ‘busy’. Sometimes I am actually busy or in a situation where taking up or making calls might not be possible or convenient. But often I deliberately put myself into such situations just so that I don’t have to indulge in ‘small talk’ which I am really path3tic in.
  • Some many times I have resolved (self-promised) to do something and then got lazy and lost motivation and came back to step 1 (or step 0). I am running so far behind in my new year resolutions, I have already started to doubt if 2014 could really be my greatest year yet. It's just soul crushing.

...As I said, the instances are numerous and enumerating more is only going to make me more depressed

Of course, my bad habits haven’t proved fatal to anybody (yet) but often they have jeopardized the others' plans. The same people whom I claim to be fond of so much, have been inconvenienced because of something that I could have avoided. All that was needed from me was a little bit of professionalism and seriousness and courage from my side. That's just shameful.

Sometimes the things do get out of control and I can’t help the situation. But those scenarios are a rarity. More often I promise stuff just to keep up with my ‘nice guy’ image, fully knowing that I won’t be able to deliver it. But I let the future RavS take care of the mess, at least the present RavS is getting the accolades, right?

People forgive and forget but I remember and then I lose respect in my own eyes. Something has to change, and it has to change fast and permanently. Keeping promises is, like most things, a habit. A habit that can be developed. All that is needed is some set rules and a willingness to follow them. 

I want to try and keep all the promises that I make during February (we will see for the coming months after that), and I need your help:

  • If you want me to do something, make me promise you that. Make me actually say "I promise", in any comprehensible language. Record it. Make me sign it on a piece of paper. Make me take an oath if you feel so (I will be carrying a pdf of Bhagwat Geeta in my tablet, if it's needed). And get a set point of time when that promise will be completed. 
  • And if after doing all that, I still fail to deliver, then punish me. Make the failed promise public. Ridicule me. You get to make me do any embarrassing thing that you want (I will come and clean your toilet if you please). And make that public too.

I will also try to be more conscious about my promises and their consequences, but I just can't do it without accountability. Hence your help.

I know this will mean saying "NO" a lot more often. I hate to say this word, and probably you will also hate to hear it. But, it's still better than not being impeccable with my words. When I wrote Resetting Priorities I kept "Family" over "Promises", and that still holds true. I will just hope Family won't come in between the promises.
I want to be the guy who if promises you something, you KNOW in your heart I will do anything to keep it. I want to be that person, whom you can trust MORE than yourself, more than ANYONE in the world. Someone whose promise can let you sleep peacefully, without an iota of doubt. 
Will you help me become that person?