When You Promised a Hunchback You Gotta Deliver

Better than nothing is not even close to good enough—after we make a promise.

_Goldsmith, Marshall

James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits, included an interesting story about promises…

“In the summer of 1830, Victor Hugo was facing an impossible deadline. Twelve months earlier, the French author had promised his publisher a new book. But instead of writing, he spent that year pursuing other projects, entertaining guests, and delaying his work.

Frustrated, Hugo’s publisher responded by setting a deadline less than six months away. The book had to be finished by February 1831.

Hugo concocted a strange plan to beat his procrastination. He collected all of his clothes and asked an assistant to lock them away in a large chest. He was left with nothing to wear except a large shawl. Lacking any suitable clothing to go outdoors, he remained in his study and wrote furiously during the fall and winter of 1830. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was published two weeks early on January 14, 1831.”

Something I’ve learned, people expect you to keep promises. 

It’s okay to fall short of projections from time-to-time…as in “I’m projecting that I should get this done by Friday at 5:00 p.m.” 

People will be more prone to give you some wiggle room where hope is involved. As in, “I’m hoping to be there.”

But if you promised…you gotta come through.

A better offer, a headache, a sleepless night, a surprised visit by an old friend, your favorite team unexpectedly making the playoffs…I know…life happens…but you promised.

The ONE THING for today: Promises are sacred–the closest thing to humans mirroring God. When you make them people count on you.

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

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