It’s the constant struggle that I have: how to keep the promises that I made to myself.
In an interview with Steven Covey, author of the 7 habits, he mentioned that the first three habits that he taught can be summarised in a sentence: “Make and keep a promise”. I have always wondered about that comment.
To be frank, the first thing that came to my mind when I heard his reply was, you mean I read half the book, it can actually be summarized in one sentence? Hahaha…
Wise-crack comments aside, this reply struck me as quite apt after I paused to think about it. If you recall, Steven Covey’s first three habits were:
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- Do the first things first
The three habits are all about self-leadership. And the difficult part about self-leadership is not the intent, but how do we go about taking actions and then sticking to these actions day in and out.
The constant struggle that we have is all about the littlest things. Whether we should snuggle in bed for another hour, or wake up early so as to do all sorts of things that we promised ourselves we will do; Whether to eat that tasty-looking sinful French fries, or the yucky broccoli that’s sitting on our plates; Whether to open our mouths and start scolding someone who has made us angry, or just pause and reflect on what happened.
Well, I have arrived at a philosophy of handling such things. I think life is a constant struggle against ourselves. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose. The important thing is not to give up. If you really want something, you have to keep at it, no matter how long it takes, and no matter that you are not seeing any progress.
It is really easy to write about this, but so much harder to do it in real life. As I have done countless of times, I will start a project (like this), with a burst of passion and enthusiasm. And then that burst of fire will die off, and then this blog will just be a silly project that I started. Keeping to your commitment requires a kind of doggedness and stubbornness to say to yourselves, over and over: I will do this!
And on that hopeful note, I will continue this struggle with myself!
Let’s persevere, and at the end of it, we will look back on this journey and proudly belt out the Frank Sinatra song: “ I did it my way!”