The Benefits of Sticking to Your Word

You probably know by now that there’s a lot more to success in life than good grades. It’s important to earn the trust and respect of your friends, teachers and family. One of the best ways to do so is by sticking to your word.

Keeping your word doesn’t just mean upholding explicit promises. It means limiting the commitments you make, no matter how small, to only those you’re sure you will fulfill. Commitments that seem inconsequential in your own mind might hold a great deal of weight in the minds of others.

For example, suppose a friend casually invites you to a music recital and you accept. A recital is the result of hours upon hours of hard practice. Even though the invitation seemed nonchalant, it’s definitely an important occasion to your friend. If you forget to show up, although they may not express it, your friend will probably be disappointed. However, if you do attend, they’ll never forget that you appreciate their hard work.

Don’t forget the obligations that are unspoken, like showing up on time. Punctuality seems like a small detail and is often overlooked. Always aim to be five minutes early to appointments — whether it’s a class or meeting a friend at the library to do homework. You’ll feel less stress about being late, and always be the first pick when your classmates need someone to work with.

As you keep all your commitments, even the seemingly insignificant ones, you’ll begin to feel more confident. You’ll remember all the times you kept your word and feel more comfortable committing to more meaningful agreements. Expect this to come in handy as you start interviewing for your first jobs! Interviewers are always trying to gauge the level of responsibility a potential young hire has. By looking them in the eye and speaking honestly about yours, you’re sure to impress them.

If you satisfy every obligation you agree to, you can be sure that others will take notice. People will begin to speak highly of you everywhere you go. Don’t be surprised if your positive reputation meets people before you do! Just be sure not to rest on your laurels; always be careful about the commitments you make.