Actions speak louder than words by An Coppens
How many times have you promised in words that you would do something for a friend or client or even someone you don’t really know all that well, but when it came to the delivery you forgot, something else got in the way or worse again your promise was just a hollow empty one, which you never intended to follow up on. When you are on the receiving end of this promise, you can only take it at face value and hope the other party will deliver, in my case I usually expect people to do as they promise.
Call me naieve if you like, but when someone promises I do believe them unless there is clear evidence of a track record that they can’t be trusted or they are known to make empty promises.When you can deliver on promises in one area of your life, it shows you have the skills to deliver, when you then deliver only in the areas of your choice, it can tell quite a different story: from where you really care, to intentionally hurting or neglecting other areas.
The same thing in life is recommendable as is in business namely underpromise and overdeliver, always!!!
Sometimes we are afraid to take action for fear that it may upset or it may not actually make a difference, my experience tells me that usually honesty in action is the best approach and even a small difference is good enough. Even if all it did was a make a difference to one person. If you can give people a time expectation by which you will deliver, especially with this financial crisis continuing on promises to pay are hard to keep up when you have nothing to give or there just is plain nothing to work with. Best approach again is honesty.
Where you can let your actions do the talking, if you care about someone show them with actions. Especially with those special people in your life whether they are a partner, a friend or family, most disputes come from empty promises. If you know you will have trouble delivering, then at least set the expectation correctly as opposed to promising something, because you know or think that this is what your friend may want to hear.
If you are passionate about something, show us how and demonstrate your skill. Nobody will knock someone that at least will go for what they believe in. If you are unsure what actions to take, let your heart rule your head on this one, it tends to choose right or at least come from the best intended vantage point.
Below is my favourite story, which I always go back to especially when I get a bit disillusioned that my actions are not making any difference. I would love to make a big difference and make this planet a little bit of a better place than it was when I arrived, but at best I can only affect those immediately around me and vice versa. Occassionally we have a further reach through our work, writing, speaking and that is great, but often we don’t know that we are effectively making a difference to anyone at any given time. Best we can do is hope that it does to one. Not even trying in my view is equal to failure beyond proportion.
“While walking along a beach a man saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.
As he came closer he saw thousands of starfish the tide had thrown onto the beach. Unable to return to the ocean during low tide, the starfish were dying. He observed a young man picking up the starfish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean.
After watching the seemingly futile effort, the observer said ‘ There must be thousands of starfish on this beach, it would be impossible for you to get all of them, there are simply to many. You can’t possibly save enough to make a difference.’
The young man smiled as he continued to pick up another starfish and toss it back into the ocean.
‘It made a difference to this one’ he replied. ”
Next time you think your actions are futile, maybe all you are required to do is make a difference to one person, don’t let them down with an empty promise…