It is foolish to promise things that our outside of your control; show honourable intent, but choose your words wisely.
“Can we watch a movie tomorrow?” the kids would ask.
For a long time, I’d always say “yes” of course. It’s the easy answer. I get to be the nice guy.
The trouble is — unexpected things would inevitably happen that we’re out of my control. We’d miss the opportunity and it would correctly be “my fault.” Even worse — my words retroactively became untrue and trust was lost (at least, that’s how I saw it).
There really was minimal upside in committing to a “movie.” And I could have even said something like, “I’d love to — will you help me fit in to the schedule?” This would have shifted the burden of responsibility slightly, and, most importantly, my words could not become falsified.
Counter-intuitively, having an array of options is critical to be able to fully and confidently commit. Without options, you’re unable to weigh the risks and benefits. Committing to something when there are no alternatives is simply “settling.”
Be slow to promise your tomorrow. Or your next week. Or your next year. You’ll be a different person. Circumstances will change. You’ll have different preferences. Stay in control of your future.
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