Today I want to talk to you about 3 easy life rules that helped me become a better person. When you follow and impliment these rules, you’ll find it’s impossible to do one, without doing the other two as well, and as all three are very neccesary to creating a better you, it’s a win-win!
Let’s get on with it.
It should go without saying that respecting people’s time is one of the most important factors in A) being professional and B) not being a disrespectful muppet.
The problem is, many of us will impliment this train of thought for other people, but not for ourselves. When we put our OWN time second to everybody else’s time, we devalue ourselves, we waste time and more often than not, we feel deflated afterwards.
I have a friend (believe it or not), and years ago he was the epitome of “black people time”. He would phone me up at 9am and say “Matt, I’m going into town, let’s meet up and have coffee at 11am.”
I’d arrive to town at 10:45am, wander around and head to the meet location.
11am would arrive, and he wouldn’t be here.
11:50am I’d get a text or a phonecall saying “I’m running late, let’s meet at 12:15 instead”.
Now for me, it wasn’t a massive deal. I’d be a little annoyed that I had to wait so long, but hey, people have very busy lives, it happens to the best of us!
But then it happened again, and again, and again.
When I became aware of just how many people don’t actually respect my time enough to show up when we agree to show up, I started setting boundaries.
“From now on, if you are not here within 5 minutes of our meet up time, I will leave, no matter what we have planned.”
Since that day, I don’t think a single person has ever been late to any appointment or meeting that’s ever been set!
This works both ways, by the way. You have to respect other people’s time too.
How many of you out there bump into an old friend or aquantance in the street and say “hey! It’s so good to see you! We should meet up for a coffee or a chat some time!” and then you never do?
It happens a lot.
Now whilst this may seem rather harmless, subconsciously you have already decided that this isn’t going to happen, and as I see it, it’s disrespectful and rude to the other person to suggest that you may meet up when you know full well you wont.
This person may chase you for a time and place, and you will never give it to them.
That means you won’t be respecting that person’s time, and how can you expect others to respect your time, if you don’t reciprocate?
Similarly, how many of you have said you’ll do something for someone, and then not done it?
Perhaps it was saying you’ll get something done for work, or sending someone an email or updating plans or returning that thing you borrowed…
You can’t expect other people to follow through with their word to you, if you don’t follow through on your word to them.
I’ve seen coaches in the past say that “white lies always happen” and other people have said “sometimes you need to tell a white lie because of X”.
No no no no no no no.
White lies only exist in our society because we believe that lying is an acceptable form of comunication, but let’s face it, lies suck.
If you are in a situation where you feel the need to lie, you must take responsibility and accept the consequences and learn not to put yourself in that position again, whatever the subject.
Also, if you lie to someone, no matter how big or small or “white”, what you’re essentially saying is: “I have consciously decided that I don’t respect you enough to be upfront with you.”
And that makes you the worst kind of person.
You don’t have to be rude when you tell someone the truth. I’ve been in many situations in the past where a partner has said “Do I look good in this?” or “Does this make me look fat?” (yes these conversations actually happen in real life… I thought they only existed in movies).
My response will be either “yes you look great” or “To be honest, it’s not to my taste personally, but if you feel good in it, then you should rock it because that matters more!”
This same methodology applies to any situation big or small.
In order to be truthful all the time, you MUST follow through with your word and you MUST respect people’s time.
If you’re late, then you haven’t respected someone’s time, which means you didn’t follow through with your word, which means you lied.
If you don’t follow through with your word, then you haven’t told the truth, which means you didn’t respect someone’s time.
If you lie, it means you didn’t respect someone’s time, which means you can’t follow through with your word.
Can you see how it all ties together?
Since 2013, I made these three rules absolute MUSTS in day to day life, apart from maybe 1 or 2 instances (which is pretty good for 3 years!), I haven’t had anyone disrespect my time, I haven’t had anyone give me false promises and I haven’t had anyone not follow through with their word.
Because of this, I feel more relaxed, stress free, I know who is worth my time and who isn’t, which has led to better business decisions, and most importantly of all, I respect MYSELF more every single day.
So, take the challenge;
For a single week (7 days), don’t tell a single lie whether white or otherwise, follow through with your word no matter how small or insignificant the gesture, and respect your OWN time and other people’s time with no excuses and let me know how it turns out!
Have you got any life lessons or tips that have helped you out in life? If so, share them in the comments!
Until next time.
Originally published at medium.com