#1472 Promises vs. Excuses

Make One So You Don’t Have to Make the Other

In our last few +1s, we’ve been spending some time with Stan Beecham.

We talked about conquering fear, paid attention to Maslow’s WARNING, and exorcised the curse of perfection.

Today I want to talk about making promises rather than excuses.

Let’s get straight to work.

Stan is a bit of an etymology nerd like I am.

He redefines the word competition for us as he tells us: “Competition holds the promise to bring out the very best in us, and that’s why we should seek it out. The word comes from the Latin root peto, which means ‘to go out and seek.’ The prefix com means ‘with’ or ‘together.’ Thus, competition is a social process that requires others. You can’t do it by yourself. But what is it that we should seek during competition? [Dr. George] Sheehan suggests that ‘competition is simply each of us seeking our absolute best with the help of each other.’”

That’s beautiful and we could talk about it for a weekend.


That’s not quite what I want to talk about Today.

This is closer… “As we mentioned earlier, contest begins with the prefix con, which also means ‘with.’ The second syllable, test, is the same root as the word testify. When we testify, we speak under oath. We make a promise. When we enter a contest, we should make a promise—not only to ourselves, but to everyone present. Sheehan suggests that the promise should be to do our best.”

And this is even closer: “Whatever you do, make some promise or commitment to yourself. Promise yourself that you will not quit when it gets difficult. Promise yourself that you will not hold anything back. Let the contest be the most important thing in your life at that moment. And make sure you keep your promise to yourself.”

But THIS is what I want to focus on today: “People who don’t make promises make excuses. Get really good at making and keeping your promises so you won’t have to make excuses.”

Next to that passage in my copy of the book, you will find a huge exclamation point and an equally large “WOW.”


The word literally means “with” a “promise.”

Stan tells us to enter each contest by making a promise TO DO OUR BEST.

He reminds us that we need to get really good at both MAKING and KEEPING our promises to ourselves so we won’t have to make excuses.


THAT is Today’s +1.

Let’s remember the fact that the ULTIMATE contest of life is showing up as the best, most Heroic versions of ourselves.

(Have I mentioned that once or three hundred times? THE REPETITION IS DELIBERATE!)

Let’s get REALLY GOOD at both MAKING and KEEPING our promises to ourselves so we won’t have to make excuses.

I know how I will strive to do it.

I’ll be tap-tap-tap committing to showing up as the most Heroically Energized, Heroically Productive, and Heroically Connected version of myself and then Target swiping 101 Heroic Targets in our app Today.

I made my AM promise-commitment to myself before I entered the daily arena.

And I’ll be hitting those promise-commitment Targets all day, every day.

Especially TODAY.

How about YOU?

Day 1. All in.


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