Rich Fettke

Find a Scrap Piece of Paper

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." -Gandhi

Find a scrap piece of paper.  Got it?  Now imagine that this piece of scrap paper is you.  Let’s say that you promised a friend that you would meet him for lunch at noon.  But at twelve you are still at your office replying to an e-mail someone sent you about a possible new business opportunity.  You finally buzz out the door at 12:10 and you arrive at the café at 12:25.  Your friend is waiting there, concerned and frustrated.  Your excuse? “Sorry, I just had to handle something at the office.”

To represent this event, tear off a small piece of that scrap paper.

Now, imagine that you made a promise to your child that you would take her to the park after school.  But when you pick up your kid your excuse is, “Oh, I’m sorry honey.  I’ve got to go by the post office and we won’t have time to go to the park today.”

To represent this event, tear off another piece of that scrap paper.

Go ahead and rip off a piece of paper for every resolution you didn’t keep, an agreement you broke, or a goal you abandoned.  After ripping off all of those pieces, look at the small piece of paper you have left over.  Do you know what that’s called?  A flake.  Not much of anything, is it?  Whether it’s a promise you make to yourself or to someone else, it doesn’t serve anyone when you’re a flake.

In contrast, when you do what you say you’ll do something very powerful happens.  You prove to yourself that you can be counted on.  When you can count on yourself — no matter what the situation is – your self-esteem (and your happiness) expands.

Isn’t that worth focus and action?

NOTE: Please don’t think that I’m saying, "I never flake."  Whatever I write or speak about is also for me to examine and take in.  Like you, I strive to be the best person I can be.  As I read this issue, I was thinking, "Okay Rich, how can YOU better live this lesson?"


Starting right now — make only promises that you can keep and keep the promises you make.  You’ll be amazed at what it will do for your relationships, your business, and your peace of mind.