“We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what he cannot” Abraham Lincoln
Remember the last time you made yourself a promise you didn’t keep? How did that feel? Did it niggle at you? Did it sap your energy? Leave you feeling depleted? Here are 8 reasons why you should lie up to the promises you make.
1. Unfulfilled promises leave open loops
When you make a promise to yourself and you don’t keep it, a part of you is painfully aware that it’s unfulfilled. It registers as an open loop in the back of your mind. And that part niggles at you. On a deep subsonscious level it eats away at you. Dealing with feelings saps your energy.
Why? Because promises made to yourself come with a certain emotional attachement. An attachement which leads to unpleasant consequences when unfulfilled. You feel discomfort, guilt, a sense of uneasiness. And these feelings make it less likely that you’ll keep your next promise. This leads to a vicious cycle of broken promises. And we all know how much that affects your ability to suceed.
The solution? Don’t make commitments to yourself that you’re not sure you will be able to fulfill. Be selective about promises you make. Only make promises that you know you can follow through on.
2. Fulfilled promises are great for motivation and success
Broken promises can lead to a vicious cycle of failure. But the reverse is also true. A fulfilled promise builds a sense of self efficacy which is one of the greatest motivators. Think back to a time you made a promise you would get something done by a certain date and you followed through on it.Advertising
How’d it feel? Pretty good I bet. It works both ways. When you make a commitment to yourself and fulfill that commitment, it builds a sense of self-esteem. A sense of self efficacy. So how do you use this information to increase your chances of succcess?
The next time you make a committment, set aside time for completing the task in your calendar. This will force you to be realistic about what you can achieve in light of all your other committments. This is a very effective way to be realistic about what you can take on. Stick to this one rule and you’ll go a long way towards building a virtuous cycle that feeds success.
3. Broken promises impact you as much as the person you make the promise to.
We’re are social creatures. When you make a commitment to someone and don’t keep it, there’s a distinct feeling of having let that person down. You know the feeling I’m talking about. It’s like there’s this pact you made with that person which you broke. Not cool.
A trail of unfulfiled promises to others leaves you feeling as disappointed in yourself as it does the other person. Break a promise to someone else and you’ll be left with this lingering feeling of dissatisfaction. You may not realise it consciously but on some level you’ll question your own integrity. It’ll impact your self belief and your chances of long term success.
Just being aware of this fact is enough stop you from making a promise to someone that you aren’t likely to keep. You’ll sleep better and feel lighter.
4. Living up to every single promise builds trust in yourself
When someone breaks a promise to you how does that impact your level of trust in them? You trust them less right? The same goes for promises you make yourself. When you don’t fulfill those promises, you lose faith in yourself and your ability to succeed at achieving your goals.Advertising
So, how do you keep every single promise you make yourself? Use a minimalistic approach to promises. Treat them like sliver bullets. Say a thousand nos for every yes. If I’m starting to sound a bit repetitive then that’s good. It means you’ve been paying attention. I don’t think the point about being selective when making committments can be emphasised enough.
Choose your committments carefully. This will determine how you’re going to spend your time. Commit to fewer things that you know you can accomplish and that will have maximum impact. This will help you build faith in your own abilities like nothing else!
5. Living up to every promise teaches you to apply the Pareto principle
Ever heard of the Pareto principle? The Pareto principle states that approximately 20% of the reference yields 80% of the results. It makes sense to focus on that 20%. And the best way to focus only on the 20% is saying no to everything else that you believe doesn’t fall into that 20%. You could even take this one step further and apply the Pareto principle to the 20% implying that 4% of your efforts will yield 64% of your results.
The best way to do get good at applying the Pareto principle is through practice. A good way to do this to keep a daily journal. At the end of each day think back to the things you focused on and which of those things delivered the biggest results. Get clear on what’s working for you and make a conscious committment to focus on those things the next day. This ritual works well when done at the end of each month too.
6. Keeping your promises helps you to find a peaceful balance
Staying committed to delivering on your promises imposes certain discipline in your life. It helps you to embrace minimalism and when it comes to activities that you take on. Hopefully this will extend to a minimalistic attitude when it comes to possessions too.
Here’s the plain truth: the less stuff (read “noise”) you have whirling around in your head, the more peaceful and balanced you’re going to feel. Try it. Try focusing on only one thing at a time. Refuse to give into the urge to multitask which is not only unproductive but overwhelming.Advertising
Try getting rid of all those clothes you haven’t used in a year. Or try throwing away some of that junk that’s been collecting in your garage. Do this for a week and I can assure you that you’ll be feeling a lot lighter at the end of it.
7. Fulfilling promises keeps you on track to achieve your life goals.
It’s easy to keep a promise when you’re feeling motivated. But keeping a promise when you don’t feel like it? That’s a lot harder. So why do it? Because your feelings are as stable as a leaf in a thunderstorm! Don’t get me wrong. Feelings are important and they definitely shouldn’t be ignored. But that doesen’t mean you react to them everytime they pop up.
Feelings are transient. Being reactive to your feelings (as opposed to watching them mindfully), doesn’t serve you or your long term success. Using a mindful approach where you watch your feelings without reacting to them, makes you far more likely to keep your promises regardless of how you feel. And that’s where the power is!
When you keep promises to yourself no matter what, you’re playing to the orchestra of life. You’re working within the parameters of a disciplined routine – much like each musical instrument must play in tune for the orchestra to work. Every instrument must fulfil its purpose.
So the next time you feel the urge to run from a committment you’ve made, think to yourself that this is just a feeling. You don’t have to react to your urge to run from the task. Instead accept that you have the urge to run and go ahead and complete the task anyway. I guarantee you’ll feel better after you’ve completed it.
8. A string of unfulfilled promises can damage your self-esteem
Unfulfilled promises create an emotional reaction of shame and embarrassment of disappointment. Do this over and over again, and you’ll put your self-esteem on the line.Advertising
The solution? You guessed it! Be selective about promises you make so you can live up to your word. Use your word to generate trust in other’s and in yourself. I’m not saying it’s always easy. Fulfilling promises can sometimes be very challenging but that’s what builds your sense of integrity and your self-esteem.
Your word is your legacy. Ultimately when you’ve done your dash on planet earth, and you’re approaching the end of your life, what do you think is going to matter most? Your bank account? Your possessions? Or the relationships you’ve built and the impact you’ve had on the world?
Money and possessions make life a lot more comfortable. But in the final reckoning, the quality of the relationships we’ve cultivated and the difference we’ve made to the world are going to matter most. What’s it going to be for you?
Featured photo credit: Christian Ditaputratama via flic.kr
Last Updated on January 13, 2020
50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success
Let’s face it – no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags. Days when – despite all the progress you’ve made in the past – it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.
In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.
Table of Contents
Quotes about Goal Setting
Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.
Check out these quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:
“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”– Benjamin Mays
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansen
“Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”–William J. Bennett – The Book of Virtues
“The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”–Robert L. Schwartz
Quotes about Achieving Excellence in Work
Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”–Aristotle
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”–Pearl Buck
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi
Quotes about Determination and Persistence
Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive quotes give you an extra boost of encouragement:
“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”–Hal Borland
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”–Calvin Coolidge
“An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”–Thomas Fuller
Quotes about Leadership
Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous sayings:
“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” –Warren G. Bennis
“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”–John Kenneth Galbraith
“Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”–Peter F. Drucker
“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”–John Buchan
“High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”–George Orwell
Quotes for Success
Think of success as a holistic process – one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivation:
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”–Stephen Covey
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill
“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”–John Maxwell
“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson
“The great successful men of the world have used their imagination. They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.”–Robert Collier
“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”–Arnold Toynbee
Sports Quotes for Athletes
You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following quotes. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”–Michael Jordan
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger
“I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”–Florence Griffith Joyner
“Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”–Unknown
“If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!”–Emily Post
“We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.”–Vince McConnell
Quotes to Motivate Learning
Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor – one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind if you’re learning:
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”–George Washington Carver
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”–William Arthur Ward
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle
“Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success.If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”–Albert Schweitzer
“Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.”–Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”–Chinese Proverb
“Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”–William Arthur Ward
“Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.”–Helen Exley
“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”–Chinese Proverb
All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes
Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes:
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”–Maria Robinson
“Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”–Lyndon Johnson
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”–Thomas Edison
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson
To use these motivational quotes effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.
Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.
If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs or other decorative displays featuring your favorite motivational quotes – really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.
More Inspiring Quotes
- 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People
- 50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Overcome Life’s Challenges
- 30 Of The Most Inspirational Quotes Of All Time
Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com