It’s better to under promise (under commit) and then over deliver (come through) than to commit or promise more than we end up being able to do.  This philosophy was taught to me by my son when he worked in customer service at a major computer company.  In my work as well as my personal life I’ve discovered it really is the best philosophy.  Whereas before I wanted to give people hope or encourage people by outlining the possibilities, options, or plans in advance when, in fact, these things were heard as promises and commitments.  I, since, have avoided telling people what I plan to do or what ideas I have to limit the number or misunderstandings or what could be perceived as failure to follow through.  So, when speaking with a patient at work, I may  know of something I can do that will help and instead of offering up a promise, I simply deliver.  Then, the patient is not disappointment because things did not work out as hoped.  They, on the other hand, are pleasantly surprised when a solution suddenly materializes.  In personal life I’ve stopped voicing all the ideas I have about what I could or might do.  I don’t make promises and I don’t commit to anything in advance (if I can help it).  This way, all the way up until the very last-minute, I have the option of changing my mind!  It’s working out much better for me.  I really am much less stressed when I have not made firm commitments about what I will or will not do on a future date.  Strangely, I find I am now more willing to do things and go places I would normally resist.  It’s been about personal empowerment and self-determination the whole time!   I do want to feel that at the very least I have the final say in how I spend my personal time, energy, and resources.  Even though it’s often said a woman has the right to change her mind, I’ve found it’s not as easily done.  It’s much less stressful just to wait until the last minute to decide in the first place or not share what you plan to do until it’s time to do it.  From someone who has been known to plan a year or more I advance (and then feel obligated) this is a major paradigm shift!  I’m also learning to cancel plans if I need to without feeling guilty or like I’ve let someone down.  In the end, other people’s lives are not about me and my life is not about them. (written 12/3/17 for webbwisdom.com)


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