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THE secret to success. this is IT. for reals.

In one form or another, I’ve been asked this question a few hundred times:

What’s the secret to success?

Variations:
What’s the single most important thing you’ve learned on your journey?
What’s your key piece of advice for meaningful livelihood?
What’s the greatest cause of failure? How do we overcome fear?
What’s your pearl of wisdom for getting unstuck?

Here it is. You heard it here first, lovahs.

The secret to success:

Do what you say you’re going to do.

No need to read any further really.

If we all just did what we said we’re going to do, we’d experience an evolutionary leap in consciousness more brilliant than solar power and the invention of the wheel. But in case we slip, here’s a bit of bolstering…

Do what you say you’re going to do.

NO: rounding up what you say, no blowing it off, assuming that they’ll forget what you said, hoping that they didn’t really hear you, or believing that it’s kosher to let it slide. Letting it slide is a slippery slope that leads to sleepless nights and eroded integrity which all adds up to a whole lot of yuck.

Aim for impeccable. There’s a great scene in Jerry McGuire, where one of the Zig Ziglar-like “mentor guys” in a polyester suit says in his heavy southern accent, “If I don’t return yer call in 24 hours, well, you can rest assured that I am dead.” I want that guy on my team.

Mean it. You can ask my home girl, Steph, to go mountain climbing, hook you up with the Mayor, and meet you back for a cold beer all in the same day, and what you’ll hear is, “DONE!” She says “DONE!” a lot. At first I didn’t know if it was like, a tic, or a truth. But guess what, she gets a lot done — everything that she says she will.

“Call you tomorrow” … “I’ll send you the link” … “I’ll do my best.” If you don’t mean it with heart and precision, then just don’t say it. Pause. Say thank you. Express an intention. Say nothing. Habitual convo-filler is bad for the environment. I can’t scientifically prove it, but empty promises suck wind.

Of course you can’t always do what you said you would. Minds change and some prerogatives need their exercise. Batteries die, tragedies happen, the best intentions can get rained out. When you can’t or choose not to honour your word, then say so.

Tell the truth, tell it fast, deliver it with sincerity and care.

Words are arrows.
Aim.
You can’t always hit the impeccability bull’s eye, but even if you’re off a smidge, your words will land on integrity.