Our word is the most powerful tool we have.
Human determination is so tenacious, so limitless, so alive that once we commit, truly commit, we can achieve amazing things no one around us thinks is possible.
Jerry Weintraub, just an ordinary Jewish kid from Brooklyn told his wife he was going to bring Elvis to Madison Square Garden. He didn't have any idea how he was going to do it. It didn't matter, all he had to do was say it and mean it. He found a way.
Sylvester Stallone said that not only was he going to make his movie, but he was going to be the star of it. No one wanted his script, and the few that did, didn't want him to be Rocky. Well now he is, and by the way, he won an Oscar.
Lisa Shannon was watching Oprah one day and saw the the horrible attrocities happening to the women of the Congo. She said she would start a race that would raise awareness and money helping thousands of women. She did.
Time after time, we see evidence that our word is powerful beyond belief. But we forget one critical factor. When we throw around our word irresponsibly: we ruin it.
"Sure, I'll call you next week and we'll get lunch" (we don't)
"I'll go to the gym tomorrow morning." (we never do)
"I'll have that assignment on your desk by 5:00PM, no later." (we hand it in at 5:30pm).
Everytime we invoke our word, and fail to fulfill those commitments, even the tiny ones (especially the tiny ones) we diminish it's power. Gradually, one missed coffee date at a time, our word deteriorates so much, that not only do those around us not trust our commitments, but we don't even trust our own.
And so when our word really matters, when it really could make the biggest difference, for our stretch goals, the ones that push the limits of imagination, it fails us (or rather we fail it). Our word, our direct access to the human spirit, the one that has built cities, discovered the theory of relativity, and sent men to the moon is lost.
Landmark Education calls honoring your word, integrity. Integrity isn't the same thing as morality, it's not about right or wrong, it's about what works and what doesn't.
What would happen if we lived our lives with radical integrity? What kind of power might we have access to?