“Broken vows are like broken mirrors. They leave those who held to them bleeding and staring at fractured images of themselves.”
― Richard Paul Evans, Promise Me
We all make promises we don’t keep. Sometimes those promises have the best intentions that never pan out but many promises are little white lies we never plan to keep.
If we look at vows like really big and well-articulated promises such as never smoking cigarettes again or refusing to buy certain products, we can see the importance of our statements. When we are honest with ourselves and take a vow we really should enforce our promises.
Learn From Wrestling
My son as he was growing up loved to try out playing new sports. He played baseball, football, basketball, and lacrosse. When he was younger and just learning a sport he would over analyze the game. More like a referee or a commentator than a player he always knew what everyone else was doing wrong. He lacked the ability of introspection and therefore was advancing in his sports at a slower pace.
After a tough football session where he spent a lot of time on the bench, we talked about him trying a new winter sport. I suggested wrestling as a friend of mine who happened to be one of his football coaches was the head coach of the wrestling team was familiar to my son.
I explained to my son that we play football and play soccer and play lacrosse but we never play wrestling. We just wrestle. One on one, mono e mono.
As my son began to learn the sport and began to develop he recognized it was him against his opponent. No one else to blame. His success and failures were something he would have to take full responsibility and action for.
What we learned
The life lessons he learned from wrestling was the power of introspection and self-assessment. As he learned how to read an opponent and size up a situation he knew how he had to tackle the situation. His confidence improved as he experienced successes in winning and knowledge from his losses.
He ended his wrestling season not only with metals and accolades but with new knowledge of how to perform self-reflection. He was becoming a brilliant athlete as he understood his abilities, his strengths, and his weaknesses. Hitting the lacrosse field that flowing spring was an entirely new kid. His confidence and lack of fear were clear and evident.
One afternoon I was talking to his coach who was extremely impressed with his development. He asked had we sent him to a lacrosse trainer in which I responded “Nope. He just learned to wrestle.”
Shocked the coach and I discussed how my son was the second-fastest kid on the team and had become the teams go to when the needed someone to climb into the pack and just simply get the ball. My son could, not once but every time.
After the game, I told my son about the conversation with his coach and how proud I was at him. The second fastest on the team is a decent statistic. My son’s reply has changed my life forever when he stated “I may be the second fastest in a one-off race but I’m the fastest when you look at how I’m consistent the entire game. I can maintain my speed the entire game. When I feel like I’m slowing down I know it’s only me that can push myself harder”.
Brilliance. He had learned his strong point and was harnessing the power. When he recognized he was losing speed he knew when to push himself into overdrive.
Mirror mirror on the wall
So our mirrors are our gateway into minds. Standing in front of your mirror who do you see? Is this the best version of yourself? Have you made promises to yourself that you failed to keep? What happened to that diet? How about that run you were going to take?
Don’t worry they were just empty promises you made just like you promised you’d call the old classmate from high school and would get together again.
Forget promises. Stand tall in front of a mirror and take a vow. A promise to yourself that under any circumstance you will keep. Don’t shatter that mirror standing in the shards of broken promises. Take a vow to regain control of your future. Small vows that we continue to keep our big accomplishments. The more trophies we win for ourselves the further we will develop.
We must design our futures. Taking steps by vowing to make our dreams a reality is the first step. Small steps will yield large rewards. Take a vow and stick with it.
This weekend will be 15 months of being on a plant-based diet. It was a vow I took that is a daily decision and become a part of my lifestyle. April 1st will be 11 years since I quit smoking cigarettes. Every day I look in the mirror and I see that new me I created, one morning by just taking a vow.