I thank the source of this internet picture.

In his tenth principle Thomas Leonard says: Deliver twice what you promise.

I paraphrase a famous verse from an ancient Vedic Hindu scripture, which people attribute sometimes to Buddha and many others after him as well.

Our thoughts determine our desires and decisions. Our desires and decisions lead to our actions. Our actions determine our behavior pattern. Our behavior pattern binds us for life.

The wisdom of this verse is about the congruence of thoughts, words and actions in our lives. If they follow the straight and narrow path, we may call ourselves virtuous. If we deviate, there’s no knowing where we end.

But, as the Tao famously says, there in nothing fully virtuous and nothing fully evil. Everything is a mix. None of us act for collective good all the time. Nor do we always act in an evil manner.

Far more relevantly, we often say one thing and then do another. We think one thing and say another. We lack congruence in thoughts, words and actions. The English language has many other synonyms for this, such as honesty, integrity etc.

We say things to others that very often we have no intention of fulfilling. However, we do say them with good intentions. We want the other person to feel good and happy. It may be because we need something from that person in return for the nice things we promise them.  Sometimes, we may not expect anything in return. We merely do not want to leave another person unhappy.

But, what are the consequences? Any lawyer would tell you that our societies wrote in the  laws of Tort and Contracts for this very eventuality. In law, you don’t even have to commit in writing for someone to sue you for breach of promise; a verbal commitment is enough.

Thomas Leonard is not talking law though. He is talking about morality and being a coach. Be careful, he says, be doubly sure of what you commit. Unless you can fulfill what you promise in double measure, don’t.

Good advice, this!

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