I said new content would be posted on this site every week.
The last two mornings, I’ve sat before the computer the screen watching the cursor blink at the top of a nearly empty page. Anxiety keeps that cursor from moving as it repeatedly flashes a thought into my head: “I don’t have anything to say.”
I’ve tried some of my inspirational hacks. I referred to myself in the third person: “Ryan can get this done. Ryan always comes through.” I scanned through a list of suggested blog topics–nothing got my juices going. I cruised through a few sites. (I found inspiring information there. But the articles I found are so complete that using them as a basis for this post felt like plagiarism.)
I considered not posting this week. After all, it is important to offer high quality material. I don’t want to post merely for the sake of posting.
But I said new content would be up every week. And that means something. If I don’t do what I say, then how can I be trusted? And if I can’t be trusted, why would you listen to what I say? (And then share it with your friends… and leave a positive rating on Apple Podcasts… )
Here comes the topic turn where we get into personal living–get ready.
Doing what we say is a big deal.
Our son is not the adventurous sort. He’s a cautious soul. He’s naturally resistant to trying new things. I think my wife and have fed his fear of the unknown through small slips in integrity. We eroded some trust when we said things like “it won’t hurt much” while getting vaccinated or “it’ll be yummy” when facing down a serving of broccoli. These little lies sounded quite innocent at the time–we said them out of a concern for his well-being. But they’ve eroded trust. What we say matters. Today, our son wouldn’t try cauliflower florets if we told him they tasted like chocolate deep-fried in butter. That ruse is up.
Similarly, I’ve told myself some white lies. For me, that tends to look like easily dismissing things, often with a phrase like “It’s not that big of a deal.”
Example, “It’s not that big of a deal if I don’t post this week–hardly anybody will notice.” OR, “It’s not that big of a deal if I don’t put the lights on the tree like I said, we’ve waited this long already.” OR, “It’s not that big of a deal of I don’t go talk to my wife about her day, she’s doing something else anyways.”
The real victim of my inaction in these situations is myself. I am eroding trust in myself. Doing what I say is a big deal, because if I consistently betray myself through inaction then I simply don’t trust myself. AND, if I don’t trust myself to do the little things, then how will I feel about my ability to accomplish something big (like dunking a basketball, or restoring a pop up trailer, or inspiring a deeper relationship with my spouse)?
There is a snowball effect at play. Accomplishing the little things I say I’m going to accomplish allow me to trust myself. And that leads to a more inspiring belief in my ability to follow through when I’m facing something big.
I have a feeling that the same principle applies to my marriage relationship. The more I do what I say I’ll do, the less my spouse will feel like she needs to remind me to do what I said I would do. That sentence is a mess… but you get the picture: more follow through equates to less anxiety about things getting done.
So, yeah, it may not be that big of a deal. But it is. I’m doing this blog post because I said so–because I can be trusted, by you and by myself.
And “because I said so” is also the only way to get my kid to nibble on some cauliflower.