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Being Reliable

What do you mean when you say someone is a flake? Weak, unstable, drifting. Right? What do you mean when you say someone is reliable? Exactly the opposite. You mean that person is a person of strength, someone you can trust and count on. We want to avoid the flakes and we move towards the reliable person. That’s who WE want to be.Being a reliable person has many rewards.Relationships are built on trust; the reliable person therefore has deeper relationships. When you are reliable, when people learn you will do what you say you will do, they will draw close to you. They will be secure. Without reliability, they will begin to withdraw and protect themselves.Reliability leads to greater opportunities. When people see that you can be counted on, they will give you more challenging tasks and responsibilities that will in turn allow you to grow, learn, and become a leader. When you are flakey, their expectations lower and you remain a bit player.Reliability leads to more freedom. Unreliability forces leaders to keep you on a short leash, checking on you all the time. A reliable person gets much less supervision and is given greater responsibility over his time.The reliable person gets a reputation for integrity. The word integrity means complete and whole and implies a rock of stability and security. People know they can depend on this person.Reliability enables you to live with confidence and a clear conscience. Keeping your promises, doing what you say you will do, frees you from the regrets lesser people live with. A reliable person knows that, first and foremost, he can count on himself. Tht enables him to live with confidence and self-respect.The reliable man leads an uncomplicated life. When you are reliable, you don’t have to think up excuses for not keeping your word. You get to live in beautiful simplicity. you’re the same man each day in every situation, when you don’t have to think upThere are so many benefits to be a reliable person. So how do you get there?Keep your promises. Be a person of your word. of your word: this is the cornerstone of reliability. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, and do it in a certain amount of time, you need heaven and earth to fulfill that promise. even when you don’t feel like doing something, even when more desirable opportunities arise, you still have to make good on your word.A man is already of significance in the world when it is known that he is reliable.Don’t overpraise. Because your reliability will give you many opportunities, you have to be sure as you grow in reputation to not over promise. Some opportunities will overextend you and take you further away from your goals and priorities. Being reliable doesn’t mean saying yes to everyone. You must carefully decide if this is a promise you can actually make and keep. Learn to say no firmly and politely, then stick with that, too.Manage expectations. Don’t inflate people’s expectation in your enthusiasm. But inflated expectations can lead to big-time disappointment and do long-term damage to your reputation.Don’t leave other people hanging. If unforeseen circumstances make you truly unable to keep a promise, bite the bullet and tell the person right away. If you are running late, call them and let them know where you are. Try to respond as quickly as possible to communications.Whatever you do, do it well. Take pride in your work, whatever it is, and give everything your best. The one who cannot be trusted with little things will never be trusted with big things.Be consistent. Consistency is a huge part of reliability. Do you know these people? The guy who gets pumped about an exercise program and works out every day for two weeks, and then he falls off the wagon? The student who does a half semester of exceptional papers, and then quits turning them in at all? The friend who hangs out with you every day but doesn’t return your texts or phone calls when you need a favor? The relative who loses his cool and promises it will never happen again—for the 51st ime? These people lack reliability and their relationships suffer.Finish what you start; pull your weight and shoulder your own responsibilities. Other people are counting on you. Often you are intertwined, and their lives depend on what you do. When you fail to come through, you increase their burdens and responsibilities.Be honest. When we don’t consistently deliver truth, people quit looking to us for answers. We can deceive others by lying, cheating, stealing — but in more subtle ways as well. We can do it through a look or a gesture, in silence, in telling only one part of a story and leaving out another, in passing along gossip, and so on. Anything that leads people to believe something that isn’t true is dishonest. Say what you mean and mean what you say.Pay back money and return things in a timely manner. Whether you borrow $100 or a tool, return the money or item as soon as you can. Relationships get strained over things like this.Be punctual. Setting a time is making a promise. Arriving late is breaking a promise. Being on times says you are a reliable person.Be fair and consistent in rewards and punishments. A reliable person does not dole out rewards and punishments according to favoritism or moods. People know exactly what to expect from him. It grows reliability and resilience in people.Don’t be driven by circumstances or collapse in emergencies. Your ethics and reliability should never depend upon the circumstances. A reliable person is the same person no matter what. Plenty of people can do OK when life is easy, but in a crisis, they collapse. The reliable person is not surprised by chaos, and when everyone else is running away, he digs in and makes the difference.Simply show up. It is often said that 95% of life is just showing up. Show up to work on time. Show up to the wedding you promised to attend. Show up to your friend’s concert, even if they are singing background., even if he only has a bit part. Even when you haven’t promised someone that you’ll be there, if they need you, show up.My brother-in-law Charlie recently died. He was a true brother to me since I was in junior high. The personal loss has been great. The number of friends who showed up to his calling hours and memorial service to be there for me meant more than I can express. They showed up for us, even though inconvenience and struggle. Being reliable means that when a friend needs support, he does not even have to ask you or wonder if you’ll show. He can say with certainty, “He will be there. He will show up.” Isn’t that who you want to be?

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