People often have a particular way to let you down…
People can let you down in so many ways.
I have experienced it so many times in my life now that it washes over me, but it does leave a mark.
The reality is that I have also let down so many people over my lifetime, and no doubt, I have left my mark.
Wherever I have left that mark, it saddens me that that person has had that experience of me. I wish I could make amends. I have never wanted to leave the stain of letting people down on anyone and, least of all, the people that I love and care for.
But I know I have. That, I guess, is a fact of life.
You know the saying, you can not change the past, and you can only affect the here and now and do the right thing in the coming days, weeks, and years. I hope to do the right thing in the future.
That is what I intend to do. I plan to not let anyone down… but there is a catch to that.
This is a vital piece of advice for everyone, so please take note. This is one of my answers to that age-old question…
‘What advice would you give your younger self?’
I would say, be clear on what you are saying YES to because people do not always give you the complete picture, and it could leave your ass hanging in the wind.
From this day onwards, I will not be saying yes to anything without careful scrutiny. I will be asking a whole lot more questions when someone is asking something of me. I will not be committing until I know what I need to know, and when someone asks for that thing, they will need to give me the clarity I seek.
Letting someone down has two sides to it, and I now see that. People can make unreasonable demands that have hidden pitfalls that you are expected to crawl through because you, like, you know, you agreed.
No more. I will be asking a lot of questions. There will be no clear yes until I fully understand what is being asked, and even then, I will be leaning back into my contract building days and securing a break clause.
I read recently that the best scientific answer to any question is… “it depends.”
I love that as an answer, and since the day that I read it, I realised that it is precisely the correct answer to many of life’s questions. There are just so many variables to give a clear answer, so you need to eradicate the noise to get to the facts and then, maybe, you can give a straight answer. But as always, it depends.
When I am asked to do something, I will be starting off with this new fact-finding question.
I will rub my hands like a gambler. I will hold a stance and take up a James Bond stare. The music will build. I will take a deep breath, and I will answer that question with a carefully positioned pause for dramatic effect, and I will say, clearly…