True confessions: in the mid 1970s I spent two weekends at the Los Angeles Convention Center in a room with hundreds of people taking the est Training. It was the thing to do in those days. And over the next decade, over a million people like me resonated with Werner Erhard’s philosophy of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility. We left the room at the end of the fourth day, feeling very much like we “Got It.”
And now, in 2012, I still feel that way. I always think of est when I say to someone or myself to go for it. est espoused the notions of going for it more than 100 per cent, living on the high road, and riding the horse in the direction it is going. Such simple concepts, made so clear and meaningful in four short days.
The most important aphorism of the training for me was: If you keep your agreements your life will work –
because if you do, you don’t have to squirm, equivocate, think up lame excuses. You’ve kept your agreement and now you are golden. All is good.
That’s why I so resonated with Seth Godin’s March 17, 2012 blog post called “Specific Promises Kept.”
I quote it here:
“We live in a vague world. And it gets vaguer all the time. There are so many waffle words, so many equivocations, so many ways to sort of say what we kind of intend to possibly do...
In this environment, the power of the specific, measurable and useful promise made and kept is difficult to overstate. And if you can do it regularly, on time and without a fuss, we will notice.
[If it's not working for you, perhaps you need to make and keep bigger promises. "Service excellence is our goal," doesn't count.]”
And I still wonder why so many people I know say, “Yes, sure, I’ll do it. I’ll be glad to.” And they don’t.