I saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks over the weekend — a mostly true account of Walt Disney’s attempts to gain the rights to produce Mary Poppins from author P. L. Travers — a task that took him nearly 20 years.
Disney is quoted as saying that he remained persistent with the curmudgeonly woman because he made a promise to his daughters to make their beloved Mary Poppins character into a movie — and a promise is something that he “never ever” breaks.
Most people don’t go to the lengths that Disney did to honor their word. Many do not even fulfill their promises for simple tasks in the short term. I have been listening to Fred Kaufman’s Conscious Business, a course about consciously creating integrity between what you say and what you do.
Take a lesson from Kaufman and Disney and be more intentional about honoring your word. If you say you will send some information to a colleague by the end of the day, make every attempt to do it. If you say you will call, be sure to pick up the phone. If you promise yourself that you will go to the gym after work, mean what you say.
And if you say you will do something that doesn’t work out as planned and takes a decade or two to fulfill, don’t give up easily. It’s not just Mr. Banks that was saved by Disney’s persistence; it was Walt’s integrity with his daughters.