91. It’s not that difficult.

Last week we began talking about The Habit of the Four Rules of Greatness.

Our discussion focused on the first two rules: be on time; be polite. And it seems those simple rules of greatness struck a chord with many readers – particularly the first one – as I received more calls, emails and texts and I can recall ever receiving from any other posting.

As one caller put it, our new “Whatever” world seems to have removed any requirement for punctuality and when we set a time for meetings, social functions or get-togethers those agreed-upon times have simply become suggestions – a rough guideline – and showing up “whenever” has become the norm.

Having been raised by a mother who was serially punctual, that trait was instilled with me and cemented by many scathing lectures on those occasions when I failed her punctuality demands. I found myself fully agreeing with those who contacted me to share their own frustration and to discuss how unimportant being on time seems to have become in our modern society.

Certainly there were also those who lamented the lost days of politeness and who seem to think that the world has been overtaken by many people for whom the words “Please” and “Thank you” have been erased – or perhaps never inserted – from their vocabulary.

Listening to these folks reminded me of a blog I wrote way back in January, 2011 (www.raelkalley.wordpress.com/76 “One can make a huge difference”) about an elderly man who arrived in this country as a penniless immigrant and who, through hard work, determination, and unwillingness to ever consider quitting, had become enormously prosperous.

His first job had been that of a dishwasher in a restaurant and many years later, having attained great wealth, he purchased that restaurant which was in the industrial part of the city and it was there he would meet new potential candidates for senior management positions in his many companies.

He purposely invited them to lunch at his restaurant, with them, of course, not knowing he was the owner, with the sole intention of observing how they treated the servers. He looked for politeness and listened for “please” and “thank you.” He firmly believed that if they displayed those traits to his servers, they would do so to their staff and customers and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t.

Today I would like to discuss briefly the other two rules that complete the habit.

3.Finish what you start:
It seems self-evident that the primary reason many of us fail to achieve our goals is because we quit trying.
Maybe we quit because it’s too hard or too tiring or too painful or too costly or too time-consuming but regardless of the “too“, it makes perfect sense to understand that if we finished what we started we would achieve so many of those goals we give up trying to reach.

The Habit of the Four Rules of Greatness, is a powerful reminder that the price of perseverance is the joy of success and the price of quitting is the pain of regret.

4.Keep your word:
There’s not much that needs to be said – it’s quite obvious if you say you’re gonna, then do; if you say you won’t, then don’t; and if you say will be there at seven, then arriving at 7:20 is not a case of “whatever”, it’s a case of inconsideration.

So there you have it. I still can’t recall the author and creator of these four rules but I’m grateful to him, or her, for so clearly and succinctly teaching us that if we truly want to absorb greatness into our lives we need only follow these four simple steps.

Today and every day.

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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