Respect: Follow Through With Your Words

Respect is the feeling we get from other people who have certain qualities we think are valuable. For me, it was my freshman high school basketball coach. He was this really built man with a devilish goatee who enjoyed yelling in your face. I did not like this man. In fact, I hated his guts.

But I certainly did respect this man, as well as the rest of the team. When he told us to run around the court, we ran. When he told us to get on the ground, we did pushups. When he told gave us orders, we obeyed. We all respected this man because he knew how to run a disciplined basketball team similar to how a general runs his army.

Now if some random kid came up to us and told us to do the same thing, three things would probably happen. One, the kid would be ignored. Two, the kid would be laughed at. Three, we would tell the kid to step off the court. Not to be mean, but nobody would take the kid seriously. This is because the kid doesn’t have the same respect from the team as the coach does.

What’s the difference between the kid and coach? There both human beings. But the reason why we respect the coach is because he represents values that are far more important than us, values such as getting things done, being a successful team, making each of us stronger individuals.

If we told the kid and the coach what we wanted to do, their responses might be the same, “Okay.”

But the difference is that the kid doesn’t care whether or not you follow through with your words and you don’t care if you follow through with it either.

The coach however expects you to follow through and if you don’t, you’ve just lost respect from him. He walks away and you’re on your own again, with a feeling of not being worthy enough.

I know this treatment may be harsh, and it’s not something that sensitive people might support, but it was what motivated our entire basketball team to go through hours and hours of endless workout routines and drills for an entire basketball season. This all affected us academically, socially, mentally, and emotionally in order to strengthen us physically. If we didn’t have respect for the coach, none of this would have happened.

So my question to you is this. Who do you respect? Who do you admire? Who do you look up to? It doesn’t have to be a coach. Maybe it’s a friend. Maybe it’s your family member. Maybe it’s a distance relative. Maybe it’s a mentor. Maybe it’s a successful business person. Maybe it’s someone that you just plain take seriously.

The next question is what is your goal?

Maybe it’s to quit drinking. Maybe it’s to quit smoking. Maybe it’s to make more money. Maybe it’s to lose more weight. Maybe it’s to run a marathon. Maybe it’s to build more muscle. Maybe it’s to learn a new language. Maybe it’s to find a relationship. Maybe it’s to get over a relationship. Maybe it’s to back to college and get another degree. Maybe it’s to be a better you!

Whatever your goal happens to be, here’s an activity that will help motivate you to make that goal happen.

Tell people that you respect that you will accomplish your goal.

The reason this motivates you is because of the following reasons.

1. There has to be a good reason that you respect them. It could be that they have accomplished something worthy or great, so you look up to them and don’t want to let them down.

2. If you respect your friend or friends enough that when you tell them that you’re going to accomplish your goal, that you’re going to go through with it. If you don’t, you might lose a little bit of respect from them or they might not want to believe your words again.

3. You have a strong identity that doesn’t lie. When you tell others that you will get something done, you mean it. In other words, you want to protect your identity.

4. By accomplishing your goal, you will have something to share with the people you admire. You became a part of a group with certain qualities that you guys think are valuable.

5. Finally, there’s something at stake. If you tell people that you respect or admire and they believe in you, but you don’t follow through, maybe you won’t have the ability to show your face to them again. Here, you’re motivated by fear of being defeated by your own words.

I know if I told my coach that I wanted to be a basketball coach that I wanted to become a better player at the end of the season, I know he would have pushed me to limits beyond what I could endure. I also know that I would do everything that I can in order to follow through with my words.

Meet somewhere with somebody you respect and sincerely tell them that you are setting forth to finish a goal – small or big – that you will accomplish. It may take some confidence and courage, but people are willing to listen, support, and encourage you. Most importantly, whenever you think about them, you will feel motivation to finishing your goal faster and showing them that you can do it.