Are you writing checks that you can’t cash?

At one time or another we’ve probably all heard this saying – or at least some version of it. To most it signifies making promises that you can’t keep. Why would anyone do this? Good question.  It’s been my experience that nothing good ever comes out of unfulfilled commitments. Nobody really wins. This came to mind today as I read about a prominent NBA player who as a free agent committed to one team and then five days later changed his mind and committed to another. Wow.

According to the league’s rules, he didn’t really do anything wrong.  The current rules state that agreements aren’t binding until a player actually signs a contract. Okay so technically he was within his rights.

So much for being good for your word. What happened to trust and integrity? What happened to honoring a commitment? Maybe he got the best deal moneywise, but what he did put a lot of people – people who trusted him – in a pretty bad place. Maybe he doesn’t care. 

To me the losses far outweigh the gains.  He compromised, if not destroyed, his credibility and the faith people had in him to honor a commitment. My grandma used to say, “What’s coming to you is coming to you.” In other words, what goes around comes around. It sure does. From this day forward any commitment he makes will be suspect by those who got burned this time around. And most likely they will be all too happy to spread the word. Was it worth it? For the short term possibly; in the long term, don't think so.

Trust is one of the most valuable things we can possess. It is the foundation of our most important relationships; our families, friends, employees, customers. You can’t buy it, you can’t sell it; you have to earn it. That doesn’t happen overnight.  Losing it, on the other hand, can happen in a matter of seconds.

One popular quote puts it this way, “When you completely trust another person, you will end up with one of two outcomes. A friend for life or a lesson for life. Both, regardless of the outcome are valuable.”

Which would you rather have?

Posted by MJ Thomas

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