High school "mock elections" are stupid, I know. It seems like most of those voted as "most likely to succeed" end up living in a van down by the river anyway, right? Mock elections were always frivolous and entertaining and I never expected to win one. Somehow when I sat down at school one morning and listened to the morning announcements I heard my name through the crackle and hiss of our decrepit speaker in the classroom. That's right, yours truly won a high school mock election and is actually proud of it. The category that I "won", as voted by my peers, was "Most Reliable."
It felt good to know that my friends thought of me as a reliable person. I've always tried to treat my word as more than just words. I did my best to keep promises, be there for my friends and be a responsible classmate. I'm proud that my picture is in my senior year yearbook nestled between "Cutest Couple" and "Best Smile."
However, I've come to view the connection between personal development, self-discipline and reliability in a different light over the past few years. It's important for other people to see me as reliable, that's for certain. Colleagues need to know they can trust me. My students and players have to feel like I'm invested in them. On the other hand, there is somebody else I think is even more important to be reliable to: myself.
Having the self discipline to follow through on the goals and expectations I set for myself creates that sense of self-reliability. If I couldn't rely on myself, how many goals would I set? If I even managed to set some goals, how safe would they be? The more I develop my self discipline the more I know that I can count on myself to show up when the going gets tough.
My classmates viewed me as a reliable person back in high school because I tried to make sure I always stayed true to my word with them. If I said I'd do something for a friend, I'd do it. Now that I'm outside the social-bubble of high school, my self-reliability is what I care about the most now. If I tell myself I'm going to do something, do I do it? If I tell myself I'm going to lose 10 pounds or stop biting my nails, do I show up?
If you can't trust yourself, who can?