This week, I wanted to talk about something that we all do to others (rarely, right?), and that when done to us make us feel crappy.
Flaking out on plans, no shows, and last minute cancellation.
Not too long ago I helped this couple list their home on the market. And part and parcel with a listing priced well in a popular area is a ton of interest by the general public searching online in addition to agents and their clients.
Within a few day I had 4 people set up an appointment to view the home, each believed it "was the perfect one for them, it's everything we're looking for!" With a time & date set, I was much disappointed when not one single one showed up. In less than 3 days suddenly the home that was so amazing they had to see it right away was not even on the radar?
Emily Post, the guru of all things manners and etiquette, has this to say about canceling appointments and "no shows":
1. Changing a ‘yes’ to a ‘no’ is only acceptable on account of: illness or injury, a death in the family or an unavoidable professional or business conflict.
2. Canceling because you have a “better” offer is a sure fire way to get dropped from ALL the guest lists.
3. Being a “no show” is unacceptable.
Now, I get it- we don't all live in a formal, structured bubble of politeness and manners. But why not? Why not let someone know that you've set an appointment with that you're no longer interested with respect and dignity? What's better, showing up reluctantly or not showing up at all? I won't be talking about how to cancel in this post, more on that at a later date. (which is why you should make sure you're subscribed to free updates)
I promised you that I'd lay out how keeping your appointments or canceling without guilt would lead you to riches and power. But let's define rich for a moment before I jump into connecting the dots.
Money matters to you- it matters to almost all of us. Some with more of an appetite to acquire, others to attract enough dough to serve their needs and dreams. Most of us, though, we know that money or power isn't everything.
And that's where the rich and powerful I talk about begins. Rich with relationships and an abundance of time to spend doing what we love with people we love, time for ourselves, to rest and connect, this is the rich that matters. Often, when you take control and focus your actions, choices, servitude and moolah money decisions in the direction of relationships and maximizing time doing happy things the actual dollars are also more than enough. Rich in material wealth follows rich in energy for life and for others. And power comes from having energy, positive energy.
The next time you're setting appointments on your calendar, whether it be RSVP'ing to a barbecue or meeting with someone selling a table on craigslist- think about your calendar differently by asking yourself the following questions meant to prevent you from ever committing one of Emily Post's 3 no-no's:
1. How would I feel if I cancelled if I decided it wasn't for me or I lost interest in the meeting?
- If your answer includes feeling guilty- you probably didn't have any business setting the appointment to begin with, cancel immediately. Chances are your anticipated guilt is telling you that this meeting isn't in line with the actions and purposes that make you feel rich. And then think about what you can eliminate from your calendar and proverbial plate that isn't serving your relationships or self. Cancel those plans, too. Stop doing stuff you're not that into.
2. If I schedule this, does it help me or someone else to have a more comfortable or peaceful life?
- Don't commit to something if your heart isn't in it, even if it's under the guise of serving others. Volunteering for school fundraiser's and showing up to your coworkers birthday party when you really would rather be on your couch taking a nap is a no-go. Meeting commitments with less than all of you isn't really making you rise up in richness, it's depleting you.
3. Is this really, what I want to do with my time that hour?
- When you schedule something that you don't really want to do, showing up becomes harder every minute that you approach the appointment. You spend unnecessary energy thinking about it, how much you don't want to do it, and working on your flake out speech. You know, the script you develop right before you're about to call and cancel plans with someone. Other than doctors and dentists, you should be able to look at anything or anyone on your calendar and be stoked. Don't settle for less than stoked. It will drain your money, your time and your relationships of richness.
Tell me, are you "guilty" of filling your schedule with stuff you don't truly want to do? Do you say "yes" to party plans or appointments that you wind up canceling on anyway? How often do you find yourself approaching an appointment with negative feelings and thoughts? Do you fantasize about a calendar less full of obligations, and more filled with fun? Share in the comments below!