Have you ever started out a new year with the intention of spending more time with your family, loosing weight, quit smoking or whatever you may be motivated to work on? Have you ever said you would do it, but then three months go by and you still haven’t started or accomplished that intention?
… so you decide to give up and try again next year …
Trust me, I’ve been there many times.
This year, as I begin exploring the question “how do you want to live your life?”, has led me to other questions:
“What fulfills my life in order to live it the way I want to?”
“How do I hold myself accountable so I will accomplish my intentions?”
The first answer that comes to mind is the volunteer service I participated in with my local community. Volunteer service has been an integral part of my life for a long time, from volunteering with my church in soup kitchens to planning and leading alternative break trips in college. While I have been able to find many ways to express my passion for service, the most important avenue through which I have engaged in volunteer work would be through the non-profit organization, because i said i would.
In late 2012 my friend, Alex Sheen, founded because i said i would — a non-profit that is “dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept”. The origin of it’s founding, however, is an unexpected one. On September 4th, 2012, Alex’s father died of small cell lung cancer. Shortly after, Alex was asked by his family to give the eulogy of his father’s life at his memorial service. In his speech, Alex spoke about how although his father was an average, everyday person, he was committed to keeping the promises he made. Alex then passed out what would be called “promise cards ” for the first time and offered to send these cards to anyone, anywhere in the world at no cost.
As a result, because i said i would has grown to make an impact on not only across the United States, but around the world. Since it’s founding, over 8 million cards have been mailed to 153 countries and these numbers continue to grow. Because i said i would has become a vessel for people to understand the importance of making and committing to their promises and share their stories.
Being involved with because i said i would has not only been a rewarding experience to support a friend of mine, but it has also allowed me to become a part of the organization’s community. Some of the ways I have been involved include traveling with Alex to speaking events across the country and volunteering at the headquarters to put together promise cards that are mailed to thousands of people. Seeing numerous individuals committed to their promises inspired me to start making my own promises; one of my first and more personal promises made was when I decided to improve my health, which meant taking care of my epilepsy. One way I conveyed this desire was to run two half marathons and one full marathon.
Along the way, I found that promises may not go the way you expect them to and possibly transform into something more. I achieved my promise to run races and improve my health but it grew when I chose to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation and educating family and friends about epilepsy. What I have also learned is that there is no right or wrong way to any promise … they can be short or maybe they continue on for the rest of your life. Even after committing and keeping my promise, I still struggle with epilepsy every single day.
As I look back on when deciding to make and keep promises and how far I have come, I am reminded that I am the only one who lives my life and I remain accountable for my own promises and life decisions … not anything or anyone else. I hope to move forward with this as a promise to myself on this well-being blog journey.
What about you? What are your stories of previous promises made but never kept that you would like to commit to and achieve? Maybe you have never made a promise and would like to make one or two?
To learn more, click here: http://www.becauseisaidiwould.com
To watch an about YouTube video, click here
You can also follow them on Instagram (@becauseisaidiwould) and Facebook.
Thanks for reading everyone, have a great rest of your week!