Being Reliable

According to one of my idols Charlie Munger, who happens to be one of the most broadly intelligent people in the world, ‘Being Reliable’ is one of the most important virtues any human can possess. 

He believes that if you’re true to your word and reliable, it can surpass any other virtue or weakness you possess. 

Imagine if you delivered on everything you said you would do all the time in fitness, health, relationships, wealth etc.  You would be unstoppable!

I’d like to think that I’m a reliable person, but I’m not as true to my word as I would like to be. I set out to accomplish things and I don’t always deliver. I believe in the strength of Charlie’s convictions to the benefit of being reliable and I plan on improving in that area. 

So, how about you? Do you think reliability is as important as Charlie makes out?

Are you reliable? 

Are you true to your word? 

How could you become even more reliable?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  • Organised Redhead

    Reply Reply 13th February 2016

    Hi Huw,

    I've always been of the opinion that it's better to under-promise and over deliver, than the other way round. I like to think that I'm a person of my word, and once I commit to something with someone I will ensure that I see it through. This I apply successfully to both my work and my personal life in as far as it concerns interactions with colleagues, family and friends.

    However, the area where I struggle, and I confess I don't always see things through, is in keeping promises to myself. I need to learn to be more reliable when the person benefitting is me personally. I read somewhere once that the key to doing this is to start first with making small promises to yourself that you know you should be able to keep, and no matter what, keep those promises. Then build up from there. A lesson which I really need to start applying!

    Thanks for your post, very thought provoking.

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 13th February 2016

    Hi OR,

    I love that saying. Great to hear that you're able to deliver on your word for friends, family and colleagues. Being true to your word for your own benefit is that much harder I agree.

    I was previously guilty, as my older posts will reveal, of setting the bar too low for myself so I was able to under promise and over deliver – in terms of goals/results.

    Now I'm trying to balance 'thinking big' and committing to tasks that slightly scare me, with delivering on them.

    The key for me is to focus on the commitment of the outcome regardless. So, when I say I'm going to write a book and produce an online course. THEY WILL BE DONE. I don't know when, but they will! I can allow my timescales to be slightly off, but not my results when I fully intend on a certain outcome that will benefit me and others.

    Thanks for sharing your views and for your honesty. I wish you the best of luck with following through on applying the small promises. Tiny, daily progress leads to to huge results.

    Have a great weekend!

  • weenie

    Reply Reply 15th February 2016

    Hey Huw
    Both my friends and colleagues would say that I'm a reliable person. What stops me from being 'more' reliable than I am is probably procrastination but I'm a lot better than I used to be!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 15th February 2016

    I can see why they'd say that. I see you as a reliable person in the interaction we've had in the past 2 years.

    Organised Redhead explained it well above. It's becoming reliable to yourself that is a real challenge. Committing and following though on what you plan for yourself.

    Procrastination is almost impossible to eradicate completely. Minimising it is always my goal. Like you say, as long as we are getting better at it, that's all that matters.

  • M from There's Value

    Reply Reply 19th February 2016

    Wondering if you've ever read 'the four agreements'? 'Be impeccable with your word' is one of them. Pretty fascinating, but simple principle. Imagine if we were all true to our word, and only spoke what we meant, and always in the direction of love and truth… What a different place the world would be. The key for me has always been in my words to myself. As mentioned above, it's the hardest part. But it's also important to speak life to yourself and thus not condemn yourself with your own words ie speaking positively about yourself always, not punishing yourself for missing the mark, but forgive yourself and immediately move on. I under promise to myself and then still manage to procrastinate, but I'm learning to 'just get it the F done' as I call it!

    When people don't keep their word, it makes me really mad, and I mean MAD. I'm not sure why I get so angry about it, I guess having studied language and literature and then divinity, my love of the word only got stronger… So I have had the tendency to be really mad at myself for missing the smallest things. But I'm moving on, without making excuses… I hope!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 19th February 2016

    I must confess that I haven't read the full copy, but a 'short reads' cheap summary version of it on Amazon. I'm aware of the premise and the basic information behind it. I think it's excellent!

    I'm a big advocate of simple, powerful virtues like this. Honesty is another one. It's so simple and yet so regularly overlooked.

    Great insight M. Thank you so much for sharing that with me and everyone else. Great points! I love your comment on 'not punishing yourself for missing the mark'. I can be guilty of that too, and it isn't helpful for me or anyone else.

    I don't like being let down either. It doesn't make me mad like you, but I don't like it. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt on the first time around, but that's their last strike. If they 're-offend', like Duncan Bannatyne would say "I'm out!". It's not off with their heads or anything. I forgive easily, I just don't forget. 2 times in a row means something more often than not.

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