The Power of A Promise

    Dear GutsIsTheKey Reader, From time to time I enjoy having a guest author on GutsIsTheKey, when their content and character is extraordinary.

Recently, a remarkable lady, Ha Tran and I have teamed up our efforts, to motivate each other to higher levels of achievement and performance. What a gifted person! I am truly blessed to have her as a performance partner.  And while her talents are many. The greatest attribute she possesses is unstoppable determination.

The story of her life is a continuous saga of triumphing over adversity. Her entire experience is one continuous anthem, of dedication to winning against terrific odds. If you have not already, you should visit for a stunning example, of how a human being can achieve excellence, in spite of trial.


     Who is Ha? In her own words: “I am a success coach, life strategist and professional speaker for individuals and organizations facing change and uncertainty. I teach children and adults how to create the mindset that allows them to accept and manage change, set priorities and keep commitments using the power of focus.”

     So Ha Tran is someone you can count on to help you improve your life, career and productivity. Therefore, I am excited to share this powerful article with you, on “The Power of A Promise.”

Ha Tran, standing and smiling


Keep your promise

A Promise made is a promise to keep. Who do you make promises to? A promise is a verbal contract you give to someone, it should be an unbreakable contract but for many it is not… Still, every-day of our lives, we make promises. Promises to ourselves, to our loved one, and to our associates. Can we honestly say: A Promise made is a promise to keep.

promise promises and good character good intentions

In today’s business, everything needs to be in writing. And the chief way misunderstandings are started are with wrong or poorly chosen words. Sharp words will upset your stomach, especially when you have to eat them.  So I ask you, For you, Is A Promise made a promise to keep? If it is, then you must choose your words carefully.

As mentioned; whether we mean to or not; We make promises every day. We make them to ourselves and to our loved ones. We make promises to our employees, co-workers, customers and clients. What do we do to keep these promises? How do we fulfill them? Remember, A Promise made is a promise to keep.

The word, promise, according to the Webster dictionary, is a verb. It means: to “assure someone that you will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen.” For instance; “He promised the website will be done in two weeks from today.”

So the very nature of a promise should start with the intentions of fulfilling them. So step number one in: making sure your Promise made is a promise to keep. First, make sure you only make promises with the intention to fulfill them. Secondly, make sure you yourself have a clear understanding of what you promise… Thirdly, since it is a common fact that many people do not remember their business promises. You should keep a written record or business journal of promises to your customers and their promises to you. This will help you and them to become more efficient and on top of good business practices.

This is the flow of making good on your Promises! Strategy. Promise, Action. ….. Strategy. Promise. Action. What is the strategy (why is it good to make the promise?). What is the promise (has it been stated clearly and understood well?) Lastly, what is the action (how do I and others correctly follow through,
so our promise is not just idle words?)

The interaction of these three words, Strategy; Promise; Action; gets the job done. It is vital to keep and deliver your promises to the customers and clients because the livelihood of your business depends on it. Remember, your ultimate goal is creating a positive, customer experience by delivering a quality product or service on time as you promised. Remember, A Promise made is a promise to keep.

Customer service image 6

We want to make money in our business and we want to “feel good” about it. Keeping promises is a profit strategy resulting in gaining and keeping trust and keeping loyalty; therefore, more business, more new customers, and keeping existing customers. What do we promise? What can we do as a company or organizations do to make sure that we deliver what we promised?

I remember, as a child, I watched my father make many businesses promises. His words and handshake weighed more than any contract. When my father gave his word, it was done! He demonstrated Promise, trust, loyalty. These are the words of my father and they are strong words. They are the words I want you to take with you, in a new way; when you leave here today.
My father was a great example of: A Promise made is a promise to keep.

loyal friend

When we arrived in Chicago, my husband, Quang and I with our little boys had one small suitcase of our belongings. We followed the line of people exiting the airplane. We moved slowly and awkwardly, clinging and clutching each other for fear of getting lost or separated in the rush of people moving in all directions.

The Airport was full of people. Everyone was in such a hurry. We were so alone in that crowded airport. WE WERE paralyzed with fear and anxiety. We knew not a word of English and had a total of twenty dollars between us.

The excitement of arriving in a new land with new hope turned to INTENSE anxiety and then fear when we found ourselves stranded and alone in the crowded O’Hare International Airport. We had no way of asking anyone where we had to go or where someone might be waiting for us.

Finally; I saw our sponsors at a distance, in the crowd holding a sign that read “Quang Hon Tran,” I, immediately, felt relieved and released from that terrible fear,… I ran toward them… but came to a sudden stop…The fear of rejection that overwhelmed me. We didn’t look anything like them. What would they do to us? Where would we be sent? …I was trembling with fear and anxiety. I took a look at my two little boys and a tired-distressed husband. I summoned all the courage within me … ran to them – I cried like I had never cried before. I was like a lost child finally reunited with her parents by some miracle.

lost child crying

Ladies and gentleman, at that precise moment, I made a promise to myself that I would learn to speak English and become familiar with the American culture …Never again would I be in this predicament. And for me: A Promise made is a promise to keep.

Have you ever felt stranded, alone, hopeless?
It was very difficult being newcomers in America and didn’t speak any English or know the American culture. But we were determined and, gradually, very gradually, we settled into our new home, our new country.

At this time, surviving was the only thing that mattered to me. Just being alive was not enough. Now, we wanted our lives to have some special meaning. We wanted our lives to be an expression of gratitude for all we had received.

My burning desire to succeed here, in America, and my determination to fulfill the promises I made to my father had always kept me going. I would find the way. No matter what the circumstances were. I would never quit the fight. I am unstoppable. Because I am telling you what I live myself. A Promise made is a promise to keep.


I wanted to understand our new world and what was going on in the community, especially, the school environment where our children’s futures were being developed.

I took ESL classes (English as a Second Language) and then, after six long years of education, I obtained my Associate’s Degree. I realized that I needed further education if I wanted to be the kind of mother who would be a good provider and a guiding light for her children. My Associate’s Degree just whetted my appetite. I was thirsty for more knowledge. I decided to pursue a business degree at Illinois State University.

For me, education was the only answer. I wanted to set an example for my children and impress upon them the importance of education. I went to school full-time while my husband was our main provider. He worked 70 hours a week to support our family. He gave me unending support. For my husband also:
A Promise made is a promise to keep.

Illinois State University was 75 miles away from my home. I drove there 3 days a week, 3 hours each day. {phew} Do you think I ‘m complaining? Abe Lincoln walked 3 hours to school. I DROVE 3 hours to school.

The general guideline in college is that for every hour spent in class, you should spend two hours studying. Not me! My ratio was one to six. For every hour of class, I spent six hours studying. I had a stack of books near me: an English-Vietnamese dictionary, a Vietnamese-English dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language and text books for the classes. When I looked up a word in the dictionary, if the definition had a word I didn’t know, I’d have to look up the definition of that word, and if that definition had a word I didn’t know, I’d look up THAT WORD, and on and on. Yes, it was a painstaking process. But that was ok, because I had made up my mind A Promise made is a promise to keep.

I slept an average of five hours a night. When it was time for midterms and finals, I only slept two to three hours at the most. It took me 10 long years from when I started school for English as a Second Language to when I received my bachelor’s degree. I often poke fun at myself that I actually got my PhD in the University of Life.

sacrifice and character

Mr. William Shakespeare said, “To Thine own self be true.” If you’re not true to yourself, you will never be true to others.  If you don’t like yourself and you make excuses for your actions, you will lie to others and blame them for your faults.

I honor and respect myself. I know the best thing for me is to keep my promises. Learning English and getting a college degree in America was one of my first achievements.

I made an important promise to our children. If they did well in high school and applied to the college of their choice….and were accepted I would see to it that they would go there. Little did I know the high cost of a college education. My determination was to keep my promise to our children. I worked two jobs and my husband worked long hours to support our family. At one point we had four children in college at the same time. I went to the school to speak to the finance director at the Financial Aid Department and asked him to help me to keep my promise to our children. Mission accomplished!

keep your promises

Our four children have grown up . . . all are married and have families of their own. Matt and Calvin graduated from Northeastern University; Kristina, from Salem State College; and Rebecca from Suffolk Law School. They stand tall on their own merits. My husband and I we are very proud of our children and their achievements. A Promise made to my children was a promise I did keep.

My father taught me the integrity of a promise. A promise really is a promise to keep. They are not just words. A promise is important to keep whether it is a promise to yourself or to others.

Ladies and Gentlemen: I honor my father by living my life according to his principles: Promises, trust and loyalty. I have kept my promises to my father, to our four children, to my clients and to myself. As a result of following these principles, I now have a richer, happier and fulfilling life. How about you? Who is your mentor? How will you leave here today and make your own story of fulfilling promises. Always remember, A Promise made is a promise to keep.

My Peak Performance Partner; Ha Tran

My Peak Performance Partner;   Ha Tran 

978.473.2190  – Ha’s Phone #  – Ha’s E-mail address


As Ha has shared; a promise is powerful.  Use her words as a catalyst to plan how you will make and keep your personal and professional commitments!

"Slam" Tim G Carter - Inspirational Communicator

“Slam” Tim G Carter – Inspirational Communicator

About timothygrantcarter

Author, Trainer, Pastor, Spiritual Coach, Inspirational Speaker, 12 step follower Thinker, Entrepreneur, Outdoorsman, Hunter, Fisherman, Gardener, and Shotokan YonDan (5th degree black belt). Visionary; Maker of original sayings, slogans and giver of spiritual help. "If God has a pulse, then I can feel it." Nicknamed "Slam" / Creator of #Slamism ... 's on Twitter @cccdynapro
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