We love to complicate life. Not that life isn't complex, it is, but we seem to try our damnedest to make it even more complicated than it needs to be. Perhaps it makes us feel so much more important when the problems we need to solve require overly complicated solutions. Or maybe that complexity convinces us that our lives have meaning. After all, if we're really busy we must be doing really important things, right?

The problem is that the steep cost of all that complexity is losing sight of some of the foundational values and behaviors that shape us and those around us; the things that give true value and meaning to our lives and which ultimately matter most.

Yet there are some things that are utterly simple to do if we only remind ourselves of them--not just once in a while but each and every day. And sometimes it's these simplest things that can have the most profound impact on our lives over the long term.

Such is the case with a list of eight "promises" that I recently came across that written by my friend Rob Cipriano, Founder and President at AllHumanity Group LLC

The list struck me as a sort of daily guide to the things we all need to do in order to align our actions with our intentions. As leaders and busy entrepreneurs nothing is easier than getting wrapped up in the myriad details that often deals us from paying attention to these simple truths.

So make a promise to yourself today, and every day to do each of these:

  1. I will appreciate the under-appreciated; Do more than say "thanks" to a person who does a thankless job.
  2. I will answer the unasked question; Behind many questions is an unasked question
  3. I will not wait: You don't have to wait to be discovered.
  4. I will give latitude instead of direction; In a command-and-control world, latitude is welcome freedom
  5. I will stop and smell my roses; Unlike a want, what you have isn't a hope, a wish, or a dream.
  6. I will look below the surface; Look past the action for the underlying issues.
  7. I will ensure love is always a verb; When you make love a verb, the people you care about know exactly how you feel.
  8. I will be myself; That's the one thing you can always do better than anyone else.