YOU can change the world !

Posted: August 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

Here’s the thing ….

Doesn’t it just make you want to go absolutely stark raving mad when someone doesn’t do what they said they would do?

The painter says he will be at my house on Monday at 8 o’clock to start the job and at 11:30 he walks in as if nothing is wrong.

The guy who was supposed to start installing the Cape Cod boarding commits to having his crew on site on Thursday morning, only to call us at 9 am on the day to say “I’ve locked my keys in my car and the job we were at yesterday didn’t get finished so we will see you tomorrow.”

change_the_worldNaturally, everyone has an excuse.

Someone once said that excuses are like 4$$ holes, everybody has one. I think that maybe I have been put on this little blue ball for one real purpose – that is to try to get people to keep their word. To keep their promises and to do what they say they are going to do.

As I tried to be explained to the Zimbabwean painter or the South African installer, or the Portuguese plumber, if you want to change the world all you have to do is to keep your word. If you wish to have happy customers who will gladly recommend you to 1000’s of their closest friends all you have to do is keep your promise.

Can you imagine if people actually just did what they said they were going to do? You / I / we wouldn’t need lawyers. That alone is a kindness to humanity. We wouldn’t need contracts, or courts, or arbitration or conflict resolution if people just did what they said they were going to do.

Can you imagine if politicians lived by the law, “I said it – I did it” Can you imagine if politicians lived up to just a fraction of what they promised in order to be elected? Can you imagine how powerful a country this would be if the voters just kept their privileged commitment and voted?

We wouldn’t need divorce courts or marriage counselors if men would just continue to love and to cherish, to honor and to hold their wives until death they did depart. Neither would we need them if woman just continued in the same conjugal way they did during the courting phase, right up until the nuptials were completed. In other words if they kept the unwritten pre-marriage conjugal contract delivered often, and with enthusiasm. Most men reading this now are all shouting out, “amen brother”! And yes, I can see woman rolling their eyes and saying “maybe he should have kept his six-pack and athletic ways, which were in the unwritten pre-marriage delivery package that caused the sale to be closed and motivated me to conjugate”.CHANGE-THE-WORLD-STEVE-JOBS

We wouldn’t need any buy and sell agreements, no contracts, no written guarantees, if we stuck out our hand and made a promise that whatever is on the brochure or packaging actually worked and lived up to all the promise and hype.

Honestly, if you want to have customers aplenty with the phone ringing off the hook with people who want to do business with you all you have to do is just keep your word.

Imagine the parent who follows through on his promises to chastise or reward. Imagine the staff member who actually does their job – nothing more and also nothing less. They just do the job that they promised to do on the day that they were employed in accordance with their job description. That’s it! That’s all it takes! It’s really that simple. We wouldn’t need the CCMA, the labour board, labour brokers or attorneys because people would just do their jobs as they promised they would without excuses.

Imagine if you just kept your word with yourself and stuck to the eating and exercise plan. Or if you continued the saving plan or finished the degree you started. Imagine a world where your word is your bond and it is more important to keep your word than almost anything else. And in the event of you not being able to live up to your word or your promise, you openly acknowledged and accepted your responsibilities and made good for any loss of time or income by the other party. Imagine.

Someone said to me recently that I’m living in a dream world and that such a place was impossible. I disagree. That world can happen right here and right now in your world if you become that person that always keeps their promises and does what you said you were going to do. World change starts at home.

This is not a fairy tale, I dare you to go and live in a small town where everybody knows everyone. When you disappoint one person, the whole region, the church, the school and Kathy the hairdresser knows, and you may as well move. Most of these people keep their word however not because of the obvious consequences but because they were raised right and it’s who they are as people.

We can, you can, change the world. It starts with you, now, here, today.

Put this on a shirt; put it on your business card “I said it, I did it!” Just do what you said you would do and watch the magic happen.

Have a lucky month,

Gav Sharples

  1. Marthinus says:

    Hi Gavin, could not agree with you more…….. I try but I can still do better!
    Thanks for the reminder….


  2. Michelle says:

    Good ol’ fashioned Integrity…sadly a rare quality in today’s world!


  3. Roger Debono says:

    Hi Gavin, you are so right. Nothing more need be added


  4. Hi Gavin good one this one indeed…..there are literally thousands of workers……who work and live by “Afrcan Time ” so ….don’t try getting something done at the Dept of Home Affairs or the SA Consul in a normal sort of time…..although if you owe SARS a bob or two…. hey presto! you’re done…….but I must say they gave me my overpayment pretty quickly the last time I submitted My Tax …


  5. Suzan Sehako says:

    Hi Gavin.that is absolutly write,People they no shame today.if you watch SABC 1 on thursday on SPEAK OUT progrem u`ll see how People have been robbed.


  6. Conrad says:

    Thank you very much,



  7. agnes vermaak says:

    thank you for freedom of speech,


  8. Manie says:

    Hi Gavin.
    Your mail was spot and due to having the same problems on a daily basis, it is quite frustrating and yet so much potential to give better service.


  9. Amen to that Gavin. We are currently struggling to get our fencing contractor to complete the job he started in June. Looks like he has run off with our money so the pain and expense of making the lawyers richer than they deserve is imminent. Why can’t people just keep their word and do exactly what they say they will do? Both my wife and I always do what we say because we are honest people and this whole debacle isn’t helpful as we recently went through the expense of buying our first house.


  10. Braam says:

    Hi Gavin, agree , it reminds me of a scripture in the the Bible from the gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 37 – New King James Version (NKJV)

    “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”


  11. Sandy says:

    Just love the bit you wrote about Changing the World!!! Fabulous and we CAN all live up to it. Had to look up conjugate!


  12. Andy Stott says:

    Hi Gavin,

    What an interesting thought …… but very true.

    “If only we all could do what we promise”


    Andy Stott


  13. Vicky says:

    I love to overdeliver and underpromise- it worked so well for me before I retired. Now, when I make special occasion dresses, I love to be able to reassure the recipients that the dress will be ready for the occasion – never faltered yet. One wonders whether those who fail to live up to their promises were ever loved enough for their parents to INSIST on integrity.
    Keep on inspiring Gavin!


  14. Nannie says:

    Thank you my Friend,

    Always thinking about me!!! I’ll just have to arrange with my boss…you must visit us!!

    You are Fipping amaizing!

    Thanks for giving me the inspiration or rather for motivating me to go on especially at times when we have that feeling that every now & then life stinks.


  15. Connie says:

    Hi Gavin

    I enjoyed this so much

    Your word is everything

    Be True to yourself be true to others

    Thanks a mil

    Best regards

    Connie de Lange


  16. Jeff Osborne says:

    Some more ,”oh so true”, profound wisdom from Mr Sharples . As always simple and true ! Thanks Gavin for continuing to remind us of the “obvious” !


  17. Jo-an says:

    Hi Gavin

    We’ve had the same problem with the builders, pool guys and security company. They promise a time and land up late, not arriving at all until the next day without even bothering to phone and apologise. Never a dull moment. Now I just don’t let them in . In cancel and ask for my deposit back and get onto the next best guy available.

    Kind regards,

    Jo-an Mollagrean


  18. zolisa lentsoane says:

    Thanks Gavin for reminding me of keeping to my word. It’s so true, if all of us could keep our promises and deliver,this could be a better world.


  19. Thabang says:

    Hi Gavin, you can’t believe that I am constantly accused of ruining my ex’s life just because he failed to keep his word. I took a loan for him, but he made unending excuses when pay time came. I did all that I could to get my money and now he says I ruined his life and I have robbed him. Funny enough I have send him the loan contract so that he can see the costs. Thank you very much for this article.


  20. John Brandow says:

    I have to share this with you. I am a sucker for good service. we ordered a display fridge from a company in Centurion recently and I was on the phone with this guy. “Please send me an invoice for the fridge I have been speaking to you about” It is in your inbox sir – Opened my email and there it was – remember we were still just talking but I have decided to buy – “Ok I will pay you quickly – zip EFT and it was done – Phoned him again and told him – this was all in a matter of arou nd 15 minutes. “Ok now when will I receive my fridge? – “in about 30 minutes” “Hey I am in Krugersdorp and you are in Centurion……30 minutes ? Ok I thought this I need to see. 29 minutes later I received a call from the gate security – there was my fridge……………This guy despatched the fridge without waiting for my confirmation – Now if that is not service I do not know what is……………………………….


  21. Stephen Barnett says:

    So true Gavin. Worst attending a meeting and everyone arrives late except me.
    MY WORD IS MY BOND its how my parents taught me and how i’ve taught my children, just so many wont face the music.


  22. Fanie says:

    So true, I agree 100% we can change the world if everyone just keep to their word.


  23. Great message ! I do happen to live in a small town and you are absolutely right. Jou woord is jou eer ! But even so, people don’t keep to their promises. Tnx !


  24. Charles says:

    Hi, I think you should send this to those arseholes who are running the country incompetently.

    May I send this to the rest of my team?

    Regards and best wishes,


  25. Tineyi masuku says:

    Hey Gav thus very true


  26. thandie zwane says:

    ja Gavie ,the Nkandla issue would never been there ,if we just do what we said we will do when people voted ,xenophobia the lists goes on


  27. Sue Adams says:

    Awesome newsletter – how quickly we forget these things.


  28. lynette daniels says:

    Well said and I could not agree more. Love all your posts. Keep up the good and more importantly,funny work. People need to laugh more. It really is the best medicine!


  29. Marilda says:

    Good morning Gavin,thank you for the womans letter and taking a stand on what we promise. Both are very valuable and necessary. I wish I can introduce you to my two boys so that they can hear from someone else except their mother the values they need to be valued in life!
    I takes guts and perseverence to stick to your word and promises.
    You are one in a million.
    Thank you for sharing.


  30. Krijn Hamelink says:

    Gav, this jells with my Biblical motto: “go and do unto others, as…………..” Thanks for your translation of Old School Christian values into modern English ! It works, even for non-believers!
    Krijn Hamelink


  31. Lavona says:

    Hi Gavin thank you for keeping me updated and inspiring me with renewed food for thought I’m in a world where we just have to do what we were taught that is within our scope of practice but I have a struggle cos people say it but don’t do it. May God bless you and continue with your teaching.

    Teaching with humour

    Love Lavona


  32. Hey Gavin. Powerful stuff and a timely reminder – thank you! Just thinking… if we all keep our promises to ourselves, we’ll make a world of difference to our own well-being!


  33. Lala says:

    Inspiration for every day. Thank you.


  34. Alex says:

    Whao!you are spot on Gavin and i was really touched when i read your write up above. This world be really become a nice place for us to live if we all keep to our world. I promise to all always imbibe this culture of keeping to my promises to colleagues, friends and everybody who i come in contact with. If we all keep to our promise we will have less issues at all levels.


  35. Flippie says:

    So true…If we have the strength to examine our own behaviour we can change anything….all men plume themselves on the improvement of society,and no man improves…


  36. Karin says:

    If u talk the talk then walk the walk … not always possible but at least try ! My biggest frustration is working with our branches in EAfrica … no walk baie talk ! Love your newsletters


  37. Ina says:

    Amen…. your word is you honour and if you can’t honour your own word, I don’t think you have integrity.


  38. Bertie says:

    Thank you for positive message!


  39. Neil Gouws says:

    Hi Gavin,
    C.J.Langenhoven said, roughly translated from Afrikaans, that an excuse is a thin skin around a lie.
    In addition to this, communication, or rather the lack of it, causes a lot of opportunities for the creation of excuses. We all forget things, or get side-tracked and before you know it, you your appointment is in the past! With our modern methods of communication, we can at least warn others that the traffic is holding us up, (again) or that due to load shedding our systems are down (again) – two of the most current excuses doing the rounds, true or false!
    However, if you do not contact your appointment when you cannot make it at the set time, it is the grossest disregard, the biggest insult you can level at someone else. It translates as follows:
    “You, your time, your very existence, do not matter. My desires, my time matters more, I therefore ignore you.”


  40. Fahmida says:

    So let’s be real. At work. What are smart workers? Please provide more information on this. Some things cannot take shorter that a certain time to complete, and it is not about having the need to be brain smart. So tell me about those who get accolodates for working ahead of others. Are they smart, strategic, or what?

    Work is often measured by productivity achieved for the day at the office. Productivity is measured by the assigned tasks to be completed within a certain amount of time, that is if you’re not increasing sales, enhancing business deals or relations, or cutting costs for the business.

    Do not even suggest motion studies. Some companies shove targets down the throats of employees, even though employees who have studied in the fields of quantitative techniques understand that for the establishment of probabilities and achievable targets, the study of previous trends in a sample and befitting a fair workmanship is required.

    Companies can have manganagers that are low IQ achievers, but machiavelian in their spirit and lead through fear management to get results for their goals and can so easily increase targets to impress their department heads. This may well be the prevailing culture amongst managers in many companies, who boast their companies success whilst they pay unreasonable salaries in that they reward some with salaries to live a life beyond the need of comfort and convenience , of lavishness and wastefulness, whilst to many they pay a salary that cannot even fully pay for general living costs. More and more HR rules and disciplines tend to fit the latter category, in order to strategically rob people of decent eatnings or its increase through an unfair system.


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