Keep ANY Promise

I often say the best way to get anything done is to go out and do it.  In fact this very phrase came from a mentor of mine, Ted Manziaris, who built a recycling empire from next to nothing.

Ted is a go-getter and his modus operandi is rooted in helping others.  Always.  In short, Ted taught me that by going out and doing one thing you previously thought you were not capable of, you instantly gain intimate knowledge and experience needed to accomplish that goal.  Even if you do not reach your goal, you are now in the know of what doesn’t work which, in the end, brings you closer to finding out what will work.  This is how Ted Manziaris defines success.  Ted’s biggest asset is that he sees the good in others and helps them realize that they too can begin to help themselves if they start to see the good in themselves.

Enter the brilliance of Keep ANY Promise.  The author, Karim H. Ismail, instantly bonds with the reader by sharing the tremendous challenges he faced in his own personal life before having tremendous breakthroughs.  He takes the reader through the dichotomy he encountered between his business successes and his personal failures.  Ismail also uses Keep ANY Promise to illustrate the successes of others by recounting their success stories and navigating us through exercises to help us accomplish our own goals while sharing how he championed his own causes.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

Set Huge Goals

"When we set huge goals, especially ones beyond our current capabilities, we often create unintended, unpredictable, and sometimes more valuable results."
- Keep Any Promise, page 85

Ismail shares that he went from not being able to walk to the end of his driveway without pain, to setting the huge goal of partaking in a sixty-kilometer charity walk.  This goal allowed him to meet people who eventually inspired him to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, which he did.  How amazing is that?

Ismail inspires us to realize that all we have to do is dream, set the goal and begin.  This is very powerful because once you set a huge goal you eventually begin to realize what is unfolding in front of you is bigger than yourself.  When Elon Musk set out to build Tesla, he set a goal that not even the largest factories with histories dating back to the industrial revolution, coupled with armies of schooled intelligence, could accomplish.

Musk’s goal was to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility, and Musk had a herculean task ahead of him because the infrastructure needed to support his goal wasn’t even in existence.  We now know this is beginning to take shape.  Similarly, when GeneraCycle introduced their vision of a 100% landfill free globe by 2040, we slowly started to realize that it was possible because unimaginable results started to unfold in front of us.  By setting a huge goal one is able to begin to really leverage the power of this book and get clear on what is needed.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

The Spillover Effect

"As I made progress in one area, I started making progress in other areas.  I termed this the Spillover Effect."
- Keep Any Promise, page 81

This defies convention.  If you only did one thing after setting your huge goal, doing things other than your goal is sometimes the only thing you need to do to start working towards it.  Of course, the book starts with Ismail’s disconnect between his personal and professional worlds and Ismail has a huge breakthrough by unlocking the disparity between his original problem and his existing one by the spillover from his areas of success to the areas he was struggling in.  He illustrates four major points to support this GEM.

  • Progress – You are able to build confidence through progress which you can then use to tackle other tasks
  • Fear of Failure – By taking action the fear is reduced and eventually forgotten
  • Sharing – By sharing your story with others you begin to obtain support from others
  • Having Purpose – By aligning yourself with your purpose you begin to get more clarity and focus

The premise is a simple one, so simple that we likely forget how we have in fact used it to help us achieve past successes.  By the time we are good at one thing we forget the initial struggle and Ismail’s recognition of this one point unlocks the secret, likely lost over time, needed for a potential breakthrough.  By challenging and reminding ourselves that we are actually successful in one part of our life, we attain confidence which then spills over to areas which we are not.  Breakthrough!

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

What Is Your Timeframe?

"A deadline is key to defining milestones along the path to your goals, which allows you to chunk up your goals into manageable parts."
- Keep Any Promise, page 81

Ismail uses the example of a Bilaal Rajan, who has been raising money for charities. At the young age of four years old, Bilaal wanted to start helping people after learning of the suffering of people who had been affected by an earthquake.  Bilaal started with selling mandarin oranges door to door and raised $350 for earthquake victims who needed money desperately.  Each time Bilaal realized there was a need, he went out to raise money.  When the tsunami in Southeast Asia occurred, Bilaal personally went out and raised $50,000.

Bilaal has since gone around the world to raise millions for UNICEF and was honored as a UNICEF Canada National Child Ambassador, the youngest person in the world to reach such acclaim.  Sounds like a full time job, however Bilaal managed to stay enrolled in school and do all the extra curricular activities he chose while raising millions.  Bilaal is a prime example of what happens when you set a huge goal, use the Spillover Effect and set a time-frame.  Not only did setting the goal for raising money provide Bilaal with unintended consequences of raising millions, the Spillover Effect helped him unlock success in other areas of his life, eventually leading him to even more success.  Lastly, by setting a time-frame he was able to get going right away and reach his goal.

If life had a manual, Keep ANY Promise would be it because it is a planning book on how to accomplish the toughest tasks in life, regardless of the stage you currently find yourself. Ismail takes the right approach by sharing success stories followed by a guide on how to mirror these successes.  Instead of telling you what you should do, Ismail gives you the examples, tools and exercises so that you may develop the internal voice needed to win the toughest tasks yourself.  By taking this approach, Ismail provides the framework necessary to lay the foundation required to take the reader from zero to hero.  The instruction and action, provided by the author, allows the reader to plan their future success by bridging the gap between failure and success.  The message of Keep Any Promise highlights that we all face struggles and we are all individually capable which is really the common ground uniting all humanity and perhaps even the universe.

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Gregoire James

ABOUT Gregoire James

WHO ARE YOU? Gregoire James is President & CEO of GeneraCycle Inc. a small start up with a big question. Why do we have landfill? GeneraCycle's Vision is, “a 100% landfill free globe by 2040...
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