When we lived in Houston, we had a friend who was a “casual auto mechanic.” As a hobby, he would buy old cars, fix them up and either keep or sell them. Occasionally he would get in some super sporty model, work on it, and paint it really nice. But he continued to drive his older model pickup truck. One time I asked him why he chose to continue to drive his old truck when there were other, fancier and sportier options easily available to him. And his reply was “It is dependable—and dependable is more important than flashy because it gets me where I need to go.”

Dependability is “Fulfilling commitments even in the face of difficulty.” We would rather work with dependable people, have dependable transportation, and be able to depend on our friends and family, than feel unsure and insecure. It’s part of the survival nature of the human race—and it’s important. The definition of dependability has two major components:

Difficulty. Let’s face it. Things happen. Stuff goes wrong. There are bends in the road of life and plenty of cliffs and crevices. Setbacks and time constraints will make it difficult to stay on course and finish what you start. Always expect the unexpected and you will be more prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Fulfilling commitments. Woodrow Wilson is quoted as saying, “Without dependability, one’s ability may be a liability instead of an asset.” Others need to know they can depend on us to do what we promise, to be who we say we are. Trust is easily damaged, and once broken is difficult to rebuild. Keep commitments and you will gain trust and strengthen relationships.

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