How To Reliably Be More Reliable

Reliability is a powerful character trait to have, but a difficult one to acquire.

4 min readMay 30, 2023

The funny thing about trying to create personal success, is that it often relies on interpersonal success.

In other words, if you want to succeed in life, you’re going to have to deal with humans.

And I don’t just mean tolerate them.

I mean you have to be good at motivating, connecting, and working with them.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The most successful people in life, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Beyonce, and whoever else, rely on people everyday for their successes.

And the people they rely on the most, are often the ones that get the most opportunities and exposure.

And I bet you can guess the one trait that determines who they do or don’t choose to depend on…

Their reliability.

That’s why one of the most impactful things you can do for your career and life success is to simply be someone others can depend on.

The more reliable you are, the more others will rely on you.

And that means more responsibility, money, opportunities, credibility, and more.

So today, I’m going to share how to reliably be more reliable.

Reliability is a powerful character trait to have, but a difficult one to acquire.

Most people are just born being very dependable or they are horribly bad at following the things they say.

You know the people that are late to every interview and event no matter how much forewarning they had.

And you compare that to the people that are always on time and early to everything.

They will have no problem being reliable if they keep those habits into adulthood.

But for the people like you and me, that have already developed our good and bad habits, what can be done.

Well let’s think about reliability in depth to find out.

The core issue of reliability.

If a friend asked you to attend their concert performance next month, what are the reasons you wouldn’t go?

Maybe you don’t have the money to attend.

Maybe it’s too far away.

Maybe you had a conflicting schedule pre-planned.

Maybe day of you end up feeling anti-social.

There’s a few more random things that could affect you showing up but all in all, the only thing that is in your control on that list, is you not feeling great that day.

And let’s be honest, the reason we cancel on friends, family, or company events that we were excited to attend is almost always because “we’re not feeling it anymore”.

The emotions are what get us.

And that’s exactly the key to improving our reliability.

We can’t control all the other factors like weather, distance, affordability, etc.

But we can control how we feel.

Our emotions are so diverse and complex.

We can feel excited to go party with friends, but after one emotional song, start feeling too anxious and sad to party.

We can feel too angry to get work done.

Or we can feel too fearful to show up for a planned dinner date.

There’s no point in trying to only ever be happy, and never anything else.

The key to improved reliability.

The only solution is to be better at working through emotions.

And that means any and all of them.

The more you’re able to stay motivated when sad, or level-headed when angry, or optimistic when fearful, the less your emotions will affect you.

So when you feel any emotion, make an effort to acknowledge it and still be level and reasonable.

The better you get at working through emotions, the more you’ll be able to get things done even when you’re not feeling your best.

And that will simply make you a more reliable human being.

When you’re boss gives you and a coworker a task to write summary reports of the week, the only difference between you and your coworker will be who gets it done regardless of how they were feeling.

You can choose not to react to every emotion, but rather work through it.

And the more you do, the stronger your level-headedness muscle becomes.

And each and every thing you set out to do will be done, regardless of what life throws in your way.

That’s when you can reach a level of reliability only rivaled by a literal robot.

Like your computer, your car, or a self-checkout kiosk.

They get the job done reliably, and because of that we trust and rely on them more and more each day.

And that’s because sad, mad, or a glad, a printer is going to print.

If you want to operate reliably, you have to do the same.

The only difference between you excitedly agreeing to something, and you actually having to do it, is the emotions you’re feeling in that moment.

Let those emotions go and you’ll unlock new levels of dependability.

Don’t become a robot devoid of emotions.

But rather be like a monk that lets your emotions flow through you.

And that level of stillness will ground you to accomplish whatever it is you desire.

We’re all humans and we all feel emotions deeply.

But the ones that act independently from their feelings, are what we call…truly reliable…

In progress,

Tim Lightwork

Read my personally written insightful letters on growth every other day at




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