Make a Promise Day 2020: May The 4th Be With You!


Today – May the 4th 2020 – is Make a Promise Day (MAPD for short).

If you don’t notice MAPD celebrations this year, that’s because efforts to promote this new, annual ‘holiday’ have only recently begun in earnest. I highlight MAPD in my forthcoming book The Power of a Promise, to underscore the life-changing and world-transforming power of making a promise.

My goal – indeed my promise – is to establish MAPD as a widely recognized ‘holiday’ dedicated to highlighting the importance of personal empowerment, goal achievement and integrity enhancement. I believe every individual, every community, every city, state and country worldwide has an interest in strengthening these qualities for themselves and their fellow citizens.

The idea is for individuals to set aside a day every year to turn at least one important goal into a heartfelt promise. A promise is like a goal on steroids because, unlike goals, intentions or resolutions, a promise comes from the heart. People instinctively know that a promise is a promise and should be honoured. We have a strong emotional attachment to a promise, especially if the promise is made to someone you care about. You’re much more likely to follow through on a promise because your heart is engaged and your integrity is on the line.

Make A Promise Day speaks to a key message I’ve been sharing for several years to just about anybody who would listen: the solution to our problems as individuals, and the problems of the world at large, isn’t ‘out there’ somewhere. The solution is to be found ‘in here’, inside each and every one of us. As Cassius says in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

MAPD is an important part of my ongoing mission to share the power of a promise with millions of people around the world. There are lots of special days each year, some of which are official holidays. Some aren’t holidays but they carry considerable emotional weight – such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Valentine’s Day. I’d like to see MAPD become one of those special days that people celebrate because they resonate emotionally with the purpose behind the day.

So, I invite you to join me in actively promoting MAPD in your town, city and country. It would be fitting for the international city of Brussels to adopt our MAPD resolution in time for next year’s celebration. The same goes for other jurisdictions in Belgium and for other countries in Europe and around the world.

I’m pleased to say that Make A Promise Day has become an officially recognized day in two jurisdictions in the United States, namely in New York State. We created a model Make A Promise Day proclamation that can be sent to local, state, or national officials or to leaders in any educational, civic or community organizations you feel might be interested.

The key components for any jurisdictions to issue a Make A Promise Day proclamation are to state simply that MAPD is the only unofficial ‘holiday’ dedicated to personal empowerment, goal achievement and integrity enhancement, that MAPD encourages individuals to turn important goals into heartfelt promises, thereby increasing the probability of reaching those goals, and that celebrating MAPD will have the effect of enhancing accountability, personal responsibility and integrity. The proclamation should state that MAPD takes place on the fourth day of May each year. It could also include a statement recognizing the power of making and keeping promises on the part of local students, teachers, community organizations, businesses and political leaders and encouraging organizations and individual members of the community to celebrate this very important day in a manner they deem to be suitable and appropriate.