Part 2: The Promise Dilemma

Last week I posed the dilemma: 2 good choices, only one solution, which promise do I keep?  Here’s a LINK back to the article.

As my Dad had an event he wanted me to attend, and my Son had a basketball game, you (the Reader) were kind enough to send along your thoughts, suggestions, wisdom, and advice on what I should do.

Your recommendations were about 50/50.  So, this proves it was a true dilemma!

What did I end up doing? 

I absolutely could not attend both, nor could I watch a video online of the speaker, my Dad could not attend the game with my son, and so all bets were off.


Here’s what I did:

I called my Dad and asked him about his event.

As he was a sponsor of it, this was a very important moment for him and he was hoping I’d attend.

When I explained my dilemma, that this was the first time, most likely the last, where fathers had been invited to play a basketball game with the sons, he said, “Of course, play the game!  You’re young enough to still play with your son, and in shape, you should do that.  Of course I’d like you to be at my event, but not playing the game with your son will be something you’ll always wish you did as you grow older as a father.” 

I asked how I could make it up to him, as my Dad.

He said, “Well, the next morning there is a VIP breakfast where the speaker will be sharing more messages, if you are available to attend with me that would be wonderful.” 

And so it was, problem solved.

I played the game with my son, and although I haven’t played a full court pickup game since tearing my ACL in 2002, and knowing I would regret it physically due to my latest back and leg pains, I still went all in.  I missed more than half my shots, the glory of yesteryear nowhere near here.  In the many missed shots we laughed as we played, and had a wonderful time.  The Dads fared better than anyone expected and my wife even made a compilation video for us to laugh about.  Don’t mind my belly hanging out.



The next morning I crawled out of bed, slathered on the IcyHot, doTerra Deep Blue, and after a quick ice bath, went to my Dad’s VIP event in the morning.  I got to meet the world renowned speaker, and was surprised when he invited my Dad and fellow business associates up to be recognized.  Had I attended the night before I wouldn’t have seen this moment, and captured it on film to send to my Dad afterward.

It was wonderful to be able to have all things work out in this instance.  Not all promise dilemmas are like this, but I learned a powerful lesson:

What this dilemma caused me was worry, concern to disappoint others, and as if there were no compromise.

The lesson learned is that COMMUNICATION and FULL TRANSPARENCY is essential in making Promise decisions. 

I’m grateful I called my Dad to talk it through.  I really figured he’d recommend I do what I ended up doing, because that’s what he instilled in me as a young man – being a father is the greatest responsibility – and as my father’s son we will carve out other chances to hang out.

Thankfully this worked for all parties involved.

Communication and Full Transparency, Honesty, Trust – it all matters in making our decisions and keeping promises, and especially when faced with The Promise Dilemma between choosing Good vs. Good.

What are your thoughts on how this turned out?

Are you surprised or disagree?

And what are your latest promise dilemmas that may be challenging you?



~ Jason Hewlett 

Husband, Father, Writer, Hiker, Coach

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Coach
  • World’s First & Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach the Power of Keeping Your Promise
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”

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12 thoughts on “Part 2: The Promise Dilemma”

  1. I completely agree with your decision and how you made it. I would have been very surprised if you had done anything else. Grandfathers want the best for their sons and grandchildren so you’re dad would rightly make your relationship with your son a higher priority. Great example of communication and love for family!

  2. Alleluia!!!!!!
    Your father is a wise man and it is how he raised you. It’s wonderful it ended up being a “Yes/and or “Both/and”. Many things are possible when one is open to being in conversation with another human being.
    You continue to be a BLESSING!
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. What a beautiful outcome! Letting your dad know what was happening with the wisdom he holds was also an honest way to honor him. Btw, nice video that Tammy put together, and I loved the “Wowa, Daddy” when you made that shot!

    Thank you for sharing with us how you are fulfilling your Promise. My current dilema has been trying to spend quality time with 2 very important aging relatives who aren’t fans of each other. I have let each of them know how special each one is to me, and while they both would rather I spend more of my time with them, I have been upfront to tell them that they each hold a special place in my heart. My prayer is that they will let go of resentment of each other and find understanding.

    1. Laura! Thank you for sharing this. I wish you the best with it, and can say that communication in situations such as these, sharing your promise to each party, even about each part, will continue to break down those feelings and walls. You’ve got this!

  4. Absolutely the right decision! Great article, video and message. However, I did want to see the picture of your dad getting recognized.
    Stay true!

    1. Thank you Dave! Grateful for the decision and thank you for the comment. Sadly, the photo-op with my Dad was from the private event is not sharable, but it was cool to be a part of it.

  5. There would have been no dilemma had you known about the breakfast in the first place! That was a no brainer! So glad you got to enjoy both of those wonderful experiences!

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