Integrity is defined as “The state of being whole or undivided” and living integrally is measured by the correlation between how you would like your life to be lived vs how you are actually doing it. That’s a tough meter stick to abide by at times. Boy, don’t we all know it.
My question to you, and to myself today is: Is your life truly reflecting your true values, your true beliefs, and your true ideals of the kind of person you want to be?
How do you know when you’re not living with integrity?
Because life hurts. And you take things personally. You create problems for yourself.
Integrity is important in business. And it’s easy to spot it, or the lack of it. It’s easy to drop your involvement in a business as soon as you feel it is not maintaining a standard of integrity. But it’s not so easy to drop your involvement in your life as soon as you feel it is not maintaining a standard of integrity. In this case, you are the CEO and the customer.
If you promise certain things in your business and fail to uphold to these standards – the shit will hit the fan.
If you promise certain things to yourself and fail to uphold these standards in your own life – the shit will also hit the fan and the only person it will affect is you. And everything about your life will reflect this. Everything!
So, as this is a personal challenge for me right now in my own life, I decided to blog about it and brainstorm some ways to start acting from a place of integrity again. My life should be something I am proud of. I should be acting in ways that I am proud of. As soon as I begin to deviate from the girl I know I could be, and settle for the “Oh-well-this-is-just-who-I-am-girl”, my life becomes a struggle.
So if you feel like your life is a little off balance, that who you are is not quite matching who you want to be, here are some steps I think can fix it.
1. Cut out the crap.
All the things you’re doing without knowing why you’re doing them. All the drama. The false friends and relationships. Really think hard about it. What is happening in your life right now that really doesn’t have a place, that really doesn’t need to be there. Out. Gone.
2. Deliver on your promises.
Keep your promises to both yourself and other people. Make commitments and deliver. Start building a trusting relationship with yourself. Become the kind of person that makes things happen. Become the kind of person who knows why they do things, and doesn’t just do things “just because”. After practicing this step, we should get to a place where you KNOW that if you put your mind to something, you will achieve it. It’s easy to say that, but how easy is it to actually do it?
3. Listen to your own advice.
We’re all excellent at giving advice, aren’t we? We also have a great knack for giving the advice that we really need to take ourselves. So the next time you find yourself preachin’, keep preachin’ but listen as well. When you need consolation, look into yourself, and hold your own counsel. Ask yourself what you would advise your closest friend, and try your hardest to take that advice yourself.
4. Think before you act.
Before opening your mouth ask yourself two questions:
(1). What do I really want?
(2). Is what I am about to say or do, going to get me closer to what I want?
Try to see the bigger picture. Try to look at the life you are creating for yourself. These are your seeds and you are sewing them right now, in every moment. Try to bring an air of consciousness to your decisions, actions, and speech from now on. By being conscious we can make better decisions, and spend less time and energy running around in circles.
5. “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus, Philosopher.
Is this what your “ideal you” would say? Is this something your “ideal you” would do? If the answer is no, then forget about it. Whatever. It isn’t worth it. The short term gratification might feel good but it will damage who you are becoming.
It ain’t worth it.
Everytime you act or say something that is different to what your “ideal you” would do or say – you make a bigger gap in your integrity.
6. Now is the best time EVER to get busy with your life.
It doesn’t matter if you just started a new job, new course, just had a child, are on vacation, just broke up with your boyfriend, just got into a new relationship – there is really no excuse for not getting busy with your life. This is the best time to do it. I want to fill my days with things that interest me and help me grow. Getting busy with your life means getting involved. It means exploring what matters to you, and discovering areas in your life that you can and want to build integrity. It’s all about finding your element. The more involved you are in yourself, the more likely it is that you will live with integrity – because integrity starts with you.
7. Building integrity comes from building present-moment awareness.
We need to get in the habit of being self-aware. We need to make more conscious decisions, and with our conscious decisions – we can start taking more responsibility. A sense of responsibility is a symptom of a life lived with integrity.
Building present moment awareness is a habit and it takes time to cultivate. It means you have to call yourself on your shit every time you dish it out.
The more “Aware” and “Awake” you are in your day to day life, the more likely you will be doing things that are aligned with who you want to be.
I hope you will benefit from this list as much I have! I have come to the realization that I need to grow up in more ways than one. I have realized that you cannot live a happy life if you life a life without integrity. I have realized that when I am not being true to myself, it’s easy to start making up problems for myself. I have realized that I need to get lost in my life again, the way I was before. When I am lost in my life, and chasing the colours of my mind, I create big beautiful spaces for love and possibilities.
(I’ll let you know how it goes!)
Which areas of your life could you stand to be a bit more honest?