Today I want to talk about integrity. It is a huge topic, and I doubt I’ll cover all the facets of it today, but it will be a start.
So integrity…what is it exactly? I always like to look up the definitions of words and then I tweak them a little to make them more accurate, but I found one particular definition of the word integrity that I really love. It is;
“The state of being whole, and undivided.”
Wow, if you say that over and over a few times and really think about what it means…its pretty profound.
So, as a human, what does it mean to be whole? To me it means that all of my parts are together and consistent with each other. All the components that make up who I am are functioning at optimum efficiency, and they don’t contradict each other.
As opposed to being divided as a person…where you say one thing and do another. Or you have different moral principles for different situations. Or you act differently around different people, or you only engage in right action when you know someone is watching. To me, these are all examples of someone who is not whole, they are divided.
So now we have an idea of what it means to be a whole person, how does that manifest itself in daily life? A lot of people use the word integrity, and usually when people use the word they are referring to honesty.
For sure honesty is a major component of integrity, but there is a lot more to it as well.
For example, when you are living as a whole person, with all your parts functioning together, it’s unlikely that you would say things that you don’t really mean. Because to do that would mean that your intentions and your language are not functioning together. A whole person, a person living in integrity, would be much more likely to only say things that they mean…their language would be consistent with their intentions.
Sometimes it possible that your intentions are in-line with your language, you say something you really mean but then you don’t follow through…in that case your intention and language are aligned…but it is your actions that are not functioning together with all your other parts. In that case you are out of integrity.
I have an example of this, there is an area where I am out of integrity right now. On a granddaughters birthday I told her I would plan a special day and her and I would do something fun together…I still have not made time to do that, I am out of integrity in this situation and I will remain so until I align my actions with my language and intention. I don’t even know if she remembers me telling her that, but it doesn’t matter because I remember.
Like I said earlier, integrity is a huge topic and there are many different examples and types of integrity. There are all the obvious ones that everybody knows like stealing, lying, cheating, etc.. of course these behaviors are all out of integrity. Today I am talking about a specific type, a more subtle type of integrity.
I’m talking about the type of integrity in which every aspect of your nature and character are completely aligned…To remain in this kind of complete integrity at all times is very difficult, not too many people can pull it off. Because as humans we have some natural tendencies to do otherwise. Like me with the promise to my granddaughter…I will correct that, but until I do I am out of integrity.
You might wonder…if this is an impossible task then why are we even talking about it, it seems unattainable?
It’s true. A person might not ever attain a level of complete integrity, but…if they are committed to trying, if they are paying attention to every part of themselves and make corrections when they become misaligned, they will have much, much more integrity than if they pay no attention at all.
To attempt to do anything there has to be some value, some payoff. The value of living a life with integrity is immeasurable.
A man with integrity has the respect of himself, and of others. A man with integrity is trusted and believed. A man with integrity has a clean conscience, he sleeps well at night and he can die with no regrets. A man with integrity is fundamentally a better man, than a man who has none.
The first step in aligning all of your individual components and increasing the level of your integrity is to know yourself. You need to work on knowing yourself inside and out, completely and intimately. I believe the greatest favor any man can do for himself, is to aspire to know himself completely.
How can you tell if all your components, intentions, opinions, thoughts and feelings are aligned and in integrity if you don’t even know what you truly believe, or what you stand for? So the first task for every man in my opinion, is to know himself.
It’s not as easy as it sounds…to know yourself. How does a man set out to know himself better? I believe the best way to accomplish that is by challenging yourself, testing yourself in every way imaginable. Do hard things, challenging things, risky things, things that make you afraid. try to accomplish something that seems impossible, and see how far you get. Take the word “failure” out of your vocabulary because the only failure is to do nothing.
So…integrity is the total internal alignment of everything that make you who you are. The pathway to integrity is to know yourself as completely as possible.
That’s all I’ve got on this subject for today, think about it as you go through the week, if you notice some part of you that is not consistent with all the other parts, and you correct it, then you have just became a better man than you were before.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I really appreciate getting feedback, suggestions, and ideas from you guys. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you and I love hearing from you all, and I answer every email I receive. Just hit the Contact Alf button in the menu. Or just write me at email@example.com, either way.
Also, I am still looking for testimonials with pictures. If you have something nice to say about the show and send it to me with a little picture of yourself I can use it as a testimonial in my marketing. If you are able to do that I would really appreciate it.
Ok, that’s it for today guys. Now head out into the big wide world and try to be a whole, undivided person, a man of integrity. If you do that you will be a better man today, than you were yesterday.