What is This Integrity Thing?

Honesty. Credibility. Integrity. Many so called experts seem to think they are all basically the same thing. A horse a piece. Six of one, half dozen of the other. Apples to apples. No difference at all. 

I disagree. 

Integrity is deeply personal, it is who you are, inside. 

If matching your words and actions lead to credibility, as I believe they do, then integrity is when your words and actions BOTH match your deepest held beliefs. ALWAYS!

You see, you either have integrity all the time or you don’t have integrity at all. I completely understand that by that definition very few people truly have integrity. I also understand that I am NOT among those few. 

I’m a work in progress… deal with it.

I’m not writing this post to admit to or announce my shortcomings. Those who know me best are fully aware of my foibles of which there are many. 

I’m writing this so that whoever reads it can understand that they too are a work in progress and that it’s okay. While it doesn’t make you perfect it does make you human and that’s a good thing. There is no need to pretend that you are perfect, in fact, pretending that you are actually subtracts from your integrity.

 As I plan some personal goals for 2016 I’m going to work hard to see everyone else as the same work in progress that I am. I’m going to assume that they also want to be better and I’m going to cut them a whole lot more slack than I have in the past. I’ll bet I will be happier then when I hold others to standards that I can’t meet.

Never use the fact that you don’t have integrity all the time as an excuse for not having integrity at all. Fight to be the person you would admire, the person you can admire in every circumstance. You will fall short at times but don’t use that as an excuse for not trying. 

You and I may not have integrity according to my very tough definition but that doesn’t mean we can’t come closer to it than most. Do what you truly believe to be right, live your values, makes the tough, often less fun choices and you’ll be on your way to being the person you truly want to be.

Don’t Start Until You Stop

Most people are really busy, at least they claim to be. Most people also wish they had more time but the truth is, no one on earth has more time than the people who say they don’t have enough. 

You see, you, and everyone else, have all the time in the world. No one, not one single person has more time than you. You have 1440 minutes a day, the exact same amount as everyone else. That’s why I don’t have much sympathy for people who constantly complain about not having enough. It’s as if they think the stuff they have to do is so important that they should somehow be given more time. 

Hogwash!

They don’t need more time, what they need is a lesson or two in prioritization. They need to look at their goals and values and decide what’s really worth doing and what doesn’t need to be done at all. They need to find a dictionary and look up the definition of busy and then look up the definition of productive. Notice that they aren’t the same.

They need to say no to the things that don’t matter so they can say yes to the things that do.

Despite their apparent shortage of time many of these same “short on time” folks will commit to doing more in 2016. They will commit to working out more, spending more time with family, taking up a new hobby and on and on it will go. 

If you’re one of these “never enough time” types then do yourself a BIG favor and just stop. Stop for a moment and ask yourself how anything “new” is even going to be remotely possible since you’ll have the exactly same amount of time in 2016 as you did in 2015.

Here’s a news flash for you: it’s very likely that your success in 2016 will be impacted at least as much by what you STOP doing as what you start doing. 

So begin 2016 by determining what you did in 2015 that you won’t do in 2016. What activities did you invest your precious resource of time in that gave you little or no return? Then why on earth would you continue to do them in 2015?

Successful people do not mistake busy for productive. They understand that what separates them from less successful people is often as simple as how well they use their time. 

Successful people use their time well but the most successful people are constantly asking themselves “is this the most effective use of my time at this particular moment?” 

If there is something more productive that you could be doing at any particular time then that’s what you should be doing. Now, before you go “all work and no play” on me understand that “productive” is your call. Sometimes spending some time to recharge your batteries WILL be the most productive thing you can be doing. That’s just fine so long as you’re honest with yourself.

So, before you add a single thing, task, or project to your to-do list in 2016 make sure you take something off. It’s the productive, and successful thing to do!