Integrity Nitty-Gritty

Words = Deeds

Have you ever noticed how much you enjoy people who actually do what they say they’ll do?

Isn’t it comforting to have folks who you can count on, especially in times of need? How much easier life becomes when we have a vast network of family and friends who say what they do and do what they say.

People who do what they say help create stress-free relationships in my book!

Really! Who needs more unhealthy stress these days?

Integrity = a word worth paying attention too! Time to get down to the nitty-gritty of integrity!

Let’s back-up a moment for a quick refresher course on personal worth key words.

In prior posts, we’ve explore a number of key-terms regarding worth based on years of feedback received from Pay Me What I’m Worth study groups, retreats, seminars and workshops. These key terms (also explored on blog-talk radio) play a critical role in how you and others assess your personal worth on many levels. It makes sense that one’s personal level of integrity significantly flavors one’s reputation and respect levels. A simple tree offers us a GREAT visual example of how integrity relates to respect and reputation

Picture a healthy, leafy tree. To produce those leaves, this tree needs stable branches attached to sturdy limbs that form the crown. The tree crown needs a healthy, solid trunk to support itself. That trunk would be pretty poor off if it didn’t have a vast system of healthy, growing roots supporting and feeding it. Working from the roots-up:

Integrity = roots. Integrity, in the form of consistently doing what you say you’ll do often produces stable relationships (roots). Your circle of relationships grow (much like rings in a tree trunk), the more your words match your deeds. These relationships help craft a solid reputation based on sound ethics.  (Ethics could be considered the soil in which your roots of integrity rapidly grow.)

Reputation = Trunk. Reputation is earned one person, one word, one deed at a time. The more you do what you say, the more likely people trust trust you. Would you say the concept of trust plays a key role in one’s reputation? As more people trust you, your influence grows exponentially (often rapidly). Like a tree, each season the trunk adds another ring of growth based on what that season offers. If the seasons offered little (water, sun, minerals, etc) the span between rings are smaller. More light, water and sun = larger growth cycles. So true with your reputation. The more your words match your deeds, the more you gain trust and ethical, healthy power.

Respect = Crown. Respect is often swayed like leaves on tree branches based on breezes of gossip, rumors or full-blown storms such as being caught doing something less than ethical. Have you noticed how when you respect others, it inspires them to respect you. Much like branches growing twigs to support leaves, respect provides the primary food to feed your reputation and thus your integrity. (A tree without leaves might not live too long right? ) Well earned and maintained respect provides shade in times when things get hot!

For example, if life heats up in some form or fashion and you need help, you’ll get more help when others respect you based on their solid relationship with you. This solid relationship helps busy people carve out time to help you because in their eyes, you’re worth it. I hope, when folks help you out, you show some type of gratitude. When we show gratitude, it feeds our integrity tree on all levels.

True, we have an inspiring ability to take time to help people we know little about. From a species / spiritual perspective, at our core, we tap our roots of integrity in times of turmoil or when we realize it’s time to learn, forgive and grow. In times of need such as floods, earthquakes, fires (etc) people around the world spring to action to help out. Seasonally inspired times of gratitude (holidays, annual family events, etc) may offer a moment or two to set aside differences and be more respectful with folks we know. This is true when a family crisis blows in as well (deaths, illnesses, etc). We pay our respects to those we know who died even IF we had issues with them at some point.

Also true integrity seems to encounter root-rot when fear sets in. Sadly, people who maintain deep levels of integrity watch in dismay when those who once respected them based on a solid reputation RUN from them when (often imagined) fear creeps in. How many times in human history have we committed the most horrific acts based on some imagined fear? Such fears completely twists integrity into something that supports those horrific acts. Given the times, we MUST be mindful NOT to allow fear to rot our relationships in any form.

As we continue to face challenging economic times locally and globally, kindly be mindful of what fears try to take root in you. If you sense someone you know needs help, offer what you can while also taking care of yourself. More so now than ever before, it’s time to live more simply so that others may simply live. By helping each other out through these stressful times, we’ll enjoy an integrity renaissance unlike anything we’ve seen in some time. Imagine life with far less stress based on actively taking steps to improve your integrity by doing what say you’ll do! Based on your personal experience, is not just about every aspect of life is MUCH easier when people:

  • do what they can, with what they have?
  • follow-up with what they say by doing what they said they’ll do.
  • inform you of any changes when original commitments need to change. (Hey! Life happens – right? )

Life become much more stressful when people make then break promises without warning. As noted at the top of this post, who needs such stress. Unhealthy stress robs your worth on all levels! Stress diminishes your health, then your wealth. If you’re wise, you’ll learn from such stress how to NOT repeat those stressful lessons.

Last but not least, much like learning a new language, gaining more proficiency in integrity takes practice. Find someone you believe to be a person of integrity. As them to be your guide or coach. People who’ve been there can help you get there with much less stress more often than not!

Thoughts about all this? Be sure to leave a comment in the comment box below. Let’s turn this article into an ongoing discussion – shall we?

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