Your Integrity matters
I’m terrified to put this blog post “out there.” Why? Well, when I encourage everyone else, I kind of have to listen too. And I’m comfortable. I’m on a couch with the air conditioner at 23, and a glass-of-wine-in-my-hand kinda comfortable. Very comfortable. Too comfortable. I'm one with the couch. I haven’t had anyone challenge me in this area of my life in a while. I've been cruising. Cruising like a trendy Orange County kid along Laguna beach in their first pair of roller skates. Cruising like in the Nelly Florida Georgia Line remix cruising. Life has been good. Cocktail good; the perfect mixture of sweet and guilty.
That is until I got a certain email in my inbox. An email on integrity. What? Who sends emails on integrity? I know. Weirdo. Who opens emails on integrity? I usually only open emails which say “25% off all your favourite items.” My favourite items? How did Forever 21 know- Click.
At some time the past I had subscribed to a thought leader dude’s mails and well, that day, his email was on integrity. He told me, in his email, he does an integrity report every quarter of the year to hold himself accountable on his level of integrity. Gulp. Really? I felt less integreous already. I was smug, you see. My integrity level had flatlined a long time ago. I had worked until I felt good about myself and then, meh, I left it.
According to Mr Thought Leader (what does that even mean?) I’m not fine, and I should not sip cocktails (kidding, I added that). Integrity isn’t a destination. It’s like success, you keep working at it. It’s also Biblical and the foundation of the character of Jesus Christ, so technically it’s not something you should let flatline. I considered this for a moment- I really do want to be a person of integrity. It may be time, I realised, for me and my roller skates to smack face first into a Californian palm tree.
I dug around. I took off my metaphorical roller skates. I asked myself a few questions. With the help of the Holy Spirit and some honest reflection, I ended up with a list of improvements which make an Egyptian scroll look like a tweet. The questions looked something like this:
- What do I stand for, and do I actually stand for that?
- Am I someone who people can easily trust?
- Do I do things in my relationships which aren’t fair to the other person?
- Do I come through on the little details? (Taking out the garbage, paying the kitty on time, making the phone call.)
- Where do I get lazy and leave it to someone else? (Hmmm.)
- When am I opting out of being honest because I care too much about what someone thinks? (horrible half truths, and then you feel so bad afterwards.)
- Where am I not following through on what I said I would do? (Oh yes, I did say I would do that...)
- How quickly do I own up to having made a mistake? (Not quick enough Fran. Pride, darn you!)
- When do I say something nasty when I really don’t need to?
- Do I respect people’s property? (Sorry Kelsey, I won’t wear your gym pants again. Or your shirt.)
- Do I pay back money?
- Do I do more than is expected?
- Do I feel sorry for myself? (Uh, yeah. Every week, the struggle is real.)
- Do I compare? (Compare, did you say com-pare?)
See what I mean? If you look a little, you find a lot. The point of the exercise isn't "be perfect by tomorrow afternoon." It's rather, don't forget about this. The process made me think we should be challenging each other on our integrity because it makes every other area of your life better. At the end of the day, success without integrity is an empty win. CS Lewis (is he also a Thought Leader?) said: “integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” Wise man.
So, what did I do? I turned my personal scroll into a list (there's an app for that) and decided to get off my couch, do the right thing and put the challenge “out there”. Let’s get better together roller skaters.