Last week, I read an interview with Dr. Michael Jensen, Chairman of Social Science Research Network (SSRN) that put me into a momentary internal tail spin.
You see, if you had asked me last week if I am a person of integrity, like most people I would have responded with a resounding YES! That is, if you had asked me this question before I read Dr. Jensen’s interview on the topic of integrity.
After all, as a spiritual teacher who has spent most of her adult life self employed, I’ve had to cultivate and demonstrate incredible amounts of commitment, compassion, dedication, perseverance, and more introspection than most people practice in a lifetime.
As I read Dr. Jensen’s interview, however, an alternate reality began to set in. None of those qualities meant anything in the book of integrity. A set of blinders I had never even noticed dropped away, and for the first time in my life, I came face to face with one of my greatest flaws: If I was perfectly honest, from a scale of one to ten, I ranked at best at a FIVE on the integrity scale.
To truly understand the impact of integrity or the lack of it in our lives, it’s important to first define what integrity is as it is.
Unlike morality and ethics, which establish a standard of rightness and wrongness within a society or group, integrity is a purely positive proposition. This means, there is no right or wrong integrity, only its existence, the same way that there is no right or wrong gravity.
Perhaps one of the most sobering statement of Dr. Jensen’s, was his assertion that integrity is what is required for a person to be whole and complete.
“An individual is whole and complete when their word is whole and complete, and their word is whole and complete when they honor their word.”
According to Dr. Jensen, there are two ways an individual can honor his or her word:
Be your word - Do that which you have committed to.
Honor your word - If you cannot fulfill a promise or commitment, immediately communicate this with all individuals who are counting on you and offer to “clean up the mess” that is created by your inability to follow through.
In my case, about half an hour before reading this article, my cousin’s three-year-old daughter came into my room to play. I work from a home office, and on occasion, there are guests who pass through. On this day, I had a great deal of work and did not feel like I had time to play with this child, whom, by the way, I care for deeply.
So, I did the very out-of-integrity thing of telling this child that if she went back downstairs, I would come down to play with her when I was done with my work, knowing in the back of my mind, that she would most likely leave before I was done. In other word, I gave her my word with little intention of actually fulfilling it.
Can you imagine my chagrin as I read Dr. Jensen’s words?
In that moment, I made a decision that I would live 100% in integrity from now on. I would speak only what was true, and I would do all I could to uphold the truth of my word. And I started this journey into integrity by delivering on the promise I had made to that three-year-old child half an hour prior. I took a break, went downstairs and played.
This was one week ago, and the effects of one week of living 100% in integrity have been remarkable. I have experienced significant increase in productivity and improved clarity in my communication.
The more I have looked into this topic of integrity, the more fascinated I have become by its incredible power to transform our lives in positive ways.
This number is absolutely remarkable! These companies are more agile, more efficient, and more effective. Even the employees are happier as they accomplish far more than their competitors.
Individuals who implement this policy of being 100% in integrity are more successful, make more money, life happier lives, and manifest more of the things they want.
How can a thing as simple as doing what you say you’re going to do have such significant impact on our lives?
There are three major discoveries I’ve made on my deep dive into integrity that might start shedding light on the source of the power embedded in this simple yet profound habit:
Integrity merges us with our word, and in doing so, it creates certainty around everything we express. Because the Law of Attraction responds to certainty in our vibration, those who live in integrity on a regular basis have a much easier time manifesting all that they desire.
Integrity is essential for leadership, in fact, it creates leaders. When we live in integrity, we naturally elevate ourselves into a leadership role because our way of being inspires trust, and people naturally want to follow those they trust. Conversely, a leader who does not practice integrity can quickly lose trust by demonstrating a lack of integrity, making it difficult to hold on to authority. I have experienced both of these scenarios. Have you?
Those who lack integrity tend to overcommit. As a former overcommitter, I can tell you that this is not a malicious or careless act. I genuinely want to be helpful as much as possible, and saying yes does feel much better than saying no. Until, that is, it’s time to deliver on all those promises, which can present a challenge. Often, those who feel compelled to say yes to all things will create a habit of being out of integrity within themselves, because when their plate is too full, something will inevitably fall off.
I can tell you that in the short week of practicing 100% integrity and studying all I could find on this topic, I already know that my life will not be the same from this point forward. The chapter of not living in integrity has now closed for me, and a new chapter of expansion has started.
How about you?
Are you ready to take the plunge?