How’s Your Integrity?

​Integrity is frequently challenged in our work, home, and relationships of all kinds. When we break the barriers of our values, we set ourselves up for emotional pain and loss. We can rapidly drive though life without assessing our values and choices, and the impact on ourselves and others.

A few years ago, I was asked to attend a seminar at the Sonoma Raceway complex in Sonoma, California. I was to hear about the introduction of a high end car, and then return to Maryland and train the sales staff at a local dealership.

The most thrilling part of the experience was the high speed drive on the speedway. Helmet on and motor revved, I crossed in front of the grandstand at 120 miles per hour, a limit that was set due to the non-racing tires. After you pass the grandstand, then it’s all about negotiating the hairpin curves, a short straight away, rises in the track, and more curves, then back to the grandstand at full speed, ending with one more lap. It was exhilarating to say the least.

You can imagine my anxiety was high, driving at those speeds in someone else’s new $40,000.00+ car.

Whether you’re on a race track or in your personal vehicle going to the market, you don’t normally think about all the parts that make your travel possible.

Most of us think of integrity as “being on the up and up”, honesty or being authentic. The definition applied in this scenario is, “when all the parts fit together and perform as designed”.

Rarely do we identify the parts of our life and values, and whether they are performing well together.

As an example, if you are asked to do something in your work that is against your moral code and values, you will not be comfortable in your work, or elsewhere. Even though it was done at work, you carry it around in you, as if a piece of you is chipped or broken. In order for you to get back into full working order, or have integrity, you must be reconciled to your values and expectations of yourself.

In an automobile, one of its most complex systems is the transmission, which transfers power into motion. When I saw the cutaway of the high performance transmission in the car I had just driven, I was amazed at the overwhelming number of intricate gears and rods. If any one of its parts is broken, and the system looses integrity, it not only may stop working, but potentially produce catastrophic failure.

How’s your integrity?

Do you need to change gears and get back to your values so that your performance and relationships are all working with integrity?

Solutions: Integrity: “when all the parts fit together, and perform as designed”

  1. List the major parts of your life: Family, Work, Relationships, Health, Spiritual, Recreation, Finances, etc.
  2. Break one down into its smaller parts: (i.e. Health: food, exercise, rest, etc.)
  3. What needs to be adjusted, repaired, replaced or begun?
  4. Envision your life with the change/s in place.
  5. Set a date, time, and place to begin.
  6. If any part of the process can be done now, and I mean immediately, then do it TODAY!
  7. Celebrate success, even if it’s small (i.e.: play the sound track to the animated movie “Cars” Real Gone, and do a victory lap!)

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