3 Reasons Why Thinking About and Practicing Integrity Differently is Important to Your Life

On Being Whole, Complete, and Our Word

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Have you ever thought about the word integrity? I mean really thought about it?

People use the word often, yet, I think, there is some confusion, or, rather, maybe there is a better way to understand integrity as a concept and as a practice. Ready? Let’s go.

integrity

noun  /ɪnˈteɡrəti/ /ɪnˈteɡrəti/[uncountable]

the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

There we go.

Okay, honesty and morality, such as right and wrong and good and bad. Hm. I’m not the biggest fan of right and wrong and good and bad. Why?

Because, good and bad and right and wrong, like happiness and sadness go together. Meaning?

That you cannot have goodness without badness, nor can you have rightness without having wrongness. Striving, then, for such concepts, such as being right and good, is folly, and can cause pain and suffering.

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We are all going to be both bad and good, and wrong and right sometimes. Inevitable. Hm.

Let’s try something different.

How about we think about integrity as whole and complete. Here is the next part of the definition from Oxford.

the state of being whole and not divided

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

There. The difference, you ask?

Well, a state of being whole and complete, or undivided, increases the workability inside of the concept of integrity.

It takes away the judgment that can be found, and cast in the previous portion of the definition focused on good and bad, and right and wrong. Yep.

Therefore, if we think about integrity as being whole and complete, and a matter of that which is said, or our word, integrity stays within us; an, internal concept, if you will.

Here you go.

“We distinguish integrity as a phenomenon of the objective state or condition of an object, system, person, group, or organizational entity, and define integrity as: a state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition.” Werner Erhard

Quote Tab

There we go.

When we start the conversation about integrity as an understanding that we are all just as we are supposed to be, today, right now, just so. We start from a place of understanding, not judgment. Important.

Further, adding our word as the highest state of integrity, there is always workability. How? Simple. Communication.

Meaning, that if we are going to be out of integrity, we simply communicate this fact. Sounds simple, yes?

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Well, many people struggle with this concept. Really. Think about how many times someone said they were going to do something, and they didn’t.

And, then think about how often they communicated to you they weren’t going to do it. Yep. Happens all the time. To me, to you, to everyone.

And, this is not a judgment. It just is. We are still whole and complete, regardless. We all are. Having integrity within this conversation means creating an intention to do as you say, and when you can’t or choose not to, to communicate about it. That’s all.

Why does this conception of integrity work?

Here are three reasons why.

1. Release Right and Wrong

When we know that we are whole and complete, just as we are, right now, in this moment, we can release notions of right and wrong. Integrity in this conception is not about being right or being wrong.

It’s about being our word, and when we are unable to do something we said we would, we simply communicate about it. That’s it.

Releasing right and wrong from our notions of integrity decreases stress and anxiety about trying to live up to an ideal that no human can really live up to, and need not try.

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2. Let Go of Good and Bad and Right and Wrong

Being whole and complete also means that we can let go of ideas we have about being good and right, or being bad and wrong.

Integrity in this conversation has nothing to do with ideas of good and bad, or right and wrong, which is helpful. As was aforementioned, we are all “good and right” and “bad and wrong” sometimes.

Letting go of being good and bad, and right and wrong also reduces stress we might feel about trying to be something other than we are right now; and, may also reduce stress-associated anxiety that we may feel striving for conceptions of integrity that are impossible to fulfill.

3. Accept the Reality of Integrity

We are all out of integrity sometimes. Everyone says they’ll do something, and then is unable to follow through for some reason. Remember, integrity is not about being perfect, nor is it about being right and being good.

It’s about doing what we say, and then if we are unable, communicating about it.

Understanding and practicing integrity this way also reduces stress and anxiety people have about trying to live up to a perfect ideal of integrity that does not actually exist.

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You are already a perfect human being, just as you are. Really. The iteration of you that you are today is exactly who you are supposed to be. How do I know that? Well, because that is the iteration you are today.

It is not the iteration that will exist tomorrow, nor in the next moment. It works that way.

You are whole and complete just as you are. And, your word is all the integrity you need. Chasing after other conceptions of integrity, such as being right and good is a never ending merry-go-round that will only ever leave you dizzy, stressed, and anxious.

Time to jump off that merry-go-round.

#goodandbad, #humandevelopment, #integrity, #leadership, #lettinggoofrightandwrong, #life-lessons, #psychology, #realityofintegrity, #releasingrightandwrong, #rightandwrong, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement

A Blogger’s Diary 10/6/20: On Social Constructionism, Integrity, and A Final Note on Curiosity

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A few weeks ago I started the social construction series, which includes two entries:

  1. The Social Construction Series Part 1: 7 Reasons Why Understanding Social Constructions Is Important
  2. The Social Construction Series Part 2: 5 Reasons Why Understanding The Social Construction of Knowledge is Important

Now I’m working on a third; the social construction of reality. Yep. And, why is understanding the social construction of reality important? Hm. Power.

As we discussed in 4 Reasons Why Language Is Power, how we describe our reality in language, whether we are describing something internal or external to ourselves, is powerful. It is in essence the reality that we know.

Writing the piece on the social construction of reality is really fun; and, I hope you will all enjoy it.

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Right, so integrity. What’s the deal with integrity? Important, yes? I’ve actually read a couple of posts in the past couple of weeks that have mentioned integrity, and I am excited to add my lens to the mix this week.

I think about integrity a little differently, which simply means I conceptualize, internalize, and practice integrity in a way that pushes on the traditional notions of integrity.

It is important to investigate definitions, to push on them when needed, and to conceptualize them differently when they don’t work as intended.

The definition of reality and truth, as we will discuss in the social construction of reality is a good example of this notion, as is the post I am writing on integrity. Will be fun.

Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

Alright, I also wanted to close the book, for now, on curiosity with one final note. Ready?

As we discussed in the post, Why Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat: 7 Reasons Why Remaining Curious Can Move You From a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset, remaining curious is important to our development.

Maintaining a growth mindset, which I will also write more about in the next couple of weeks, by remaining curious means that we get to take in all of the wonder that surrounds us.

That’s important right now. Maybe more important than ever before.

Remaining curious means taking time for yourself. Taking time to be quiet, to walk by yourself, for yourself, to reflect, to question, to contemplate, and to discover.

When we take time for ourselves, we get back so much more. It is a paradox. Often people think that being continuously busy is the way to get back more, or to progress more, or to move themselves forward more.

And, being active, actively creating the life you want to manifest for yourself is important, yet, not at the expense of your own internal contemplation, reflection, and discovery time.

Example? Sure.

Yesterday, I came home from a very busy day, and immediately took a nap. Yep, been doing that more often. Feels good. Refreshing.

Watch what happens though. Ready?

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

I then got up, had a little something to eat, and started working again. And, guess what? I became frustrated? Why?

Because I had essentially gone from work, to sleep, and back to work. What did I do?

I stopped, turned out the light, and meditated for 30-minutes. And?

Inside of that meditation I had a couple of really nice insights, which then fueled the rest of my evening. Meaning that I switched from work, to writing, and developed this week’s ideas for my blog.

My invitation to you on this wonderful Tuesday evening is to remember to take time for yourself. Unplug, go for a walk, meditate, just sit. Do whatever it is that you do to refresh your inner-self.

It is in this space where curiosity and everything else in life for that matter lives; and, where you will find the answers to the questions you are asking yourself right now.

Take time for you. You deserve it.

#blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #curiosity, #integrity, #socialconstruct, #socialconstruction, #socialconstructionism, #sociology

7 Keys to Highly Effective Relationships

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This week I’ve been thinking more about relationships in general, and also more about the ones in my life. Relationships are so important. I’ve written several posts about relationships, and the importance of all of our relationships. Even the ones we don’t typically consider, or think about often.

Well, let’s consider them all; and, what makes up a highly-effective relationship. Do you know?

I think deep down we all know, yet, we often get confused in our relationships. Swayed by commitment, personal ties, expectations, memories we have, and emotions we feel.

Sometimes, then, we stay in relationships, against our best interest. Yep. Most of you reading this know about that, as do I. Happens to us all.

Let’s then consider some of the keys to highly-effective relationships. A guide of sorts. Now, there are many keys to highly-effective relationships. Dependent on your standpoint, some of these may resonate with you more than others. Yet, I’m sure you will see yourself, or someone you know in some of these.

7 Keys to Highly Effective Relationships

Reciprocity

Being in a relationship that is mutually reciprocal is important. Why? Because too often there are balance-issues in relationships. Meaning that one person is adding more value in the relationship than the other. What happens then?

When this happens, people can become resentful. This is especially true if the people in the relationship believe they must stay in the relationship at all costs. For some of you this might sound odd. Yet, believe me, people stay in relationships all the time that are not healthy, that are even toxic. Not helpful. Rather destructive.

Boundaries

The most effective relationships are those where there are clear distinctions between the two I’s that make up the relationship. In effect, in every relationship, there are three relationships. The one’s each individual has with themselves, and then the one they have together. 3 relationships.

And, all 3 of these relationships are important. When the relationship someone has with themselves is sacrificed for the partnered relationship, there is likely to be resentment, anger, and frustration. Again, not helpful.

Development

When in a relationship we should support our partners growth and development. Too often, however, relationships are founded on a set of principles, ideas, and expectations, that prohibit, or at least mitigate growth and development.

When this happens, it means that the people in the relationship are, in effect, limiting themselves, and each other without knowing it. And, when one of the individuals in the relationship embarks on a developmental trajectory that upsets this previously created foundation, there can be pain and discomfort. Difficult.

Integrity

Integrity is important in any highly-effective relationship. Integrity simply means doing what you say. Being your word. And, if you are out of integrity, to say so. You actively create a context, and conversation to let the people you are in relationship with know that you are out of integrity. That’s it.

It is important because humans are often out of integrity. Happens to us all. Think about a time you committed to be at a meeting, and you were late; or, committed to be at a restaurant at a certain time, yet were late. Two simple examples. And, they happen to us all.

Being out of integrity does not automatically mean that there is a problem or an issue; what it means is that there is a need to communicate about a change to the commitment that was made. Think of the two aforementioned examples, to continue to be “in integrity” a call about being late is all that is needed. Pretty simple, really.

Inspiration

How does it feel when you are inspired? Pretty good, right? Yep. Well, as I’ve written about in other posts, inspiration comes from within. It is our job to create inspiration; and, being in relationship with someone that lives an inspired life can create more inspiration.

If someone you are in relationship with is not living this way, it can lead to confusion, conflict, and possible resentment. Better to be clear about this from the outset.

Further, it doesn’t mean that you will both find the same things inspirational; maybe, yet not necessarily. Being with someone that leads an inspired life, is less about being mutually inspired by the same things, though that is possible. It is more about understanding what living an inspired life is about. Looking for ways to grow individually and together. Fun.

Communication

How important is communication in your life? Yep, pretty important. In fact, it is one of the most important keys to a highly-effective relationship. Why? Because when we are communicating, we are in a relationship; and, when we are not communicating, we are not in a relationship. Simple.

And, when I write communication, I am not talking about saying good morning, and good night. Or, even, how was your day. That’s not it. Communication means you are talking about your hopes and dreams, and having hard and difficult conversations about how to move them forward.

These conversations can be very difficult; yet, being in relationship with someone is not supposed to be easy. If your relationships are easy, chances are you are simply living each day as you did the previous one; and, this is not a judgement. I lived this way for most of my life, which is why I know the difference.

Being in relationship with someone, means being in communication with them. A must.

Authenticity

It is also important to be who you are. When we are in a relationship where we have to be someone other than who we are, think of performance, there will be a tendency for disagreement, unhealthy conflict, and resentment.

We all change over time, even if we are not interested in change. Change is a part of being human. When we are interested in change, we may change even more. Regardless, being in a relationship where you can be who you are, at whatever stage of development you are is important.

Being who you are doesn’t mean that you are always in agreement in your relationship. In fact, there may be disagreement often. It does, however, mean that you are supported, and advocated for. Important.

In Closing

Know that there are many important aspects to highly-effective relationships. Yep, some of the ones you are thinking about did not make the list. Maybe they’ll make a future list. Don’t know.

What is more important is to know that the 7 in this post are important; and, if you’ve never considered one or more of them as important, you can now do so, if you choose. Your choice.

Now, how to put them into action? A few examples.

Putting the 7 Keys into Action in Your Life

  • Reciprocity
    • Notice when your relationship is not reciprocal. When it is out of balance, ask why, first of yourself, and then of your partner. What can be done to create more balance? Again, first of yourself, and then of your partner. Asking these questions will create a context for open communication.
  • Boundaries
    • Create them, and talk about them. We all need our own time, away from all things and everyone. When you’ve created a boundary, you must talk about it, or else your partner will not know about it. And, when it is transgressed, by you, or your partner, get back on track and put the boundry back in place.
  • Development
    • Openly communicate about the support you need. As often as needed. And, if you are not getting the support you need. First question yourself. Are you supporting yourself and your partners development? If you are, ask for that same support. If you are not, start there.
  • Integrity
    • When you are out of integrity, talk about it. Openly communicate when things change, or get in the way. Don’t hide from it. And, if you do, make sure to talk about it at some point. Better to be open and openly communicate than hold something that is causing confusion or a possible misunderstanding.
  • Inspiration
    • Create inspiration for yourself, first, and always. Ask questions of your partner – what inspires them? How do they find their inspiration? And, what do they do with that inspiration? And, share your inspiration. Once known, inspiration can become something that is talked about often.
  • Communication
    • Create contexts for open communication often. Especially when a difficult conversation is needed. Hiding from a difficult conversation will only make it more difficult for everyone. Communicate openly and often.
  • Authenticity
    • Be who you are, in whatever iteration you are in. Remember, being in a relationship is a choice. A choice for you, and your partner. Sometimes, it will be best to leave the relationship than sacrifice your true self.

As you think about your relationships, always remember that we are in many relationships in our personal and professional lives. Some of these keys may resonate more with you from a professional perspective, and some more from a personal one.

Either way, if you feel stagnated in your relationship, try one of these keys. If not these, then try something new. For, it is in the trying and doing of something new that we can create the change we feel we need, yet are often unsure of how to achieve.

Try, do, be, and live well.

#authenticity, #boundaries, #communication, #development, #highly-effective-relationships, #inspiration, #integrity, #reciprocity, #relationships, #taking-action