Created Future Week 1: Integrity

Welcome to the first installment of our “Created Future” series!  Thank you for joining me on this journey.

I invite you to open a document or start a journal for this inquiry.  It may help you bring rigor to the exercises (e.g. writing down your ideas/insights/thoughts instead of just thinking them will likely have you better organize around what you are committed to!).  Yes, there is homework to ensure that you get the most value out of this journey!

This week, we explore the distinction, integrity, which is fundamental to a created future.

Integrity in the context of what we are doing is defined as “a state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, in perfect condition.”  Please note that we do not include any notion of morality or ethics here.  Integrity as defined here is neither right or wrong, but rather a necessary component of  workability and performance.  Think of a car; if a car is whole and unbroken, it performs optimally.  It performs exactly as we expect it to, and we can count on it to get us where we need to go, etc.  If a car is broken/impaired however, it performs sub-optimally.  A broken-down car impacts all manner of things!

But we aren’t cars.  So, what does integrity mean for us?  Being in integrity means keeping and/or honoring your word.

Keeping your word means doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, and the way you said you would do it.  An extended version of integrity includes doing what you know to do and what others expect you to do, unless you explicitly inform them (in advance) that you will not do as they expect. If you want to maximize workability in your relationship with other people, at work, etc., you will have to deal with others’ expectations of you – like it or not!

Honoring your word means that, as soon as you know you will not be keeping a promise you made, you communicate to all impacted parties that you will not fulfill on that promise, you acknowledge the impact to all parties and yourself, you make it clear as to whether you will renegotiate your promise (e.g. do it later than originally promised or not do it ever).  Then you create a structure that will have you keep your word in the future (e.g. set multiple alarms, enlist someone’s support to hold you accountable, etc.)

For example, if I say that my spin class will begin at 7:15am, and I have a studio full of people who expect class to start at 7:15am, I keep my word by starting class promptly at 7:15am.  If I start late, you as a student might be impacted by having a sub-optimal, shorter, workout.  The following class might begin late, thus impacting my fellow instructor and other members.  And so on.

While I am committed to always keeping my word and starting class on time, sometimes breaking my word is unavoidable (e.g. the 210 is unexpectedly shut down); in these cases, I can honor my word: acknowledge that I broke my promise to all impacted parties, commit to starting future classes on time, and put a structure in place wherein, for example, I leave 10 minutes earlier and check Google maps so that I can take the street if the freeway is shut down.

Imagine that your created future includes losing weight.  To achieve this, you give your word that you will stick to a certain diet.  But say that you lack integrity, and you do not keep your word; you eat outside of your diet repeatedly.  How will you ever lose weight? Nothing wrong or bad about this.  It simply is not workable, and your created future is unlikely to come to fruition.

Get it?  I attached a terrific, short article about integrity as we define it here.

YOUR HOMEWORK: I invite you to look at areas in your life that are currently not workable, or areas where your performance is sub-optimal (as defined by you).

  1. Write down these areas of your life.  These may include exercise, weight loss, work, finances, self-love, or relationships with friends, partner/spouse, kids, family, etc.
  2. Select one or more of these that are important for your created future (e.g., what you would like to address in the first quarter of 2018).
  3. Take an objective look at your integrity in these areas (i.e. not making yourself wrong, just looking objectively).  Write down any areas where you are out of integrity; this inquiry requires a bit of authentic discovery.  It might unveil some things you do not want to acknowledge.  I invite you to get real here.
  4. What can you give your word to in these areas?  What are you willing to give up (e.g. blaming your circumstances or other people, being stubborn or right, pretending that you don’t know what to do or how to start).  What are you “up to” or “a stand for” in these areas?
  5. What would it take to be in integrity in these areas?

Need feedback and/or guidance?  Want to share what is showing up for you?  Please email me, or set up a call with me!  I am here for you.

Next week, we look at how our past might be shaping our future, and what we can do about it.