Integrity 101:A 7-Step Foolproof Guide To Living With Integrity

June 27, 2011 · 28 comments

How to live with integrity
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Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been gently unfolding the idea of “living with more integrity in our lives”. Ok, ok, not gently as such, but hopefully with honesty, enthusiasm and depth. If you agree say AYE!

The final part of this series; which is my first but definitely not my last, is a ‘not so simple’ guide to living with integrity and experiencing your best life now. Sounds tempting right?

So without further ado, although you know I love the banter, especially in the comments *wink wink*, let’s get down to business. Like always I don’t profess to have all the answers, only the few my 31 years on this earth have taught me through trial and error, so I’ll be relying on you wonderful people to fill in the gaps.

How to live with integrity in your life

1. Own it

When I say ‘own it’, I mean let today be the day you decide to take full responsibility for everything in your life: The good. The bad. And the downright ugly.

Whilst some of the things we experience in life we would much rather avoid; we lose our creative and transformative power the second we start playing the blame game or inviting friends to our pity party. I was recently introduced to the concept: Act like everything in your life was scripted by you~A Philosophers notes

This idea stuck in my throat to begin with, especially as I’ve personally experienced more than a few things I would have vigorously edited out; had I been proactively drafting a script for my life. However, by taking this more dynamic approach I’m now more able to identify and acknowledge the lessons to be learnt from these situations, and as such, am able restore my equanimity far quicker. If you don’t believe me, try it!

2. Think big and dream even bigger

There is nothing sadder than a living, breathing entity that has neither dream nor goals. There is also a part of me that believes this state of mind is the cowards’ way out. I mean, if you’re not aiming for anything you can’t epically fail, right?

Whilst I know everyone’s dreams may not be as audacious OR bohemian as mine, your dreams and goals are a direct reflection of you and the value you place on this wonderful gift called life. The size and scope of these dreams are also a true measure of your faith; that you have everything it takes to bring those dreams and goals to fruition. Dreaming big can be scary, but…..

Small dreams are for small people AND ….No dreams are for dead people!

If you’ve lost your ability to dream those high and lofty dreams that sound a little crazy, then it’s time for a little regression back to your childhood where no fantasy was too outlandish; no matter what your mama told ya.

3. Have no shame and have no fear

Fear and shame are two sure fire emotions to stop us living a life of integrity, ditto a life that we truly love. Its funny how we would rather live subpar existences rather than step out in faith and stick two fingers up at: fear of failing, fear of looking a fool, fear of making mistakes, fear fear fear.  Boring!

I was once told: “If it isn’t love, then it’s fear, they are the only two true emotions”. What do you think of this statement?

3.1 Factor failing into your plan

I’ve heard it said: To fail to plan is to plan to fail, which is all good and well. But sometimes, you just get it wrong, you make poor choices and you have to go back to the drawing board. Does accepting that you may fail make you a pessimist? I don’t think so; I think it makes you a realist, with a whole lotta vision. The best type to be.

4. Be a man or woman of your word; A tree is known by its fruits

I read in the Bali advertiser recently: “When a man loses money, he loses nothing, when he loses health, he loses something, but when he loses character, he loses everything”. Bang, straight to the heart of the matter, don’t you think?

Our word and character are all we have; the first is easy to give and the latter, can be difficult to develop.

Give both of these attributes the respect they deserve and you’ll be able to move through your life leaving light and peace where ever you go, even if you end up in some dark ass places. The more you develop your character you’ll find yourself becoming more discerning about people and situations and you won’t dishonour yourself for reasons that baffle you. But remember: It takes less character to discover the faults of others than to tolerate them~ J.Petit Senn

5. Lay off the judgements and the snap criticisms..both of yourself and others

It’s too easy. Yes I said it, it’s too easy to judge the behaviour and actions of others; to criticise them and use the power of your words to pull them down rather than lift them up. Leave this base behaviour to those still living on life’s lowest tiers. I’m going to assume as you a reading this, that you have already started your descent to the top.

Constantly judging and criticising yourself on the other hand; is just too painful, time consuming and is actually a sneaky diversion tactic from what you should be doing; accepting and improving yourself.

6. Know what your values are and if you don’t have any, then get some and grow up!

Even infants have values. Yep, they value milk, a clean ass, attention, play and sleep. Life is simple to them. These are the things they KNOW to be important, need and desire from those people around them. The home environment and social circle we grow up in no doubt play a huge part in defining are values, but as we mature we can make proactive decisions regarding the value system we choose to embrace and live by. This value system comes to shape our thoughts, action and words. In brief: our values become our road map to how we live life, ensuring we don’t too far off track.

So what are your values?  What are the things that are important to you, the non-negotiables, and the things you’re not prepared to compromise on…will fight for, even physically if the need arises?

We exposed TEAM FLAKY in part 1, and we  looked at the Integrity Gap fillers we commonly use in part 2 of this series, and for the most part I think we were in agreement that ‘flakiness and filler’ get you know where -fast. As the man said: A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything”~Malcolm X

And finally…..

7. Love yourself…then BE yourself

I have some headline news for you so listen up:YOU’RE LOVABLE AND WORTHY JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. I shouted this because I want you to get it. Did ya get it ???

This is something I struggled with for years. I was always too eccentric, too big, too loud, too talkative, too opinionated, too strong, too emotional and too different blah blah blah… There were a 101 things I needed to change BEFORE I could totally love, accept and adore me or… wait for it..anyone else could love, accept or adore me.

But not anymore cowboy; not anymore!  An event in my life that really could have gone either way, resulted in me rising above this fucked up mentality and finally realising I am quite simply: Awesome, magnetic, powerful beyond belief and beautiful, yes, BEAUTIFUL….just the way I am.

And guess what… so are you!

Living in this reality is a daily process, requiring you to be mindful and intentional about your thought life and stop playing those ‘wack old records’ full of “negative speech and internal dialogue” about yourself. But the new mp3 I’m rocking in my own ears, eyes and mind, plays are far more upbeat song..it goes: I love me, I’m great, I rock, NOTHING can stop me, I’m a goddess, come check me out. La di da di da….Woop woop..I’m a genuine baddass….

PS: This mp3 is free to whoever wants to hear it, you just have to change the tune- no illegal downloads needed.

So there we go. I’m done.

7 difficult and hard to maintain, but foolproof steps; to living with more integrity and enjoying your best life now. If I can do it with all my baggage, drama and tales of woe…then so can you?

What steps have I missed?…come and add your life lessons on living with integrity in the comments.

If anything I’ve said has struck a chord, resonated with you or made your heart sing – then share share share..Twitter\FB is our friend : )

As I always say..Let’s grow together.

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

rob white June 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hi Stacey, I love your integrity series. It’s amazing when we realize how much effort and energy it takes to live from our Counterfeit-Self. Living with integrity and expressing ourselves genuinely is much easier and natural – we need to stop working so hard and just express joyously! When we expect good things to happen and they don’t — stop looking out there for reasons — look within. If we watch and notice we will find the Counterfeit Self leading us down a tormenting path. The path of integrity always feels clean, light and easy.
rob white recently posted..Learn to Listen Without Listening

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Stacey June 28, 2011 at 1:00 am

Hi Rob, I was re-reading eat pray love the other day..and there was this sentence that was something like ” god shows up for you..as you”, and it made me go pheww……otherwise I’m in deep do do, lol. Living our authentic selves and giving up that counterfeit nonsense is the only way..but it’s also the hard way. Its a Heroes journey. Thanks for getting involved, great avatar by the way…you radiate warmth.xx

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Riley Harrison June 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm

That’s great post Stacey. Very inspirational; got me pumped up and raring to go. Thanks
Riley
Riley Harrison recently posted..ENERGY IS THE ESSENCE OF PASSION AND PASSION IS THE ESSENCE OF LIFE

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Stacey June 28, 2011 at 1:01 am

Glad you liked it Riley and that it stoked your fire and passion…it’s very much by design. Peace, love and light..ALWAYS.XX

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Lori Gosselin June 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wow Stacey, this was great! I don’t know how you wrote that in a week (2 weeks?!) Yikes! It’s loaded with wisdom!
I’ll have to go with #3 – factoring in failure! When I told my 82 year old father that I was going to self-publish my book I braced myself to defend my reasons for going this route, but I was surprised. He said I should get it out there right away – Fail fast and then get my second one out there! I was surprised and proud! Even I was struggling with the old idea of vanity publishing. I know it’s different now but I figured it would be an issue for him. Not so. I remind myself that as the date comes closer – if I fail I fail, but at least I fail while trying!
I like #s 1, 2, 4,5,6, and 7too. If you’re not going to be you, who will do it?
:-)
Lori

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Stacey June 28, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hey wonderful. Trust me this is something I have been ruminating on for weeks, months possibly years. It took me three weeks to unpack it into some cohesive structure, plus hours spent in front of my computer tweaking, and numerous bouts of self doubt..whether anyone would read it..like it…or get it. My ego ha. Glad you liked it..and felt inspired. Your grandfather sounds like a wise wise wise soul..you should listen to him. I for one would read any book with ” By Lori Gosselin” as the byline.xx

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Jack@TheJackB
Twitter: thejackb
June 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Dream big is so wise and so important. What is the point of having little dreams. I want to live my dreams and not dream my life. So why not take the chance to grab the brass ring.

It is hard sometimes to admit that we screwed up and or have failed but I think that it helps us to become stronger people.
Jack@TheJackB recently posted..Watch Cookie Monster Cure Writer’s Block

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Stacey June 28, 2011 at 1:07 am

I’m with you on that one Jack. Little dreams for me are ” I hope that have that red hot foxy number I’ve been convetting in my size”

Otherwise I’m all for busting out of the comfort zone and failing epically as many times and it takes to finally get it right. Thanks for your input Jack. Appreciated as always

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Derek Potocki
Twitter: Goalsblogger
June 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hi Stacey,
I think I’m gonna kill my blog and just start reading yours;) Your writing and advice are amazing.
“if you’re not aiming for anything you can’t epically fail, right?” <== My favorite part. Scared shitlessness at it's best.
Greetings all the way to Bali!
Derek
Derek Potocki recently posted..If you don’t have perseverance, you are a slave to those who do

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Stacey June 28, 2011 at 1:10 am

Don’t kill…Murder is wrong, lol Collaboration is where its at?????

I’m so glad that you are loving the series. I think something about me and my writing has definitely changed and found its voice over the last few weeks. Sometimes the boldness of it scares me..except it is me..so I have press through with integrity..otherwise I would just be full of sh&T.

Bali said Salamat Pagi…there is a space on the beach here for you..should you so wish to avail your self of it. xx

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Bill Dorman June 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

“When a man loses money, he loses nothing, when he loses health, he loses something, but when he loses character, he loses everything”. I really liked this statement, it says a lot. I also liked: Our word and character are all we have; the first is easy to give and the latter, can be difficult to develop. How true is that?

This post was great on so many levels; I think you could have actually done about 3-4 in this one alone.

I will close by copying: Love yourself…then BE yourself. If you can be true to yourself then nothing else should matter. If you maintain character and dignity you can always hold your head high, regardless.

This was good, powerful stuff ma’am; thanks for sharing, I really liked it.

Hope your day is going well.
Bill Dorman recently posted..I’ve learned too much; my head hurts

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Stacey June 29, 2011 at 5:05 am

Hi Bill, your right..I probably could have stopped at 3 or 4, it’s a lengthy, hard hitting read…by hey I like to provide value for time, lol. I read that character statement in my local free paper, hidden in amongst washing machine for sale adds, it just jumped out at me and I knew it had to be shared. Thanks for getting involved

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Frank June 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Stacey,

I don’t even know where to begin talking about the depth and value that you added in this article. You absolutely met and blew away any of my expectations of this series. You have provided me with some serious details to reflect and act upon and I am grateful to be able to read what you have put together. You are an asset to our blogging community. Thanks again for the great read.
Frank recently posted..The Rollercoaster of Life

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Stacey July 1, 2011 at 5:45 am

Thank you Frank your support, and heartfelt words it really mean alot to me. I’m glad that the heart of mine I poured into this series touched the heart and hopefully life of others. I know I was a big read…but we might as well bring it hard right, lol

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Matt R
Twitter: 30vanquish
July 20, 2011 at 4:57 am

Hey Stacey!
I really like this post. Tip #3 and #5 are the two that I am working on to make sure I can live with integrity!
I want to add that shame can be motivating if you’re willing to see it through a positive perspective so that you never let that shame happen again!
Matt R recently posted..How I Made 50 Friends in One Month

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Stacey July 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

Hi Matt, tell me about it. Shame can change your life, if you can see it from the right perspective, eat some humble pie and just move on. Wishing you all the best with nailing #3 #5. Its a life long journey and we all make mis-takes. As long as we keep getting back on the horse…I think we are doing just fine. Its great to have you here Matt

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Betsy Cross
Twitter: BetsyKCross
July 20, 2011 at 5:29 am

Stacey,
When I read #5 I had a very simple but powerful memory flash into my mind.
My mother and my 7-yr-old self walked onto the front porch on the way to the bus stop. Just moments before she’d wondered if we should get our rain coat on because it had been drizzling. She stopped at the steps and I stood beside her. She said, “Betsy, did you ever notice that every time it’s raining and YOU step outside the sun comes out?” And the sun was starting to peek from behind the broken clouds.
She put a powerful thought in my head. She was a “builder”.She made me see that just by showing up I could do something with my life.
Thanks for helping me remember that!

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Stacey July 21, 2011 at 12:04 am

Wow Betsy, what a beautiful thing to be told, and even more beautiful that your heart and soul has retained that memory all those years later. It sounds like you were blessed with a great mother in your life, that’s always an advantage in this unpredictable world we live in

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