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
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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