A couple weeks ago we had Task Master over for a BBQ and she was telling us about a book she read that claims we each have two dominant operating values. The book offers up a list of hundreds of values to choose from and you are supposed to choose the ones that resonate most for you. I didn’t need to see the list to give my answer: love and integrity. This is not to say I am the perfect example of either value, just that these are the two that mean the most to me and which I aspire to embody. Today I’ll talk about the latter.
To me integrity is when your thoughts, words and actions are in alignment. And it is critical because in the absence of integrity everything falls apart. People know you only by your words and your actions so being your word is a powerful skill in this world. In fact, your word is a measure of your power. The more your word shapes reality, the greater power you possess in the world.
Think of God. God’s word is reality. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was. That is omnipotence. Kings and queens and my wife have less power but their word still shapes reality. HeeHee says “Let there be light,” and I get up off the floor to switch on the light for her. I, on the other hand, have even less power. I say “Let there be light,” and I have to drag my own tired backside off the floor and go switch on the light for myself. But my power is still greater than someone without access to electricity. When they say, “Let there be light,” they have to light and oil lamp or strike a match. Which is still more power than a person bereft of all light-giving devices. When this person says “Let there be light,” they have to sit around waiting for the dawn to fulfill their wish.
So when you tell your friends you will meet them for coffee at 10:00am and you arrive at 10:05am they know that your word lacks power to shape reality, you are not a person whose word can be completely counted on. Worse, when you tell yourself you will eat clean starting today but in the afternoon you succumb to the temptation of a fresh donut and decide to put off your clean eating for just one day more then you know for yourself that your word is powerless. And what a terrible feeling knowing that you cannot trust your own word. That you haven’t the power to shape your own reality.
Today we discussed fasting and I was asked why on two occasions I fasted for 7 days (don’t do this, it is not healthy). The answer is I did it to prove to myself that my word has power. That what I say I will do I can follow through on, even when it is challenging. It’s the same reason I went vegetarian for 15 years. It’s important to me that my words shape my reality. If I say I will coach at 5am, I will be there at 5am. Doesn’t matter if I’m tired, sick or even if my alarm fails to sound (true story), I will still be there. And the 5am crew knows me to be my word. I have never given them a reason to doubt.
For this reason I do not make promises lightly. It bugs HeeHee. She complains other guys make grand romantic promises like “I’ll give you the moon and the stars,” why don’t I? Because it would be a lie and she’d know it to be a lie and therefore know me as a liar whose word couldn’t be trusted. I make her promises I can keep: to love and protect her, to be faithful to her and she knows that anything I promise will be done. She need never doubt my word (Except that time I promised her I’d have a beer belly by 40, I lied about that one)!
It saddens me that in today’s society we have so little faith in one another’s word that all transactions must involve contracts. Lawyers make a good living on account of our inability to be our word. Imagine how much better our world would work if we all honoured our word all the time! Problem is that honouring your word only means something when it is inconvenient to do so. If I only honour my word when it is easy to do so, it has very little value but when I honour it to my own detriment you suddenly recognize the power and the value of my word. My father taught me this when I promised a friend they could move in with us without first asking my parents’ permission. “You are my son,” he told me, “And your word is important, so because you made a promise I will fulfill on that promise so that your word retains its value.” My father made a decision against his own wishes in order to preserve my integrity. The lesson was not lost on me.
My advice is to choose your words carefully and then develop the discipline to follow them through so you grow to know the power of your own word. And as you do, so will others. And in this way, your power to shape your reality will grow also. It won’t always be easy and you will mess up. When you do, apologize, make restitution and re-commit to being your word. Practice this diligently and when you say “Let there be light,” so will it be!
Thursday Make Up Day
1 min rest
1 min rest
Tabata push ups
1 min rest
Tabata Jumping Lunges
3 min rest
3. Pyramid Double Helen
36 pull ups
24 pull ups
12 pull ups
40 mins Slips
DB thrusters 35/25#