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Do you really know what you’re about? Does people’s perception of you match what you say you’re about? Every woman needs a code to live by.
It’s time to acknowledge and own up to what we believe. No judgments. Let’s talk about values and integrity.
The Man Who Taught Me About Integrity
The person who taught me about integrity was a “ghettolectual” from Chicago that I dated for 14 difficult months. I knew we were mismatched, but I was in a place where too many things had become negotiable, so I spent a year of my life trying to get someone to change. Impossible.
“He ain’t got no integrity,” I would say to myself. In my mind, integrity was this proverbial package that contained all that was good with the world. That’s not what integrity is. Integrity is not the same as goodness. Integrity is more like consistency. When I was honest, I realized he had been consistent. I just didn’t like what he was consistent about. I was the inconsistent one – the one who would engage with him, get hurt, forgive him, feel like a chump then go to war with him again and again. I had no integrity.
Personal Philosophy and Integrity
We all have a personal philosophy – beliefs, ideas and values. At some point early in life, this philosophy of how we think things should be becomes the code by which we govern ourselves. I’m not here to judge your philosophy. I just want to make sure that you have one. If properly executed, philosophy becomes habit and habit becomes lifestyle. It is the consistency with which our actions line up with our personal philosophies that determines our integrity. If you stick to what you believe, your integrity stays in tact. If you don’t, it goes out the window.
Integrity means that you don’t do things that go against the values you’ve outlined for yourself, assuming you’ve outlined a set of values. You have, haven’t you? If you haven’t I would recommend defining at least three values for the four key life categories. You need to write down what you believe about:
- your God
- your purpose, and
- your lifestyle (family, career, money, relationships, health, etc.)
Values don’t have to be deep. They just need to be an honest assessment of what you believe right now. Values change. The girl who loved cheeseburgers may suddenly start loving live cows instead and become vegan. Be honest. Once you have your personal philosophy written down, codify it. Guard it. Govern yourself by it.
The Most Practical Look at Integrity Ever
Why even bother, Sorilbran?
Because it’s time out for worrying about the results of the next HIV test, right? To hell with that stupid greater than sign. When you have a personal philosophy that includes not risking your life for the fleeting affections of some random dude, you don’t have to worry so much about the results of your next blood test or waste hours of your life at free testing events.
Because there’s got to be more to life than scraping by and just barely making it, being so busy working you miss your kid’s important moments.
Because in much of the western world, poverty is not a life sentence, it’s a personal philosophy. Change your philosophy, you change your bank balance.
Because your kids need you to have more backbone and less wishbone.
Because you’re worth it and without such a declaration, you’ll never know that you are.