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Understanding & restoring your Integrity

By | Manish Joharle – General Manager Business Development at Brakes India Ltd

Oxford dictionary defines integrity as “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles “. However my context of integrity here is not from the moral perspective. It is more in line with the second definition that is “the state of being whole and undivided”.

Take the example of a bicycle wheel it has a hub in the centre which connects to an outer rim through spokes. Will the wheel work if any of these elements are broken or damaged? For example if few of the spokes are missing….obviously not ….the wheel will be rendered dysfunctional. Similarly in order for us to be workable as a human being we need to be whole and undivided. This state of workability can be called as being in Integrity as distinguished by the Landmark Education in it course of “Curriculum for living”.

Integrity, according to Dr. Joe DiMaggio, Landmark Forum Leader, (and former Brain Surgeon) is that which is “whole, complete, perfect, unimpaired, sound.” According to Mathematics Professor , Ryan Derby-Talbot, PhD., of Quest University, British Columbia, the word integrity comes from the root word in Latin, ‘integer’ which means “something that is bring forth, fresh, sound, unexhausted, intact, entire.”

As a person we achieve workability when we honour our word as our self and this is achieved by creating an empowering context in the use of our “word”, as in honouring our word, as if it were our self. Hence the saying, “you are your word”.

How does this affect our life? Many times we make a resolution or a promise to do something new, things like getting up early, exercising, playing a sport, net working or catching up on the reading but how often do we really stick to these resolutions ? When we fail to keep our word we lose workability and thereby our integrity.

Just imagine the power we can get if we are able to accomplish all that we decide to do, If we start honouring every word that we speak….

Then what stops us from keeping our word? The reason is when we break the word, we fail to assess the impact of our broken word. How it affects us and also those around us.

If integrity is about honouring my word and doing what I said I would do and doing it on time, then I almost never had integrity. And if you were honest with yourself, you’d probably admit to the same.

Since here we are not considering Integrity in the context of being right or wrong, the good news is we can restore our integrity back!!!

To restore integrity, as soon as you know you are not going to do what you said the way you said you would or the way others expect you to, you communicate it to the appropriate person(s) without getting into reasons or excuses, acknowledge the impact of not keeping your word, and make a new promise, which you keep.

Let’s take an example here. Yesterday I decided that from today onwards I will wake up every day at 5am for a daily workout. The alarm bell was set and it rang at 5. However it was dark outside, it was raining and cold. I was warm and comfortable in my bed. I said to myself let me sleep for half an hour more and get up at half past five instead. Finally I got up only at 6 thereby losing the window of opportunity to start my exercise since i had to get ready for work.

So that affected my workability and made me feel powerless. This is where I lost my integrity.

So how do I restore my integrity now?

Here are 4 steps to restore my integrity:

1. Give up the story:

Story means all excuses I made up in my mind like it’s raining today, It’s still dark,  It’s cold outside, today is only the first day, I can start from tomorrow onwards. Today is not the right day to start etc…  Story is always in the past, that which has happened. So now when I am restoring my integrity I am in the present, where there is nothing. Just being aware that the story is past and now there is nothing. By creating a clear, still space, I can look and see what is actually there, look at the pain of the story that I made of the past. I can look at what is in front of me, without the filters of fear or regret, of resentment, blame, or shame, or guilt from the past, or fear, anxiety or worry about the future. This will complete my first step towards restoring integrity.

2. Acknowledge your broken promise/word.

Next I have to acknowledge that I have broken the promise which I made. In this case the promise of waking up at 5 to do my work out. I have to accept the fact and the responsibility.

3. Clean up the consequences of the break.

This is the most important step. I have to clean up the consequences by acknowledging the impact of breaking my word. Like in this case the impact of losing the opportunity for being fit, healthy, feeling happy and energetic today.

4. Make a new promise.

Then I need to make a new promise and ensure that I keep the promise and restore my integrity the next day.

5. Ensuring that I keep the promise next time?

To enable that, I need to put a structure in place by analysing what went wrong. In this case, my thoughts of comfort while being in bed and not thinking of the consequences or impact of breaking my promise. Tomorrow I will drop the excuses and instead think of the benefits which will give me power to get out of the bed and access to workability.


This post is out of the inspiration I got from attending the Landmark Education course called as “Curriculum for Living”.

If you liked it or you have your thoughts to share….do not forget to click on the like button or put in your valuable comments.

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One Comment

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