Freedom Blog

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Have Integrity

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

 Have Integrity

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
W. Clement Stone

 “Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson

“Integrity has no need of rules.” 
Albert Camus

What is integrity? Do you have it? Do you recognize it in others?

When you live in integrity you understand that integrity is not a set of rules or a code to live by or even a promise. It is a mindset. And that mindset permeates one’s every action.

You don’t have to go out of your way to have integrity nor do you have to keep remembering to have integrity, when you understand and embrace integrity, it is the only way.

This is not to say that one can become automatically full of integrity, sometimes you have it naturally and sometimes it takes a bit of time to ingrain it into your personal culture.

Integrity is defined by as:
  1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
  2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preservethe integrity of the empire.
  3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Each of the definitions above describes an aspect of integrity: By adhering to moral and ethical principles you remain sound and unimpaired in a state of undiminished wholeness.

That was a long winded way to describe integrity but really it says it all. Living a life of integrity expands you. It makes you solid, whole. A lot of weight falls away and very little sticks to you.

I believe it is a stepping stone to becoming more self-actualized, more in alignment with everything.

Integrity starts with a very small step: keeping your promises.  

I’ve talked about this before- you must always keep your promises to yourself, no matter what.

For example, if you have told yourself you’re going on a diet and will stay away from snacks and then find yourself craving a piece of candy, do you tell yourself “I’ll only have one and then I’ll get back on track tomorrow”?

By doing this you are affirming to yourself that you don’t keep your promises. The bigger error was going on a diet in the first place. If you aren’t ready to keep the promise, don’t make it.

When you are ready, you are ready. Until then, affirm to yourself that you keep your promises. If you really want a chocolate bar, tell yourself I’m going to eat an entire block of chocolate. And then DO IT, keep your promise and eat the chocolate!

Maybe even have two, it may help you become less interested in chocolate for a while (or maybe not).

The point is to affirm to yourself that you do what you say.

From there expand your promises to other areas.

If you have the thought of going to the book store on the way home but then start to talk yourself out of it, don’t. Go to the bookstore, even if only for 15 or 20 minutes. By “talking” yourself out of the first thought you train yourself to second guess yourself or to be unsure or even worse, to reconsider and do the “appropriate thing”, like go home.

Going to the bookstore is not going to change anything at home….hopefully. That is unless you made a promise to be home at a certain time. It is a slippery slope when you begin to allow someone else to dictate where you should be at a certain time or have you on a schedule……

But by not being true to yourself in these many small ways you undermine yourself, you can actually build discord and frustration. So keep your promises.

After a while it will be automatic. You won’t ever feel denied or frustrated because you aren’t taking care of yourself. You are keeping your little (or big) promises to yourself.

I’m not saying to become this big insatiable, person with “needs”.  These are just private little ways to talk to yourself, to take care of yourself. 

In fact don’t tell anyone you are doing this (most of the things I talk about should be kept to yourself as it serves no purpose, no one else will understand and you end up having to constantly explain or defend yourself….).

By starting with yourself, it will expand outward into your daily life. You will find yourself being more clear and straight forward with people. It feels good.

So start watching what you say and do. Keep your promises, big and small. There is really no difference between them.

Remember- a promise is a promise.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Accepting Change

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Accepting Change

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”                                                                      
Lao Tzu                                                                           

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it.”
Andy Warhol

I was thinking about the many self-help books that present ways to change your life and the steps you can take to implement that change. 

I know that many people are able to change their lives through books and seminars but I truly believe most change comes in a more dramatic way.

As we move through life we all get complacent and fall into a lifestyle rhythm.

We become comfortable. See the Comfort of Routine.

Your conscious, ego mind thinks it needs all the stuff, the cars, the house, the lifestyle and it chains you to any means it can that will provide those things. It locks you into a repetitious life rhythm that can become very hypnotizing and soothing.

It’s easy to start to believe that all this is real, that this is it, you’ve made it. This is what it’s all about.

And for a while we believe it.  I know I did.

And that’s just about when you get smacked on the head and are “forced” to wake up.

It is said that the 5 most traumatic and life altering events one can experience are:

1.       Death of a parent, sibling or mate
2.      Personal life threatening injury or illness
3.      Losing your job
4.      Losing your home
5.      Divorce

Have you had to deal with any of these? As you move along through life more of these wake up calls are likely to happen.

In my life I’ve been through all of them.

If you haven’t experienced any of these have you ever talked to someone who has? I’ll bet that most, if not all, will say that because of this thing happening they have made huge changes in their lives.

They have a very different outlook now. Most will say they spend a lot more time enjoying their family and appreciating every day as a gift.

Sometimes change seems to be forced upon us. But it’s not really forced. It’s just that we are “forced” to adjust. This is very uncomfortable and makes us refocus on our lives. All of a sudden we get clear on what is really important.

Sometimes that change requires that you ditch a lot of excess weight and baggage that you’ve been dragging along with you. The chance to throw stuff off your cart as Stuart Wilde would say.

But you also have to know that these life altering events don’t show up arbitrarily. I know it is difficult to accept but sometimes you need a wake-up call.

Unconsciously you are always seeking a better outcome for yourself. You are always moving towards improvement. A better, more improved you, the real you.  Not a better house, a better car or anything material but a more self-actualized you.

Accept change. Embrace it. Accept what is happening now. If your situation can be changed and you want to change it, start taking steps to do that.

But the most crucial thing is don’t fight circumstances. Accept what is and move through it.

When you look back on your life will you regret spending more time creating memories? Or spending more time with your spouse and children or your grandchildren? Will you regret having focused more of your time on doing what you love instead of working late at the office?  I don't think so.

I won’t.

Will you look back with affection on the huge home, the cars, the things you “owned”, and all the time you spent working to pay off the debt incurred to buy these things?

For me the answer is pretty clear.

Is that how you see it?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Are You Early or Late?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Are You Early or Late?

Written by Steven Griggs |

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once”
Albert Einstein

“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour count”                   Anonymous

“Death always comes too early or too late”                                                                    Old English proverb

What time is it? Are you on time? Do you have enough time?

“Don’t waste time”,   “Time is money!”, “Be on time!”.

We’ve all been programmed by this mindset that relates everything to the time.

But really, what is it about being early or late? How is it really relevant to anything? I don’t mean you should be rude by being late on purpose if you committed to a time but be aware of committing to schedules that serve other people’s agendas and time lines…..

I feel that time is really only important if you are on a rigid schedule or have an appointment, otherwise does it really matter? Is it really necessary to always be aware of the time? And can you really “waste” time?

Perhaps we’ve gotten hard wired to the point where we need to have a sense of the time to feel grounded, to feel “on schedule”.

We create a daily schedule of time sequenced events. We get up at this time, drink our coffee at this time, go to lunch at this time, spend “x” amount of time doing this and “y” amount of time doing that.

Whatever it is we are doing is booked into our “schedule” and it all happens while we stay “on time”. We become hopelessly mired in a construct of time defined activities.

It is not far removed from the old factory time clock. You punched in when you got there and punched out when you left. The time clock ruled your day.

Maybe you aren’t consciously keeping track but subconsciously I’ll bet you are. It is very subtle.

Start watching how often you check the time.  Try to see how you are conducting your life in a time related way, thinking about the next thing you have to do on your “timeline”.

What can you do to step off your ticking timeline, even if only for a short while?

And how do you get away from this feeling of not having enough time?

One thing you can do to get a sense of how locked into timelines you may be is to try not wearing a watch for a few days.

I recently have and I found that after a while I didn’t refer to my watch at all….. I mean I didn’t look at my wrist more than a couple of times and while yes, I was making a special effort to disconnect, I really only looked at my phone once to make sure I got to the bank before 5:00. After all, banks are really factories and they have schedules….

I could feel myself becoming untethered and it felt good, although a few times I felt that I was being a bad boy by playing hooky and not keeping track of the time……

I know this isn’t realistic for most people but if you can, try it.

The next time you are off on holiday or can step away for a day or two, try going about your day without a watch and try not to sneak a peek at your phone for a time reference.

It may surprise you to see how tethered you are to the time. But hopefully it will also give you a sense of how you can disconnect and use your watch as a tool instead of a tether.

Learn to stop having to constantly punch in on that time clock on your wrist.

And if you can, try to remember that you can’t really be early or late because you are always at exactly the right place at exactly the right time.