It’s been quite a while since I started writing weekly blogs and there have been numerous subjects that I’ve felt compelled to write about. Most of the time the topics have been inspired somehow, whether through a daily reading, a conversation, a news headline, or a world concern. They always require some research and then I try and put my spin on the issue. This week, as I’ve been thinking back on these blogs, it really made me stop and think about how much of what I’ve written, I myself have taken to heart. Followthrough can be a challenge. We know what is often the right path to take, change to make; we often say we will and then we don’t. Similarly, we can give all the outward impression of being a certain way, claiming to know it all, when in actual fact we do the complete opposite. Integrity. How many of us can really claim to always act with integrity?
As much as I’ve loved writing about all the topics over the past few years, I cannot claim to follow through on them all. That was never my aim. The Mind, Body & Soul blog is a tool for people to springboard off of, to be inspired by, to be challenged by in whatever stage of life they may be in. But it still begs the question…do you follow through on what you say, on what you believe? Do you act with integrity all of the time?
Quick Slow Slow
Today I was inspired by a daily reading and my own thoughts about followthrough. So often we can claim to be one thing and then in the next minute we do the opposite. This is where the quick slow slow approach comes in.
This verse is specifically referring to behaviour that is in opposition to what we believe to be true. We can read, learn and know how to live, and then in the next moment, we can act like we learned nothing at all. It applies to any aspect of life and living with integrity.
Be quick to listen
Every day we learn. We are a constantly evolving race, striving for greatness, innovation, and creativity. But we are also a race of people who are aiming for personal growth and self-improvement. This means we must be constantly learning and in order to learn, we must listen. Listen to others through conversation, reading, observing, teaching, and absorbing the lessons and information given. There is so much wisdom available to us but we have to be willing and ready to listen to it if we are to benefit.
But be careful!
Be careful what you listen to! There is much in this world to lead astray. So be discerning and trust your instincts. Listen to that still, small voice that questions your choice of Podcast, that novel, that film, that piece of advice Not everything will do us good, build us up and encourage us along our chosen path. Once it’s in our heads, we cannot take it out!
Slow to speak
This is all about thought. When we listen we must then absorb, ruminate, digest, and learn. That means we understand there is an importance to what we have listened to and it is worth taking our time over. We practice, persist, and perfect whatever it is we are aiming to be better in. And we do it in our own time, without audience or applause. We know it is for our own good and we become better by it. So when that time comes when we are put into challenging circumstances, we will have the information ready to hand to help us behave better, make the best choices and show growth in our lives. We will show that we are not hypocrites who know and claim to be one thing but do the opposite.
Slow to become angry
When we become angry in a situation, often it is because we have fallen short of our own standards. This is especially true where integrity is concerned. Our pride takes a hit, we don’t want to humble ourselves, and we stubbornly put up defenses to disguise our shame. Sound familiar? This is because we haven’t followed through on the first two steps of listening and thinking.
When the hypocrite in us rears its ugly head we get angry. And it isn’t pretty. We look foolish, show our weakness, and lay bare our lack of discernment. We know better. And we did listen. But we did not absorb what we learned. We didn’t allow it to soak into our lives and become a part of who we are. We didn’t practice what we learned. Yes, we may otherwise give the outward impression of being a certain way or doing a certain thing, but when push comes to shove… we have no follow-through.
So be careful to check yourself and don’t let anger get the better of you.
True integrity is a lifestyle. It is a conscious decision to listen, think and act based upon that learning. It’s saying one thing and following through on it without the need for acclamation. When we achieve all three of these things, people will know us to be people of integrity. And it’s not an easy path to take. It requires self-denial, constant learning, hard work, humility, and patience. But in the end, wouldn’t we all like to be known and remembered as people of integrity?