Integrity, Truth, and the battle against mediocrity
Integrity: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided.”
Being honest – truthful, transparent. In his book Principles, Ray Dalio speaks about this a lot: “Principle 1.2: Truth-or, more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality is the essential foundation for any good outcome. Principle 1.3: Be radically Open minded and radically transparent.”
“Having nothing to hide relieves stress and builds trust.”
He also speaks about living an extraordinary life this way: “What you will be will depend on the perspective you have…
I also feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure…
The high school yearbook quote my friends chose for me was from Thoreau: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however, measured or far away.”
So there’s a common theme about what extraordinary is not – it’s not average, it’s not mediocre, it’s probably not like everyone else if you think for yourself and make your own choices with integrity.
It’s about the search for Truth in view of reality, your own, and those around you. The open-mindedness Ray Dalio speaks about assists you in seeing reality from other perspectives than your own.
Being in integrity and transformation
Two more principles from the IFLP changed my life. I know I mentioned them in this blog, but I cannot stress them enough. You extend the power of integrity many folds if you live your life this way. But, again, that, too, is easier said than done
We used to discuss it extensively if you can keep your integrity – walk your talk
, do what you say, be on time, and keep doing everything that, in your view, is an expression of integrity. You then start “being in integrity” – It becomes a way of being for you.
Then there is open-mindedness, which enables you to look at life/reality from other people’s perspectives and occasionally change your mind and the way you see things – that, we used to say, is the beginning of transformation.
Why is transformation necessary?
We’re all somehow bound for the way of least resistance, it’s in our nature. Especially in the past decades, unfortunately, technology has made us more than sedentary. In short, it transformed us into couch potatoes, and now we need to counter-transform ourselves back to activity
. At least that’s how I see it in my day to day. I feel I need to mindfully get up from my desk and move. Don’t you?
Also, when you get to that point of choosing, you sometimes need to work against a system, your education, and the culture you belong to, inevitably having constrained you to behave as expected. If you choose to be extraordinary – transformation may be exactly what you’re after.
It would help if you saw beyond what you already know and what is familiar to you. Then make your choice of direction and go for it. Make a point of keeping steady progress and getting the help you need from the right people. Take the time, persist, and you will get there.
Getting to extraordinary
Setting extraordinary goals and doing your best to achieve them will have you eventually become that extraordinary person, the life of whom you could only imagine before
. Cherishing the principles and standards, you chose along the way will hopefully keep you there. Instead of a destination, it will become a way of life. Just like integrity, you will be living this way.
Every day, you’ll need to make choices, mundane, or others more significant ones. You will make them from the new way you have carved for yourself.
To end this trilogy of posts about the way to being extraordinary, I’d love to hear from you. What do you think? Is extraordinary something you’re going for at all.