Integrity in an interdependent reality is simply this: you treat everyone by the same set of principles. As you do, people will come to trust you… And to be trusted, it is said, is greater than to be loved. In the long run, I am convinced, to be trusted will be also to be loved.
Most people say their main fault is a lack of discipline. On deeper thought, I believe that the basic problem is that their priorities have not become deeply planted in their hearts and minds. They attempt to give priority to important but not urgent activities and integrate them into their lives through self-discipline alone. But without a principle center and a personal mission statement they don’t have the necessary foundation to sustain their efforts. They’re working on the leaves, on the attitudes and the behaviors of discipline, without even thinking to examine the roots, the basic paradigms from which their natural attitudes and behaviors flow.
Almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind.
You can do it in every area of your life. Before a performance, a sales presentation, a difficult confrontation, or the daily challenge of meeting a goal, see it clearly, vividly, relentlessly, over and over again. Create an internal ‘comfort zone.’ Then, when you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign. It doesn’t scare you.
Begin today with the image, picture, or paradigm of the end of your life as your frame of reference or criterion by which everything else is examined. By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole.
The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values–carefully thought about, selected, and internalized values.
Moving along the upward spiral requires us to learn, commit, and do on increasingly higher planes. We deceive ourselves if we think that any one of these is sufficient. To keep progressing, we must learn, commit, and do–learn, commit, and do–and learn, commit, and do again.
Probably the most important deposit you can make into an Emotional Bank Account is just to listen, without judging or preaching or reading your own autobiography into what someone says. Just listen and seek to understand. Let him feel your concern for him, your acceptance of him as a person.
He may not respond at first. But as those genuine deposits keep coming, they begin to add up. That overdrawn balance is shrinking.