Tag Archives: motivation

You can’t choose some things in life but you can choose your integrity

Recently, I attended a day conference where all members in the meeting were asked two simple things. We had to raise our hand and promise we will:

A. Come back on time after breaks

B. If we have a question or a point to make that we don’t shout it out. But raise our hand and wait to be chosen to speak

Seemed kind of childish to me. Isn’t this something we use to do as children in a classroom? Did I go through many years of working in corporate life as an adult to only be treated as a child again. I wasn’t having any of it.

On the next break, I enjoyed my tea and biscuits and was in some engaging conversations about the weekend and what was in store for us in the day ahead.

When we were asked to return to the room, I went to use the toilet. As you do. There, I had a great time talking with more friends.

When I returned to the conference room, it was filled with an aura of awkward silence. I squeamishly found my seat, looking at the ground hoping not to draw attention as more members fluttered in to the room feeling anxious from the same imbroglio.

Then we were asked in one of those ‘I’m angry but I’m not going to show it’ voices, “what did you all promise this morning?”.

Come on! Couple of minutes is not the end of the world I thought as I looked around at all the smug faces who actually made it back on time with their necks tall and their chest out.

But the rule was deliberate. It was almost a test. For then we discussed integrity. What is it?

I realised that day that being two minutes late is not the end of the world. But being two minutes late when you say you are not going to be is a whole different experience for your character.

“You can break a promise. But the promise can break you”

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. It’s a promise to yourself based on your beliefs and values.

I realised I had strong values on the big things in life but being two minutes late or for example cancelling plans with your friends after agreeing did not seem that big to me. In fact, my values had helped to justify this as being polite (!) since I had the courtesy to let them know in advance.

However, when you live a life of integrity at all times, in everything you do, you will see a whole different change in your character. Your confidence increases and people start treating you with more respect.

If you say you are going to do something, do it. Try it for a week with every little thing you say. Some may be promises to yourself that no one else knows, and therefore if you break the promise no one else will know. This becomes tempting. But keep them. A promise to yourself is worth much more than a promise to someone else.

This builds a lot of character and people start to trust you when you say something, because you trust what you say.

Try it for the next seven days and see how it makes you feel. I guarantee you will feel very different.

Share on Facebook


Whilst I spent some time in Spain, I was fortunate for a few nights to have stayed in a beautiful Hotel with a balcony overlooking the mountains on the small island of Mallorca.

London life seemed so far away.

I watched one evening intermittently (as I read my book on my balcony) how the sun moved slowly from the east to set in the west. Not an unusual phenomenon some may be thinking.  Why was I so amazed?


Well, before timepieces were invented this is how people would tell the time.

In the time that I watched the sun move, I was reading my book. But what were you doing?

How did you use this 2.5-3hrs? How do you use 2.5-3hrs every day?

Why does it matter? Just like the sun, another 2.5-3hrs will come tomorrow.

I read a very interesting perspective on this that I want to share with you from an unknown author.

Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with £86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day.
Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every penny, of course?

Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is time.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.

It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”

You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running!! Make the most of today.

Time is one of the most valuable things available to us. But we probably value it the least because everyone has it. It’s a given. We don’t often think about our life span. As humans we often value things by looking laterally and comparing to how many other people have it. If I have x amount of something, how much do other people have? If everyone has it then economics tells us it’s value must be zero. Or mathematically, this could also be viewed as infinitely invaluable. That depends on you. How do you view it?

I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do another year in this job then change. I’ll make up with my father next month when I see him. I’ll take my wife out next week. I’ll learn that language or play that instrument one day.

But how do we remember to value time? In finance when you value an investment, you work out the present value of the future stream of income.

The future stream of income doesn’t have to be monetary.

In everything you do, in every relationship you engage in, in all the decisions you make and even in the words you speak. Stop and think for a moment. Is this an investment in my health and happiness. Am I advancing myself as a human being?

Scientific research also tells us time can transform our preferences, reshape our values and alter our personalities. But we only realise this when we look backwards. We don’t seem to be able to imagine this going forward. What if we now know this. How will you now make use of your time?

Soon all this conscious thinking will become sub-concious thoughts and you will find you will be drawing out every penny of your time bank account excited for tomorrow’s full balance.


Share on Facebook