What is Integrity? - Mesa Karate, Mesa Martial Arts, Gilbert Karate, Gilbert Martial Arts for Kids and Adults - Mesa Karate, Mesa Martial Arts, Gilbert Karate, Gilbert Martial Arts for Kids and Adults

What is Integrity?

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Steve Jobs

 This month’s word is “integrity”.

December is a great month to share what it really means.  I would suggest for you to share it during holiday dinners and gatherings to pass on lessons that you’ve learned along the way of your journey in life and see how you measure up.  Let’s first define this big word.

Integrity means firm adherence to a code of values and acting in accordance with your principles.  It also means honesty, keeping your word and speaking the truth.

Like many life skills, integrity is a character trait, something that reveals your true self.  Integrity forms the basis of both trust and respect.  And I think you’d agree: Without other people’s trust and respect, there isn’t much you can accomplish in this world!  No person is an island.  That’s why integrity is so important to your success, both in our academy now as well as in the future.

 “Matching Tongues”

     I heard a funny quote that sums up the idea of integrity: “The tongue in your shoe must match the tongue in your mouth”.  In other words, you must walk the talk.   

      You see, when your words and deeds match, you have integrity.  But if you say one thing and do another, you’re said to be “out of integrity”.  Take a look at this example:

      A student says his goal is to become a black belt by the end of next year.  But then he chooses to play video games instead of coming to class, doesn’t practice his kicking exercises at home and doesn’t give his best effort when he comes to class. 

      In this example, he would be “out of integrity”.  On the other hand, if he attends classes regularly, stays focused on his goal and works hard, he’d have integrity in his actions.  Words and deeds match. Make sense? 

      One of your goals as an authentic martial artist should be to build your own integrity and use it as a foundation to reach your goals and become a leader.   

 I’ve asked a few of my friends what are examples of what integrity looks like in their lives. Here’s a list:

1. Remember what Mom used to tell you on how to treat your friends, like when a friend or neighbor gives you cookies in a container, return the container in a timely manner filled with other goodies.

 2. Treat others, as you’d like to be treated.

3. Return money when loaned, as soon as you can repay the debt.

4. Open the door for others, elderly or otherwise.

5. Keep your promises or don’t make them at all.

6. Say “no” and mean it.

7. Say “yes” and mean it.

8. Always tell the truth…respectfully.

9. Avoid using the word “don’t”.

10. Always go one step beyond what’s expected.

11. When you make eye contact, acknowledge each other.

12. Acknowledge good service.

13. Leave a note when you “scratch” a car on the parking lot.

14. Be brave… even if it feels awful.

15. Keep your word and follow through.

16. Watch what you eat.

17. Watch what you say.

18. Help others when you see them struggling.

19. Improve yourself.

20. Keep learning to overcome your limitations.

21. Keep your vows.

22. Praise your children and significant others, when deserved.

23. Pat yourself on the back when you’ve overcome challenges.

24. Pat your subordinates when they’ve overcome challenges.

25. Praise in public, correct in private.

26. Keep trying, even if it feels uncomfortable.

27. Let go of the past by completing these sentences, 20 times each:

     I want _____,

     I feel _______,

     I think ______,

     I need ______,

     I will  _______,

28. Accept when you make mistakes, say,

      “I did it, I’m sorry, it is a problem in my life, I accept the consequences, I accept help”.

29. Have the “gratitude attitude”

30. If given too much change from the store, return what doesn’t belong to you.

31. Listen to your gut feeling, go with your first choice. 

32. Choose friends that have the same interests and goals.

33. Check your morals, so when temptation comes along you’re clear on what you’ll do.

“The (wo)man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”   Chinese Proverb

34.  Have faith in yourself.

35. Keep your car clean, it says a lot about you.

36. Eat what’s on your plate, don’t waste.

37. Serve yourself only what you can eat.

38.  Learn from your mistakes.                                

39. Check your actions; they speak volumes about you.

40. Know your self-worth at every moment.

41. When you go to a party, if over 21, drink alcoholic drinks in a healthy quantity.

42. Accept your addictions, and change them.

43. Forgiveness: deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay.

If you can imagine it,
 you can achieve it, if  you can dream it, you can become it.”William Arthur Ford

44.  Acknowledge subtle forms of “violence” – bullying, insults, threats, rumors, sexual harassment, trash talk.

45. Being disruptive means you’re interfering with learning or being hurtful.

46. You can take good care of yourself, even if you’re mad.

47. You can be productive and follow directions, even if you don’t want to.

48. I can be O.K. even when others are not.

49. Respect your elders, they understand much more than you.

50. Sit down at the dinner table and be thankful.

51. Thank your parents, often.

52. Acknowledge your spouse for loving you.

53. Fix what’s broken around the house – soon.

54. Care for your feet, scrape the roughness off your heels.

55. Remove your make-up before going to bed to avoid break-outs.

56. Take your wife on a date.

57. Take your husband out to eat.

58. Leave the kids with a babysitter one evening a month.

59. Volunteer your time at a school or Senior Center.

60. Spay/neuter your pet.

61. Train your dog.

62. Clean up after yourself at ALL times.

63. Think, “Who’ll be affected by my actions?”

64. Ask for what you want.

65. Accept those around you as they are.

66.  Help set up holiday decorations with your family.

67. Make dinner for your family.

68. Reduce your soda-pop drinks.

69. Drink more water.

70. Eat more fruit.

“A pessimist sees thedifficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

71. Switch some of your social networking activities to face-to-face socializing.

72. Ask your child about his/her homework.

73. Talk to your child’s Teacher.

74. Spend quality time with a Priest, Minister, Rabbi and such.

75. Donate to your religious institution.

76. Stop using credit cards.

77. Save for your dream vacation.

78. Pay off your school loans.

79. Work in an inner-city school as a teacher to help pay off your school loans.

80. Be a Big Brother/Big Sister.

81. Hold a premature baby.

82. Downsize your home.

83. Exercise for at least 45 minutes.

84. Stop eating foods with “high fructose corn syrup”.

85. Visit a dentist twice a year.

86. Pay your bills on time.   

87.  Call a relative you haven’t seen in a while.

88. Laugh at yourself.

89. Fix that leaky faucet.

90. Fix that electrical problem at home, before there’s a fire.

91. Buy the right amount of insurance for your needs.

92. Ask about a 401K or 403B or SEP IRA… your retirement funds.

93. Vote in your local elections.

94. Ride a bike outside.

95. Walk your neighbor’s dog.

96. Clean up after that dog.

97. Change your car oil every three thousand miles.

98. Downsize your car.

99.  Continue training and ask for help.

100. Sit still and listen.  

Always strive to do your best!

Happy Holidays,
Chief Master William J. Babin

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