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August 2013


Integrity - Honour Yourself

"The glue that holds all relationships together -- including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity."

… Brian Tracy (b. 1944) US author and motivational speaker

Here are a couple of questions for you to ponder before you read this month's newsletter:

  1. Is your integrity important to you?
  2. How well do you maintain your integrity?

I have very little doubt that the answer to the first question will be quick and clear - "Of course, integrity is important to me!" However, a clear answer to the second question may prove to be a little bit more of a challenge for you. I know it does for me.

Before we explore the second question in more depth, I need to define what I mean by "integrity". In general, integrity is the state of being whole and undiminished. In terms of being human, this relates to having a moral character and being true to our self. In order to determine how well we maintain our integrity, we first have to be clear about who we want to be as a "whole" being and then determine whether we are achieving this or not, which requires a high level of awareness together with the capacity to be honest with ourselves.

One way of developing a better assessment of our own integrity lies in the commitments we make for ourselves and to others. To understand why this is the case, it is valuable to appreciate what is at stake when we make a commitment.

From an impersonal perspective, a commitment entails doing something - a task of some sort. This is the obvious aspect of a promise - I commit to take some action for you by a certain time and to a certain standard and deliver you a certain outcome. If limited to this perspective, we are left with a transactional view of commitments.

However, life is not so simple and as with all aspects of life, there are two other perspectives to be addressed - the interpersonal and personal - and it is the impact of dishonoured commitments in these two domains that create much of the discord in our lives.

The interpersonal perspective of a commitment is about relationship and most particularly about trust, which includes the aspect of how well we deal with the promises we make to others. We only have to briefly explore the impact of dishonoured promises made to us and how we feel about the people who made them to see how this can have a significant impact on our relationships. Most people understand this connection at some level although many do not really appreciate the impact on their lives.

Finally we come to a personal perspective of a commitment. The relationship between the commitments we make or those which are made to us and our sense of self may not be obvious but the impact can be profound. When we sincerely make a commitment, we create an expectation of ourselves to ourselves and to others. In not honouring a commitment, many people feel guilt. When I feel guilty I am seeing that I have done something that I shouldn't have done and I don't like this about myself. Each feeling of guilt can perpetuate a negative self-story undermining our sense of integrity.

With this in mind, I invite you to think more deeply about your commitments to others and for yourself.

Before you make a commitment, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I being sincere in making this commitment? Do I really mean it?
  • Am I capable of meeting this commitment? Do I have the skills or the time?
  • Do I have the resources to meet this commitment? Is the equipment I need available? Are other people needed to help me and are they available?

When you make a commitment; honour it! That does not mean always keeping it as sometimes things change and you cannot. If you cannot keep your commitment to someone else then apologise and address this breakdown in some way. In doing so, you honour yourself and the other person. You also uphold your integrity.

We invite you to explore more in the articles section of our web site.

Play Create Elevate

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

"I have seen the sea when it is stormy and wild; when it is quiet and serene; when it is dark and moody. And in all these moods, I see myself."

… Martin Buxbaum

an invitation to think differently and to use language differently…

mental illness… mental health… head & heart health

How many of us, when we hear the term “mental illness”, think about ‘crazy people’? The term conjures scenes of ‘insane asylums’, straitjackets and Nurse Ratchett in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. For decades the term “mental illness” has been thought of and spoken about in a highly negative context. I think it’s time for a change. And like all good things, it won’t happen overnight but hopefully it will happen!

I have been thinking about possible alternatives for a while. Mental health is a step in the right direction. It still has the word “mental” in it which conjures up the old beliefs of being ‘mental as anything’.

For the time being I have settled on “head & heart health”. I like the alliteration and more importantly the combination speaks to the dual role that thinking – the head – and moods & emotions – the heart – have in supporting our overall well-being. I think the nutrition and fitness industry have the body aspect well covered.
So next time you are in conversation with others on this topic I invite you to use and to invite others to use “head & heart health” instead of the old language!

One part of the Play Create Elevate Mission is for people to be able to openly and comfortably talk about “head & heart health” issues – particularly depression. And one of the most tragic and unnecessary ends to depression is suicide.

So while I am on the topic of using language differently here comes another invitation.

Did you know that it is not illegal to die by suicide in Australia?

I am not advocating suicide by any stretch of even the most vivid imagination. I am pointing out that our description of people who die by suicide as having “committed suicide” belongs with the time period when it was illegal and hence committing suicide was committing a crime. That being no longer the case my second invitation is for you to substitute “died by” for “committed” suicide.

Granted, this is an unpleasant topic but SIX Australians die every day by suicide. That’s one every FOUR hours. The more we talk about our “head & heart health” issues, the less stigma will be attached and the more quickly the people who need help will seek and get help!

Join the Play Create Elevate bandwagon and let’s improve everyone’s “head & heart health”! A good place to start is with yourself!

Please check out the website, www.PlayCreateElevate.com.au, and let her know what you think.

More on PCE next month!

The Monthly Diversion

This may well be an urban myth, but it amused me.

Manure... the interesting facts!

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet. However once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, a by product of which is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction "Stow high in transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T", (Stow High In Transit), which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word.

Neither did I - I had always thought it was a golf term!


And one more thing...

Recent studies found average golfers walk 900 miles a year.

Another study found golfers drink 22 gallons of alcohol a year.

This means, on average, golfers get 41 miles to the gallon!

Kind of makes you proud. Almost makes you feel like a hybrid, which I find rather appropriate as I drive one!

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

… Henry Ford (1863 - 1947) US auto manufacturer

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Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.

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