In 1992 Acura released the Integra. I remember because a few years later my younger sister was driving one.
It’s a funny word, Integra. In fact it’s not a word at all – at least not a real word in the English language. It’s one of those names car companies make up – like Impreza, or Elantra.
But the root of this one does hold something powerful. It can be found in words like integrate, and integrity.
Show of hands, how many people feel like they’re one person at work and another at home? One way with certain people – like college friends – but different with others? Maybe you feel scattered sometimes, like too many things are clamoring for your attention?
The more things we have going – the more tasks, roles, personas, and moving parts, the more there is to manage. And as we all know that can get exhausting at times.
So one place to look is Integrity. Typically, when we use the word “Integrity,” it tends to have some flavor of judgment in it. “I trust her, she has integrity,” or, “I wouldn’t work with him, he has no integrity.”
For the purposes of this piece, I invite us all to remove the judgment. Think of the hull of a ship. If it has integrity, it holds the interior space and keeps water out so the ship can sail smoothly. If there are gaps in the hull, or a breakdown in its integrity, water is let in and the ship slows down and might eventually sink. Ultimately integrity is a matter of alignment.
When our thoughts, words, and actions are aligned we can better sail through life’s waters. When there are gaps, that creates drag and we slow down or even stop.
We claim that we want things. The question is are our actions aligned?
And this goes for “being” as well as “doing.” Look at the word “integer.” Same root. In math, an integer is a whole number. Like 1 or 2,163. It’s not a fraction or a percentage, or a piece – it’s whole. Think about what it’s like when you feel whole. Maybe you’ve just rested or just eaten or your in the company of good friends, or maybe even just sitting quietly by yourself. Integrity with being is access to not only power but also ease, and peace.
To be clear, it’s not that you should be exactly the same everywhere at all times. But whenever you notice that you feel depleted, take a look at where you can integrate your life, and create more wholeness.
And regarding action, same thing. For example, if someone has been trying to schedule a meeting with you but you’ve been busy, have them meet you here. Integrate your business meeting with the BNI meeting in order to create efficiency, added value (for both of you) and ultimately a more powerful meeting. It’s powerful for you because it’s a better use of your time, and it’s powerful for them because they get to be exposed to this amazing group.
Where else can you create integration? One place to look is inviting people into other areas of your life.
And consider that this also plays a role in being more authentic. When you are just being you, it requires less energy. That’s a very different vibe than being, “on.”
Being authentic and integrated may be new muscles to cultivate, but ultimately it will get you hired and/or grow your business.
This chapter is filled with authentic people trying to integrate our businesses.
Is it any wonder we closed almost 8 million in revenue last year.
Let’s keep going – working together toward a common goal.
Here’s to us as one integrated team!