Without Integrity nothing works!

I registered in a 6 month leadership training programme  two months ago. It is definitely one of the best training courses I’ve ever attended in my life. The course is really challenging, and with busy work commitments, I am mostly out of the house.  Well, at least it seems that way. I keep on asking myself what is it that I am getting out of this course after sacrificing all that. One thing is for sure that I am learning a lot about my way of being in different aspects of life.

One of the key issues the course revolves around is ‘integrity’. The dictionary defines the word as honesty, truth, veracity and reliability etc. But it is as simple as honouring your word, be it to yourself or to others.

When the course leader introduced the topic, I said to myself, I know what integrity means, but there was a lot more to it than I thought. The course leader then said, “Nothing in life works without integrity”. That really made me think, that if you live a life of integrity, can you then demand anything you want from life? The answer was yes. In other words, do what you say and get what you want in life – as simple as that. Well, it’s easier said than done, I thought.

A key element of integrity is authenticity. Whenever in life we feel lack of power, there is something inauthentic in the way we are ‘being’. For example, being late for an appointment; lying to someone or making false excuses (yes it’s the same as lying); not paying bills on time; speeding on the roads or any other violation of the law; backbiting/gossiping and even procrastination. All of these are ways of being inauthentic or breaking a word given to others or even yourself.

The course leader then asked everyone to explore their lives and find areas of inauthenticity. That opened up a pandora’s box. People hesitated initially but to my surprise then started sharing their inauthenticities one by one. From stealing stuff to being dishonest in relationships, it all came out that evening. We were then encouraged to resolve these outstanding issues in our lives. It was amazing to see people ‘completing’ many of their open and forgotten chapters in life. The feeling they described was of unbelievable freedom.

Fortunately, I didn’t have a huge burdon to unload off my chest but I have started picking up areas in my life where I was being inauthentic. As part of the course I had to sign an agreement to maintain full integrity. There are clear clauses in the agreement stating things like “no gossiping” for example. By signing the agreement, we gave our word not to gossip or be present in such an environment for the duration of the course. Isn’t that just amazing :D.

I felt the change in me straight away after the integrity class. On my way back home; I consciously forced myself to drive within the speed limits even when there were no cameras. Yes, I am guilty of speeding when I can. I slowly started realising that it feels so good knowing that you are being authentic. Even in the scenario as simple as driving, I no longer have to worry about looking out for cameras or police cars – a simple example of freedom. Other areas that I am still working on include, organisation of paperwork, exercising, my work etc.

One of the biggest challenges the course poses is time management. It seems that it has taken over my calendar big time. The other day my Auntie asked me when will we visit them next and I said, “let me have a look in my calendar – this month looks all full, it’ll probably be sometime around mid next month”. The look on her face said it all. It was embarrassing, I know but my normal answer otherwise used to be “soon inshallah”. That never meant what it actually means, if you know what I mean.

But I love working around a diary. All my commitments are now listed in my mobile diary and I am playing a game of never being late in life.

The course I am doing is offered by an organisation called Landmark Education. I would highly recommend doing their 3 and a half day course called ‘The Landmark Forum’.  You can watch an introduction to the Landmark forum by clicking here.

5 thoughts on “Without Integrity nothing works!”

  1. what a course! if only we could stick to one thing only-INTEGRITY ,we can definitely be 200% better human beings than we are. good luck.

  2. Interesting! The ideas of the Landmark are sound. Acknowledging our shortcomings is the first step towards self development but I wonder how far the training goes towards enforcing long term change? It’s great to feel immediately empowered and conscious of what you do and aim to make those improvements but do you see yourself doing the same in say a year or so?
    The teachings of Islam are very similar. As muslims we should have taqwa and more proactive, agreeing to maintain full integrity on a daily basis as it’s all being recorded! How many of us actually remember this when we find ourselves having a moan from time to time. Sadly, backbiting and gossiping are all too prevalent. I welcome tools and reminders to eradicate these flaws within us. Great job Asim bhai. May your success rub off onto the rest of us and may we all experience such freedom.” Inshallah” ;)

  3. Thanks Nazmeen. Absolutely, consistency is the key.

    One of the key things about the Landmark Forum is that it helps people discover certain blind spots in their lives. These are aspects of our lives we see for the first time. Its just like learning to ride a bicycle. The minute you discover the distinction of ‘Balance’, you’ll never forget it again. It is part of your knowledge domain now, i.e. no longer in your blind spot anymore. Talking of knowledge domains, in the Landmark forum they divided it into 3 main categories.

    1. The knowledge of things we know, i.e. we know our name, we know our age, we know what language we can speak and so on. These are areas that we know that we know.
    2. The second area is that we know that we don’t know, e.g. I know that I cannot speak French and I take French classes if I want to move it to category 1 above but as it stands I know that I don’t know French.

    These are the two areas we mostly live our lives in. The inventions and breakthroughs don’t occur if we keep living our lives in the above 2 categories.

    3. The most important area of knowledge is that which “we don’t know that we don’t know”. In other words our blind spots. The great thing is that the minute you discover one, you have a breakthrough.

    I did the Landmark Forum about 3 years ago and one of the key things that attracted me to it was that it helped me understand Quran more. The chapter 2 of Quran starts with the description of a believer and the first quality of a believer is described as “those who believe is ‘Ghaib’” i.e. Unseen. For me, that instantly related with the Landmark theory of Knowledge (“don’t know that I don’t know” domain) and it made so much sense. You are absolutely correct in saying that our religion tells us the same things. For me, Landmark provided me with an environment that gave me the opportunity to explore ‘Ghaib’ and helped me discover a lot more about myself and my religion.

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