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.