We learned about honesty and integrity - that the truth matters... that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules... and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square.
Sometimes wisdom shows up at the most unexpected places. This time it was during a car wash.
It was a normal day of meetings and errands. As I was moving from appointment to appointment I decided to squeeze in a car wash. As the finishing touches were being put on my car, and as I rushed over to say my goodbyes to the detail specialist, I heard him give out a frustrated grunt. At first I thought there must be a stubborn smudge that he wasn’t able to take off. But then he turned around and casually blurted, “there aren’t a lot of people that can be trusted!” I was pressed for time but I realized he needed to get something off of his chest. So, I stopped for a moment.
I asked “what makes you feel that way?” He went on to tell me that he continually faces people that let him down and that don’t keep their word. His words hit me hard. Just days before, I had experienced a similar disappointment with someone I thought was a friend, but one whom I had gotten to the last straw of empty words and broken promises. It is especially disheartening when you genuinely love and trust another person, but they don’t reciprocate in kind.
Today, it seems that having integrity is a lost art. Maybe it’s the commitment-avoiding Southern California culture where you hear “let’s do lunch” all too often. Whatever the cause, encountering people who say what they mean, mean what they say, and then follow-through, is a fleeting experience. Even the guy at the carwash is experiencing the same trend.
But trends aside, integrity is actually really cool and powerful. When handled well, it can be a force.
Just start with yourself. If you vowed to always keep the promises you made to yourself, and you actually completed all of the goals you set, you would become extremely productive. All of that productivity would create a momentum in your life that would make you feel unstoppable. But it seems like it is becoming easier for us to give in to distraction and apathy. Just think of all of the resolutions and diets that people start but soon abandon. Think about all of those things you’ll start “next month.” When you think about it, if we’re having trouble holding true to ourselves, it’s not surprising that we would struggle with being true to others.
One of my best friends said to me, “you either have integrity or you don’t. It’s not like a pie that you can have a piece of.” This idea is not something we often think about, but the principle holds true. Even though it seems harmless to utter empty promises in our casual conversations and encounters, the pattern of making obligations and letting others down isn’t positive and it’s definitely not an expression of love.
So if integrity is a key part of our personal success as well in our relationships, how do we get and stay in integrity? I’m no “integrity scientist,” but here are a few things that have helped me to refocus on this all-too-important topic.
Rediscovering the Lost Art
- We need to say what we mean. If we can’t hold to what we promise and keep our word then don’t make the promise. It’s as bad as putting something on your credit card that you can’t afford to buy. This will only stress you out and possibly hurt the one you promised.
- Be true, even when no one is watching. Integrity is tied to morals, values, and standards so take time to pause and remind yourself of who you are. Then weave those ideas into your decisions and commitments.
- Think about someone you know who is good at integrity and acknowledge them. This small act serve two purposes: it will brighten the day of the person you acknowledge, and it will keep the idea of integrity from being lost amongst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
Minced Lamb and Mushroom Meat Sauce
- Ghee or coconut Oil
- 2 lbs of minced lamb
- 2 medium onions
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup of ginger
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 ½ tbsp of Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala
- 2 cups of mushrooms (chopped)
- 1 cup of frozen petite peas
- 1 tbsp of turmeric
- 1/4 tsp of chili powder
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- Cilantro (chopped)
- 1 package of spaghetti
In a pot you heat some ghee or coconut oil.
Add the ginger and garlic.
Stir until pink and then add in the onions.
Let the onions cook until they have become translucent. Stir.
I personally like them soft with a little crisp.
Add the minced lamb, salt, the turmeric, red chili powder, salt, and the paprika. Stir together.
When oil is separated from the lamb, add in tomatoes, mushrooms, peas and Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala.
Cover and allow the ingredients to marry.
Allow the lamb to cook for 20-25 minutes.
Serve on a bed of spaghetti and garnish with fresh cilantro.