A Sample Chapter of Find Your Courage: 12 Acts for Becoming Fearless in Work and in Life by Margie Warrell

Margie Warrell October 18, 2011 0
A Sample Chapter of Find Your Courage: 12 Acts for Becoming Fearless in Work and in Life by Margie Warrell

This is a sample chapter from my book Find Your Courage: 12 Acts for Becoming Fearless in Work and in Life (McGraw-Hill). It explores the concept of integrity, and makes the case for why it is crucial to laying a foundation for our lives based on uncompromised integrity if we want to achieve the success and fulfillment to which we aspire. This chapter is part of the first ”Foundations of Courage” section of the book as the author claims that only with a commitment to doing what’s right, now matter how difficult or uncomfortable, can we find the courage to take the risks needed to grow and fulfill our own unique potential. It includes an Integrity Audit exercise which can be very useful for clients who need to address where there is a lack of alignment and integrity in their life.  The chapter begins below and you can click the red download button to access the full chapter.

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Chapter 2
The Courage to Live with Integrity

“Integrity is one of many paths you can follow in life. It distinguishes itself from others because it is the only path upon which you will never get lost.” –Author Unknown

If you can cast your memory back to your days in the classroom you may recall (if you were paying attention) learning that “integers,” from which the word integrity derives, are whole numbers. Likewise, integrity is also about wholeness. This wholeness comes through having alignment between what you believe is the right thing to do and what you are doing, and on a deeper level, between who you were born into this world to be and who you are being. At its core, integrity is about being true to yourself.

Although the path of integrity is not always an easy one to follow, it is the only path that will allow you to experience real peace of mind, contentment and harmony in your life. Indeed, only by building your life on a solid foundation of integrity can you live the fulfilling and fabulous life you wish for. Why? Because without integrity, nothing works!

Just think about the foundation on which your home is built. If it was built on unstable soil, when the wind blew hard or the rain bucketed down, it would not be able to withstand the onslaught and its walls would eventually begin to crumble. The same would also occur if you wanted to expand it by building a second or third story. Unable to cope with the additional pressure placed upon it, it would begin to sink in places due to the extra weight and render your home uninhabitable. It’s the same for your life. If you want to live a bigger, more rewarding life, then you’d better have a rock solid foundation upon which to build it. Indeed, the higher you climb, the harder the wind blows so if there are any cracks in your foundation—any areas where your integrity is compromised—then those cracks will begin to give way under the pressure of mounting expectations, responsibility, power and status. And if the foundation crumbles, the consequences can be devastating for you and those around you.

Whilst writing this chapter, I attended a ball in Dallas where several local businessmen were made laureates of the Dallas Business Hall of Fame, among them Ross Perot, the computer billionaire and twice presidential candidate. Of all the things he could have spoken about during his speech—leadership, business success, finance, risk, or entrepreneurship—he chose to speak about integrity. He stated that to succeed in business one must be a person of their word with a steadfast commitment to integrity. I’m going to take this a step further and state that to be successful in life, and I mean truly successful, you must be a person of your word with a steadfast commitment to living with integrity in every aspect of your life. Given that integrity is the foundation upon which Perot achieved his extraordinary success (it’s no small feat to get from breaking horses to running for President), I’m confident he’d agree that integrity is essential to enjoy success, not just in business, but in every area of life.

So what does the concept of integrity mean to you? I’ve found that integrity means different things to different people, from honoring their commitments and being ethical in their business dealings to not cheating on their tax return, or for that matter, on their spouse. Of course, integrity is not to be confused with morality. Morals are societal standards, which can change over time and be different across cultures (think mini-skirts in 18th Century England) and so what is morally right for one person may not be so for another. Integrity transcends morality for integrity is timeless and universal. {Click below to read the full chapter}

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