I’ve made several decisions in the past twelve months that are multi-year, and lifetime decisions of commitment. And I wouldn’t have made these decisions without knowing the true meaning of integrity.
Integrity is a really interesting word if you break it down. The prefix Inte- can mean bring together or cross over and -grit alludes to the toughness and tenacity we must take to see something through. So integrity can mean bringing together the things we want to see through regardless of the things that stand in our way. I’ve come to learn that Integrity is following through on the commitment I made in the first place AND carrying through with that commitment in the spirit of the character I had when I first made the decision.
How many times have you made a decision that was meant to be long term, but in the pursuit of that decision other things came up that resulted in you never reaching the goal, or even the aim of that original big decision? Commitment and character are a powerful combination that can contribute to that original decision being prioritized as it should right in the moment you make it. Wisdom has taught me that when we make a big decision it needs to come from a place of intention with the long view in mind. It needs to be rooted in our character - aka the fruits of our spirit - that drive how we move forward in that commitment. Can I stay honest and vulnerable with everyone involved in my decision? Am I accountable to myself when nobody else requires my accountability? Am I fully conscious of the responsibilities and duties I have said yes to as I made this big decision? These are each questions that needs to be carefully considered before you’ve truly said yes and truly have a chance at accomplishing integrity. And it's important to recognize that we are extremely limited in the amount of these kinds of decisions we can make. Integrity to a long term commitment is only reserved for the things that are extra special.
It was so special last week when my Thai fiancé Noknoi got her fiancé visa to the US! The fiancé visa made us commit to each other and learn patience. Without enduring what we did (two failed visa attempts and a year of uncertainty that she’d ever be able to enter the US). But without these harsh circumstances we wouldn’t have now been getting married and I wouldn’t have started my real estate business and I wouldn’t have moved back to Thailand. The visa process was a lesson in faithfulness to each other and our commitment to spend our life together. We dug deep to have perseverance and patience to see through what was in our hearts. I’m so grateful today for having been exposed to such a depth of heart. Now we have the opportunity of a lifetime. There is a pervasiveness contentedness spreading over me as I lounge in my hammock today in Chiang Mai writing and reflecting.
Life sometimes gives you these special breaks like this, but it’s also important to recognize that everything is working in your favor. Our attempts to see our external circumstances as good or bad are always shortsighted and artificially constructed because we can never see the full plan or picture. As Greg Yates would say, we can’t read the label of the jar we’re in. The visa setbacks a year ago were working in the background to solidify our commitment to each other and sharpen me as a man of integrity. For that I am so grateful.
Master an integrity to your long term commitments and you will have pinnacle levels of relationship, career, health, mental, and spiritual success. Choosing integrity means you get to travel your personal path of purpose to its depths and experience all the richness that has been laid out specifically for you. That’s a beautiful concept in my opinion.
Matthew 6:33 - “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”