This is my 2019 Integrity report. I got this idea from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. Basically, you ask yourself three questions, and reflect on the how well the processes and systems you’ve used over the last year have served you. Frankly, I’ve been shocked by how much adding a higher level of accountability has helped me to improve in concrete ways. So, in the spirit of that I’m going to share it publicly to keep myself accountable.
Another part of this process is the Annual Review, and in January I finished mine for 2019. The Annual Review is integral to the reflection process of the Integrity Report, and I couldn’t have collected the following thoughts without those buckets to pour them in first.
These are the questions from James Clear’s Integrity Report:
- What are the core values that drive my life?
- How am I living and working with integrity now?
- How can I set a higher standard, and lead with more integrity in the future?
1. WHAT ARE THE CORE VALUES THAT DRIVE MY LIFE?
I took a version of the Big Five assessment a few months ago, and learned a lot about my traits. I took a course by Jordan Peterson on traits that connected traits to values and the expression of values in our character through motivations. That has shaped this report significantly. Let me try to quickly explain what I learned:
The psychoanalysts believe each motivational system has its own personality. Hunger has perceptions, fantasies, habits, rational, emotions, a name, thoughts and actions therefore it is a persona. Think of the character in the Snickers commercial. We move between constrained personalities. In two year olds, there is no integrated personality – only sub personalities. Remember the movie Inside Out? It explains that well. As we mature those underlying systems that provide us with the building blocks of value structures get aggregated and synthesized into more complex unions. It is between the basic level motivations and emotions and whatever you are as an integrated entity that the personality traits lie.
You as an integrated person at the top.
The personality traits in the middle.
Motivations and emotions at the bottom.
The personality traits are aggregated solutions to fundamental problems of motivation and emotion. They are solutions that seem to be generally applicable. Personality is a functional map of the world. It increases the probability that you were going to be able to rely on intuition to solve problems in an infinite world beyond your comprehension. You come pre-programmed with sets of low resolution solutions. That’s a way of thinking about what a personality trait is.
Learning about my personality traits taught me a lot about why I value what I do, and why things motivate me. After doing that I had a lot of detail in terms of traits and how strongly I identify with them. I’m leaving that out of this version of the report because they are highly personal. I found the connections between traits and keywords to be unbelievably accurate which should come as no surprise because that is literally how they are derived.
My keywords from the assessment: Decisive, neat, organized, future oriented, and reliable. Highly focused. Obsessed with detail. Assertive. Can handle risk. Enjoys novelty, art, literature, abstract thinking, philosophy. Is sensitive to aesthetic emotions and beauty. Enjoys learning, and acquiring new abilities and skills. Curious and exploratory. Enjoys abstract thinking, philosophy, and the meaning of belief systems and ideologies. I enjoy confronting and solving complex, abstract and multi dimensional problems. I am entrepreneurial in spirit, Creative, and systems oriented.
I build relationships. I am extraverted. I value health and vitality. I complete my goals. I grow and develop myself with purpose, discipline, accountability, and direction. I am conscientious.
- I want to build a business that serves.
- I want to create a music product that scales.
Core Values I Like From James Clears’ Examples:
Growth (Learning, balance, happiness)
Am I focused on learning and improving?
Am I taking action on the things that are important to me in my life?
Self-respect (Authenticity, balance, happiness)
Am I giving myself permission to be happy with who I am right now?
Servant leadership (Community Happiness Responsibility)
Am I bringing people together?
Am I making the world a happier place?
Am I empowering others to be leaders and tell their own story?
Resilience (grit, toughness, perseverance, Sisu)
Am I mentally and physically strong?
Am I someone who perseveres through difficulty and challenge?
Am I someone others can count on?
Am I reliable and dependable?
2. HOW AM I LIVING AND WORKING WITH INTEGRITY NOW?
Calendars. Time blocking. Proactive relationship management. I keep a detailed calendar for accountability as I do things. I track what I do, set goals, milestones, tasks, and hold myself accountable. It works. I limit this by time blocking within the schedule of meals, sleep, and the energy of the day.
I think philosophically. I try to guide my integrity with these aphorisms:
Calm – Clarity – Content – Compassion
In that order.
From self to other.
From self compassion to empathy.
I write my thoughts down, and review them. I blog in public, and write a lot in public. I do what I say I’m going to do with my writing. Sometimes I do say “later….”, and I need to stop doing that.
I trust people, and share my thoughts and plans. By communicating what I’m going to do, and be doing to people I’m close to, I let them know what is going to happen, and I am more reliable. This is the exact opposite of avoiding people.
I will give credit where it is due.
By choosing Service over profit.
James clear writes articles, answers emails, and responds to messages on Facebook and Twitter all for free as a form of service. I would like to do something similar. Setting clear expectations and being dependable. By putting the needs of the reader first.
3. HOW CAN I SET A HIGHER STANDARD, AND LEAD WITH MORE INTEGRITY IN THE FUTURE?
Find a mentor. Be non-reactive. Don’t exaggerate. Plan, prepare, and be consistent. Lead by example. Take lots of notes on what works, and doesn’t work so I can adjust and share with others to lead. I will publish consistently. Keep an awesomely detailed calendar. I won’t exaggerate, or brag. I will ask for help before I need it. I need to diversify how I get income, and how I develop relationships. Compose. Generate resources and income. Create a product that scales. Portion planning. Relationship boundaries. Maintain relationships in a thoughtful, proactive manner. I need to delegate more to complete more. I need to stop constantly making time to do things for others. It interferes with fulfilling my own needs and interests. I need to negotiate on my own behalf, and GET what I deserve from my work. I will show more gratitude. I will be a good father, son, friend, and leader by being a better partner to myself first.