Today I am publishing my 2016 integrity report.
The intention of carrying out an Integrity Report is that it will hold me accountable to my core values, and allow me to track the progress of those core values over the years.
There are 3 main questions that I will answer in this Integrity Report.
- What are the core values that drive my life and work?
- What are the actions that came from the previous years Integrity Report?
- How have I lived and worked according to my core values over the last 12 months?
1. What are the core values that drive my life and work?
My core values, and some questions I use to think more deeply about each value, are:
Integrity (Trust, Honesty, Punctuality, Delivering)
- Am I someone others can trust in every way?
- Am I being completely honest with others?
- Am I being completely honest with myself?
- Am I doing what I say I will do, when I say I will do it?
Growth (Learning, Adventure, Habits, Process, Spirituality)
- Am I learning new things and exploring new places?
- Am I building habits that lead to continual improvement?
- Am I focusing on the process, not the end goal?
- Am I growing spiritually?
Service (Creating, Teaching, Inspiring)
- Am I contributing to the world or just consuming it?
- Am I sharing my experiences and knowledge with others?
- Am I inspiring others to better themselves?
Balance (Fitness, Meaningful Work, Optimism)
- Am I living a balanced life?
- Am I living a healthy physical life?
- Am I doing work that deeply satisfies me?
- Am I looking at the world with an optimistic view?
2. What are the actions that came from the previous years Integrity Report?
publish one article every Monday
better communicate the full extent of my thoughts in the name of constructive criticism
study the psychological science behind emotions
become better at being pro-active and motivated to complete the tasks I do say “yes” to
spend less money on things, and more money on experiences
improve my knowledge in the areas of psychology, exercise science, and theology
focus on the journey, not the destination
continue to study the bible, and to socialise with spiritually-like-minded people
give away a percentage of my money to charity
exercise with a clear focus twice per week
work to become the person that I wish the world was comprised of
3. How have I lived and worked according to my core values over the last 12 months?
This section discusses the things that I did well, as well as the things that can be improved.
Last year I said I wanted to publish one article every Monday on my blog. That didn’t happen. Part of it is because of procrastination and distraction, part of it is that I still haven’t found my voice. What do I have to say that is worth reading? I don’t want to publish articles for the sake of page views, I want to publish something that is useful. So in 2017 I am going to write for an audience of 1. That is to say, if I think I have something to say that could help at least 1 person, I will write about it.
Timothy Keller has a nice quote that relates to this. He said:
When you listen and read one thinker, you become a clone… two thinkers, you become confused… ten thinkers, you’ll begin developing your own voice… two or three hundred thinkers, you become wise and develop your voice.
In terms of being honest with others, I can say with confidence that I have not been dishonest in any way to others. I have continued to refine my way of congratulating and criticising others, but I know this needs more education and practice so that my encouragement and constructive criticism can be best received.
In terms of being honest with myself, I think I can say that I have done this well, although as any self-aware person will admit, this is something that can you keep improving for your whole life.
Through my efforts to read a greater quantity and wider variety of books I have improved my knowledge of creative writing, and also about philosophy.
I am the type of person that wants to experience many things, and can sometimes be too easily distracted by something new. In a way this has been useful in the past. I have a very wide array of skills. But I don’t have a deep mastery of many things. It is the classic “jack of all, master of none” scenario. So in 2017 I am going to become a master in 3 areas: reading, drumming, and cycling. Do I actually expect to become a “master” in 1 year? No way! Ryan Holiday, Terry Bozzio, and Cadel Evans have nothing to fear! But I will be focused on deep learning.
I didn’t go overseas in 2016. In fact, I didn’t really go anywhere. I did spend less money on things, and more money on experiences, but those experiences were books and education. Does that count?
Last year I said I needed to focus on the journey, not the destination. I have definitely done better at that this year. Reading “Mastery” by George Leonard had the biggest positive effect on my approach, and I have now learned to recognise (and enjoy) the plateau.
I didn’t do very well in regards to my spiritual growth in 2016. I think it’s an honest assessment to say that I made no progress at all. Is this the plateau that George Leonard talks about in Mastery? Or was it just procrastination and disinterest? Regardless, I need to carry over the action from 2016, that being to continue to study the bible, and to socialise with spiritually-like-minded people.
I have continued to try and educate and inspire others. This is a challenge for me, as some people have said I can be condescending and preaching.
In terms of being more of a creative person than a consumer, I know I can do better, but I do have a plan. That plan is to read and educate myself more widely so that when I do create something, it is done from a position of knowledge and authority, which will hopefully mean I can better help people.
In 2016 I said I needed to find a way to give away a percentage of my money to charity. The way I did this was to enter and ride in some charity cycling events. I still haven’t reconciled how to trust charities, so for 2017 I am going to continue to give away my time and money through cycling events.
Physically, I have been living very well. I have an extremely healthy diet and throughout 2016 I have been getting very fit through my cycling. My goal of exercising with a clear focus twice per week has most definitely been a success, and so I’m going to stick with what has been working. In 2017 I will continue exercising with a clear focus twice per week.
I have made a reset to the balance of my interests as mentioned above. I’ve given away thoughts of race cars, Playstations, motorbikes, and other material things, and will be focusing on 3 interests: reading, drumming, and cycling. However, those interests will be executed with the bare essentials. I.e. I have lots of unread books, so I don’t need to purchase more books; I have a cheap rubber practice pad, sticks, and 2 great books to practice my drumming technique and rudiments; and I already own a nice road bike and mountain bike.
I also said last year that I can be quite pessimistic. I’ve made some inroads to being more of an optimist, but sadly this is an area that needs a lot of work. Until I read and learn about ways to get better at this, I can only try to look for the good things in the world, in the hope that looking at the good will take my eyes off the bad.
Last year I said “I will work to become the person that I wish the world was comprised of”. Have I achieved that? No, I haven’t. Will I ever? I don’t know. But as I have said above, it is about the journey, not the destination. When I wake up each morning I don’t have to be the best, I just have to be better than I was the day before.
Thanks for reading!