The importance of rest and integrity for success
Life, the Universe and Everything
Do you believe that there’s something out there that’s bigger than you?
I had an interesting conversation with one of my sisters the other day.
We were talking about a catholic priest who has been excommunicated for saying that everything we have been taught is a load of mumbo jumbo.
My sister was saying that he’s probably right but that she still holds onto a bit of hope that there’s something out there that’s bigger than us.
I thought about this on the drive back to Dublin and I asked myself the question ‘where does confidence come from?’
It struck me that when there are things going on that I don’t understand, I have been much more confident, strong and resilient when I have believed that there’s some order and structure to the universe.
During these times I have been much more powerful in my capacity to deal with situations and to move forward.
But when I’ve felt that I’ve been completely on my own and there’s nothing else out there, then I’ve found it very difficult.
This has been my experience anyway.
Maybe there is and maybe there isn’t something more than us, but I have found it very useful to believe that there is.
This has really helped my confidence, my effectiveness and my capacity to move forward.
I want to believe that there’s something going on in the world that we can’t understand – that there’s some pattern, some order and some reason for why things happen.
What do you think?
Rest for Success
We really have no idea what’s coming around the corner.
About a month ago I had a meeting with a very interesting gentleman who’s developing a new business. He’s a few years younger than me and he’s under a lot of pressure and stress.
Yesterday I was informed that he went to see a doctor about a headache, and was told by a specialist that he has just a few weeks to live and that he should get his affairs in order.
I’ve been working with this gentleman for a few weeks before this happened and it was a big shock for everybody, not least himself.
We really have no idea what’s coming around the corner, so I want to offer the thoughts that I had off the back of this.
Firstly, let things be as they are.
Stress is a silent killer, so don’t stress about things. All you can do is accept what is and deal with the facts.
If you spend your life worrying and stressing about things you will end up killing yourself, one way or another.
Secondly, rest is really important.
I hurt my neck a while ago and I did something which was remarkable for me. I decided to take a few days off and not work out.
I remembered the advice of a trainer friend of mine who told me many times that rest is an integral part of strength training, endurance and stamina.
It’s actually a part of the training, not something that’s separate from it.
So, think about this. We have no idea what’s coming around the corner.
Recognise that rest and space for hobbies and friends are an integral part of being successful.
If you don’t, you might wake up one day and realise that time has passed and you missed out on the things that really mattered.
If you want to speed up you’ve got to slow down
I was watching a trailer for the new Star Wars movie and I realised that what they showed on the screen was wrong.
If you’re in a spaceship going around a planet and you want to speed up, you need to slow down, not accelerate. By slowing down you drop lower and get closer to the planet. The circle then gets smaller and you go faster.
This reminded me of something.
We made a couple of mistakes in the office recently because we were moving too fast.
One incident was that one of the guys was under a lot of pressure trying to get something out.
He sent something out with a broken link and quickly resent the message to everybody in our database with another mistake.
People saw it as spam, we got a lot of negative feedback from it and it damaged our brand.
I was very unhappy about it, but it was the perfect example of going too fast.
I made a similar mistake while working on my motorbike the other day.
I was under pressure to get it done and I made something far more complicated than it needed to be.
The following morning I woke up and I looked out the window and realised how simple the job could have been, but the solution never crossed my mind at the time because I was going too fast.
When we go too fast we don’t pay attention. It may be counterintuitive, but if we want to be effective, we need to slow down.
The other day I spoke about my friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and how rest is an integral part of success.
I really believe in this. If you want to speed up, you’ve got to slow down and pay attention. Forget the need to be constantly busy and rushing around.
I remember years ago a tutor that I had fallen out with passed a very disparaging remark about me.
I was running a big business at the time and he said ‘that Berry guy, if he moves any faster he’ll meet himself on the way back!’
He wasn’t giving me a compliment.
As I look back now I realise how right he was, that I was moving far too fast.
So, how about you? What are the things that you should be doing? What are the things that really matter?
I was called out the other day by somebody who said that I was acting without integrity. It was interesting to hear what they had to say. I disagreed but ultimately I realised the truth of it.
It prompted me to do a bit of Googling and I came across a great article by So-Young Kang of the World Economic Forum called The True Meaning of Integrity.
I want to run through a couple of the key points from it.
So, what is integrity, how do we define it? What are the key words?
She picked out the following: consistency, honesty, and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.
She defines consistency as being the same, regardless of the situation. She makes the point that this is a choice that leaders make every single day, even when things are tough.
Honesty requires intentionality. It requires thought.
How honest or accurate are your behaviours, actions and words with the people that you lead?
Integrity requires an inner sense of wholeness and a consistent sense of character.
When you’re in integrity, people should be able to visibly see it through your words, actions and behaviours.
There’s only one you and you should bring the same you to every situation and circumstance.
It’s clear that having integrity 100% of the time is very difficult, but we can aspire to it.
So, what does it take to be someone who leads from integrity? So-Young Kang offers 6 things that she thinks are important:
1. Understand the true definition
2. Intentionally reflect on what you say, how you behave and how you make decisions. Ask yourself if these things are congruent with your beliefs, values and who and what you say you are
3. Be the same authentic person irrespective of the situation
4. Recognise the impact that your behaviour and words have on others, intentionally and unintentionally
5. Actively focus on the development of your character
6. Get others on board to walk the same journey. Inspire others
When you see somebody with integrity, you just know it. If you would like to improve your integrity, commit to implementing the 6 steps above.
Do you believe that there’s something else out there, that there’s some reason behind everything that happens?
My experience has been that I’m much stronger and more resilient when I believe that there is.
Stress is a silent killer. So, slow down, allow things to be, deal with what’s in front of you and don’t stress about things.
Give yourself time to rest. Remember, it’s an integral part of training for success.
If you want to speed up and get more done, you’ve got to slow down and pay attention. Get rid of the need for “busyness” and do what really matters, with the people who really matter.
Finally, what does integrity mean to you? I highly recommend reading So-Young Kang’s article The True Meaning of Integrity.
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