Living with Integrity

Expanding on last week’s Transmission we look at more ways Integrity will improve aspects of one’s life.

After introducing Integrity and discussing the larger idea and power of the concept, I will continue to build on Integrity through discussion of some other characteristics of the Tenet. 

Last week I described Integrity as the larger picture of unifying one’s resources toward their vision and goal. Beginning with first understanding all of the parts that make up one’s vision, one can then begin to prioritize, plan, and strategize on how to get to that end. It is the building and strengthening of resources that provide Integrity to a plan as it is the unficiation and completeness of the plan that makes it stronger than the sum of all of its parts.

This drive for deeper understanding and strategy will provide further value in one’s life past efficiently and successfully executing on one’s goals; it will also show itself in how one acts toward others and how the actions and thoughts of others will affect them.

Self Validation

The power of a good strategy is that one will have views of the full picture and end goal. This will assist one in understanding the role each part of one’s life plays in that larger picture. With this, one can see how each gain in a single discipline or area feeds into their larger efforts and one is able to validate for themselves the good or bad they accomplish. 

The same cannot be said for someone who does not have such Integrity. Lacking a full view of the picture, the validation and praise from others will become important to the individual. Without understanding how one part affects and feeds into another, one does not understand how their actions are affecting the larger whole. This uneasiness will foster a reliance on external validation to fill that gap in understanding. 

Such reliance on something outside of oneself leaves oneself vulnerable. Not only do we not have control over how others act, we must realize and understand that people are inconsistent and driven by their own motivations. This speaks to the importance of building a strong community, which has been further discussed here.

The feeling of being unsure of one’s actions is what leaves the door open to relying on external validation; whereas, if one can build the knowledge to remove unsureness, they can gauge their own successes and validate their actions for themselves. If one does not currently know everything that is needed, the gaining of such knowledge will be part of their strategy and plan. As one continues to learn and fill knowledge gaps that may currently exist, they can further strengthen their ability to validate their actions for themselves. 

Projection onto Others

Along the same lines as self validation, the Integrity with which one lives their life will likely lessen the urge to project their beliefs and thoughts onto others. 

When one has a vision and feels the drive to get there, it is not important to convince others that they are doing the right thing or that their thoughts/beliefs are better than others. Their mission becomes about driving to their goal rather than getting support or acknowledgement from others.

Support from a community is great; but understood to not be necessary. A good community can boost one’s successes and a distracting community can be a liability. 

One who lives with Integrity influences those around them by living in line with their values and sharing their thoughts with those who show interest. Through leading by example one’s impact is genuine and lasting and further provides onlookers a better picture of what those values look like.

Fearlessness

With Integrity comes clarity – clarity in planning and execution, clarity in the mission, and clarity with oneself. It is clear what needs to be done to succeed and it is further clear to see that one individual’s success is not dependent upon the failure of another. When living with such focus and intention, one approaches problems and assess solutions differently.

With Integrity, one begins to assess paths not by chances of success but instead by efforts and resources needed to be successful. A plan with Integrity is not concerned with statistics of success – it is driven by more than this. Problems are approached with the belief that failure is not an option and that success simply depends upon the right plan and relentless execution.

The power of one’s resources multiply when all are focused on the same target. Much like a firearm, it is the barrel that contains and directs all of the energy of the cartridge, directing and optimizing that energy toward a single target. A plan, built with Integrity, is the barrel that will contain and focus one’s energy toward the goal.

Wrap Up

All of the Initiated Tenets are simple to grasp but have depth to study; this is by design. By choosing a small number of Tenets and then diving deep into the study of each one allows one to find connections and relationships that may otherwise have been missed. This idea itself is further application of the concept of Integrity and further speaks to the power of the concept.

The study and application of Integrity is carried through from cradle to grave – it is something that should be considered in the beginning when constructing one’s own philosophy and should carry all the way through execution to the end goal. 

Making sure that everything works together and works together well is the real way to optimize. 

Optimize and overcome.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey

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The Archetype of the Initiated

The archetype of the Initiated is a product of its tenets – strength, discipline, integrity, leadership.

There is an archetype of the Initiated. The associated qualities of the Initiated’s four tenets are manifested in the Initiated few. This Transmission describes the archetype and how each of the core tenets are interpreted in action. This will help identify our Initiated brothers and sisters as well as provide a model to those that are training to align with the tenets of strength, discipline, integrity, and leadership.

Strength

Strength may be the most deceiving tenet. Many may define strength by a physical feat; i.e., pounds lifted. The Initiated holds a far wider definition of strength that includes mental and emotional strength in addition to the more obvious physical strength.

Mental and Emotional Strength

The Initiated rely on themselves first and foremost. The mental strength and fortitude required to take ownership of their values is trained. Mental strength is held in the highest regard and is unwavering in the face of opposition. The Initiated advance their position when confronted by resistance and remain confident in situations of uncertainty.

Emotional strength is regarded equally to mental strength. Without such emotional strength, the Initiated would succumb to the weakness and impulsiveness of their emotions. It is understood that emotional response is not reliable; emotions cloud judgement and produce poor choices. The Initiated drive to logical responses in lieu of emotional outbursts.

Continued learning, analysis, and challenging one’s thoughts and beliefs is systemic to the development of the Initiated; it is the training regimen for mental and emotional strength. Independent study, reading, and journaling are all habits attributed to successes in improving current mental and emotional strength.

Both the emotional and mental strength are exemplified in the Initiated’s attitude and approach to problem solving. They are not victims and do not acknowledge thoughts of defeat. This strength is the foundation from which their world is perceived.

Physical Strength

The Initiated live, breathe, and eat strong mind, strong body. A strong body is the vehicle by which the other tenets of the Initiated are delivered. The body is the outward manifestation of the strength within.

Achieved through work like lifting weights, calisthenics, or chopping wood – the Initiated forge their physical strength in many ways. The physical struggle required to break down and rebuild muscle works to sharpen mental and emotional fortitude the same as it does to fortify the physical form. The reciprocal nature of physical and mental strength is understood and exploited to produce maximum effect. The Initiated recognizes and understands the power to be found in this relationship.

The Initiated train; they do not work out. Strength training is approached with purpose. Whether it is training for competition or training for the rigors of the world, the Initiated train with both intent and intensity. The value of a strong, able body cannot be overvalued. The Initiated train their weaknesses until they become strengths. Training is not driven by ego or vanity – it is a means to effect more power into their challenges.

Discipline

As discussed in previous Transmissions, the Initiated forge bulletproof discipline that drives them to achieve. The Initiated have identified uncompromising values; their unnegotiable terms that they will not sacrifice. Things such as training, learning, and reflection are held to the utmost importance to the Initiated. When challenged to make sacrifice, these Principles are not to be bartered for time spent elsewhere.

The Initiated hold themselves to the highest standard of excellence and expect their output to be of a caliber acceptable to themselves; the job gets done right the first time. These qualities make the Initiated predictable, dependable, and reliable. They are trustworthy and understand the importance of such trust. These qualities are a source of pride and are protected. This builds the reputation of the Initiated individual.

The Initiated show up. They show up regularly, on time, prepared, and ready to perform. It is internalized that consistent moves made with intention will compound into large dividends. They are not afraid to put in the work for those things that they want and will stop at nothing short of achieving their goals. It is the reliance on themselves that drives the initiated to work harder, longer, and with more focus than their competition. The Initiated do not expect favors from anyone and know that for good luck to come, they must put in the work to make it so.

Integrity

The Initiated operate to a code; their own code. The philosophy of the Initiated includes the objective to be better and do better. This requires doing those things that must be done to do right by their peers.

Uncomfortable, hard, and challenging are acknowledged feelings but quickly set aside instead for actions of purpose, righteousness, and character. Integrity is upheld in the face of adversity as the Initiated knows what is right and takes actions toward that end.

Integrity rejects the easy way and the Initiated do not pursue the low-hanging fruit. These values are demanding and their ethos requires they rise to the occasion. These characteristics translate to all tasks and challenges placed before them. Challenges are faced head-on with no reserve.

Leadership

The Initiated are leaders in team settings, in their community, and to those not yet known to them. The strong values and the commitment and determination to live consistent with their values drives action. This action is often an unspoken inspiration to those around them. The Initiated influence their surroundings, commanding better performance from everyone they come in contact with simply by living to their values.

People respond to the values of the Initiated and the authenticity brought to the pursuit of their tenets place them in a position of influence and leadership to those around them.

The Initiated lead from any and all positions and can fall within any team setting to fill the roles required. It is not a hit to the ego of the Initaited if they are not a leader by title; rather the Initiated understand the power they have and can lead and influence from any position.

The Initiated understand the importance of trust in leadership and work to build a level of trust amongst their peers. They protect this gained trust and nurture it. It is this trust that makes them successful leaders.

The Archetype

The Initiated few can be identified from afar. They are the individuals who push themselves to be better. Each identified weakness becomes a priority to be addressed; each area of ignorance an opportunity to learn.

They speak a language of strength and action. They are confident in their abilities to learn, adapt, and overcome. As such, the Initiated carry themselves with a great deal of respect for themselves and their abilities.

The Initiated can identify those cut from the same cloth and they take care of their own.

Be the Initiated.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey

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External Influence: The Community

Community, the primary external influence, can be optimized.

Last week’s article Evaluate Principles discussed the evaluation of those Principles and corresponding values that direct one on their path. A personal philosophy built from such Principles will frame one’s decisions and actions toward achieving their goals. The necessity of evaluating Principles is predicated upon the influence of the surrounding environment to ensure that such external influences do not negatively alter such Principles.

It can be conversely said that in a silo it is a simplified process to define one’s Principles and to act upon them; however, it should go without saying that people do not each live in a silo insulated from the surrounding world. There are constant influences from the environment that attempt to pull attention and a following to their perspective. Both complimenting and conflicting ideals are passed around as fact from any outlet or person interacted with daily. The impacts from such a volume of available information will challenge the beliefs of anyone, regardless of the level of discipline one brings to their pursuits.

The most impactful external influence on a person will be from their close communities – those people or things that one respects and/or interacts with on a daily basis. As such, one’s community must be evaluated and carefully managed to ensure the surrounding community is providing the necessary support toward the realization of personal Principles and values.

A community that shares similar Principles and values to an individual’s will pay dividends in the form of:

  • Reinforcing personal philosophy and underlying Principles.
  • Help to clarify those parts of a personal philosophy that are under development or evaluation.
  • Explore one’s Principles to tighten up and make more concise the Principles held.
  • Push an individual to remain true to their Principles and achieve consistent with their values.

A community that does not share similar values will generally do the opposite of the above and will test the discipline and resolve of an individual toward their goals.

To say that discipline will defeat the constant challenges of an unsupportive community is a hard truth to actualize. A solid community is important when discipline waivers. If the community does not share similar Principles and the discipline to drive toward them; there is no support for the individual. An outlier will be tempted to work their way back to the majority, eventually.

Each person will rise or fall to the level of their surrounding community.

This quote should be considered for the weight of what the words truly say. The community that is built around an individual will either accelerate or challenge growth. It is important to be selective in who is invited into one’s community for the impacts that they will have.

To some, this article is a call to action, as it should be – to take a look at those who are in their community and evaluate their surroundings. A community is a tool in the initiated’s toolbox. A community is not a crutch nor is it a scapegoat for current circumstance. One should give back to their community more than they take. One’s community is not essential to their success; but it can be of great advantage. If one’s community is not pushing them to be better than they were the day before; that individual should consider splitting ways with their current situation in search of a new community.

With this said; allow the closing thought to be as follows:

Do not loathe being a lone wolf;
but also do not strive to be one, either.

Thank you for allowing thebeardreport. to be a part of your community.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey