My 2015 Integrity Report

Today I am publishing my second annual Integrity Report.

The main purpose of my Integrity Report is to document the steps I’m taking to set a higher standard in my work, lead with honesty, and build a business that serves first. Integrity is one of those qualities that is easy to talk about, but much harder to live out on a day-to-day basis. My hope is that this report provides a reason for me to revisit my core values each year and consider if I have been living by them.

There are 3 main questions that I will answer in this Integrity Report. (You are welcome to replicate these questions for your own Integrity Report.)

  1. What are the core values that drive my life and work?
  2. How am I living and working with integrity right now?
  3. How can I set a higher standard in the future?

Here we go…
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The Goal is Not the Point: Choose a Path and Then Walk It

Imagine, for a moment, that your life is like a treasure hunt.

It’s not much of a leap, really. Like any good treasure hunt, you have a map to guide you. In life, the map is your corner of the universe. Some of the areas on the map you know quite well. These areas are the places and people and things that you’re familiar with and that are part of your daily life.

Other areas of the map are foreign to you. These yet-to-be-explored regions are home to the milestones in life that you can imagine reaching, but that have eluded you thus far. This undiscovered portion of the map is where your hopes and goals and dreams live. These goals are like little pieces of buried treasure that are hidden somewhere out on the map, somewhere that you hope to get to soon.

One day, a particular goal grabs your attention and you decide to set out on a treasure hunt.
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Your First Choice is Rarely the Optimal Choice: 5 Lessons on Being Wrong

As a rule, we are incredibly hard on ourselves when it comes to making big decisions in life.

  • If our first five relationships end with a break up, we think we’re destined to be alone forever.
  • If we go to school, get a degree, and spend years training for a job that we end up hating, we feel like a failure for not having it all figured out.
  • If we have a dream of writing a book or starting a non-profit or creating something of value and we stumble on the first try, we say that we’re not cut out for this.

In cases like these, when we are attempting to do something that is complex and multi-faceted, I believe that being wrong is actually a sign that you’re doing something right.

Here’s why…
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Zanshin: Learning the Art of Attention and Focus From a Legendary Samurai Archer

In the 1920s, a German man named Eugen Herrigel moved to Japan and began training in Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery.

Herrigel was taught by a legendary Kyudo master named Awa Kenzo. Kenzo was convinced that beginners should master the fundamentals of archery before attempting to shoot at a real target and he took this method to the extreme. For the first four years, Herrigel was only allowed to shoot at a roll of straw just seven feet away.[click to continue reading]

Stop Thinking and Start Doing: The Power of Practicing More

We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives. These goals may include learning a new language, eating healthier and losing weight, becoming a better parent, saving more money, and so on.

It can be easy to assume that the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future is caused by a lack of knowledge. This is why we buy courses on how to start a business or how to lose weight fast or how to learn a new language in three months. We assume that if we knew about a better strategy, then we would get better results. We believe that a new result requires new knowledge.

What I’m starting to realize, however, is that new knowledge does not necessarily drive new results. In fact, learning something new can actually be a waste of time if your goal is to make progress and not simply gain additional knowledge.

It all comes down to the difference between learning and practicing.
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Why We Act Irrationally: Harvard Psychologist Ellen Langer Reveals the One Word That Drives Our Senseless Habits

It was 1977 and, although nobody knew it at the time, psychologist Ellen Langer and her research team at Harvard University were about to conduct a study that would change our understanding of human behavior.

It all started when Langer asked her research assistants to cut in front of innocent people waiting in line at the photocopiers in the library.
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The 5 Triggers That Make New Habits Stick

In his best-selling book, The Power of Habit (audiobook), author Charles Duhigg explains a simple three-step process that all habits follow. This cycle, known as The Habit Loop, says that each habit consists of…

  1. The Trigger: the event that starts the habit.
  2. The Routine: the behavior that you perform, the habit itself.
  3. The Reward: the benefit that is associated with the behavior.

The image below shows how these three factors work together to build new habits. [1]

The 3 R's of Habit Change

Each phase of the loop is important for building new habits, but today I’d like to discuss the first factor: habit triggers.

There are five primary ways that a new habit can be triggered. If you understand each of them, then you can select the right one for the particular habit that you are working on. Here’s what you need to know about each trigger…
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