Is integrity becoming a thing of the past?

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Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards. Source: Wikipedia

Integrity to me is doing the right thing whether anyone is watching or not. It is not waivering in your morals and values even if doing so would put you at an advantage. It is seeing through your commitments regardless of how tired, bored, busy you are.

In today’s society where most are fighting to make it to the top, whatever it takes, integrity can become lost along the way. Some may be willing to compromise in order to move further ahead in their careers and studies. Others may be “economical with the truth”.

Recently, I watched a UK programme, The Apprentice with entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar. For those not in the UK, there are a group of candidates who compete against one another for a one year contract to work with Sir Alan Sugar. Each week they participate in challenging tasks to test their business knowledge, tenacity, judgement and team working skills. Each week one person is eliminated.  At least five candidates lacked complete integrity, they took no ownership for their behaviour and mistakes. They spoke badly of one another to one another. They lied when questioned about their actions. They were willing to do and say anything to be kept in the competition.

I find it rather concerning that some are willing to live with little or no integrity. I wonder if they had integrity to start with or perhaps they do not see the true value in being a person of their word. It does not go unnoticed; whether you are an employee, a business owner, a student – you (and me) are being constantly observed by others.

What does integrity mean to you?

When was the last time your integrity was challenged? What did you do?

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How easily do you forgive yourself?

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My blog’s focus this week is slightly different to my usual content but I felt such a pulling to write it.

Are you quick to forgive yourself when you make an error or bad judgement at work, in your business, with family and friends? Are you quick to forgive others when they perhaps disappoint or even betray you? 

I truly believe that the two are linked. Where you are critical of yourself, you are likely to be critical of others. Where you fail to forgive yourself for past actions, you are likely to hang onto the pain felt from others who failed to live up to your expectations.

It is inevitable that you will “get it wrong” or events will happen beyond your control. Let us say that you wake feeling tired and consider taking the later train which would mean you arrive to work/university/training slightly late. You decide to aim for the earlier train and on arrival at the station find it is cancelled.  In this instance, you are not to blame as you acted with integrity to arrive on time. Do you allow it to affect your person, no as it was out of your control.

I know I struggle in this area as I place a high expectation on myself, unrealistic even. If my plans do not pan out as I had hoped, I reflect on;

1. Where did it go wrong?

2. Could I have prevented it?

3. How can I learn from this? 

Steps to take in order to move forward:

1. Identify why you need to forgive yourself

2. Separate yourself from the mistake – understand that failure does not make you a bad person

3. Get up, shake yourself off and start again

4. Think of strategies which will help you change your mindset to a more positive one

Finally, remember the famous quote;

It is better to have tried and failed, than to have failed to try” Mike Dennison 


Are you quick to forgive yourself? 

Multitasking: The good and the not so good!

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Up until recently, I viewed having the ability to multitask to be a commended skill. I saw myself as a multitasker and often used this skill to sell myself whilst at university and when applying for jobs. 

I was under the assumption that employers looked for this skill in candidates; that they wanted to work with people who could juggle a vast number of tasks without getting irate, confused or frazzled.  

I listened to a motivational speaker the other day and the subject was about your top three priorities.  Apparantely we should create a list of our priorities for the year, highlight our top three and scrap the remainder.  If one has too many tasks, they will give little focus to any, bringing mediocre outcomes, at best to each. 

This resonated with me. I am a do-er and receive much satisfaction from crossing off completed tasks.   I know for a fact that I “carry” too much. I also have a tendency to try to kill five birds with one stone! I fill pockets of time with tasks that I tell myself will only take two minutes. If cooking a dish that requires close attention, I will wander off to carry out another task then run back to check the food. I have a low attention span so a part of me probably enjoys moving from one task to another. It keeps the adrenalin going!

Let us look at a few pros and cons of multitasking;

Positives
1. Assists one in dealing with delays and interruptions 

2. It prevents boredom as it brings variety

3. One can move more than one project forward, even if with very minimal progress 

4. One can cope in a hectic environment 

Negatives
1. Slows progress as it takes more mentally to complete several tasks

2.  Less quality work as less time is spent on each

3. More time taken to remember where you last finished 

4. Less effective decision making 

What is your take on multitasking?

Is it a given that one should possess this skill whether in paid employment or running their own business?  

Set your goals high in 2016!

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I do not know about you but I have a great feeling about 2016 – my second post for the year and I am rearing to go!

I am excited about working on my goals and seeing them pan out. Of course, it will take commitment and sacrifice but as the saying goes;

“Anything worth having is worth working for”.

To be honest it feels like I am working against time and I am always thinking of ways in which I can accommodate my goals whilst bringing balance to other important areas of my life; reading the bible, praying, supporting my husband, raising my children church ministry, developing my career.

A few of my skills and character goals for 2016:

1. Prioritising my time. I am pretty good at managing my time but there is room for improvement. I am beginning to realise that the ability to multitask may not be such a great thing after all. It is far more productive to focus on less activities than stretch yourself to manage many. 

2. Focus, focus, focus! I need to keep my eye on the ball, giving little room to distraction. Challenges and other issues will arise to draw my attention away from my goals but I must be willing to get back onto the path.  

3. Patience. Being willing to wait even when I am itching to move forward or make a decision. Being content with waiting.

4. Attitude. Maintaining a good attitude even when life is proving challenging; when projects are slow to take off and plans do not develop in the way I had hoped.

What are your goals for 2016?

Have they changed dramatically from 2015?  

Are you thankful for 2015?

 

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My first blog of 2016 – short and sweet!

2015 was a reflective year for me and my family. There were a few disappointments along the way which we had to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move on. With one disappointment in particular, I struggled to move on and wanted to know the reason why one of our plans did not pan out. Of course, it is not always clear at the time but we have to trust God. If a door closes then it is for a reason – something far more suitable is on the agenda.

I must add, there were times of great joy and blessings which we are thankful for. It is all too easy to become complacent with the people in our lives and our comfortable surroundings.

I like the following quote:

The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for“.

I spent time looking at my character in 2015. I acknowledged and accepted that although you cannot control your circumstances, you can control the attitude you carry. In 2016, I challenge myself to maintain a good attitude – even when I feel like doing the complete opposite. This should be interesting……….

What did you learn about yourself in 2015?

What will you improve on in 2016?

 

Make 2016 the year you set clear goals!

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As we draw near to 2016, I have been pulled to reflect on the year; my achievements, my challenges; what I would do differently, my priorities – do they need to shift?  

There are goals which I achieved and those which I did not. Unachievable goals were perhaps unrealistic but I am a great believer in setting high expectations.  Any goals not reached are moved to the following year or taken off my list altogether if they are no longer applicable. 

I am learning to be flexible and open to change.  Often there is more than one route to reaching your goal, it may take longer but the important factor is you will get there!

Setting goals helps one to remain focused in a world where it can be all too easy to spread yourself thinly and make commitments without giving it much thought. When reality kicks in you realise you do not have the time or perhaps do not even want to make the time. 

Some tips on setting goals;

1. Think about why – what do you hope to achieve?  Whose life/lives do you wish to impact on?

2. What small steps (break it right down) do you need to make in order to achieve your goal?  

3. How will you measure the achievement?

4. Revisit the goal

How often do you set goals?

How much are you caught up in consumerism?

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I drafted a post several days ago but felt it was more fitting for the end of the year. You will find out why if you check out my blog next week! 

Today, I want to focus on consumerism and what a better time than the Christmas period when most people are buying gifts and enough food to feed the five thousand!

Companies spend a large percentage of their budget on marketing to persuade us to buy their goods and services. Some are needs whilst others are wants. There is a thin line between the two therefore the lines are often blurred. How often have you or a friend uttered;

“I need a holiday” immediately after returning from one

“I need new clothes” despite having a bustling double wardrobe full

I have been guilty of this, especially the first statement. If I had my way, I would travel far more frequently.  My love for travelling is to meet a want not a need.

I need customers to keep my side business afloat and I would definitely class the products I sell as wants (make up and beauty).  I rely on my customers and potential customers’ need to want to enhance their natural beauty.  Without them there would be no business – it is in my best interest to influence their buying. I have worn the make up and taken selfies, shown selfies taken of other women and shared testimonies. 

Does your business meet a want or a need?

What marketing strategies do you use? 

Light hearted tips and advice from an organised lady!