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Learn from Your Parents

Mom and Pop

We don’t give enough credit to our parents for who we are as individuals and who we hope to be in the future. I am more reflective and thankful today than I ever have been about what amazing parents I have been blessed to have in my life. It’s become more prevalent to me since I moved away from Reno to Denver to follow a path I envisioned for myself for the last four years and none of it would be possible without my parents.

I’ve been going through the recruitment process with a reputable company over the last several months and I recently had a sit-down meeting with the managing partner of the office here in Denver and he asked me two of the best questions I have ever been asked. They weren’t particularly deep questions but they were simple and I’d never thought about them before: (1) What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your mother? and (2) What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your father?

They’ve been married for 25 years, have 3 idiot sons (I’m the middle), and a soon-to-be grandchild and this post is for them:

Mom

Mom

It’s difficult for me to put exactly what I want into words when discussing my mom (and my dad too). She’s been through a lot in the last couple of years and she’s handled it with more conviction and humility than anybody I have ever met. Behind the conviction and perseverance that I see in her, is her unwavering integrity and poise. It’s these qualities that she has bestowed upon me that I hold dear. To be a source of strength and compassion to foster an inner integrity beyond myself. It’s because of my mom that I have begun my own journey to make the world a better place by being a better person for not only myself, but for those around me.

The most important things I’ve learned from my mom is perseverance, integrity and compassion.

Dad

Pop

My dad is a big kid at heart. Some of the funniest and most memorable stories are because of him. I owe my personality to him. Through all of the hilarious “Jorge” moments, I am the man who I am today because of the father that he was when I was a child and still is as I enter a new phase of life. The amount of self-assurance and personal value that I recognize in myself is because of the qualities I saw in him. His dedication to my mom and our family has inspired me to discover a new level integrity so that I can become a loving husband and father like him.

The most important thing I’ve learned from my dad is responsibility, self-reliance and dedication.

With every great journey, there is a companion and my parents have been on this journey for over 25 years. Throughout my life I have had the example for what I want for myself. Each day that I struggle I have the best two people in the world to call for advice, guidance, and inspiration. I love my parents.

What have you learned from your parents? From you Mom? From your dad? When was the last time you spoke to your parents? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Double Standards

I talk a lot about integrity. That’s because I believe it is what defines each and every one of us in our core. It what allows us to be our authentic selves and gives the ability to express it to the world. Along with the things that help us find that inner integrity to express our authentic selves, there are behaviors and actions that detract from finding our integrity. From not honoring, resenting others, and to maintaining double standards.

Double standards hold ourselves to different standards than those around us. Not only are we fabricating our integrity, but it’s an outright lie. One of the first principles I shared was about how we deal with other people and how we can change our perception so that it doesn’t cost ourselves more harm than it should. But those principles can only exist and be practiced if we know who we are and what we stand for. We can allow others to believe what they believe, say what they say, and do what they do because it’s about them and their own story. It’s not about us. When we begin to engage them in their conduct and impart our values upon other, we had better be certain where it is that our integrity lies.

Beyond the standards that we hold and judge other on, it speaks enough about who we want to be as individuals. But reaffirming our personal agreements that we make with for ourselves isn’t enough. It requires commitment and practice. We can tell ourselves “only just this once,” but it accumulates to the double standards that we carry for the rest of our lives. We need to take the time to asses what little exceptions we make in our lives and stop them. It may not happen over night, in a week, in a month, or a year; but it’s the small steps that make the big changes. The big change we want to see and experience is the ability to be comfortable and confident in the integrity that we have built, found, and share with the world.

What double standards do you hold? Have you changed your outlook because you weren’t holding the same standard for yourself? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Honoring Our Integrity

This post is a bit more personal in nature because I am going to share some personal perspectives and relate them to the principles I have shared over the course of my blog. The recent development about Gen. David Patraeus’ indiscretions serves as a learning opportunity for all of us when it comes to the agreements we make in life and the integrity we establish within ourselves. These behaviors are not new, probably more common than we want to admit, and will most definitely be prevalent throughout our lives. Not even some of the most famous and revered people have fallen: Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr, and the list goes on. It can speak volumes of their character without them ever having said a word or even getting to know us.

What it comes down to is our integrity. It comes down to what we believe, the type of person we want to be, and the kind of lives we want to lead. The agreements we make in life, regardless of the nature of these agreements, are a part of the mosaic of our lives that define us. They define us because that’s how we want to be defined; by our own volition. If we want to be remembered for something,  The person who makes and breaks agreements is not the person we should want to be.

Sometimes the terms of our agreements change and that’s okay, but when they change, make it known that something is different. Sometimes they change for the better and sometimes they change for the worst; that’s the nature of life. It’s how we deal with that change that will define or alter our integrity. By engaging the change and seeking understanding is how we grow. The subversive, indiscretionary behaviors that so many engage in benefit nobody and deviate us from our integrity.

When we knowingly deviate from our authentic-selves and integrity, it can become a heavy burden. The longer we go without resolving the internal conflict the further away we become from ourselves. Only with a clear conscious can we move on and begin the process of getting in touch with our authentic-self. Even then, our integrity is forever changed. Those people who go through life denying this fact and justifying their behavior with fabricated bravado do so at their own detriment.

Think of the last time you found out about another’s indiscretion? How did you react? Was it somebody close to you? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Have a Heart to Heart

We’re used to having to hold our feelings in, or least feel like we should. This shouldn’t be the case. In fact, it’s a necessary facet of life to release the uneasy feelings we try to keep inside. By holding onto those feelings, we’re not making room for new ones. It also inhibits our ability to move on and toward the next step in accomplishing our goals and dreams.

Typically, we have various key people in our lives that we will open up to in one way or another. Family is usually the first resource I go to when I need somebody I talk to, but I also have a close group of friends that I can confidently confide in and know that they will give me honest input. Part of the relationship that we have created means that the sharing is always a two-way street. I count on them as much as they know they can count on me. These conversations can range from sharing personal anxieties, failures, and even about the standing of the relationship between us. They key is to actively listen to our friends and family. You never know when you will need them or when they may not be there.

When we engage in any heart to heart conversation, regardless of who we’re talking to, we have to remember the end goal: to strengthen the relationship by reaching new understandings. No matter how personal it may become or uncomfortable, there’s no progress if true, authentic feelings aren’t expressed. I have had several of these conversations and they can be very uncomfortable, but I was better for it because I knew intrinsically what it meant for my growth as a person. Not all of them went well, but I was confident in myself because what I said was the truth and in alignment with my integrity.

awkward

 

After we’ve released the pent-up feelings and emotions, it’s can be a huge relief. It can also be equally painful because we’ve said something to end (or damage) the relationship or vice versa (depending who we’re talking to). No matter the outcome, remember that that is the time to persevere. True friends will stick by you no matter what! Keep trying your hardest toward your goal; you never know, that person may come back into your life at some point to show you their true colors. Hopefully as a true friend.

When was your last heart to heart? How did it turn out? Were you completely honest with the other? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Reality Check

I’m going to go back to my original question: Why are you here? My previous posts have centered around helping you find a sense of self by assessing the world around you so that you can begin to live a happier life. I’ve practiced what I’ve shared in previous posts – Blame/Complain, taking things personally, and not making wild assumptions about things and I have really made progress in understanding myself and leading a happier life. I’m not nearly where I want to be, but I understand that life is a marathon and not a sprint and each bit that I do today will result in long-term success.

Keeping the other pieces in your mind, there has to be a component that holds it all together. This essential part is to stand with your convictions and personal integrity (this one is about you). Everybody’s integrity is self defined and is very different. What I define as acceptable is different from everybody else. It doesn’t mean I’m more right or more wrong than you, it just means that I place my values on different things.

The things we say and do in life have an effect on our integrity whether we choose to acknowledge that fact or not. When we make the conscious effort to understand what we say and how we say them, it is easier to identify whether or not we are being true to ourselves. Its more profound and essential to stay in harmony with our integrity, than it is to do whatever is convenient at the time. The words we use to engage others are powerful because we use them to form agreements with people. When our intention aligns with our integrity to form an agreement, we move forward in a positive direction. It’s that feeling of accomplishment when we complete something of value that we wanted to obtain (that small section of the marathon that accumulates to long-term success).

When you’re not in alignment with your integrity, it’s detrimental to who you are as a person. When the use of your words are not rooted in your intent and integrity your agreements will have no value. This can be characterized by lying, gossip, arrogance, and resentment. The relationships and agreements that are built on these falsehoods are a house of cards waiting to crumble; and when it does, you don’t want to have to be alone.

Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Reality Check

Truthful, Gentle, Fearless

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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