Every summer I like to write an Integrity Report.
It's not quite a yearly review, and not quite a planning exercise. It's a reflection, aiming to answer this question:
"Am I actually living like the type of person I claim to be?"
There are 3 main questions that I will answer in this Integrity Report.
- What are the core values that drive my life and work?
- How am I living and working with integrity right now?
- How can I set a higher standard in the future?
With the COVID-19 pandemic occuring this year, I've included extra thoughts on how I handled the situation.
You can view last year's integrity report here.
Thanks to James Clear for providing the framework.
What are the core values that drive my life and work?
- Am I mentally and physically strong?
- Am I building the capacity to make things happen?
- Am I spending my time where I am most effective, where I have the most leverage?
- How well did I handle the COVID-19 situation?
- Do I have a playful mindset?
- Am I trying new things?
- Do I bring joy to those around me?
- Am I deepening my closest relationships?
- Am I building alliances with trustworthy people?
- Am I enabling others to live better?
- Am I deepening my understanding of myself?
- Am I integrating the parts of me that I've rejected in the past?
- How have I grown in these past 6 months?
How am I living and working with integrity right now?
How am I living with Strength?
- I'm wearing a lot more hats at work now, but I'm still able to keep up with my commitments. My productivity system hums along and does its job.
- If I sit down to work on a project, I have strong focus. I can adjust my workload and style based on energy levels and mood.
- On the physical side of things, I've really hit my stride. I've learned that my body responds well to higher volume, medium intensity strength workouts (specifically Sheiko). I lift 3-4 days a week, jog once, and walk or yoga daily. By this time next year I predict I'll be in the best shape of my life.
How well did I handle the COVID-19 situation?
- I was lucky enough to be tapped into the right twitter circles, who started raising the alarm as early as January.
- My risk assessment predicted a significant chance nCoV-19 could become a serious issue.
- I stopped commuting to the office by the end of February, and bought supplies a week before people started panic buying.
How am I living with Playfulness?
- Stoicism, minimalism, and rationalism make for a dull boy. I needed an outlet to play without fear of judgement from the people around me. So I made a Twitter alt (a second, psuedo-anonymous account).
"Alt Twitter is a domestic cozy lab for identity R&D — the sort of thing that happens all the time in high schools, where kids are constantly showing up in weird wardrobes and playing with new aesthetics." -- AZL
Just by 'shitposting' on my alt I'm re-learning how to be playful, and re-discovering my own interests. It's been fun, and actually a great way to meet amazing people.
- I'm spending more time just sketching for fun. I highly recommend the book Making Comics by Lynda Barry.
How am I living with Relationships?
- My girlfriend and I are comfortable enough to have conversations about any topic, no matter how difficult. I'm very grateful for that.
- I'm still staying in touch with friends as well as we can given the situation
How am I living with Growth?
- I'm part of a bookclub that's working through the 'hypertext book' meaningness. Meaningness has cleared up a lot of confusion about meaning in my own life, and it's a joy to have long conversations on these topics with new friends.
- I started a course on the Bioemotive Framework, a technique for dissolving difficult or repressed emotions.
- My company SciVista got its first paying customer and was invited to be in the first cohort of the 5G Open Innovation Lab.
How can I set a higher standard in the future?
How can I set a higher standard for Strength?
- This blog's publishing rate has slowed to a crawl. A return to a regular posting cadence would help my thinking.
- At work, I have many procedures that could easily be streamlined with a set of Standard Operating Procedures. It's not exciting to do, but will save me a significant amount of time.
How could I have handled the COVID-19 situation better?
- I didn't make enough effort to warn family and friends early, for fear of being the odd one out.
- I didn't anticipate the CDC being so inept (mixed messaging on masks, depletion of national stockpile, etc)
- Excessive ruminating on the pandemic resulted in a lot of mental strain, doomscrolling, and negativity. This is an area I thought I was better prepared for.
How can I set a higher standard for Playfulness?
- I want to bring more playfulness into my conversations
- I also want to bring playfulness to this blog; even serious topics can improved with some levity.
How can I set a higher standard for Relationships?
- I can work everyday to deepen my relationship with my girlfriend
- Schedule more long, one-on-one chats with friends. There's nothing more nourishing than a chat with a friend, even for an introvert like me.
Increasing numbers of men don't have a friend they can confide in; I can make sure that doesn't happen to me or to my friends by being proactive.
How can I set a higher standard for Growth?
- I would benefit from restarting a journaling habit
- Work to integrate what I've learned about meaning, emotion, and play.
- I still struggle to communicate my needs when it might impact others.
Finish the year strong
2020 has been an unusual year. As technology continues to change faster than humans can keep up, I predict we'll see even more unusual years. Let's learn how to operate in this unusual environment.
Here's to the rest of 2020. Stay safe.
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Have you ever done an integrity report? How'd it go? Let me know.