All you need is a lot of love, a gallon of passion, and a never quitting attitude. I identify with the quote above on a level that I can’t even accurately express. However, I’m going to give it a shot.

Integrity. My personal definition: when what you say and what you do are in alignment. Isn’t that simple? If you say to someone you will be there at 1…you will be there at 1. If you make someone a promise to give them your best every single day, you give your best…every single day. If you tell someone you want to be friends, you go forward and act accordingly. Now, there will be times when you act out of integrity. Those times call for one thing: restating your promise and getting into action. Where do most people fail? At step one. Doing what you said you were going to do. We have all been there, and we have not only acted out of integrity with others, but with ourselves.

Without integrity, nothing in your life is going to work at full throttle. Here’s why. If you have a goal…and you didn’t achieve it…and you look back on what you did during the time of preparation, you will see countless examples of where you lost your integrity. But sometimes you have to look really deep past the obvious things…and see into those little tiny events…the momentum builders (that’s what I call them) and realize that you started losing momentum when you were doing things half-assed or the wrong way. Those momentum builders are things such as washing the dishes, picking up your trash, keeping the bathroom clean. Things like that. Those tiny little things that most people overlook because they think they are not worth anything. My thoughts on this are….”If you can’t wash the dishes right…how do you expect yourself to achieve something great?”

Sometimes you will get lucky. Achieving something through luck is probably the worst thing that can happen to you. I would rather fail then get lucky. Because when you achieve something through luck, you have absolutely zero idea how to replicate that success. Then people will look at you and think you’re great…but when the time comes again to prove yourself, you will have nothing. I always tell me friends…”Plan the work and work the plan.” Don’t go through life playing darts blindfolded.

The last part is knowing exactly what you stand for. When I was reading through the book, I found that the major 3 major life events that have happened to me taught me three very important things: Love, Passion, Never Quit. Each of those events brought me a nugget of wisdom, and are now part of me and will never go away. These may be different for you, but you need to know what you are made of inside. If you don’t know, then when things hit the fan or big decisions come your way, you will have to make an uneducated guess at what to do. Over the past few months, gosh even this weekend, I have been confronted with situations that demanded a big decision. But I have a “go to.” When I am about to decide on something… I go through my mental checklist. “Love?….Passion?….Never Quit?” If one of those things is off, I know what I need to do. This has helped me through so much…and has led to some great decisions. Also, I have no regrets.

The last part is this. People are going to misunderstand you. There was this great quote that I put up the other day that said something to the effect that you can be the brightest juiciest peach in the world…but there are still going to be people who hate peaches. It is important to YOU who you are. Because you live with yourself 99% of the time. Be a good person, but don’t worry what other people think. They don’t pay your bills,  their opinion is just an opinion, and for god knows what reasons they are going to criticize you, judge you, and try to manipulate you into something that you are not. Great. Realize that this is the truth, and move on.

Find what you stand for, declare it to the world and to yourself, and then stand for it. Check. Check. Check.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project