Having Honesty and Integrity
When was the last time you lied?
What Im talking about here is any kind of lie.
Maybe it was a really small one for your spouse or kids. Like I really love your hair, or No Baby those pants don’t make your butt like BIG.
It doesn’t have to be a big lie. Just be honest with yourself.
One more question.
When was the last time you lied to yourself?
It could have been about anything. Like, maybe..
It’s not your fault the dogs didn’t get fed this morning, one of the kids should have done it.
I really need coffee/caffeine to wake up in the morning.
Or it just might have been.
It’s not my fault I didn’t get the promotion. There was nothing I could have done differently.
I know that a few of you who were reading this just stopped right there. Because I asked you to be honest with yourself.
And that’s ok. Honesty is HARD. I get it.
For those of you still with me, Thanks!
The thing about honesty is that Satan loves lies.
He gets you to think that it is ok to tell a small one. Because he knows that once you tell a small one and get away with it, it gets easier and easier to tell bigger and bigger ones.
To the point where you are willing to compromise your moral values to an extreme.
Like all things it starts small then it continues to build until it is so big that you don’t feel that you can stop. Because when you stop in your mind you feel like the whole world will come crashing down.
The reason I know so much about this is that I used to be a habitual liar.
It started small, then it turned into bigger and bigger lies. Until one day almost every word out of my mouth was a lie.
I thought that I was doing an amazing job at lying to everyone, and I felt like I couldn’t stop lying because if I did, then everyone would know that I was a liar.
Then one day out of the blue, I just stopped lying.
I stopped lying to myself, my wife, my kids, my employer, my co-workers, to everyone.
When someone asked me something and I thought my answer would hurt their feelings, I found a way to tell the truth while not hurting their feelings. Well Babe those pants don’t exactly help you to flaunt your best features. Because pants don’t show off attitude. (PS Jenna never asks me this question, she knows that everything she wears makes her butt look good. To me. Lol)
I also stopped lying to myself.
And guess what???
This helped me to increase my integrity.
By being honest my integrity rose by multiple levels too.
I did what I said I was going to do when I said I was going to do it. I stopped lying to myself and others then more people became interested in what I had to say and actually listened.
Can I tell you a little story that is going to make me look really bad? Will you try your best not to hold what I tell you against me and who I am?
Before we started Eclipse DOT (shameless pug www.Eclipse-dot.com) I was working for another company. I had gotten my first salary position and felt like I was truly becoming successful in life. (don’t ask me why being on salary made me think I was successful, but it did.)
I had been putting in LONG hours. I mean 10-12 hour days 5 days a week. To be 10% honest I was getting a little burnt out.
I had never been in a salaried position before, so I wanted to track my hours to see what my true hourly rate was. (Pro tip, never do this! It will just disappoint you) After doing the math I discovered that while I was making more $$ on my paycheck, I had actually taken a MAJOR pay cut.
At the time money was important to me. This really hurt my ego and made me think that I was getting screwed.
So, I tracked my hours honestly. I kept records of time at the office, time out of the office, and any breaks that I took. When I traveled I tracked the time I started working until the time that I stopped. And I was really good about giving the company some free time when I answered my phone after hours or opened my computer in the evening while sitting in the hotel room.
Then one day I decided that I didn’t want to burn a vacation day. I mean I had been working so many hours and to my calculations, over the last 6 months, I had worked more than 163 hours extra that I didn’t get paid for. (Just an FYI, that’s not how salary works. Lol)
When we decided to go on a little trip I chose not to tell anyone about it. Instead, I loaded everyone up and we left. Without telling anyone at work anything about it.
I told Jenna that we couldn’t post any pictures on social media because I didn’t want anything to be traced back to the fact that I was not at work.
Do you think I enjoyed this vacation?
NOT AT ALL!!!!
The entire trip was 10X more stressful than it should have been.
Every time my cell would ring, before I would answer it I would make sure that I was in an area where no one would know that I was not at work.
I’ll bet some of you right now are thinking, Well you deserved the time off, because of how much extra time you worked. Or maybe, If I caught you I would have fired you, you’re lucky you didn’t get caught in the act.
The truth is that I did this several times before something snapped inside my head.
When things clicked I discovered that if I asked to have the time to go on a trip the worst thing that could happen is that they would say No and then I wouldn’t be able to go.
Not a huge deal right?
From that point forward I gained massive amounts of honesty and subsequently, integrity followed.
In the end, when we decided to start Eclipse DOT I had made such an impression on the leadership team that every single one of them asked me what it would take to make me stay.
Do you have any idea how great I felt after those meetings?
Today I want you to be 100% honest with yourself.
Are you lying? About anything to anyone?
Think back to the time you can remember you lied.
How did you feel afterward?
Now take a second to think of how you could have told them the truth and what you should have said. Remember the goal here is not brutal honesty it is, to be honest, while not causing any pain to the other person.
Lord, God, Father in Heaven. You are amazing. You open our eyes at just the right time. And you give us the strength, to be honest not only with ourselves but also with the world. God, we know that you are amazing and that you love us so much. Today we just pause and say thank you.
Thank you for being honest with us, always. We also want to thank you for giving us the courage, to be honest with ourselves and others. Lord, today we would like to ask you for a little help. We would like help with us being more honest in a sincere manner. Help us to be kind, loving, & honest with everyone in our lives. Help us not to say everything we think.
Lord, I pray that you help us to personally acknowledge when we aren’t 100% honest. In any part of life.
We ask all these things in your precious Son’s name.
A Little More
As a kid, I was a self-proclaimed Caterpillar expert.
No not the bug.
The glorious golden yellow Caterpillar equipment!
You see my dad was a Cat mechanic, and I got some pretty darn wicked cool Cat stuff. Like Cat hats, and belt buckles, trips to the shop, and even a trip to a couple of factories where they made the equipment.
But where my knowledge really came from was the little black book that my dad would bring me. (don’t worry mom, it wasn’t that little black book, lol)
This thing was absolutely amazing! It was really just a pocket calendar booklet. It had black covers, and you could take notes on every day of the week for the entire year.
But where the real gold laid, for me, was in the back of this amazing little pocket guide for Caterpillar equipment.
It listed every single type of caterpillar equipment they made. From dozers to marine engines!
Not only did it tell you what they made and each had an amazing picture by it. they gave you the specifications for that piece of equipment!!!
How stinking cool was that!!!!!!!!!!
I mean I would spend hours in the back of that book just combing through the golden information!
I knew that caterpillars made 10 sizes of dozers. From a tiny little D2 (all of 92 HP and 18,382 LBS) all the way up to the D11 beast (850HP weighing in at 229,800LBS!!!!) (Insert Tim Allen from Tool time Grunt here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUyNuuvaXdA)
I mean I knew it all. And carried that book with me everywhere, just like my dad.
One day we were up at my grandparents house replacing their septic system. The whole family was there, all my aunts and uncles.
We had dug the new leach field, laid the infiltrators on the ground.
My uncle Jim was running the backhoe and I was standing there next to my uncle Jeff. I was probably in the 3rd grade.
Jeff and I were having a very adult conversation. Or at least I was trying to have an adult conversation with him.
We were not talking about buggers and animals; we were talking about how this septic system works. And how these plastic infiltrators allow the fluid after you flush the toilet to disperse evenly into the ground. Giving it ample time to soak into the ground.
Well, I didn’t feel like I was the expert in this conversation so I quite proudly piped up and said did you know that Cat makes a Dozer that is so light it can drive on these and not break them!
Jeff paused, then looked at me. Kind of like a dog looks at a high-pitched noise.
Which I took for, oh really! Please go further into this lie and tell me how it is possible.
So, I whipped the handy dandy little black book out of my back pocket and flipped to the dozer page and began showing him all about the Caterpillar D2 Dozer.
After I had finished telling him all of the specifications, except for the weight.
He turned to me and said, let’s experiment. He walked over to an extra infiltrator laying on the ground and started walking across the top of it.
He said do you see how much these flexes under my not so tiny 200lbs?
How much did you say that D2 weighs?
Um, I didn’t get that far. But if you’d like I can look it up.
Please do, I’ll wait.
Well it says right here that it weighs and I mumbled so quietly that I couldn’t even hear myself.
Wait, hold on a second I couldn’t hear you. What was that? Did I hear about 20,000lbs?
It was at that precise moment I knew I had been caught in a bold faced lie!
I’ll never forget what happened next. He walked over to me, looked down at me and said, Danny you lie so much that you don’t even know when you are telling the truth.NO ONE is going to like you if all you do is lie to them. All it takes is one lie to make someone lose every ounce of trust they have in you. NEVER lie to me again, GOT IT!
I’ll bet you think that I’m going to say, from that point forward I never told another lie again. But that is not what happened.
You see I was so used to lying that I lied to myself. I kept telling myself that it was just him. It would take me YEARS to truly figure out just how right he was.