Visit Fridays Inspiration Online - Click Here!
Friday's Inspiration Weekly

Rectitude of conduct, honesty and uprightness in dealing with others, purity, grace and fortitude - just a few more souvenirs for my collection on the way to wholeness.

Menu: This week's tasty bits. Click an item to view!

      Back to top

A little integrity is better than any career.
To starve to death is a small thing, but to lose one’s integrity is a great one.

Entrée: The Power of Integrity by Christopher Crawford
      Back to top

I am embarrassed when people compliment me. I don't feel right being told that I am especially smart, or uncommonly clever, or wise, or learned. If I were truly smarter than most people, I would see it in our relative behaviors. But in fact, every person I know has surprised me with some mental operation exceeding my own natural abilities. I realize that every other brain out there has impressive strengths of its own. Why then does my brain come up with so many good ideas? What's the real basis of my advantage?

In younger, more egotistical days I attributed that advantage to my superior effort. My brain was always working, always churning through ideas, while other brains were lazily vegging out in front of televisions. I was the ant to their grasshoppers. The answer felt good because it was intrinsically egalitarian - anybody else could do just as well as I did, if only they applied themselves as energetically as I did. Of course, the effort must start at an early age, as it did with me, so in reality, few adults would ever be able to catch up with me. Nevertheless, I liked that theory because it didn't look down on others.

Nowadays I don't let false modesty get in my way. I retain the certainty that I was not born with any greater intelligence than anybody else. But now I attribute my success to an altogether different factor: integrity.

I am often taken aback by comments assuming that integrity is a martyr's virtue, a saintly trait that must often be compromised by self-interest. The implication is that a certain amount of lying is necessary to get along in the world, and the line is drawn only at fairly serious deceptions that explicitly injure somebody else.

Those who hold this view (the great majority of people) earn a mixture of pity and contempt from me - they injure themselves with their own stupidity. The notion that lies, if small enough, are necessary peccadilloes is foolish and self-destructive.

I owe all my mental talents to the integrity my father imbued me with. By embracing integrity as a way of life, rather than a bendable guideline, I developed a thinking style that puts me far ahead of most others. My neurons are no bigger or more numerous than anybody else's; they just happen to work better in the realm of ideas.

Here then is the basis of my advantage over others: I hold my integrity dear, and by doing so have inadvertently kept my mind free of the obstacles others must clamber over as they think. Thanks, dad.

About the author:

Christopher Crawford has been designing computer games since the late seventies, when the computer gaming industry was pre-fetal -- merely a gleam in a few crazy programmers' eyes -- and his reputation for creating intelligent and offbeat games has won him all sorts of commercial and critical success. He founded the Computer Game Developers' Conference, and published the professional designers' journal Interactive Entertainment Design. He lectures at conferences and universities around the world and has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. For the past five years, he has been developing a tool for professional storytellers. The Erasmatron (named after Crawford's all-time hero, Desiderius Erasmus, the sixteenth century writer), allows writers to create a totally new kind of electronic, "interactive fiction." A new narrative form, tailored to the strengths of the computer, not merely transplanted from paper. visit for more from this talented and creative individual.

Main Course: Integer, Integrity, Integrated
      Back to top

NOUN: Mathematics 1. A member of the set of positive whole numbers {1, 2, 3, . . . }, negative whole numbers {-1, -2, -3, . . . }, and zero {0}.
2. A complete unit or entity.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin, whole, complete.

One of my goals in life is to create an environment that delivers results without sacrificing my personal integrity. Integrity is a social value or conventionally accepted virtue, something that one acquires or perhaps comes to realize most often without being taught the how of it. Books by self-help authors address the subject as part of the process of becoming whole. I maintain that integrity is the natural outcome of the practice of the several virtues, and is a bright gem in humankind's crown.

I don't have a definite program that makes personal integrity a part of my life. Instead, it is an on-going process that is woven throughout the entire fabric of my life. I desire to be integrated, as it were. A few thoughts have helped me define this never-ending challenge:

Thinking about integrity
How often should I think about the results I am getting in my life? How often should I consider the fact that my success as a human being is ultimately based on the integrity of my choices or my relationships? Hanging a values statement on the wall is not enough to help me do this. I'm often too busy dealing with "stuff" to stop and read a written values statement when I face a difficult choice. I don't need a new program, I simply need to remember the examples of those who achieved superior results while modeling integrity, and follow in their footsteps. I accept the challenge of earning and maintaining the trust of others, and I realize how valuable their trust is to me. The more attention I give to the value of integrity as a life skill, the more important it will become to me.

Looking at the whole and aligning the parts
How can I expect others to trust me when my words say one thing, but my actions say something else? My attempts to compartmentalize relationships, or the various parts and portions of my life are basically irrelevant. Everything is ultimately connected, internally or externally. I cannot be different with my co-workers than I am with my close friends outside of work. Deceptive words or actions with one individual will influence their attitudes and behavior toward me, and sooner or later as the word gets around, everyone and everything will be skewed in all portions of my life. The integrity of a whole me is called into question when others discover that there are inconsistencies among my life's various parts.

Welcoming the bad news with positivity
The test of a healthy individual is not the absence of problems, it is the ability to address them - or at the very least, view the results of them - in a positive manner. Giving others permission to share bad news with (or about) me without fear of retribution promotes an honest, open environment that continually strives to improve my relationships. As good as my relationships may be today, someone might be withholding information that could make things even better. Having a consistently positive and healthy attitude when dealing with difficulties fosters cooperation and growth in my relationships.

Communicating expectations and developing skills
People want to do the right thing and will do so if they are clear about what is expected and how to achieve that result. The need to clearly communicate increases as relationships become more complex. Depending on the nature of the relationship, I may have differing views on what is acceptable - on my part or theirs. My skill development should include decision-making and communication techniques that give myself, my co-workers, my friends and family the capacity to put their good intentions into practice.

Accountability and rewards
Fear of consequences can create an environment where individuals act in such a way that they will avoid getting caught. But that doesn't mean that they have integrity. I believe that acting with integrity really means something, and I am committed to dealing swiftly with those who ask me to violate my standards of integrity. Honoring my commitments and fostering the ability to build trust in my relationships is vital to my wholeness, and my example will be reflected back to me as a result. Recognizing or rewarding those who demonstrate their own integrity in a difficult situation, even when the result is not as I would have hoped, is important. Behavior that is recognized is repeated. Trust is the highest reward.

Recognizing my own personal inconsistencies and working to correct them is an excellent way to improve my relationships. It means that I am actively engaged in thinking about the how's and why's of my actions and not just the actions or their results as things separate from my choices. It is taking full personal responsibility for my actions, and in particular, for my choices and intentions. The tension that is created by this consideration provides a powerful catalyst for my growth.

As long as there is growth, I will continue to integrate my life, to put together the parts or elements and combine them into a beautiful and complete whole.

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2005

Second Helping: Career Growth and Excellence by Steve Brunkhorst
      Back to top

Career growth and excellence contribute significantly to life satisfaction. They require acting with commitment and integrity. We need to set our standards high and continually acquire new knowledge to grow and perform with excellence. People are essential to success, and we must listen deeply to communicate powerfully. Leading others from our deepest values allows us to lead with empathy.

Growth requires physical, mental, and spiritual strength. Love, faith, and gratitude will provide an integral framework for career growth and excellence. Taking deliberate action to excel and grow today will set the process in motion and bring rewarding results throughout the future.

About the author:

Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular ezine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life. Get the next issue by visiting

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
      Back to top

Prayer requests: Lisa's baby fell on a sharp pencil, and with my 13th grandchild due in mid-May, I was deeply concerned. The next day, she wrote, "My baby's surgery was successful. The surgery only took 20 minutes. The doctor's felt it was a miracle that nothing vital was damaged. It has now been 2 days since her operation and you would never know that she had a pencil stuck in her eye and nasal cavity. Most the swelling is done and she only has a little redness on the eyelid and a healing scab on the inner part of the eyelid. She is happy and running around again (making Mom real nervous of course!). God Bless you." Good. You had this ol' Papa pretty scared, there, kiddo.

Brian is concerned about finals in school (I suggested he read Eyes of the Heart, because he KNOWS all that is necessary for his success!). You can do it, Brian. Kim expresses gratitude that her son's MRI gave him a clean bill of health, and no heart problems. Bonus for Ben! To Barbara - rock on with the job interview next week! Daniel and his family, Gina in South Africa, Lori in Texas, Joan in Ontario, Vicki and Susan - and dearest Maralyn, all in our kindest, warmest thoughts and prayers.

N-Spire yourself!® with a no-frills weekday morning inspirational email, containing a simple quote from archived issues of Friday's Inspiration. Just click this InboxInspiration link to subscribe, or click on the feedback button below, and ask for a one-time email sample. InboxInspiration is part of YahooGroups!

If you would like to express your concerns for loved ones, or yourself, in the form of prayer requests, send them to Prayers@N-Spire.comso we can help share the burden. Good news is welcome too! Write to Abundance@N-Spire.comand let's celebrate together!

Click to send your FEEDBACKto me right now!

Just Desserts: Also Highly Recommended
      Back to top

There have been more than 400 NEW AND UNIQUE visitors to the website during the last month - Thank you for your continued support! Over 500 of our partners on the Internet have graciously recommended visitors to Friday's Inspiration. Please take time to visit the "Highly Recommended" links below.

Powerquotes Plus - Creating Inspiration and Insight Daily - I want to let you know about a great daily service that you will enjoy and benefit from. Powerquotes Plus features a quote and some questions to reflect on, related to the quote. It arrives in your inbox each weekday. To subscribe to Power Quotes Plus, another great product of Kevin Eikenberry and The Discian Group Web Family, just go to - a community for life. For a complete resource on the subject of forgiveness, visit Bruderhof's Forgiveness Guide at

Emotional Fitness: Free newsletters, and access to the books that will help you to change your life, and the lives of others. Warren Redman runs the Centre for Inner Balancing. You can find him and his latest book, "The 9 Steps to Emotional Fitness" at

PENCILS- A Proofreading & Copyediting Company "Improving the written word one letter at a time." Phone: 310.357.9140

Check, Please!: Brought to you by F.I.'s *Shameless Commerce* Division:
      Back to top

Everyone can make a difference. In the United States over 500,000 children are in foster care because they cannot safely live with their families. Nearly 70,000 National CASA volunteers serve approximately 280,000 of those abused or neglected children every year. Please join the National CASA Association in their mission to make sure every child in need has a voice. A child should have a childhood and a safe, permanent home. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of products and services advertised here will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children - CASA.

Our Own V-Store: Check It Out!!! Purchase products and services from FI's new *Shameless Commerce* online store, and help us help CASA! Nutritionals, environmentally safe household products for you and your pet, MCI Neighborhood telephone services, magazine subscriptions of every kind, and so much more! Visit the V-Store today!

Protect yourself and your family's computer: Don't surf the Net, download files or open email attachments without the latest defense against more than 67,000 known viruses and the 300 new ones discovered every month. A good rule of thumb is to never open any attachment file that has an SCR or PIF file type!! Protect your computer from malicious code through your purchase of McAfee's VirusScan® software. Please visit the McAfee Security Center to learn more!

The Veriuni Difference: Discover Veriuni nutritional products consisting of all-natural ingredients, gleaned solely from minerals stored within plants and the earth itself, with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Veriuni products are easy to swallow and taste great to boot. Go to

Party's over, go home - The rest of the stuff:       Back to top

Your suggestions for inspirational topics and inspiring authors are welcome. Guest Authors are encouraged to submit their article to - Article length should be limited to 300 words in any format, and should be on an appropriate subject for our subscribers. Please include a short biography and picture. Absolutely no business or marketing related articles will be accepted.

Friday's Inspiration continues to be visited by inspiration seekers from around the world! Help spread the word about this one-of-a-kind website. You are welcome to invite your friends to join us by recommending this site. They may subscribe by sending a blank email to

We are committed to protecting your privacy, so your email address will NEVER be sold or exchanged. If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send a blank email to or visit

Online issues of this newsletter can be found at

Peace and Light,

Sign My Guestbook Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR View My Guestbook