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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio


Thursday, December 02, 2010
Find significance in stopping
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Is it chance or choice?
Will you choose a V.I.P. life?


“It is good to have an End to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ursula K. LeGuin

Years ago in a "Peanuts" cartoon, Lucy asked Charlie Brown, “Chuck, do you have any good rules for living?" Charlie responded, “Yes, Lucy. Keep the ball low. Get your first serve in. Dental floss daily.” Lucy then curiously responded, “But Charlie, will that get me a successful life?”

Are there good rules for a successful life? That question is both timelessly philosophical and imminently practical. There are those who intentionally journey daily with good rules on life’s Ethical Edge. They do so with chopping-wood-carrying-water activities at home with their family, at work with their colleagues and in the communities of their passions and interests.

What are the rules? Bluntly stated, they are yours to discover, yours to practice and yours to own. Philosophical teachings point to the rules as perennial wisdom; religious dogma pronounces the rules as tenets of faith; psychological voices, like Abraham Maslow, say the rules will be uncovered by observing the pursuit of excellence. I love what John Wooden said about the purpose of the rules you employ: to make your life a masterpiece.

It’s been more than five years since I had a memorable exchange with a group of high school students when I asked two questions: Would you like to live on the Ethical Edge? If so, will you choose a V.I.P. life? They wanted to know more. Here is what I told them:

V stands for Vision. Living with vision invites your constant exploration of a primary question, “Where am I going?" Journeying intentionally with this question leads to the discovery of the noblest ethical vision: Making contributions to the good of others.

I stands for Intent. Living with intention invites the second big question: What behaviors do I need to produce consistently? Behavior defines one’s integrity. Integrity-seeking individuals discover that ethical intent is experienced in demonstrating relationships of responsibility, respect, caring and trustworthiness.

P stands for Plan. Living with a plan uncovers integrity’s V.I.P. big discovery: The pursuit is not to win a prize; it is a process of missteps and stepping stones; of pitfalls and purposeful prodding; of crushing failure and exhilarating triumph; of a mind emptied of entitlement and liberated into self-governance.

Mission Integrity Action

Today, I renew my calling as an INTEGRITY V.I.P. as I energize my Ethical Edge journey of vision, intention and plan.


Russell Williams,
founder/president
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge
ethicaledge.org