Integrity is like a crossroad with three roads: Your Thoughts, Your Words, Your Actions. In the place where your thoughts, words, and actions intersect, you have integrity.
Everything around us is a result of integrity. Buildings, roads, bridges, anything created is a result of the intersection of someone’s thoughts, words, and actions.
Integrity is the ginga1. Everything starts and ends with integrity. And just like when we are young capoeiristas, the ginga is not so important to us, we like flashy moves more. But as we get older, we start to understand the value of the ginga. Like when ginga connects all movements together, same thing happens with Integrity. It’s the glue that connects everything together.
Your integrity created your comfort zone: wherever you’re comfortable right now is a very good sign of areas in your life that have more integrity. The best, easiest, and fastest way to expand your comfort area is to start working on your integrity outside your comfort zone.
Integrity is like a muscle or going to the gym. If I haven’t trained for a while, I need to start training gradually, easy, and do small stuff. Same with integrity; start with easy and small stuff, build confidence, and build the practice. Once I get in shape, I need to maintain it. So integrity is the same; it’s a lifestyle, something you need to constantly improve. And just like the gym: sometimes it’s not fun, but the result is fun.
The Truth Is Good Enough – the golden rule to build relationships and big organizations with good integrity. Everyone has, in their gut, a bullshit meter. We can feel when there is no integrity.
If you are late, say the truth: “I’m late,” don’t bullshit. It’s okay not to be perfect, but it’s not okay to sell bullshit to each other.
“Nobody is perfect. Everybody is here enjoying themselves, and we f*ck up sometimes, and the best thing to do, just like in the game, when I fall – I get up, I laugh, I do Volta do Mundo2. Same thing with integrity…”
— From talks with Cueca
1. Ginga is a basic and rhythmic movement, a dynamic fighting stance in capoeira. Usually it’s the first fundamental movement you will learn.
2. “Volta do Mundo”, or “volta ao mundo” (literally, “around the world”) takes place after an exchange of movements has concluded, or after there has been a disruption in the harmony of the game. In either of these situations, one player will begin walking around the perimeter of the circle counter-clockwise, and the other player will join the volta ao mundo in the opposite part of the roda, before returning to the normal game.