Your job promotion depends entirely on addressing daily pressures while completing extraordinary work by Friday for a project impacting the entire company.
Your spouse’s crucial work commitments cause all the week’s family responsibilities to fall on your shoulders alone.
You’ve lost your job and have accepted two or three jobs either within or outside your field rather than lose your house to foreclosure.
Your child’s or parent’s illness means that you’re burning candles on both ends of the day, as inattention or cutting corners is not within your repertoire.
These and countless other scenarios—faced by millions of people each calendar pass—point to the essential companions of positivity and selflessness that can make or break, that mean the difference between success and failure, that foster either normal breathing or a heart attack.
How do you respond when pushed to your supposed limits, when really squeezed? Do you lash out, become frayed to the core, let impatience and frustration seep under your skin? Do your work and relationships suffer, sometimes irreparably? Our current U.S. president, for example, has not only embraced conflict from the beginning of his term, but seems ever eager to squeeze as much as possible from it. Yet must that be the norm, particularly when so much is at stake?
Or are you able to step back, secure in your faith and abilities, constructive in your approach, guided by the realization that all-too-easily bred negativity will not extend your life by five minutes?
Living with integrity means not subjecting your commitments and responsibilities to the vagaries of an uncertain world. While true that doing your very best is sometimes not enough, you’ll at least be able to face tomorrow, to face your family and peers, to face life itself, with grace and equanimity.
And when doing your very best is in fact enough to get you over pitfalls and fresh problems, think about all the energy—the juice—generated by necessity that consistently leads to personal and career accomplishment.
Then let your capabilities speak for themselves.