Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Learn To Love The Climb

Andretti Winery, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

March 15, 2015



"Without being a man or woman of integrity you can forget about being a leader. And, being a person of integrity is a never-ending endeavor. Being a person of integrity is a mountain with no top - you have to learn to love the climb."
 ... 
This essay, Learn To Love The Climb, is the companion piece to Resting On Your Laurels Is Deadly.

It is also the eleventh in a group of sixteen on Integrity: It was written at the same time as


You're a man of your word. You're a woman of your word. That means you do what you do with integrity. When I say "you do what you do with integrity", there's no mystery in it. It means while you're doing whatever you're doing, you're honoring your word as your Self. That's it. That's all I mean by it. Integrity is that simple.

Being in integrity isn't a one time deal. It's not like graduating from college (once you're a college graduate, you're forever a college graduate). Being in integrity is an ongoing, never-ending endeavor because living never stops. There's always something else to do. There's always something else which needs to be done. And there's always something else which must  be done. Because there's always something else to do, and because there's always something else which needs to be done, and because there's always something else which must be done, there's always the ongoing never-ending endeavor of integrity to be brought to bear, to be tightened up.

There are things which must be done daily. There are things which must be done every week. Some projects represent massive commitments lasting years and years and years, all of which must be done with integrity if you're committed to living as your word. Yet even when they're all done ... there's always something else, yes?

No matter how long or how committedly I live, there's never not  something else which needs to be done. It's dawned on me I'll never get it all done - ever. I bring integrity to bear on my life and on my work. Then I bring it to bear again. Then I bring it to bear again and again and again. But it never sticks. I don't seem to be able to bring integrity to bear once ... and have it stay in place forever (like graduating from college). I seem to have to bring it to bear over and over and over again. And even then, if I stop bringing integrity to bear, then there's no integrity  - regardless of how much integrity I've already brought to bear. Integrity is momentary.

This isn't news for any of us. Yet it interests me. What interests me is it's often bewailed with "Stop the world - I want to get off" (Bricusse and Newley's musical, from an idea they got from a graffito). "Stop the world - I want to get off", you could say, is a context for living. But it's not an empowering  context for living. And yet, in the ordinary course of affairs, it's rampant. It goes with the territory of being human. So I've concluded it's not useful to bemoan it. And that isn't big news either.

What is  news however, and what's also useful considering, is there's another context for living which is  empowering, within which to regard the momentary nature of integrity. It's a context within which to hold the "always something else"  nature of living, a context which simply doesn't exist  in the ordinary course of affairs. It's a context which isn't available in the default framework with which we hold the momentary nature of integrity and the "always something else" nature of living, a context in which an entirely new world of possibility becomes available, a context which becomes enlivened when we're generating it. To generate it, is to transform your life.

How do we generate this context? There's a perspective which, when we look from it, generates this context for us, naturally and effortlessly - simply in the process of shifting our consideration ie just in the process of shifting our point of view. "... of shifting our point of view"?  From what to what? Allow me to share it with you. It's simple - but it's not easy (if it were easy, the whole world would be transformed by now). It's one of the most empowering ideas I've ever listened Werner speaking.

This "always something else" nature of living, indeed the very nature of living itself (and along with it, the ongoing never-ending endeavor of bringing integrity to bear) is like a mountain with no top. This mountain with no top is our world in which it's a given that we're climbing creatures - with little or no choice in the matter. And the thing is because this mountain we're climbing has no top, even though we climb and climb and climb, we'll never get to the top, which is to say we'll never get it all done. There's always something else. Bringing integrity to bear is an ongoing, never-ending endeavor. This is how it is in a world which is a mountain with no top.

<aside>

If you dislike the idea of integrity as a mountain with no top, consider it's a mountain which ongoingly grows taller:  when we reach where the top was, it's towering over us again, having just grown another thousand feet.

<un-aside>

I'll never do more today than what I'll do today. And I'll never do less today than what I'll do today. I am elated by the fact that I'll only do today what I'll do today.

To be sure, mañana  there's always something else. Bringing integrity to bear is an ongoing never-ending endeavor. "Stop the world - I want to get off" is a no op. This mountain has no top (or it's grown taller when we reach where the top was). And it's a given we're climbing creatures - with little or no choice in the matter.

Learn to love the climb.



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