Intergrity: Its More Than Just A Code of Ethics

This month 100% of my Virtue Volunteers set goals to live this month with integrity. Many of those goals are in my earlier post.

I asked all of my volunteers to email me with their results. These emails taught me two things: 1. living every day with integrity can be hard, and 2. living every day with integrity can bring greater happiness and greater peace.
Here was one comment from a volunteer:

Well I’ve been putting this email off trying to come up with some profound story to tell or some way that integrity really changed me this month. I have (like I told you) a whole document of stories at home on my computer. I think it would be best for me to say however that I don’t have anything specific to say.

I can think of several instances these past 21 days where I have remembered the challenge I am doing, and changed the decision I would have made. More then once, I have been in line at stores where my total has come to less then what it should be, and I told them the truth. More then once, I have caught myself speeding and slowed down so that I could live an honest life even with something so simple. And yes, more then once, I have stayed clear of pirated movies.

I told you that I have tried studying the topic of integrity each day. I think that this has given the challenge more meaning to me because it has helped make it more of “my own”. As far as my goal is concerned, I think I made too broad of a goal. I need to be more specific. I did find myself however making WAY less commitments instead of following through with them because I knew I didn’t have time for it. This was a good month for me, but I would say that I still have a lot to learn about Integrity and it didn’t effect me profoundly, however, it did make a small difference in my life that I think will have a small, but lasting effect. Thanks for the opportunity!

Integrity is a very personal thing, and I did not set out to encourage or discourage particular behaviors, but more importantly to help people focus on what THEY believe integrity is, and set goals accordingly. In addition, it takes a lifetime to develop integrity- there is no lolly pop cure to make you an honest person. It takes real work.
Here is another response on the month:
My goal of “saying that I’m going to do something, then really doing it” is coming along nicely. Usually I make plans to get together with people, then feel tired and drained and often cancel. This month I am following through and going out to the dinners/lunches that I’ve been talking about and I find myself enjoying life a lot more. It’s really helped me out of my “winter slump” and I’m having fun.
Keeping promises can be very rewarding. When we keep our promises we are more at peace with ourselves. What is the purpose of speech if it isn’t 100% truthful? Many of my volunteers independently set goals to be honest, and keep their commitments.

Here was one not so positive review on the month of integrity from one of my good friends Rachel Nielson:

It’s the end of the month, and in terms of my goal, I failed.

I think my goal was too ambitious, and so I got discouraged early on. Have I been running? Yes. Have I been running six days a week? No. Have I been running enough miles to truly be training for a half marathon? No.

I think I should’ve been more honest with myself before I set this goal: I used to run half marathons, but I had a different life then. It isn’t realistic for me to be running 5 or more miles a day when I am teaching full-time, plus grading, plus volunteer work for church, plus cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, plus recruiting and training volunteers for a non-profit program at an orphanage in El Salvador.

I have MUCh more going on in my life than I used to, and if now is not the time to train for a half marathon…so be it. I think I can deal with that.

If I were to have more integrity and therefore be honest with myself, I’d have to say that just running 30-40 minutes four days a week is a much better goal for my current life.

I’m not sure if we can ever truly “fail” at a goal, because the very act of setting the goal makes a difference. By making a goal you have already changes your perception, and that is valuable. I want to congratulate all those who made this a month of Integrity.

How was your Month of Integrity?

(Next up, the Month of Courage)

Interview With Fred Castaneda

This past Saturday I was interviewed by Fred Castaneda for a podcast posted on his website-

83- Experienced Entrepreneur and Business Attorney- Adrian Dayton

March 10th, 2009

In the interview I give a few tips on the following subjects:

– How to choose partners in starting a business
– How to know if you are a true entrepreneur
– How to get the most for your money out of legal services
– How to deal with some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur.

The Virtue Experiment

The Hypothesis: If an individual will focus on one virtue each month for the next twelve months, they will experience greater achievements and a more fulfilling life.

The Sample Group: a professional athlete, a school teacher, a president of a not-for-profit organization, a director of a production studio, a dental student, a law student, 2 young couples, a risk management specialist, and 3 stay-at-home mothers. (15 people total)

The Variables:

  • All fifteen individuals will be given a colored wristband (much like the yellow “live strong” wristband) to represent the virtue of the month.
  • Each individual will be expected to set a goal for that month dealing with that particular virtue.
  • Couples will share the goals with their spouses, siblings with siblings, and the single individuals will write their goals down and email them to me.

How the experiment will be monitored:

  • Each individual will be expected to report back at the end of the month, and share any unique experiences they enjoyed. Both positive and negative. With their permission, the stories of the test subjects will be shared on the site
  • Those who fail to report back will receive a brief call and interview to evaluate the results of the month’s goal.
  • The results will be used to supplement my manuscript.

Let me know what you think of the experiment, I can be reached by email atdayon at or on twitter. I reply to all comments.

How To Make People Like You

To gain followers online you need people to like you. Here are the top reasons people will like you, your blog, your tweets, and your style.

1. Be Famous- everybody likes famous, so just do something truly exceptional and people will like you. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Lance Armstrong are great examples. Just put together a pattern of work in your life making you one of the foremost in your field in the history of the world, and I can pretty much guarantee people will like you. For 99.9% of the world, myself included, this technique will most likely be impossible. Not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be liked.

2. Be Interesting- check out guys like (I am using twitter names here) @mashable, @problogger, @guykawasaki, and @jowyang. These guys post interesting information on their blogs and twitter that is relevant and unique. You don’t have to post about social media like they do, but you do have to post information that is quality. That’s how the internet weeds out what is good and what is crap.

3. Be Nice- this could also include be respectful, be courteous, and be civilized. Language does matter. You drop the F-bomb on twitter or your blog and you will lose followers. I know what your thinking- “people that are offended by that kind of language aren’t the type of people I want to follow me anyway.” That’s fine, keep swearing like a sailor if its your thing- but people notice. Also, disagreement is in fact encouraged, just make sure it is respecful and never make it personal. Disagreeing sometimes starts the best discussions.

4. Be Complimentary- If you like a post, say so. If you like an article, share it. People will remember your kindness. It’s kind of the golden rule of the internet, do good to others and it will return to you. This is probably the easiest thing to do online to make you more liked.

5. Don’t Spend Too Much Time Self Promoting- The first rule of sales: People buy things from people they like. It is far more important to get people to like you, then to check out your site, your products, or your services. Once they like you they will check out your services out of curiosity. If they really like you they will tell others about your service. You want the connection to be personal, not product based.

Is you disagree, reply here, or I can be found @adriandayton on twitter.

Open Letter to My Wife: Why Twitter is Worth My Time


I know you have been giving me a hard time for spending so much time on Twitter, so let me just say that I have proof that it is not a waste of time. Here are a few examples:

Today I met a guy on Twitter named @retireat21 – I don’t know anything about him in real life, but what if its true? What if there are all these people out there enjoying the four hour work week, flying first class, and getting paid to shop? Honey, that could be us! Sure I’m older than 21 now, but that should make it even easier. I also met someone named @easymoney – see Honey there is easy money to be made and all I have to do is join twitter and the money starts coming in. Right? Well maybe it isn’t that easy.

You have asked me in the past, who ever made it big just because of Twitter? How about our current President? Heard of him? During the final days leading up to the election 1-3 million twitter messages about him were exchanged pointing out the best articles, most accurate polls, and the latest messages coming directly out of his campaign. The Mccain camp couldn’t touch that type of real time news. Twitter may have turned the tide for Obama.

So in conclusion, I may never make any money on Twitter. People may never use Twitter to hire me as a corporate attorney, or to locate one more aspiring author, but believe me there are some of the most fascinating people on Twitter. I have been on for only one week, and I have learned a ton already. It’s so entertaining as well. There is nothing as exciting as someone re-tweeting your post, or asking a question that really gets people to buzz.

It’s a wonderful market of ideas. The good ones get passed on, and the bad ones are ignored. So give it a chance Honey, you might just find a way to work from home, make millions while drinking low-cal smoothies in bed, or even figure out a place to get free make-up. Imagine the possibilities!



Grow Your Twitter Following in Your Sleep

For those of you who haven’t joined twitter, you seriously need to try it out- it is a blast. For those of you that are already using twitter here is a new pointer I got from twitter pro @mike_wesely

If you want to grow your following in your sleep (I know it sounds like a cheesey marketing pitch), here is what you have to do: find a few twitter stars- those with 10,000 plus followers that are in your target market- then late at night, say 11:00 or 12:00, right before you go to bed- tweet a good night message to each of these people. The message will likely stay on all night due to far less activity during these hours. Your @name will show up on their very popular blogs under their twitter feed for hours.

I tried this last night @posting to just three popular twitterers before I went to bed, and I awoke to over 30 new followers. Not exactly hundreds of followers, but it took me less than five minutes to send those posts. Imagine if I had sent tweets to all the top 20 twitter celebs? Try it out, and let me know how it goes for you.

Anti-pirates Don’t Even Realize

According to the AP they have special training now just for killing pirates. What next? When will this anti-pirate media bias stop? I swear the media never publishes anything good the pirates do. We never hear about the schools they are building, pirate counsels they are holding, or advances in pirate seamanship. We always hear just the bad stuff.

And I can tell you from seeing multiple vaguely historical Pirates of the Caribbean movies that not all pirates are bad. Some pirates are cool, hip, funny, and/or hot. So next time someone starts telling another “pirate joke” or does another pirate impression (so tired). Just look him in the eye and say, not cool man…. not cool.

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