Part 2 of 2 in a series on integrity
part 1 – what is integrity
part 2 – how to develop your integrity
The million dollar question “How do you live with integrity?”.
We spoke about integrity and virtue but there wasn’t enough time to talk about it’s correlation to life.
Each of us has a different set of core values. They overlap with anyone they interact with. So how is it possible to live with integrity and satisfy everyone? It’s impossible. At least it’s pretty close.
You have to choose your mission and beliefs and stick to that path. It may lead you to new thoughts, beliefs and values as you wind down the road but sticking with your current plan keeps you true to yourself.
You know who the first person you should answer to?
You. Nobody else but you.
false beliefs and logic
Ethical practice and integrity is rooted in false belief and logic. It’s based on the principles that you hold dear to your heart. Not everyone will agree with everything you do or believe but that shouldn’t matter.
You will gain a more loyal and captive group of friends along the way because you are sticking to the courage of your conviction. You are showing that you are fearless, an admirable trait to many.
so, how do you live with integrity
To answer this question, you have to take some time and review actions that have a negative impact on society. There are lots of them, so let’s take a look at some. Predominantly actions that make many people cringe, carp, belly ache, grumble, gripe, makes your blood boil and hair stand on end and overall leave a sour taste in your mouth.
- manipulation – it’s not nice to feel manipulated and used
- guilt – when you use this as a tool to get what you want it always hurts the person it is delivered to
- pressure – especially to those with vulnerabilities, such as the elderly, sick or impoverished
- theft – stealing other people’s ideas or things
- dishonesty – telling something that just isn’t true
- deception – false promises, playing on a persons desires
- harassment – making any unwanted and overbearing attacks is never becoming
- recklessness – putting yourself and therefore others in danger is a risk that most people wish to avoid
This list can get pretty long. In fact it is never ending and the more you add or should I say erase from it, the stronger your integrity becomes. Acts that compromise your integrity are generally actions that:
- cause harm
- are self centered – focus on greed and personal gain
- apply false logic
- are an act of ignorance
- lack consideration
consider how you can benefit society
Now that you have an idea of what may harm people and planet, you need to consider what will benefit society as a whole and the people you directly interact with.
Here’s the kicker.
To have integrity, it doesn’t take much. It’s really easy. It’s about living by a basic code. To do that you need to practice certain principles. That boil down to variations on a handful of key traits. They are all interconnected – honesty, responsibility, tolerance, fairness, kindness, respect and community.
Without one, you wouldn’t have the others. Sure there are tons of sub topics and virtues but they all lead back to these core values.
Next time you think about do something, ask if it meets the criteria for each of the above virtues. You might slip up every once in a while. We are all fallible. If it fails, give it a rethink. Eventually, you will find the answer of what the right thing to do is. And that, my friend is how you integrate integrity into your life.