With each and every thing we project in life, integrity should be applied. In your relationships with your spouse, friends, family and those in the workplace, moral character is sure to reveal itself. How we conduct our lives, treat others, and how we allow others to treat us can be a concise reality check. Random House dictionary defines integrity as: 1) Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. 2) The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished. 3) A sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.
Integrity can be a tough act to follow for some. Why? Everyone defines integrity differently. Perhaps we massage the definition to our own desires. One person may think falsifying or embellishing is acceptable. Others would define this as betrayal or dishonesty. How do you view cheating on an exam? According to the Harvard Business Review, a survey conducted suggests 95% of students admit to engaging in some form of cheating while in college. What an astonishing number! The students rationalized their behavior as, “no big deal”, “everyone else does,” or “it wasn’t really cheating.” If you did not realize consequences to your actions, does this give you the courage to cheat again? It seems to me, if you were not caught in the act, you might repeat your actions.
Have you experienced in small and large businesses a statement is generally made about integrity. “Our company proudly conducts themselves with integrity…,” “Our team acts with integrity in all we do…” It is omnipresent. Lack of integrity dominates the headlines in our news every night. We constantly hear about people making poor choices. The long-term effects can damage self-respect, personal accountability, and our reputation.
Integrity will enhance your overall lifestyle. It is a choice. When we choose to live with making the right choices, (not cheating or lying to others to benefit ourselves), there is freedom. Obviously as humans we are imperfect. As you reflect upon moments in your life you may have recognized your integrity lapsed a time or two. Or, you were the brunt of another persons’ lack of candor.
When we live with integrity we never have to question ourselves. Living your life true to your word followed by your actions will afford you prosperity. It also shows you are dependable, a positive role model, and you can be trusted. Therefore, your values will shine and others will recognize this and want to be close to you. This is the ultimate compliment.
Propagating your integrity is important. Constantly define your values. Be sure to analyze the choices you are making. If your actions could harm another, reevaluate. People with strong morals, ethics and integrity are generally humble, self-confident and exude a high self-esteem. If this sounds like you, keep up the great work!