Ever been placed in a situation where your integrity was really put to the test? I mean, I’m talking about, perhaps, a defining moment for your character? Sometimes the decision to uphold your integrity can be difficult and sometimes it can cost you something you really want. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important, maybe even crucial. To me, there are three big reasons why.
Firstly, living, working, and leading in integrity means that we don’t question ourselves. When we listen to our instincts and do the right thing, life becomes simple, and we live at peace with ourselves. Our actions are now open for everyone to see, and we don’t have to worry about hiding anything. Integrity isn’t something that other people praise you for, it is a characteristic you value within yourself.
Secondly, when we operate with integrity, we gain the trust of other people, especially those we are around often. This is crucial in to the relationships you have with your friends and family, as trust comes from integrity. Others see you as dependable and accountable for your actions. Trust develops, people feel safe in your presence, and you may even gain influence.
Finally, we become role models, whether we like it or not. Why? Because integrity is a symbol of decent leadership – people want leaders that they can trust, and when you demonstrate integrity, you show everyone you can be trusted and respected.
So do you become a person who displays integrity? One of the most important activities you can engage in, is developing your character. And one of the best ways to develop your character is by consistently doing the same things that a thoroughly honest person would do in every area of his or her life.
To be totally honest with others, you first have to be totally honest with yourself. You have to be true to yourself. You have to be true to the very best that is in you. A person who is living a life with the highest values they can is a person living a life of integrity. If you are always honest and true to yourself, you cannot be false to anyone else. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room to make mistakes though. Sometimes it can be hard to do the right thing, which means we often do the wrong. What is important is trying. Trying to do this less. Trying to fix our mistakes and right our wrongs. Trying to be better!
Your integrity is manifested in your willingness to follow the values that are most important to you. It’s easy to make promises but often very hard to keep them. But every time you keep a promise that you’ve made, it is an act of integrity, which then strengthens your character. As you act with integrity in everything you do, you will find that every part of your life will improve. You will begin to attract the best people and situations into your life. You will become an outstanding person and hopefully find success in the things you do.
1. Why do you think integrity is important?
2. How has your integrity or character been tested to the limit? What did you do in response?
3. Do you think that integrity is a part of your nature? Do your instincts warn you when you are doing something that doesn’t show integrity?
Practical Thinking Questions:
1. Do you think the whole world could one day show integrity? If not, why might this be impossible.
2. Do you think our national and international world leaders display integrity? How and how not? Be specific.
3. Make a flow chart that could help you determine whether a decision is integral or not. (i.e. – is it dishonest, will it hurt someone, do I have to lie, does it go against my gut, etc.)