“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.”
~ Brian Tracy
I just finished a three-day Mastermind with a family of amazingly accomplished, forward thinking, and giving entrepreneurs. Collectively, this group possesses and demonstrates a wide-range of enviable qualities and traits, high among them – integrity. It was/is a privilege to be a part of and among them.
A boat with no leaks is said to have integrity, as is a solid piece of furniture. It is their wholeness – no gaps or weaknesses – that gives them their integrity. People who have integrity convey a similar “seaworthiness” and stability. There is the sense that they can be counted on, that their actions will be consistent with their ideals. Just being in the presence of someone with this quality creates a feeling of steadiness even in a chaotic environment. These people are natural, not fabricated or self-perceived, leaders and we sense that it is safe to follow them. We are blessed with notable examples of modern human beings who embodied integrity. Can you name three?
Integrity cannot be self-ascribed. As with true leaders who personify integrity, we can learn first hand the benefits of sacrificing short-term gains in favor of long-term vision – provided the vision benefits others and not one’s self. In a culture obsessed with convenience and freedom, integrity can be a rare quality.
Integrity generates self-confidence and self-esteem. It is never aligned with being self-centered. It is important to take time on a regular basis to examine whether your actions – public and private, your words, and your vision are in alignment. Consider making it a priority to assess any imbalances you find and commit to resolving them. Also, take time, when necessary, to revise your overall life vision to ensure your actions and words support ideals for a larger community or cause greater than your own personal motives.
Integrity cannot be faked. So much of integrity is authenticity, which to many, is something you feel or know intuitively. There are many ways in which to demonstrate integrity. Maybe you’d like to try these:
- Live for others ahead of yourself. The root enemy of integrity is selfishness. The Golden Rule requires treating others the way we would like to be treated. Living the Golden Rule boosts personal integrity.
- Don’t kowtow. This goes back to being authentic. There’s nothing less authentic than ass-kissing.
- Make an excuse board. Put it all out there. Make columns for eating crap, chronically skipping exercise (though allowing for earned rest days), going to bed late, drinking too much, stressing yourself sick, etc. At the end of one month, see how much you’ve excelled at cheating yourself (and possibly others). This can be an effective exercise, even if potentially unpleasant.
To conclude with a light-hearted look at integrity, here’s a fun video . 🙂