Warren Buffet once said, “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: Integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”
Even if we’re not looking to hire someone, what he said about integrity applies to most situations and relationships.
Defining integrity can be daunting…but you know it when you see it.
Merriam-Webster says integrity is “Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic value – incorruptibility.” Or it can be described as an “unimpaired condition; soundness” of a structure, like a ship. Or “completeness: the state or quality of being complete or undivided.”
In this article, we’re discussing moral integrity, which is doing the right thing in every situation regardless of the circumstances.
Integrity is our moral compass, which must be sound and complete, incorruptible.
Integrity isn’t impaired or compromised by external pressures or challenging circumstances; it’s constant and remains true to principles. It’s a commitment to doing the right thing even when we don’t want to and no one is watching.
Integrity is about character and not image or reputation.
Integrity is when your inner and outer lives match- unified in thought, word, and action.
Integrity comes from the Latin word for bringing together or making whole: integritas.
Our morality and sense of virtue should be unwavering regardless of the situation, which seems so hard to find these days. How often do we hear in the news of someone compromising what’s right in pursuit of power, money, or fame?
The kind of integrity we’re talking about here is the kind that builds trust and earns a good reputation.
Here are six tips for living with integrity.
A person with integrity is just and fair, which shows in how they treat their family and friends, the people in their community, and the workplace.
A person with integrity realizes that people’s perspectives differ, so even when they disagree, they provide a safe space to voice their ideas without judgment, criticism, or retribution.
Unfortunately, not everyone values fairness as much as we do, making it difficult to expect the same courtesy from others. But hopefully, our example will inspire more people to model our treatment and behavior.
Define Your Standards & Values
Figuring out what you stand for and against helps identify your values and principles.
Do you value compassion and forgiveness?
Or are you driven to stand up for injustices no matter the situation?
Society tries to condition us to do as we’re told and to comply with the teachings of those who came before us.
But, after a bit of soul-searching, examination, and prayer, you will know your values – what you believe in your heart to be right and wrong.
Be true to your beliefs and convictions, even though you may suffer disapproval and rejection, because since when has the crowd ever really been right?
Hang Around the Right People
The Bible says bad company corrupts good character; perhaps Jesus Christ was the exception because he hung around all types of people without compromising his integrity.
But we all have people in our social circles who don’t follow a virtuous path. And they’re okay with their moral compass taking them off course because it’s meeting certain needs. Just because you choose to limit your contact with these people doesn’t mean you don’t love them; it just means you’re guarding your heart and mind against making uncomfortable compromises.
Surround yourself with people you trust and respect and who value honesty, justice, compassion, and fairness. When you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do, you can ask them for advice to help you make a sound decision. People of integrity will have an uplifting influence on your life for years to come.
Own Your Truth
Living with false beliefs erodes your true identity over time; you’re living a lie. Being true to yourself, doing the right thing, and speaking your truth is the first step to living with integrity.
Why? Because it shows that you’ve integrated your core values with your actions. And, when it’s time to decide, whether big or small, your moral compass will easily point you in the right direction.
Cutting corners and taking shortcuts is overwhelmingly tempting today, but just because no one is looking or you don’t think anyone will get hurt doesn’t make it right.
Living with integrity means being trustworthy and accountable, first to yourself and then to others. It’s being loyal to what you stand for and know is right and true.
Moral integrity recognizes that certain decisions will result in you selling a part of yourself that can never be recovered; integrity is closely related to honor.
As a person of integrity, you know that you deserve better – that there’s something more important than achieving the task, goal, dream, or ambition! How you do something is more important than actually doing the thing; that’s integrity.
Integrity doesn’t lie, cheat, cut corners, or justify its actions based on other people’s behavior; just because someone did something wrong or underhanded doesn’t mean it’s okay for us to cheat or do something wrong.
Discover Why You Were Born
You’re alive and breathing on this amazing planet, meaning you can choose whether you’ll make a difference while here or not.
Each of us is born with an expiration date; life is too short not to live our passion and fulfill our purpose.
What moves you? Drives you? Energizes you? Makes you feel alive?
Explore, make mistakes, take a few detours – do whatever it takes to discover your purpose so you can live it. Life isn’t about success; it’s about fulfillment. Life becomes fulfilling when you’re giving back by living your purpose. (By the way, your purpose isn’t about accumulating.)
Start discovering your life’s purpose by asking yourself these questions:
What do I want to achieve in life?
What do I need to do to unleash my potential?
What are my skills & gifts, and how can I use them to help others?
What ignites me with joyful satisfaction?
What makes me excited to jump out of bed in the morning?
What makes me feel grateful?
At the end of the day, what’s truly important?
Living with integrity means making your time on earth count for something more than simply fulfilling selfish ambitions. And it means more than drifting through life, too.
Integrity means keeping your word and being counted on to do the right thing AND not the wrong thing. It also means not keeping silent – but speaking out bravely against injustice, deception, and oppression.
Without integrity, it’s impossible to unlock your best life. Start using these six tips today to unleash your true power and potential, and become legendary.