Integrity! A core value of mine and one I often look for in others. Now the point of this post is not to try to put myself on a pedestal. But it is to encourage people to live with integrity.
But just in case someone is thinking what the hell is integrity – as we don’t know what we don’t know a quick Google definition explains it as the following:
- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
- the state of being whole and undivided
The main reason for wanting people to live with integrity is that, doing the right thing, will always be the right thing, period! Furthermore, it is in my humble opinion that integrity is necessary for real success. Now yes success is subjective, of course, but to truly be fulfilled and happy with success one must also be at peace with themselves. One must at least conform to their own meanings of integrity and adhere to those as much as possible. After all, going against your own moral compass, will come back to bite you in your ass, sooner or later.
Find Your Voice Podcast (Shameless plug)
So, without digressing too much I also decided to do a short podcast on it (Find Your Voice Podcast). It’s episode 50 and only 10 minutes so be sure to check it out. In fact if you prefer spoken word over text, you may aswell jump over there.
Which person are you?
But for those who prefer to read, written word then please stay with me. This won’t be long. So, reflecting back and having the opportunity to speak, hear and witness many people do things the right way, and the wrong way I have seen first hand what a lack of integrity causes. There are generally 2 types of people on a macro level:
There are those who are doing it the wrong way, lacking integrity, but having the audacity to mask it externally to the world, that will strive for personal power, fame, money or gain at any expense. Now initially it is difficult, at least in some circumstances, to recognise these people. Initially they seem to have all the answers. They seem to be striving and absolutely crushing it. Until of course, the cracks start to show. The wheels start to loosen. Before it all eventually crumbles, like hot blades on a ice rink. I call these people, fakepreneuers, con artists, unethical ****s, and a whole heap of other words I’ll try to restrain myself from saying!
Then we have those who do it with integrity, the right way. Often looking slow, confused, full of mistakes, loads of small failures but perservering nonetheless. In fact these people from the outside, seem to not have it figured it out, despite them actually figuring it out before our eyes. And as time continues, and they begin to sharpen their skills, educate themselves of pitfalls and level up, they slowly start to become successful in their own right. They also add their own icing to the cake, by keeping their integrity in tact.
Remember a social media status, or ripping of a client, or doing something for a short term gain, will last an hour, a day or a week. Your integrity lasts forever!Aren
Is it worth it?
So for me it has always been about doing the right thing. I still stand dumbfounded so often seeing people try to manipulate people, try to do it any other way. Since when has going against your deep core values, ethics and beliefs ever going to serve you? That £1,000 sale won’t replace the sickening feeling when you realise you just sold your soul for a few quid! Although some could argue, if you’re a piece of sh*t from the start and your moral compass is non-existent then actually you’ll probably continue to sleep like a baby each and every night!
Also, just to segway into another quote that actually sums up my rather expansive explanation, the truth will always come out:
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”Unknown
Of course the right thing can always be led to interpretation, but basic things like the below surely fall within that bracket?:
- Being kind always
- Sticking and following through for your words, to yourself and to others
- Helping people whenever you can help people
- Making a positive contribution to society
Now do I always master it? Hell No, but I try to!
So it kind of brings me onto my question for you all.
What does integrity mean to you?
I think this is something, everyone should truly think about. A quick exercise I always use, or recommend for others is to do the following. Self reflect and take a look back at your words and actions and see if:
What you say & What you feel & What you do are congruent. If these aren’t in sync then there is a problem.
- If you say you are an honest individual, but then feel deceitful due to some of your actions, that screams alarm bells.
- Or if you feel a certain type of way but say and do things differently externally, that screams a lack of congruencies and doesn’t show integrity.
So this is just some thoughts that ran through my head as the more people I meet on this journey of find your voice, the more purposeful I am about finding people with sincere honest integrity.
After all, you’ve probably seen the famous quote:
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”Unknown
How to Live with Integrity
So again, conscious of not just making this a brain dump I want to give you some takeaways. I want to give you 5 ways to live with integrity:
- Stick to your word. Actions speak louder than words. I always say this. What we say is one thing, whether that is to somebody else or even ourselves. What we then need to ensure, is that we follow through with those actions.
- Understand your core values, from a moral and ethical perspective. If you don’t know what is important to you, you may find yourself doing what is important for others. Only when you truly understand yourself, who you are, and who you are not, can you find your purpose and of course, find your voice!
- Do the right thing off social media. The reason I say this is that it’ll form a positive habit of adding value and contribution without the need for external applause or validation. Plus doing the right thing is the right thing!
- Know your bigger picture. Now what I mean by this, is and its very closely linked actually to point 2. You need to know your sell-out price and limits. When you have a future vision of yourself, the person you truly want to become that will come at a sacrifice. It will require, sacrificing sleep, recreational times, money, nights out etc. But it should never come at the expense of your integrity. So often I have seen people chase quick money and sell their soul. Or lie about things to get a few followers. This to me, alongside being deceitful, inauthentic and damn right annoying also screams a lost soul. Someone who doesn’t know themselves. Learn to know yourself!
- Find people similar to yourself. I tweeted something a few days ago actually that this year is about removing people from my table. The quote wasn’t mine, before anyone goes all Jay Shetty on me, but it resonated with me. I am probably the most trusting person you will meet. Even after I have been lied too, cheated on, stolen from and taken a ride for on many occasions. But I live in good spirits that people do the best with what they can, and deep down most of us, as I can’t guarantee all of us do, are nice people just lost. So to avoid heartache and not make the same mistakes over and over, I find myself simply upgrading my network and removing the issues wherever I can!
So hopefully this adds some value to you all, or at the very least gets you thinking. We have to learn to know ourselves before we end up acting in a manner we think will serve us, only to find ourselves feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled down the line. I dont want that for any of you.
So, maybe try this for a week? Maybe try 1 of the 5 ways to live with integrity and see how it fills you up. Watch it empower you, build your confidence and give you a better understanding of what you stand for.
p.s Also if you found this useful, or you have any constructive feedback on this blog or the podcast episode drop me a message via any of the social media handles and lets connect, so I can improve myself to help you!
Thanks for reading this short blog of 5 ways to live with integrity & have an awesome day.
Don’t forget to check out the podcast too at: https://www.findyourvoicepodcast.com/subscribe