Integrity is officially defined as a consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. Put a bit differently and certainly more simply, to have integrity is to be honest, be truthful, and act in a way that is consistent with your principles.
Integrity is what makes you a person worth being around. I simply refuse to be involved with people that lack integrity in their actions and behavior. And I know I’m not the only one out there that feels like this.
I actually believe that lacking integrity is worse than being an openly evil person. Monsanto, for example, is a company that pursues goals that are repugnant to me. But they are open about those goals, and they act consistently with them. This lets me decide whether to support them and their products with my dollars or not.
But saying one thing and doing something else is completely different. Think back to a time when someone professed one thing, and decided to act completely differently. Remember the sense of deception and betrayal you felt when you found out what really happened?
Having integrity means you stand up for what’s right in your world view. It means doing the right thing, even if nobody is looking. And it definitely means doing the right thing when people ARE looking.
Be consistent with your public and private values and beliefs. Don’t say something in public if you don’t believe it. Don’t contradict your words with your actions.
Always make the right choice, even when it’s not the easy path.
Choose your principles carefully, and stick with them.
Always do the right thing. Always.
Living a life of integrity will not always be easy. And sometimes it can be incredibly difficult. But living without integrity isn’t living.
I’m not perfect by any means, and don’t always do the right thing. Nobody does. But I strive for integrity daily. I refuse after all these years to believe you must do the expedient thing to succeed. If compromising your principles to get ahead is your goal, go for it, it will never be mine.