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Why integrity is essential in life: When talking about core human values, one of the most important words is integrity. You probably might have heard it right from your days in primary school. Our characters and values are not what we say we are. They are what people see when those so-called characters and values are tested.
It is not easy to stick to who you say you are, especially when the world tries to shape you into someone different. If we start talking about human values, we will not stop talking about them. It’s a long list with essential important parts to talk about.
We have heard of honesty, modesty, trustworthiness, decency, truthfulness, humility, etc. Integrity is our focus in this article.
What is Integrity?
As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, integrity means firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. It also means incorruptible — a state of being complete or undivided. Without integrity, you would constantly adjust to some lower standards. Situations and circumstances have a way of molding us into things that we are not. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to be true to who we are.
This definition of integrity might look bulky to some of us. Integrity can be put as doing the right thing always, even when nobody’s looking at us. It also means staying true to yourself and your word in the face of grave consequences.
Having integrity means upholding your standards and values in the face of challenges. A person of integrity lives his life according to his morals and values. What makes integrity an admirable virtue is that integrity doesn’t hide. This means that you have to hold on to your integrity or compromise.
A man of integrity doesn’t hide his values to fit into a group. He will not compromise for the sake of money or positional advantage. Integrity is not a virtue that can be hidden. Everyone around you knows what you stand for, and you live by it. Without integrity, you don’t have anything to lose. Mind you, nothing is worth losing your integrity for.
Integrity can also mean people taking your word for truth. You don’t say “YES” today and change it to “NO” tomorrow. Sometimes we are faced with decisions that define us or show what we believe in. As insignificant as they might be, it doesn’t make them less critical. “To whom much is given, much is expected .” He that is faithful in little things will be faithful in bigger things”. Integrity works on these rules.
We live in a world where people who make the wrong choices make headlines. People who make the right choices are rarely found trending. It’s hard to live with integrity in a corrupt world. When we become known for this excellent virtue, our lives and career becomes beautiful.
Reasons why integrity is essential in life
Here we are talking about Reasons why integrity is important:
1. It’s the right way to live.
If the purpose of a thing is not established, abuse is inevitable. To live a good life, you must have integrity.
2. You become Reliable
People find it easy to trust a person of integrity. It’s understandable to trust someone who stays true to their standards and values. Whether in terms of career or the general world, people with integrity are reliable. As a man of integrity, people can rely on you to keep their secrets when they tell you. Your word is taken for truth at any time.
3. Peace of mind
It’s peaceful to be true to who you are from the start. It’s exhausting trying to compromise to fit into a group. Pretending to be something you are not is consuming. It puts unnecessary stress on you, trying to be who you are not.
4. Good reputation
A lack of integrity means a lack of good reputation. People will not trust your reputation if you don’t have integrity. A reputation of reliance and trustworthiness will help build your image. People with integrity have high morals, which shows in their relationships with people.
5. Become a better person
Integrity tends to make you a better person. It makes you proud of yourself for doing what is right. Integrity allows you to be your raw self without adjusting to fit into a group.
6. Good and healthy relationships
Integrity helps you to sustain a good relationship. You can only enjoy good and healthy relationships when there is integrity. In personal relationships with lovers, integrity boosts the longevity of the relationship. Both parties understand their values, and they don’t compromise them. Importantly, people love associating with people of integrity. They want to make friends with them to learn from them. As humans, you wouldn’t want a dishonest person to be in a core position in your life.
7. Become Admirable
There is nothing admirable in a lack of integrity. Integrity makes you admirable. You are respected by the people around you. People don’t like pretenders or people who compromise. Such people have no stand; they have no values they defend.
8. You inspire others
Being a man of integrity inspires others to become better people. They see you as an example to follow. When they see you stand up to responsibility, they try to follow in your footsteps. Integrity has a good influence on people around. No matter how trivial some decisions might be, people will notice.
9. You naturally become a Leader.
One of the essential traits of a leader is integrity. It is essential for a leader that wants to be respected. Having the proper morals and standing by it makes you respected. Even when you don’t hold leadership positions, you naturally lead. A leader without integrity will lack the authority to lead.
Integrity boosts your confidence. It makes you feel secure in terms of who you are. Confidence comes when you reflect on the good deeds you have done. You won’t be worried about the consequences of some wrongs you have done. You are confident about your answers and can defend them when called upon. This breeds happiness in the process.
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How to preserve your integrity
Your integrity determines your reputation. Some people have ruined their lifelong good reputation because of a single compromise. A single wrong choice can destroy your reputation at any time. How can you build and preserve your integrity?
Define your values
State out your values and define them. You can’t keep up with values and principles you don’t believe in. Start by defining your core values. These are values you will not compromise no matter how hard it is.
Learn to be assertive
If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for nothing. Don’t walk around answers, be assertive and straightforward. Some people play around with this; unknowingly, it becomes a part of them.
Learn to take responsibility
Learn to take responsibility for your actions. If you are wrong or made a mistake, acknowledge it and make corrections. When you stand to take responsibility, it boosts your confidence and level of integrity.
Analyze any choice you make
Often, people cut corners and make wrong choices, especially when nobody is looking at them. We usually know the right and the wrong answers, although we might need time to figure it out. Integrity is not a value you uphold when it is convenient only but to be kept.
Try and encourage integrity around you. Preach it and act on it. People with integrity have the same characteristics.
Factors that affect the integrity
Here I’m going to explain Factors that affect integrity:
Friends influence us, whether positive or negative. The group you keep affects your level of integrity. A group of dishonest peers will produce dishonest individuals.
Integrity is also affected by rewards. People tend to compromise because of rewards or positional gains.
Another thing is personal ambitions. This often happens in politics. People support a candidate that will favor them irrespective of their rightness.
These are indicators that help expose if a person has integrity or not. It is like a reality check of what a person is.
Character is more like your personality. Your level of integrity can be perceived through your character. Sometimes, we make promises and fail to keep them. A person of integrity strives to keep their promises.
High Moral Standard
A person with integrity is recognized to live with high moral standards. Stick to your moral standards in whatever you do. It will show your commitment to values and integrity.
Integrity demands honesty, especially during testing moments. A dishonest man lacks integrity. To be completely honest with people, you have to start with being honest with yourself.
Integrity can be tracked or monitored by diligence. A diligent person has integrity. Delivering high-quality job performance at work is an example. If you are not diligent at your work, you can’t be diligent with other people’s work.
Finally, integrity is needed in our day-to-day life. We can have a better society if we all have integrity. Children must be taught while growing up the importance of integrity.