You might have heard about integrity all your life, but have you ever wondered what it truly means? From your employers to politicians and even newscasters, it is being used by everyone. Although the word is overused many times, what really matters is being integral in life, maximizing that trait because it affects everything in life. Once we master integrity, our careers and our lives actually start flourishing.
We make many important decisions in life but sometimes, our lives are actually impacted by the more minor decisions that almost seem insignificant. Trust me, these small actions and decisions can greatly impact our self-respect, integrity, and overall reputation!
In a world dominated by people who make headlines for all the wrong reasons, finding people who actually do the right thing and contribute to society can be extremely rare.
Let’s discuss what integrity actually means.
What Is Integrity?
What is the meaning of integrity, now that you have heard it so many times? Integrity means living your life according to your own morals and ethics.
This definition could be hard to understand for many individuals since morals and ethics are very intimidating topics. Let us explain it to you in a simpler way: In order to have integrity, you must have a clear sense of what is right and wrong.
Alongside that, you must also know what is the purpose of your life, and what you intend to do with your life. You must stop panicking about what I just told you, I’m not telling you to go find the meaning of your life right away, just develop it as an afterthought.
In order to start having integrity, you must first define the morals that mean the most to you. Then you need to decide what you want to achieve in life, and why?
When you will start defining your morals and ethics, it won’t be long before you will start actually following them in life. Once you start doing that, that is integrity!
There are some important things that you should know about integrity. This isn’t something that you are born with, it is a personality trait that you develop with time. Certain experiences in our life shape our morals and ethics, integrity is definitely like that.
Integrity isn’t also something that you develop and keep forever. It is used in decision-making or when you plan to start something new in your life!
How Are People With Integrity Unique Than Others?
Every person can show integrity once or twice but there is something different about the people that routinely show integrity with every key decision in their life.
These people are special and they have these traits in them:
They Are Honest Like None Other
You can’t have integrity if you are not honest, there’s just no way. Honesty and integrity are directly related to each other, let us tell you why!
Honesty is the foundation of most people’s morals, but that doesn’t mean that deceit and lying aren’t common too. While honesty is the foundation, it is sometimes very challenging to be honest. Honesty requires you to confront others, tell them difficult things while also admitting difficult things about yourself.
Well, there it is, integrity is hard to achieve, and if it wasn’t, what was the point of this article anyway?
They Never Make Rash Decisions
What does it really mean to practice integrity? It means that you have to be very thoughtful with your decisions, never ever make rash decisions or in haste. The world is not black and white anymore although some people would want it to be that way. In life, you will have to make difficult decisions, and the choices may even seem morally ambiguous sometimes. Integrity requires us to do only one thing in this matter, slow down, take a break, and really think this through.
We have to see whether the decisions we are making actually align with our core beliefs or not. This doesn’t mean that people with integrity can’t make fast decisions, life is all about fast decisions. Once we start practicing integrity, making these fast decisions becomes really easy.
They Are Extremely Reliable And Trustworthy
Consistency is a critical part of integrity, that much is clear. Since there are a set of morals and ethics guiding you, your friends and your family are going to rely on you and trust every decision you make in life.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be spontaneous and unpredictable in life. It means that even in moments when everything seems unpredictable, you will be able to make smart decisions for yourself and others.
They Are Open-Minded
The morals and ethics that we developed in our early life aren’t always going to stay the same, they will change with time and situations. We get to meet different people in life, and encounter different scenarios, these moments change our beliefs and morals.
Expanding your mind is a big part of integrity, take in new information and grow with each and every situation. Trust me, you don’t want to be a stick in the mud, unwilling to evolve and change.
How To Develop Integrity
No matter what you do, your reputation is going to be defined by your integrity, so you best be prepared for it. It takes one good decision to build a person’s reputation and it can also take one bad decision to tarnish that reputation!
These are some of the ways to develop and preserve integrity!
Define Your Values Clearly
The first step to developing your integrity is to define your values. Every person has a set of values that they live by, and you must acknowledge them as you go further in life. No matter what happens in life, you will never compromise these core values of yourself.
Analyze Each and Every Choice
Just because no one is paying attention to you means that you can cut corners and start making bad decisions, always remember that your choices define you ultimately. Practicing integrity means that you will always make the right decision no matter what, for yourself and others that depend on you.
There will be circumstances in your life when right and wrong will become very apparent. Think of it like this, if you made a decision that you thought was correct and it was known to everyone in the world, how would you feel about it?
If your “Right” decision has a negative impact on someone, how would you feel about it? Some decisions that we make in life, thinking that they are right could be disastrous for some. Honesty and integrity aren’t something that you must practice when it is convenient for you, you must always be like that no matter what the circumstances are.
Apply Your Ethics In The World
When you have a lineup of ethics and morals, find ways to apply them in your everyday life. We learn so many great things in childhood, some of them are habits that we follow for our whole life. Practicing integrity is just like that, you would just be practicing your everyday life but with more analysis.
Having integrity also means more than being consistent, sometimes we have to face the inevitable. We must not always do what comes naturally to us because it is our nature to shy away from difficulties. We must find the courage within ourselves to face all the difficulties in life, only then will we become successful.
Quotes On Integrity: Wise Words And Sayings To Encourage Integrity In Your Daily Lives
Here are some fascinating quotes on integrity to motivate you to do better in every field of life. Enjoy!
As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.
Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.
W. Clement Stone
Leading with integrity and empathy requires vision and a connection to your deepest self.
Develop your character so that you are a person of integrity.
It takes courage to create a meaningful life of integrity. It also requires good company. And practice.
With many overhead schemes for the world’s salvation, everything rests back on integrity and driving power in personal character.
Harry Emerson Fosdick
Supporting the truth, even when it is unpopular, shows the capacity for honesty and integrity.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
Creating a culture of integrity and accountability not only improves effectiveness, it also generates a respectful, enjoyable and life-giving setting in which to work.
Customer retention may be best supported by operational integrity. After all, when you think about your personal relationships as well as your business relationships, you tend to stick with the folks that are really good at showing they sincerely care about you, and doing what they say they’re going to do. It boils down to trust.
As you experience changes and breakthroughs, know that integrity, honesty and truth are the highest vibrating energies to guide you forward. Everything else will fall away.
Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.
Dr. William Menninger
The qualities of a great man are “vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.
Think P.I.G. – that’s my motto. P stands for Persistence, I stands for Integrity, and G stands for Guts. These are the ingredients for a successful business and a successful life.
Honor your commitments with integrity.
It’s easy to have principles when you’re rich. The important thing is to have principles when you’re poor.
One of your most prized possessions is integrity; if this is you, then you should never compromise it.
To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.
Donald A. Adams
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.
Orison Swett Marden
Power really is a test of character. In the hands of a person of integrity, it is of tremendous benefit; in the hands of a tyrant, it causes terrible destruction.
I don’t know a more dignified and effective workforce than one operating from a position of worth, integrity, and confidence, as well as one that excels in language of appreciation.
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh
You could consider Wednesday as a day of the week to inspire yourself and others to accomplish all that needs to be done by the end of the week.
Some things are kind of obvious when it comes to leadership. You have to be a great communicator, have very high integrity and have tremendous perseverance and stamina.
Integrity is the seed for achievement. It is the principle that never fails.
Here’s a truth: principled leaders solve moral problems. They have the courage to act rightly. They consistently demonstrate principled conduct under pressure.
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Miguel Angel Ruiz
The support of truth takes integrity.
People with integrity do what they say they are going to do. Others have excuses.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.
The first law of leadership is that your foundation is built through integrity, character, and trust.
The wind might cause a kite to rise, but what keeps it up there is the fact that somebody on the ground has a steady hand. You have to hold steady to your values – your integrity. It’s your anchor. You let go of that. . . well, it isn’t long before your kite comes crashing down.
Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen
Admitting one’s own faults is the first step to changing them, and it is a demonstration of true bravery and integrity.
For those who find themselves more concerned with how much money they can accumulate for the sake of wealth alone, who find themselves stuck like glue to materialistic possessions that mean more than their personal integrity or their contribution to their fellow human beings, these traps have jaws of steel.
Your level of integrity, ethical behaviour and sense of fairness will contribute to your success – or lack of it – over the long term.
If you want to influence others, the most important thing you can do is be a living example of the principles, ideals, and faith that you advocate.
Integrity lies in, doing what one speaks; speaking what one does.
M. K. Soni
Having a grateful disposition brings about other virtues, including generosity, compassion, humility, joy, wisdom, trust and integrity.
The personal cost of keeping your own ethics sound and true may seem a bit of a burden at times but that is a minimal price to pay to be true to yourself. There is absolutely no advantage to changing or altering a set of ethics that portray a person of value and integrity.
When you trust people, you have confidence in them — in their integrity and in their abilities.
When you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self acceptance opened.
Shannon L. Adler
Walk with honor, character, and integrity in all that you do. Do these things and you will find that you can appreciate the adventure of life and live with greater ease.
Shawn L. Anderson
My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, her intelligence reflected in my daughters.
It takes courage to “join soul and role” in organizations that make it unsafe to show up with integrity and act in alignment with it. But when we find that courage, our lives become more whole, our work reaches deeper, the people we serve are better served, and, in ways large and small, the world becomes a better place.
Parker J. Palmer
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.
In the end you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.
Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort.
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
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.
Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.
Roy T. Bennett
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.
In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.
I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it.
Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.
Watch: Simplifying Humility And Integrity Presented By TEDxUniversityofNevada
What is Integrity, and Humility? Many of us use these words without even understanding them. Watch this wonderful presentation by Joe Sabini Feat TEDx where he explains the real meaning of humility and integrity!