What is integrity?
Well, if you ask my heart and soul, integrity is the soil that man stands upon that is a solid foundation for one’s inner being. Integrity is not something that can be achieved, it is a character that one has to develop through experiential learning and wisdom.
The be a person of integrity means learning that the laws of nature, the laws of life will not escape you, that you are not insurmountable, at the same time, reaching for the stars in a space of dignity, truth and recognition of the self.
You just know. It’s like learning to recognize the truth and the lies. Once you know, you know.
It’s a character building process that one has to go through in one’s life; life’s lessons, truth defined. Some grasp on to it quicker, while others, it takes a lifetime.
But it is always there, in the heart and soul, deep within. It is scary to some and vague to others; aconcept that can be a part of the whole ‘self;’ mind, body, Spirit and heart.
I believe that integrity is the backbone of any successful business or venture. Not that anyone can’t get to the top without integrity, but those are small successes, even if you have achieved a six figure salary who cares?
If the backbone of your business is not built upon a foundation of solid soil, one of integrity, whether in this lifetime or next, you will carry a heavy burden. If you step over people in your quest for success you carry a heavy burden. If you aren’t trustworthy and honest in your endeavors you carry a heavy burden whether you recognize it or not. Because, the mark of a man’s success is in the matters of the heart and soul, six figures or one.
The mark of success is measured in value and worth, not of the monetary kind, but rather, a matter of character.
According to the Cambridge English dictionary, Integrity means “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change.” Though many have lied through their teeth to attain positions of power, I have never understood this. Because I believe that at some point in a person’s life, this dishonesty and lack of integrity catches up with them, possibly in another life who knows?
But to lose one’s own conscience in matters of the material world is rather nonsensical. And inappropriate I may add.
Marrying the worlds of spirituality, philosophy and real world ventures, whether it be politics or business ventures, integrity allows one to perceive achievement and success using different variables than the average. Because, as I alluded to before, you develop the capacity to see through the marks of dishonesty and disillusionment as you search for deeper meanings in any conquest or endeavor.
Theodore Roosevelt is widely regarded by historians as one of the greatest American presidents. He was also a master orator and prolific writer and a Noble Peace Prize Winner as well. He has been quotes many times, and on the subject of self-knowledge, Roosevelt replied “Unless a man is master of his soul, all other kinds of mastery amount to little” (Ladies’ Home Journal, January 1917).
Integrity therefore, could be said to be a foundation upon which all things lasting are built. Without it, it is like a scythed or crumbling foundation upon which a house is built. Sure, the house may be by a beach side, home to affluence and romanticism, but eventually that foundation starts to wither away, to crack, to leak, to burst like old pipes or the pipes of dishonesty.
If honesty and integrity are not built into the foundation of man, there is truly very little that he can do.
This is of course metaphorically speaking, because he or she may run the world. But, the void within the self of one who lacks integrity is the price he has to pay, whether at the end of his life, during, or if you believe, in the after life perhaps.
So, what does one have to do in order to be a person of integrity? Nothing. And everything.
Our souls already know, we are born this way except that we are conditioned through life to believe or think otherwise. As is the nature of life, one recognizes these life long ‘inner’ truths either towards the end of their lives or during, it really depends on the individual. It is my belief that we are made to be person’s of integrity.
Our value systems are irrelevant, again in my opinion, if they are not accompanied by a mark of one’s character, and integrity is key. So what if you have achieved everything on your bucket list, I may ask, but at what price? This is the kind of question that one can expect to ask themselves towards the end of their lives, if not introspective enough to reflect upon it during their lifetime.
Integrity is a key to success. It is essential to all components of heartfelt success; thereby the kind that matters. And integrity is food for the soul, thereby everything that matters. According to Jeffrey Davis (2013) of The Creativity Post Article “When You Hit a Brick Wall, Turn to Stone Like Carl Jung,” at 37 years old Jung went into a state of existential confusion. Right in the middle of his dilemma was the question about integrity.
Davis jokes in saying that “When that voice calls and says, “Look at how you’re living your life. How are you walking the talk?,” most of us reply with, “You’ve got the wrong number,” hang up, and turn up the volume on Downton Abby.” Or we get stuck in the pit of self-doubt. But, “when Jung got challenged on his own soul stuff, he didn’t hang up. He kept the line open,” according to Davis. Jung was able to question matters such as his own role in the world and his integrity, and in the process of examining the life within he became one of the founding father’s of modern psychotherapy.
Integrity revolves around three important aspect of the self:
Therefore, let your actions, words and beliefs reflect integrity; that is one who is honest and true to his character. Because at the end of the day, if one can lie down and feel good about what they have done, how they have acted and what they believed in, that, in my books, is a marker of success.
Now of course as humans, we are subject to the strongest vulnerabilities and influences, and that is perfectly okay. That is to be human. But if you haven’t thought much about integrity in the happiness equation or about it’s essence in your conduct, business, your words and your actions, I would implore you to do so. The greatest minds have taken the plunge to go deep within, so why would you not?