Integrity is a value, like persistence, courage and industriousness. Even more
than that, it is the value that guarantees all the other values. You are a good person
to the degree to which you live your life consistent with the highest values that you
espouse. Integrity is the quality that locks in your values and causes you to live
consistent with them.
Integrity is the foundation of character. And character development is one of the
most important activities you can engage in. Working on your character means
disciplining yourself to do more and more of those things that a thoroughly honest
person would do, under all circumstances.
To be impeccably honest with others, you must first be impeccably honest with
yourself. You must be true to yourself. You must be true to the very best that is in
you, to the very best that you know. Only a person who is living consistent with his
or her highest values and virtues is really living a life of integrity. And when you
commit to living this kind of life, you will find yourself continually raising your own
standards, continually refining your definition of integrity and honesty.
You can tell how high your level of integrity is by simply looking at the things you
do in your day-to-day life. You can look at your reactions and responses to the
inevitable ups and downs of life. You can observe the behaviors you typically engage
in and you will then know the person you are.
The external manifestation of high integrity is high-quality work. A person who is
totally honest with himself or herself will be someone who does, or strives to do,
excellent work on every occasion. The totally honest person recognizes, sometimes
unconsciously, that everything he or she does is a statement about who he or she
really is as a person.
When you start a little earlier, work a little harder, stay a little later and
concentrate on every detail, you are practicing integrity in your work. And whether
you know it or not, your...