For many reasons maintaining integrity is an essential character trait in successful people. To be honest and stick to set principles of morality shows a person who knows what their aims are and who will not be pulled off course by temptation or a need to deceive others.
Applying the idea of being an ‘open book’ to our life is vital to success because it allows us to be held accountable by ourselves and others. By recognising our accountability (and therefore the potential you must fail), we will be careful to act with integrity.
Sometimes people argue that integrity is something that we are born with, that it is either a part of us or not. But what matters most is the idea that we can grow into an honest and grounded person who has learnt, rather than somebody who has no accurate moral compass and refuses to grow, or somebody who lauds their superior morality and honesty over others. In recognising integrity, we must acknowledge the very human capacity to make mistakes.
Traits of Individuals with Integrity
The capacity to apologise when you are wrong displays integrity because it allows the individual to face humility and acknowledge that they are flawed. Integrity is about being honest above all, and concealing a mistake to be admired or perfect would not follow well.
Giving the benefit of the doubt displays a capacity to accept others and think positively. If integrity is not about positivity, I do not know what is. To be honest and moral in a world full of things that are the opposite of that is to acknowledge that you choose a path of goodness when others do not. While this is not necessarily praiseworthy because it’s what we should do, practising the concept of seeing the best in others is valiant because it encourages others to behave with nobility.
Empathy is vital to integrity. Somebody with integrity can recognise that we are all humans with flaws who are trying our best. To identify the humanity in others, regardless of whether they are the same as you or not, is a true mark of someone displaying empathy. Highlighting the accomplishments of others is one such way to show integrity; for a while, acknowledging humanity’s fallibility also illustrates that we can rise above the negativity we all face throughout life. Integrity is about celebrating when the good is sound, as well as being willing to call out when the bad is bad.
Self-work is essential in gaining integrity. We must be honest with ourselves, and we must accept our mistakes. There are steps we can take to have greater integrity. Firstly, outlining what you believe in and the morals you intend to adhere to is a good start. At least this way, we can see the rules we want to set for ourselves and
Furthermore, we must be honest about our wrongdoing, whether in the past, present or future. Deciding to take charge of our integrity is not to say that we will not make mistakes again, but it does mean having the willingness to accept when we have done wrong and hurt others and facing the consequences with vital honesty. The self-work required to develop this kind of open, deep relationship with the self can be found in guided meditation.
The practice of guided meditation enables us to deepen our self-knowledge by deepening our understanding of thoughts and how they affect us, how they have affected us, and their capacity to jeopardise our future. By taking charge of this, we gain the ability to explore how we can be more honest with ourselves and others. It allows us to further our understanding of why we have morally grounded ourselves as we have. With this practice, we can deepen our understanding of what it means to have integrity.