In this article I’m looking at one of my quote images dealing with integrity…
Small breaks integrity don’t matter, right? Er, wrong.
In my mind, even the word itself sounds good. For me it brings up thoughts of ‘doing the right thing’, which has me nodding my head, thinking how much better everything is when we act that way.
There are various definitions of ‘integrity’ – for me it boils down to treating other people properly. Being considerate to others, allowing them to have their own opinion, to do their own things.
It means talking about them from a position of respect, saying nothing behind someone’s back for example that you wouldn’t say to their face. It means not harming others, or their property, or their rights.
It means working hard at what you do, even when no-one’s watching. If an employer is paying you to do a job, you do that job.
I also believe that a key angle when thinking about integrity, is acting with integrity towards *ourselves*. If we look after our own opinions, our own goals, if we treat ourselves properly, we are acting with integrity. If we talk to ourselves about ourselves from that position of respect, that’s integrity.
If we put in as much work on ourselves as we do for our employer or others, even if we don’t feel like it, that’s integrity.
All sounds great doesn’t it, all well and good! That’s because I think it *is* great! When we act with integrity, we not only make the world a better place for ourselves, we make it a better place for others too.
If that’s the case then, why would anyone act without integrity..?
That’s a good question, and it forms the basis of the point I’m making in this article.
We act without integrity when it becomes difficult, when we can’t be bothered.
Sometimes we don’t have the time, or life in general is shoving a load of stress our way. In times like that, thinking of others is not quite the easy rainbow it might be when just thinking of the word!
This also applies to that integrity towards ourselves. If we find it difficult to go for our goals, if we hit an obstacle, it feels easier to just give up. We might like the idea of being on a diet to lose weight, but the thought of that chocolate means it’s ok to have some, and the diet can wait until tomorrow.
There is no doubt, acting with integrity can be hard! That’s why we slip, that’s why we have those breaks in integrity. The small breaks, they don’t matter though, right?
The small breaks *do* matter, for two reasons.
Firstly, it sometimes only needs a small break in integrity to have a big impact, either on ourselves or on others.
The wrong words at the wrong time, the wrong action at the wrong time – the power of these is not to be dismissed. It can take a long time to put right the damage that can be caused by these small breaks.
The second reason that the small breaks matter, is that they are the little cracks in the dam. If we get used to the little breaks being ok, then the little breaks become the norm, so we can add new little breaks to them.
It doesn’t take too long before the breaks come together, and the whole dam of integrity collapses, and we just do away with the whole idea.
That’s not good, to put it mildly. When we do away with integrity altogether, the world becomes a worse place, a worse place for ourselves, and a worse place for those around us, and it’ll be our own doing!
It’s not all doom and gloom though!
You’ll know by now that I choose to take the positive way of looking at life, so here’s what I think we should do about the small breaks in integrity…
In an ideal world, we shouldn’t have any breaks in integrity at all, but I know that none of us live in cloud cuckoo land, so we have to accept that breaks in integrity *will* happen.
The first way to deal with it, is to simply accept that fact, that the breaks will happen. The good side of the breaks happening, is that we *see* them as breaks, because that means that the break in integrity is not the norm, it’s integrity that’s the norm!
Once we accept that, we can then deal with it by getting annoyed with ourselves! I get really annoyed with myself if I think I’ve acted without integrity, either towards myself or others. I can find it quite upsetting.
However, I use that annoyance and frustration with myself to close the break! If we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, we can go to the second move for dealing with the breaks, which is to decide to not accept the integrity break as the norm, but to decide to do our very best to not let it happen again.
That involves work, because it means we have to analyse what happened, and prepare ourselves to act differently next time. It can be an effort, but of course, to put in that effort is in itself to act with integrity!
I find this whole idea a key lifestyle issue. It may sound corny to talk about acting with integrity. It may sound corny to talk about not settling for breaks in integrity as being ok.
If it sounds corny, then so be it, because I believe it’s a game changer – it’s quite simply a path to a better life, and it why I say something I’ve said before, and will be saying again, that the small breaks in integrity *do* matter!
Ok, I’d love to hear what you think, do leave a comment!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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