A terrible poverty known to man is when their name is no longer any good. A person can go through rough times–their physical health in ruin, their emotions a mess, their finances a disaster–but if they maintain their integrity they will still be prosperous and respected. Having people trust you, believe in you, people who give you positive recommendations to others, is one of the most valuable assets in the world.
The key to developing good integrity lies in your words and core values. Lets talk first about your words:
We live in a media age where we can grab our phone and broadcast whatever we are feeling at any moment. This can be powerful for those who have maturity, but for those who speak before they think this can create some problems! Just spend some time on Twitter and see the ridiculous things people are saying!
The basis for developing a good name in relation to your words is simply to think before you speak and do what you say you’re going to do. If you can excel in these two areas your relationships will be healthy and your words will mean something. People will trust you and speak well of you. You will be known for your integrity–you do what you say you will do.
If you have a hard time following through with things, here is an action point: focus on not promising things unless you know you can do them. And when you say you are going to do something, DO IT! Make it the highest priority, even if you are majorly inconvenienced.
Having a good name is tied in with a few of our tenents: courtesy, attentiveness, self control, honor, and humility. If these five tenents are evident and growing in your life you will have a good name and leave a lasting legacy. These five character traits can be viewed as a five-pointed star. If you lack one of them you will be out of balance and it will have an effect on your relationships. For instance, if you have the first four and yet lack humility people will think you are full of yourself and will distance themselves from you.
The other vital part of integrity is developing your core values. Picture a bowling alley. Have you ever seen those rubber bumpers they put into the gutter? No matter how bad the ball is bowled it will bounce down the lane and strike pins. With these in place it is impossible to throw a gutter ball! These bumpers can be like your part of your core values, which are your non-negotiables. These are things that are not an option for you no matter what happens in your life. Do you have any non-negotiables? You probably do, but it is a good idea to put some thought into them and put them on paper. What are some things that are never ok for you to do? For example: I will never use the power of my martial arts to demean another person. Having this as a non-negotiable will have impact on how you defend yourself in a conflict as your adrenaline is pumping. Believe it or not you can knock someone out and still honor them as a person.
The other part of your core values are positive things that really mean something to you; the center of who you aspire to be as a person. What are a few things that are beautiful to you or that get your blood boiling? Do you enjoy movies where people notice and help hurting individuals? Compassion may be a core value of yours. Do you feel angry when people get taken advantage of? Justice may be a core value. Perhaps you resonate with truth and really uphold that no matter the circumstance you will be a truth teller. Whatever your core values are, identify them and right them down. These values will play a vital role in developing your integrity.
The foundation for integrity is that you act the same way–you do what is right and honorable–in every situation whether someone is looking or not. As you strive to follow through with your words, have control over your tongue and actions, and really live from a place of strength in your core values you will walk in the power of integrity. As long as you don’t get puffed up in self-righteousness, tooting your own horn, but rather use this power to help others, you will find the joy of having a good name and healthy relationships!
The power of integrity–We encourage you to walk it out!