Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
-- Henry Van Dyke

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - July 2006

Integrity

The quality of your life is ultimately determined by the integrity of your actions. It is always in your best interest to act with integrity. It may seem that doing what is right would sometimes call for a sacrifice on your part, would sometimes demand that you act against your own interest. Indeed, there are sacrifices to be made. However, you never sacrifice your own interest when you act with integrity. It is always, ultimately, the better choice for you and for everyone concerned.

Integrity is a word that gets thrown around in many different situations. Literally, integrity means wholeness, soundness or completeness. In the case of personal development, integrity means being true to the highest and best that is within you. So by very definition, the integrity with which you live and act is closely connected to fulfillment of your most deeply held purpose.

Integrity means discovering your own unique set of skills and abilities, and using them to achieve maximum benefit for yourself, your world, and those around you. It means finding what you do best, and doing it with all the commitment and energy you can muster. There is no better path to success and accomplishment than this.

As a strategy for successful living, integrity cuts right to the heart of the matter. For what higher success could there be than to fulfill your own incredible possibilities? Living with integrity is arguably the number one strategy for success in life. It is the success strategy that makes all other success strategies possible.

Too often we see integrity as something that we “should” practice out of a sense of guilt, in order to “be good” in the eyes of others. In short, we identify integrity with having to conform to some value system that resides outside ourselves, when actually integrity is the practice of conforming to a value system that is an integral part of our higher self.

There is in everyone, even the worst scoundrel, a desire to be happy. But what is happiness? It is more than mere pleasure. People who chase pleasure and expect to find happiness are never fully satisfied. There’s more to it than that. True happiness comes when you are doing something that brings genuine fulfillment.

Anything undertaken without integrity, no matter how extensive or impressive the results, always carries a certain amount of emptiness. The most meaningful rewards in life are found in the doing, not in the having. An Olympic gold medal might be worth a few hundred dollars as a collector’s item. Yet to the athlete who won it, it is priceless, not because of its intrinsic value but because of the effort and true achievement that it represents.

Achievement is something that everyone agrees is valuable and desirable. But have you ever considered why?


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—Ralph Marston