Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.
-- Baltasar Gracian

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - October 2007

Strategic Integrity

There are many powerful strategies for success. Most of the success strategies that first come to mind center around external factors. On a personal level, external success strategies include networking, communication and presentation skills, technical knowledge, sustained effort and physical stamina. External strategies for business success can include marketing, research and development, financial, information management and distribution strategies.

Yet there are also important internal strategies for success, and key among these is integrity. In fact, integrity could be considered the meta-strategy for success in all areas of life. That is, integrity encompasses all other success strategies in a coherent, unified, dynamic force.

You probably don’t often think of integrity as a strategic element of life. Integrity implies selflessness and a certain degree of sacrifice, you assume, so how could it possibly be viewed as a strategic tool?

Yet 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. And indeed, there are always sacrifices to be made in any worthwhile endeavor. However, you never sacrifice your own interest when you do what is right. It is always the better choice for you to do the right thing.

Integrity means acting to make your world as much better as you possibly can. It means discovering your own unique set of skills and abilities, and using them to achieve maximum benefit for 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.

Living with integrity is arguably the number one strategy for success in life. It is a success strategy that makes all other success strategies possible.

Integrity defined

What is integrity, anyway? It 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. And so, by very definition, integrity of life and action is closely connected to fulfillment of purpose.

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?

Too often integrity is viewed as something that one “should” practice out of a sense of guilt, in order to “be good” in the eyes of others. In short, integrity is commonly misidentified as the need to conform to some value system that resides outside yourself, when actually integrity is the practice of conforming to a value system that is an integral part of your higher self.

Integrity confers strategic advantage

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 much more to it than that. True happiness comes when


To continue reading this member-only content, please log in if you are a current subscriber/member, or if you’re not already a member, you can join today for an annual price of just $15 and get immediate access to the full text of this article and many others, plus additional member-only content such as downloadable audio programs and e-books. If you’re not ready to join right now, we invite you to look through our extensive archive of more than 4,000 shorter daily messages, which are fully available for everyone to read.

—Ralph Marston