People of integrity and honesty not only practice what they preach, they are what they preach. ~David A Bednar
It was 6:30 pm on Friday. John suddenly noticed the absence of his wallet.
He stood up and paced his small flat in Chicago. Sudden fear enveloped his mind. Tomorrow was the big day. He finally got to go on holiday with his best friends!
“It can’t have been that long ago!”, he thought to himself. “Maybe I dropped it on the train”.
John called the train drop off-centre. “I’m sorry Mister, we haven’t received a brown wallet just yet. These things don’t usually get handed in. My apologies,”
What next? Give up? Cancel the holiday, as you have no ID? How unfortunate that this was the day you picked up your new passport from the city hall.
All seemed gone. John said a quick prayer.
20:30: The doorbell rings. A young lady is standing there. She has a beautiful smile and is holding a wallet.
“Is this yours?”, she says, “I found it on the ground at the train station. Luckily you had your name written in it with your address. I thought I’d drop it off as I don’t live far away.”
Wow, John thought to himself. This seems like a miracle. He thanked the young lady, still not believing what had just happened.
What a kind person. What a person of integrity.
In this article, we will look at 5 simple ways to show integrity in your daily life? Ready?
Let’s get started.
#1 Keep your word
The first piece of advice to show integrity is to keep your word.
When your best friend invites you for lunch, you’ll probably turn up on time and happy to chat with them.
However, if you agree to do this year's tax return, you also need to stick to what you’ve committed to. People of integrity will do what they agree to do.
This doesn’t mean that you need to agree to everything people ask you to do. It is wise to be aware of your time and only accept the tasks you’re also going to pull through.
What helps me most is writing down the commitments I have to friends, family and colleagues. Writing these down will help you with two things:
- You will remember all your commitments.
- You have a sense of achievement when you tick off all the To Do’s
There are many apps on the AppStore and Google Play store to remind you of your commitments. Among my favourites are:
#2 Surround yourself with honest people
“You can choose your friends, but not your family.” ~ Harper Lee
This famous quote came to my mind when I researched this article. I could not have put it any better.
We get to chose our friends, coworkers, teams and workout buddies. We chose who we want to hang out with on weekends and after work.
Choose wisely. Surround yourself with honest people.
How can you do that?
You get to chose where you work and with whom you want to work. If you are around coworkers who aren't honest, you won’t rack up your integrity score points.
If you are in charge of hiring people for a business or your own company, you will want to hire honest and respectful people. The effect this has on the company climate is astounding.
#3 Stick to what you committed to
This is a hard one. We often start things and then stuff gets in the way.
It happens all the time and has increased in our busy lives we lead every day. But there is a way to stick to what you’ve committed to.
Here’s how you can show stickability and thereby show integrity:
#1 Set yourself a realistic goal
This crazy year is drawing to a close, and we get ready for new years commitments. It is quite sad to see many people set goals they will never achieve.
“I’ll lose 20kg this year”, “I’ll run every day for 30 min” or “I will go to the gym four times a week”. All these are goals that are way too hard to achieve for people who’ve never been running or visited a gym.
We need to set realistic and achievable goals. “I want to loose 3 kg by the End of January by exercising every second day for 30 minutes” — Now that’s a specific, achievable, measurable, realistic and time-bound goal (SMART goal).
If you set a goal similar to the one above, chances are you will reach it!
#2 Think of what obstacles are in your way from reaching this goal
Our life isn’t a simple 400m run around the track. It’s a hurdle race. Obstacles are all around us.
Your obstacles are very different from mine. For me, my back pain is one issue that I need to tackle to run more often. What is yours?
Think of this challenge as a race. You need to jump the hurdles. When you fall, you need to get up and keep going. No one will pick you up and carry you to the finish line (sorry for this revelation).
#3 Envision your goal as if you’ve already reached it
Visualisation is a powerful goal. It’s one way, I’ve been able to pull through the toughest times at work and uni.
I was able to create a vision that is so powerful; nobody can destroy it. In my vision, I am holding my bachelor's degree in my hand wearing a fancy graduate hat and feeling immensely loved and cared for.
I also envision myself in the glorious kingdom with all those that now lie in the dust, having been raised to eternal life with the Lord Jesus as the king.
This vision is clear.
For where there is no vision, the people perish.
What is your vision? How can you cling to your goal and imagine you’ve already reached it?
#4 Take responsibility
Responsibility is a big word. A word we don’t like because it means we are to blame if something goes wrong.
Or it is a word that fills us with joy because we are trusted. We are a person of integrity.
There are many areas you might want to take responsibility. In your class in school, university, church or work — the opportunities for responsibility are endless.
Are you ready to leap? Willing to bear the consequences?
In the business-world responsibility is rewarded with money. The more responsibility you take, the higher the pay.
This correlation won’t always be the same in every area of your life. But if you take responsibility and the action you’ve planned goes well, people will admire you.
You will be a person of integrity. What an honour.
#5 Show respect towards others
Respect is beautiful. And it starts with showing the right attitude towards others.
As Gary Chapman put it so nicely:
“Respect begins with this attitude: I acknowledge that you are a creature of extreme worth.” ~ Gary Chapman
We need to acknowledge the other as worthy and valuable to show them the respect they deserve.
Respect comes in many different ways. You should respect your parents and teachers. Everyone you meet on the street ought to be treated with respect. It is a trait that is of extreme value to us all.
But how can we show honest respect towards others?
This website came up with a guide of 7 simple things everyone can do to be respectful towards others:
#1 Listen and be present
Listen to the speaker attentively. A good listener will always be aware of what is being said. He or she will be able to ask meaningful questions and won’t interrupt the speaker.
#2 Think of others’ feelings
It is a great honour to have a person open up to you and share their emotions with you. You can respect them by not being harsh and unfeeling. How? Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you’re the one who is going through this difficult situation.
#3 Say Thank you
Such a simple message, yet hard to live by. We often forget to say thanks. It is a shame really because a word of thanks and appreciation is like having a back massage. It feels great. The next time someone helps you out in a special way, say a quick thank you. You will earn their respect
#4 Mistakes happen — be kind
Whatever you’re doing, you will ultimately make a mistake sooner or later. When others stuff up, be kind. Be understanding of their mistake and get on with life. Help them prevent the mistake from happening another time.
#5 Make the right decisions
In our daily lives, we frequently come across a two-way junction. We can choose to go the path of least resistance — the path of the crowd. Or we can choose to go on a different path. A path that will lead us to a stronger personality and make us stand up for our opinion. It’s hard to stand up for the unpopular, but it sure is worth it.
#6 Honour physical boundaries
Some people have a different sense of boundaries they feel comfortable with. While you might not want to leave your friends without a hug, others shudder at the thought of having to hug somebody. Respect comes into play when you show kindness to those who have a different set of boundaries. They will most probably return their respect
#7 Live and respect life
The beauty of this world is that everyone is different. There is no perfect way to look, feel, act or behave. We need to respect others for what they believe and stand for. Our set of standards might not be the same for our neighbour. But if we are curious and try to understand their point of view, they might also understand ours.
Wrapping it up
So there you have it. It’s been an honour to have had you as a reader for the past 5 minutes.
But wait, should we not take a few more moments to wrap up our article on integrity?
Sure, can you remember the 5 simple ways you can show integrity?
Awesome! Have fun putting these into practice. I’d love to hear your feedback on how you could implement the strategies shared in this article.
For all the others here’s the quick version:
- Keep your word
- Surround yourself with honest people
- Stick to what you’ve committed to
- Take responsibility
- Show respect for others