What is true integrity?
It often comes down to those daily habits and routines that you never forget.
Here are the crucial daily actions that prove you’re a person of integrity.
1) You follow through
Think of how many promises are made every day around the world that never come true.
Think of how many men and women make promises to their kids, their spouse, their family or their coworkers with zero intention of following through.
Think of salesmen who promise that a non-returnable coat is rainproof when they know full well that it’s only minimally rain resistant. But they want that sale.
Think of the addict who promises to try quitting and borrows money from their best friend and goes looking for their next fix.
These people are making promises they either know to be untrue or plan to immediately break.
You are a person of integrity if you do the opposite. When you say you’ll do something you do your level best to follow through.
If you can’t you explain why and do your best to make up for it!
2) You tell the truth
Legend has it that the first President of the United States George Washington “never told a lie.”
This is, of course, a complete lie.
In fact, Washington was not only a brilliant soldier but was also a spymaster who was adept at misleading the enemy and outplaying his rivals.
He devised clever and highly effective ways to mislead the British about the strength and intentions of the Continental Army and was a masterful negotiator.
But there’s no doubt that in his personal life Washington was a truthful man to the best of his ability.
As a person of integrity, you’re the same.
You are honest with yourself and honest with those around you.
You’ll always choose the messy truth over a comfortable lie, not only for ethical reasons but also because maintaining trusting and solid relationships is key to you.
You don’t want any lies or half-truths ruining the trust and confidence you build up with others.
3) You never cheat
Every day offers new opportunities to choose the right or do the easy thing and the wrong thing.
If you’re a person of true integrity you never cheat.
You don’t sext with that beautiful young lady who’s been texting you online.
You don’t lie about the price of a contract in order to skim off the top and get more zeroes in your bank account.
You don’t cheat, period.
If you ever feel tempted to cheat, you just reflect on how shitty you’d feel afterwards despite any short-term benefit.
It’s just not in your blood and you’d lose respect for yourself if you did.
4) You negotiate fairly in business
Specifically in the business sphere, a person of integrity deals a fair hand.
You are tough and you want to make money and succeed.
But you don’t cheat or lie.
You don’t hype things up just to make sales or win contracts, and you don’t misrepresent anything in a contract or an agreement.
You actually mean what you say and you treat everyone in your environment with respect and consideration.
Business isn’t just “winner take all” for you: it’s a place where you still hold yourself to the same standard as in your personal life.
5) You stick to your core values
No matter what comes up on a day to day basis, you stick to your core values.
This doesn’t mean your perfect.
But it does mean you have a moral compass that you actually care about.
And it’s not because somebody else or society or your parents told you to care or that you “must” be a certain way to be “good.”
It’s because that’s just who you are, or at least who you want to be.
6) You clean up after yourself
This may sound very basic and in a way it is:
Cleaning up after yourself is a key sign of integrity in anyone from day to day.
Far too many people throw away trash, leave dirty dishes lying around or make a mess of their living and workspace.
They leave trash and dirt around for others to deal with, even if those “others” are their partner, their parents, their friends or the staff of a restaurant or store they’re in.
Why should these people be your personal servant?
As a person of integrity you are aware of your footprint in the world and you try to treat spaces with respect and cleanliness.
7) You don’t take your problems out on others
Life can be very overwhelming and get us feeling extremely frustrated.
I mean extremely. I’ve been there. I think we all have.
The impulse can be to lash out, or at least to snap a bit rudely when dealing with people on a daily basis.
But as a person of integrity you treat others with respect and consideration even when you’re in the dumps.
You are honest that you may not always be doing the best, but you don’t expect that to be anyone else’s problem but your own!
8) You practice self-awareness on a daily basis
Self-awareness is the willingness and ability to know what makes you tick.
It means an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as well as how your behavior influences others.
As a person of integrity, you have an introspective side and you’re not afraid to question your own motives and actions.
Why do you do what you do?
This question is one you genuinely want to answer, not only with self-justification but also with honest exploration and curiosity.
9) You stay in touch with those who love you
People of integrity stay in touch with those who love them no matter how busy they are.
Even if it’s just a quick text or a thumbs up emoji, they take the time to check in.
Why does it even matter?
Because we all like to know that people we care about are OK and occasionally think of us.
It’s that simple!
This ties into the next point…
10) You support your friends
If you’re a person of integrity then you support your friends.
This could mean being there for them in a hard time or staying on the line while a friend needs to vent.
But being there for friends can also mean that sometimes you draw a hard line.
It can mean telling your friend that she’s an alcoholic who’s out of control when nobody else will…
It can mean advising your friend that he’s sabotaging his marriage with his attitude when everyone else just gives him a pass…
Supporting friends comes in all shapes and sizes, including brutal honesty!
11) You help others thrive and achieve success in their life
Integrity isn’t just about you.
It’s very much about your relationship and intentions toward others.
If you’re a person of true integrity, then you seek to help out and be there for people around you, whether they be strangers or those close to you.
Whether it’s helping a friend looking for work by giving her a name of somebody great who is hiring, or driving your friend to a job interview you know he desperately needs, you go the extra mile.
You never forget your own needs, but you genuinely like helping others thrive in their lives, and not only if you “get” something for it.
You help because you can.
12) You have empathy for other people around you
Integrity requires empathy. It’s really that simple.
If you are only behaving at a certain ethical standard out of compulsion or requirement, you’re not a person of true integrity.
A person of integrity wouldn’t murder even if it was legal.
A person of integrity wouldn’t steal just because others were stealing and getting away with it.
That’s because integrity means you also have empathy.
You wouldn’t want to be murdered, so you don’t murder anyone no matter how shitty they may be!
You wouldn’t want your business ransacked, so you don’t steal even if you know you could!
Nobody is perfect but some people undeniably have more integrity than others.
The great news is that if you’re currently falling short on some of these standards for being a person of integrity, you have the power to change that.
Take it day by day, committing to align your actions more closely with your ideals.
Before you know it you’ll wake up one day and realize: I really and truly am a person who others can trust and count on.
I am a person of integrity.