Having Integrity: Why You Must Stand By Your Principals

Daniel Hannah
8 min readApr 1, 2024

Integrity should be the core of every person, however, this important quality has taken the back seat in our accelerated, money-driven society.

Now the name of the game has changed: Get ahead by all means. Cheat, smear, and throw others under the bus. Bullshit your way to success, whatever that means anymore, and that’s all that matters.

It’s no surprise that we live in a cut-throat society where values, morals, and principles have gone out the window. On the flip side, however, it’s illuminating the desperate need for integrity because now we’re living in a world void of it.

Integrity must be a pillar of your personal growth because everything else you have worked so far for simply crumbles away without it.

You need to be true to your principles, your values, and your morals. Here we’re going to look at how you can be more integral to live a more fulfilling, honorable life.

What it means to be integral

Being integral means that you uphold your values and live with principles regardless of external pressures or forces.

I view integrity as the substance behind a person.

Without substance, people flake away because there is no depth to their character. They exist as hollow facades who are vulnerable to influence, indoctrination, and corruption. People without substance tend to be materialistic and fake, and fundamentally lack reason — the why behind their actions.

An integral person will never abandon their values despite the consequences of staying true to them. They live by their code of morals because they believe it’s the right thing to do.

With integrity, you’ll always take the sincere route over the quick path. You will play an honest game because there’s a lot more at stake than losing the game — losing the essence of who you are.

Integral people have a strong moral compass and don’t allow themselves to be influenced or pressured into submission. Their core values are refined which allows them to navigate temptation.

Integrity is a virtue that provides a sense of fulfillment. It reflects well on you, but it also has a positive influence on your professional life, social life, mental health, and other areas of your life experience.

Integrity is to:

  • Identify your highest values and adhere to them
  • Live by a code of morals
  • Live an ethical life
  • Stand by your principals
  • Listen to your inner voice and intuition
  • Be honest
  • Stay loyal
  • Be fair

Ultimately, living with integrity is to live a conscientious life in alignment with the higher self. It’s to hold yourself to high moral standards by being true to your core, living by principles, and being honest with others.

Examples of integral people

  1. John was sitting at a café when he noticed someone dropped a $20 note. Instead of pocketing it, John chased down the person to return it because he believed it was the right thing to do.
  2. Sarah is an environmentally conscious person. Upon being offered a lucrative position with a company that is not environmentally conscious, she decided to decline the offer as it would compromise her core values.
  3. Steve got into an argument with his wife the other night. He reflected on the argument and realized he was in the wrong. He apologized to his wife and admitted his errors instead of holding strong to his comment to ‘win’ the argument.

Integrity in personal relationships

Being integral in your relationships is critical to building fulfilling connections with people that last.

Integrity leads to trust. There needs to be trust in your relationships, otherwise, people will put up walls and prevent themselves from connecting with you on a deeper level. We all love friends we can trust because we know there are no hidden agendas.

Without integrity, relationships often fall apart because nothing is holding them together. There is no substance in the relationship.

Lies will eventually be caught out and they will always come back to bite you in the butt. In a way you sabotage yourself because you openly show others that you have something to hide.

In relationships, integrity also leads to transparency with one another. You’re not pretending you’re someone you aren’t. People see you as a real, three-dimensional person, and therefore find it easier to connect with you.

This is why it’s so important to be sincere with people because it sets the foundation for a healthy relationship.

If you make a mistake and hurt your friend or partner, being integral means owning up to it and apologizing. It might be uncomfortable which is why people often get caught in a web of lies, but being honest clears the air and leads to forgiveness.

We all make mistakes, but how you make amends is the true test of character.

Integrity in your work

Being integral to your work means being responsible and doing everything with care. You are not cutting corners because you are aware of how your actions affect the business. You pull your weight, help out where you can, and respect the position you are in by acknowledging the results of your actions.

Whether it’s your career, your business, or your avocations, do what you do on a strong foundation, even if it’s slow. Treat the business you work for as your own, and be integral to the core message of the business.

Someone integral to their work will always do things honorably. They will never cheat a boss, coworker, client, or customer, because they genuinely want to help. They are always transparent about what they do and how it works which instills trust and respect.

You’re not always going to have everything under control. You will make mistakes because you’re human, but you take accountability for them.

Part of being integral to your work is being honest about how you feel and what you’re thinking. Solutions require open communication. It’s not always easy, you might feel vulnerable by addressing things you don’t particularly want to discuss, but it is necessary.

You won’t just turn a blind eye because it’s easier. If there is tension between other employees, raise the issue with them and work on a conclusion.

People who are integral to their work generally have a strong work ethic because they feel like they’re a core part of the business, and take initiative.

I get it, we don’t all love our work, but we should be aiming to work towards something we love. When you love your work, you will naturally give it more care.

Integrity in leadership

Being an integral leader means you are a humble servant by taking your position seriously, never abusing your power, and genuinely looking after the entire collective like it’s a part of yourself. There is a duty of care and responsibility for an integral leader, and they never perceive themselves as being above others.

Any true leader needs to be integral. Good leadership always involves being transparent with people even if it’s difficult. A good leader does not hide who they are, and they are usually respected because they are genuine. Being upfront with everyone and telling them the truth of the situation helps to build trust.

You need to have strongly refined goals and to hold your values close. There should be a powerful overarching mission, and you are simply a servant to that mission.

No ego, no power trip. Just a mission you are coordinating people to achieve.

If people see you fold easily or give up because something isn’t just handed to you, they will not see you as a true leader.

Imagine if Jesus said ‘This is too difficult, I’m going to take back everything I said and cave into pressure’. Somehow he wouldn’t be the figure we remember.

There are many examples of politicians lying to garner support, and then avoiding the topic once elected. There are many cases of sleazy thought leaders making false promises, and not following through with their words.

If you are an integral leader, you will always follow through with your word. You will honor your agreements and never backstab to get ahead.

In saying that, don’t say things that aren’t true, or that you don’t intend to do. Don’t lie to sway people’s beliefs or convince them to join your cause.

If you want to earn people’s respect, you need to act in a way that is deserving. Make the hard calls, do the right thing, and say what must be said even if it dwindles your support. If you make a mistake, admit it.

Integrity to the spiritual path

Being integral to the spiritual path is to strip dogma from spirituality, and to be authentic with your practices, teachings, and growth process.

Integrity is necessary along the spiritual journey because spirituality is just a label without integrity. This means honoring your process, your challenges, and your setbacks. Spiritual integrity is to be real with the journey (rather than faking it for image sake).

Along your spiritual growth journey, you’re going to encounter challenges. Challenges appear in the form of spiritual egos, spiritual bypassing, dishonesty, and deceit. You will go through initiations, you will be hurt, and you will go in circles, again and again.

After all, this is all part of spiritual growth. There is no shortcut to working it out because you can’t be taught wisdom, you must earn it.

These days, everyone is a guru, or shaman, or healer. Many people will claim they have transcended their humanness, that know all the secrets of the universe. People love to spout their spiritual advancement but have yet to walk the spiritual path with integrity.

Many people who are on a spiritual journey try to take shortcuts without being sincere about who they are and where they’re currently at.

As a result, you have the new-age movement of spirituality — generations of individuals who don’t practice what they preach. It becomes a bunch of word fodder without congruency to the person’s attitudes, behaviors, and actions.

To be integral to the spiritual journey, you need to honor the process of spiritual growth — it’s a lifelong journey for us all. There is no shortcut.

Be transparent with your process. If you’re not sure about something, seek out good teachers who can guide you. Don’t bullshit your way through, be sincere.

There are certainly real things we can tap into, but there are many people who are ingenuine, trying to make a quick buck off gullible souls. Therefore hold yourself to higher standards. I suggest veering towards the side of humility rather than spouting about things that may not be true.

How to become more integral

By prioritizing your core values over any material assert, you will instinctively know what feels right and take a course of action congruent with this feeling.

To become a more integral person whether it’s in your work, relationships, or spiritual growth journey, refine your values and know what truly matters to you.

Separate fluff from truth, and always follow the path that speaks to your soul, not your mind. Anything that can be attained won’t give you the same fulfillment as sticking to your values and doing what’s right.

To take 12 easy steps to become a more integral person, visit the full article here.

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