"Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do."

-- Don Galer
Have you ever known someone who was trying to maintain a mask of integrity? A mask is a facade, a deception, a pretense -- and if you count on someone wearing a mask of integrity, relationships can fall apart. We all know the difference between right and wrong. To act with integrity means to do what is right, to act consistently with our values. Acting with integrity also includes a level of accountability; we must understand the impact that our decisions and actions will have on other people and seek to balance our own needs against that impact.

How do you know if your "in" or "out" of integrity? Let's take a look at the elements of integrity:

Soundness: Are you reliable and dependable? Or do you say "yes" to things you'd really rather not do, and then find last-minute excuses to back out (or just not show up!)? These are indications of your level of soundness.

Incorruptibility: Do you honor your own sense of what's right, or do you go along with the crowd? What is your core principle that covers what you will do or will not do, regardless of external pressures? This is representative of your level of incorruptibility.

Honesty: This implies a refusal to lie or deceive anyone in any way (including lying to yourself). When you are honest, you tell the whole truth in an unconditionally constructive (positive, productive) manner. Take a minute to examine your integrity level, and move it up a notch. Just do what's right, while understanding that setting high standards and demonstrating high integrity is not an excuse to exercise rigidity.

Be 100% responsible for what happens in all aspects of your life, know and honor your values, be accountable by becoming aware of your impact on others, and operate on a purely positive and productive communication system.

Life, personally and professionally, is much easier -- and attractive -- when you put your integrity first.

By Linda R. Dominguez
Copyright 1999-2002, Linda R. Dominguez, all rights reserved
Take a look at the following areas of your life this week:

Career, Money, Health, Friends and Family, Spouse/Significant Other, Physical Environment

Are there any relationships or situations that have you out of integrity?

What will you do this week to raise your integrity?

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