Integrity is often something we hear of spoken about in almost divine terms. It seems to be the highest virtue to try and adopt in our daily lives, and something we should think about before making any decision. We always appreciate the movie character who displays integrity, and vilify those who do not. For example, we might prefer someone who is ill-intentioned but honest about it to someone who does good things for an ulterior purpose. There’s something about integrity that helps us feel that things are as they should be, and that’s mostly why we like it in others.
But that’s hardly the end of the story. Adopting integrity into our lives can often lead to a more satisfying, honest, responsible and less tangled life. Speaking from the heart and being truthful means you needn’t even keep up one lie that you may forget about. But of course, integrity is more than just choosing not to lie. It’s choosing to make the right decision whenever you have the capacity to. But how does it manifest? We would consider:
Function Over Form
Function over form is one of the most worthwhile things you could ever learn in life. For example, heading to the gym to build up your ‘mirror muscles’ by simple working out your arms, chest and shoulders will look great from a form perspective, at least to the extent that you’ll be able to show off your ‘guns.’ But this will leave out your back development, core training, and prevent your legs from growing in proportion with your body. This is why functional training with a range of compound barbell exercises is preferable to using a round of machines, for example. Form can be nice, but it must always come second to function. This can come through many different decisions in life. For example, your vehicle. It’s best to purchase something functional, in good condition and effective from used car dealers that fall into the trap of purchasing simply for aesthetics at a garage which only cares about maximizing your sale. Function over form is the basis of integrity, and it will start to bleed into all of your decision making.
Sticking To Your Word
Sticking to your word is essential to do if you hope to develop yourself well, and grow a positive reputation for yourself. This also means being careful with your words, because promising something you aren’t going to follow up on can be damaging. Short-term gains may never be considered over long-term trust. Stick to your word, and people will begin trusting you more and more. It is quite something to be reliable, and to be the trusted one in your friendship group. It means you know where you are with everyone, and will reduce your social drama tenfold.
Over the course of our lifetimes, there are only a select number of things we can truly care about. Our families, our careers, our effect on the world and our hobbies are often the top four. Simplifying your cares to that which you can have an effect on will help any action you take be from a place of genuine sincerity, and that in itself can be rewarding to consider.
With these tips, building integrity will come as second nature.