Tips for Living with Integrity

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt defines integrity as ‘being fully self-integrated, free from inner-conflict and disagreement; harmonizing what you want and what you do’.  We simply believe that living our lives with integrity means that we are living to our fullest potential and are able to create and manifest our destinies. When we are truly aligned with our life purpose, it is easy to stay committed to our goals and dreams and feel fulfillment on a daily basis.

The major stumbling block with living with integrity is that people are normally prone to acting in the moment, based only on their strongest emotional desire at that particular time. Changing how we behave in the moment, while certainly will seem difficult at first, is a hugely important part of living with integrity. Rest assured, changing how we react to our surroundings isn’t a bad thing - it simply means that we are turning into our thoughts and actively listening to our gut - which can often save us from uncomfortable, or difficult, situations in the future.

So why is it so important to try and live with integrity? For one, when you follow your own moral compass and do what you think is right, you achieve a sense of completeness. It is believed that if you disobey your own value system, you become divided, unbalanced and uneasy. Those who live with integrity also influence, inspire and motivate others to do so as well; not just with their words but with their actions too.

Living with integrity also means that you act in ways that preserve your deepest beliefs and commitments rather than conforming and caving into other’s expectations (which we know is sometimes difficult to do). To help you begin a life of integrity, we have outlined 3 simple steps to help guide you on your way:

  1. Make better choices: Life is not a set and forget process; you must always remind yourself of your personal values, purpose and goals. When you do this, they are at the forefront of your mind, allowing you to make smarter decisions which are in line with the person that you are and the life you’re trying to create.
  2. Develop positive habits: To develop positive habits, you first need to identify your bad habits. Take a few moments to write down all of the bad habits you are aware of. For each bad habit, make a note of a positive habit which you are going to implement in its place.
  3. Love yourself: Integrity suggests a quality of being deeply in love with yourself, your soul and your spirit so that you live as your own person, unaffected or minimally affected by what others want you to do or be. We are so quick to show our love of others at any given time, but rarely do divulge in self-love. Make time for yourself, respect yourself, and take care of yourself the same way you would a close friend or family member. At the end of the day, why wouldn’t we want to love ourselves too?

Of course there are a number of other steps (other than those listed above) that you can take to try and live with greater integrity. We also find writing out a hierarchy of desires is helpful too as it allows you to reason, deliberate, and discriminate between more or less worthwhile desires. Having clarity gives you the ability to “endorse” certain desires and to “outlaw” others.

Most important of all - practice, practice, practice: Try as much as possible to practice integrity on a daily basis. This may initially take courage, but it’s ultimately satisfying, and over time will be your first choice.

April is Integrity month at Mala Collective and we want to hear from you! If you have anything to add or comment on regarding this article, please do so in the comments below. Namaste.

April 12, 2016 by Ciara McCarthy

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