Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Top Ten Reasons to Live a Life of Integrity...

It has been a rough life for me this last year. I have refused to get into the 8 to 5 life of corporate schemes and rendezvues. I have paid a price for it. I also have embarked all this last year in the divine assignment I was given to start my own business. In the process, I have also paid a high price, incorporating, marketing and customer development, promotion, multitasking 7 days a week, no vacation, insurance, and many others...
I agree with the reasons Mr. Angier lists for living a life of integrity. I agree with the motivation behind all 10 of his reasons, but I have had several nights of insomnia, my health has not been the greatest,and my peace of mind has fluctuated. But I have to agree with him: I'd rather live a life of integrity, in spite of it all, than live a lie...
Life and Living for real is healthier, saner, better than the alternative...

The Top Ten Reasons
to Live a Life of Integrity

by Michael Angier

You might think that it's a no-brainer why one should live an honest life. But it's apparent to me that a life of integrity is the exception rather than the rule. How many people do you know who are honest all the time?

We could make a case about the morality and the "rightness" of living honestly. Religious leaders have been advocating this for thousands of years. It's doubtful that even they could provide a true model of integrity.

I believe in the moral and ethical value of integrity but I also think there are very practical and worthwhile reasons for living an impeccable life. Here are ten:

1. Trust. In order to be successful in business or hold a responsible job, a person must have a reputation of honesty. Resources are not entrusted to people who have proven themselves as untrustworthy.

2. Good Health. I have no research to support this, but I'd be willing to bet that people who tell the truth are healthier. They have less concern, less stress and feel better about themselves. This has to translate into better health.

3. Pride. I've yet to meet a liar who has any real pride in themselves. Any good leadership training will stress the importance and value of having pride in what you do and who you are. If your reputation is grounded in deception, your opinion of yourself is poor indeed. Being honest just plain feels good.

4. Peace of Mind. If you cheat on your income taxes, you may get away with it, but you'll probably always worry that you'll get audited and face fines, extra charges and even jail as a result. Your reputation would also be tarnished. When you deal honestly, you have peace of mind. It's impossible to worry and be happy at the same time.

5. Remembering. It's been said that no one has a good enough memory to be a good liar. When you don't tell the truth, you have to INVENT it. When you do, you'll often be asked to recall your rendition of the truth, and you may not be able to do so because you forgot what you said. You KNOW the truth, but you can't remember your version of it. Very embarrassing. Besides, it's hard work to continually come up with false stories.

6. Good Sleep. If you lie—unless you have no conscience at all—you'll often lose sleep because of your fears of being found out. Your worry and your guilt will keep you awake. A good night's sleep is one of life's many pleasures and honest people sleep better.

7. Confidence. Many people have excellent "bull" detectors. They know—at least at some level—when you're being fake. If telling lies is your modus operandi, you know that these people will often see though your fa├žade. There's no way to have real confidence in oneself when you're walking on "bull."

8. Good Relationships. Relationships are the jewels of our lives. Some would argue that relationships ARE our lives. And breeches in trust are the death knell of relationships. When trust is gone, there is no foundation upon which to build. Relationships lacking in trust seem hollow and shallow. They lack joy.

9. Legal Problems. We don't have to look very far to see the legal trouble people get themselves into from dishonesty. Lying in a court of law or to an officer of the law is literally AGAINST the law. Conversely, if you have no secrets, you can rest easy and its hard for anyone to blackmail you.

10. It Doesn't Work. All too often our deceptions and duplicity are discovered. In the information age in which we live, it's even more likely that lies will sooner or later be seen for what they are. Dishonesty is just plain inefficient.

The right thing to do is seldom the easy thing to do. But it's worth it.

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