Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” And William Shakespeare said, “Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.”
These two giants knew what they were talking about and they were right in their assumption. Integrity which may be define as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions is indeed the royal pathway to personal and professional success.
Personal integrity demands that we follow the path of our convictions and that we remain true to our values. It may not always be the shortest and easiest route but it is the only one that will prevail in the long run.
One of man’s greatest assets is his word. It is sacred and, no matter what the circumstances are, it should not be placed in jeopardy. It is the basis upon which trust and confidence are built and it is the hallmark of a man of integrity.
We do live in a world where, for some, all that matters is the results and we have seen the effects of that shabby thinking. Giant corporations on the brinks of disaster and CEOs in dishonor or in jail.
A strong structure needs a solid foundation. So does a successful personal and professional life. The corner stones of that foundation are honesty and truthfulness. A lack of integrity may win a battle but chances are extremely high that it will lose the war.
Lasting success depends on long-term thinking. It depends on quality thoughts, deeds and behavior. It depends as much on personal integrity as it does on efforts and quality planning.
When we look at the men and women who have positively affected the affairs of man, we see honor, truthfulness, courage and integrity. There is no exception to that rule. Great accomplishments are the results of quality individuals. People who had the essence of character and nobleness. Not of people who would lie for convenience or cut corners for expediency.
Our actions and the results of those actions are a reflection of who and what we are. We recognize a tree by it fruits. People of character will produce grand and worthy achievements and those of low moral will leave a trail of disaster and destruction.
There are no shortcuts to personal and professional success. It requires planning, efforts, focus, dedication and above all integrity. It is that personal integrity that will cement all those elements together. Without it, everything is bound to crumble sooner or later.
A person can be highly gifted and intelligent but without a strong moral core, all that is moot. When ambition and greed rule disaster is sure to ensue. A man without strong personal integrity is like a ship without a rudder. That person will be guided by whatever tide, current and wind that comes his way. Not only will he never reach port but he will also be a menace to anyone on his path.
To ever hope to enjoy both personal and professional success, an impressive bag of tools is necessary. Among these are desire, confidence, focus, talent, dedication and above all personal integrity with all that it entails. A person may build a great life without some of these tools… but it cannot be done without integrity.