Anything that stands in the way of your integrity will eventually bring you down. If you feel that something isn’t right, there’s a reason for that feeling — it’s because it isn’t right. When you act against what you know to be true, what you know to be right for you, there is nothing of value to be gained. When you act contrary to your sense of honesty, you are pushing yourself backwards.
If you seek to gain at the expense of others, you’ll find yourself repeating the behavior just to stay even. Nothing that you take away from someone else can be of lasting value to you. True value and richness come from authentically being yourself and giving of yourself. The more you give of your love, your effort, your time, attention, and creativity, the more actual and fulfilling abundance you will experience. Withholding yourself from life only holds you back from living fully. It’s a moving experience to be who you are, so do it with zest and integrity. Why fight and argue over momentary pleasures when you can be moving toward lasting fulfillment?
I’ll share a time with you when I permitted myself to be in full integrity, instead of arguing myself out of it. I was in a restaurant and in the booth behind me were three young women excitedly talking about their students, how to maintain their interest, and how to create meaningful curriculum. The passion and excitement in their voices was palpable! These women loved teaching and making a difference in their students’ lives.
I stood up out of my booth, approached the women and asked if they were each teachers. They nodded affirmatively. I shared with them that I had overheard their conversation and that their students were fortunate to have such committed instructors. I stated that I knew they were making a positive difference in the world by means of their teaching, and asked if I could pay for their breakfast in honor of their contributions to our society. They appeared moved by my comments and agreed to allow me to buy them breakfast. I left them to continue their excited conversations and paid the bill.
I share this with you, not to brag, but instead to say that in other times in my life, I would have talked myself out of honoring these three dedicated individuals. It doesn’t matter what argument I would have used, but I would
We can define moments in our life or we can let moments in our lives define us. I defined that moment by listening to my inner voice that said, “Don’t worry what others around you might think, buy those young women breakfast.”
Choose not what is easiest, most expedient, or most common. Choose what is true, what is right, and you’ll be making the best choice for your life. We are each in the school of life and one of the main courses we must continue to develop is personal integrity.
In the movie “The Dead Poets’ Society”, the professor played by Robin Williams tells his students, “Carpe diem” which means to “seize the day.” As you move forward in life, do not wait for some imagined tomorrow to bring you your happiness. THIS DAY should be the best day that you have ever lived. It is true integrity to accept the gift of the day and fully live it. Don’t argue with it, live it! You’ve invested a lot to get here and you should not put off doing what you desire to do.
In summary, we lose when we act contrary to our gut feelings, our intuition, to what we know is right for us, and when we fail to do the absolute best we can under any circumstances.
Promise yourself to live in a constant state of following your gut, living the principles you believe in, and holding your personal integrity as the highest goal to maintain. Such is the surest path to enriching your life!