Integrity Is Integral To Being A Good Human

Ethics, honesty, integrity, respect - gears concept - 3D illustration

I think about integrity often

What is this quality, and why is it important? Integrity is a moral code you create with yourself. The foundation you build is how far it extends throughout your life.

In the movie Grosse Pointe Blank

Minnie Driver asks John Cusack how he could be a professional assassin. He told her that they discovered he had a certain degree of moral flexibility when he went into the military. That might work out fine for an assassin. For someone creating a life of substance through integrity, a certain ‘moral flexibility’ won’t fit the bill. Our morality is the lens that we see the world through. Based on a sound foundation of right and wrong, it’s easy to evaluate what’s out in the world and how we respond to it.

The biggest obstacle to increasing your self-awareness is the tendency to avoid the discomfort that comes from seeing yourself as you really are. – Travis Bradberry

Our lives are full of twists and turns

In each moment, there is the opportunity to make choices that align with integrity. Holding onto our self-respect allows us to sleep peacefully at night. Think of someone dishonest. They lie, try to cover their tracks, and play the blame and evasion game, along with other bullshit. Eventually, these things catch up with people. Add narcissism into the mix, and you put any foundation for a moral and ethical compass on a bed of sand. Undesirables, shifting with the winds of what they can get out of the situation, negating their ability to carve a healthy, meaningful path in life. Narcissists are bullies and usually highly charming. They will appear to have integrity but abandon it when it does not serve them or their intended purpose for a desired outcome.

Play the long game

I don’t see people without integrity as having a solid sense of self. At their core, they are insecure, even though they seem to exude a level of confidence we would expect with someone of integrity. Taking responsibility for all our actions is not easy, but we must. You will see many you know drop off along the way when you play the long game. This quote is by G. Michael Hopf, “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” Cowards, to the depths of their souls, are not courageous.

In my Farnam Street /Brain Food E-mail I read this. FS is about timeless ideas and insights for life.

Things you control:

Your effort.

Your beliefs.

Your actions.

Your attitude.

Your integrity.

Your thoughts.

The food you eat.

How kind you are.

How reflective you are.

How thoughtful you are.

The type of friend you are.

The information  you consume.

The people you surround yourself with.


  1. Love this. Food for thought on many levels. The long game reveals much about us and those we know and meet along the way. Sadly not many will be alongside us further down the road because their lack of integrity eventually catches up with them one way or another.

    • Debra Oakland says

      The long game is important for too many reasons to list. Our actions will always be evaluated at some point…make them count. Thank you for your insight-full comment.

  2. BJ Welch says

    This is a very powerful piece. Much to take heed to. Integrity is the cornerstone of a successful life.
    Beautifully written.

    • Debra Oakland says

      Thank you, integrity is a subject close to my heart and soul and yes, the cornerstone of a successful life – here and beyond this life…