Integrity is a value supported by pretty much everyone because it is essential to the success of society or any group of people; integrity means sticking up for the values and ideals that you believe in (or at least those you've simply agreed to). It's basic integrity that ensures that the majority of people around us follow the rules and laws that keep us safe, and it also keeps the gears of other organizations running smoothly, such as religions, clubs, or even social cliques. Without integrity, it becomes impossible to build trust with one another and build meaningful relationships in our personal lives.

It is possible to misuse integrity, however, and it is possible to hurt ourselves or others while working in the name of this value. In other words, integrity has no inherent value unless the ideals we are adhering to have value themselves. Integrity should never be used as an excuse for poor behavior, for the same reasons that gain or personal whims shouldn't either: sometimes it is too easy to behave or believe in a manner that is habitual or familiar. Every value and personal belief we hold should be evaluated to our best ability with Wisdom and Knowledge, and consistent with the values of Humanity. Once we carefully consider what is right and true, it is then important to strictly adhere to this good—not only to become better people, but also so others know what you believe in and what they can expect from you. There are many good people, but no two people share the same definition of "good," even if they come from the same religion.

Integrity is very closely linked with courage and persistence. While wisdom and our humanity make up much of it, it is our courage that allows us to keep doing good when it becomes difficult to do so, and our persistence that returns us to our values whenever we stray from them.

Integrity is important, and once you become confident in who you want to be, integrity should be a daily part of your lives just like the quest for being a good person should be. Here are some activities that might help you make this a reality—you will notice that most of these involve self-reflection.


  • Take the On-Site Record and Your Personal Journal Seriously: Working on integrity means becoming keenly aware of what your values are and how well you are living up to them on a daily basis. The daily log on this site is a great tool for self-reflection, as would be a personal journal; keeping a daily log helps keep your goals in mind. Try to be as accurate as possible, and don't beat yourself up too much over any faults, as it will discourage you from doing better or being honest with yourself.
  • Write Down a Manifesto: Take them time to figure out what you believe in and write them down on paper. This will help you decide on what terms you will be evaluating yourself everyday, and the act of writing them down will help keep them on your mind. Use this website and other ideological resources to get some ideas.
  • Listen to Constructive Criticism: Sometimes it's easy to shut out critics, but some people might have insight that we might miss in ourselves. Remember to make sure that any criticism you dwell on is constructive, as it's dangerous to listen to anyone who is demeaning your value as a human being, or is trying to inflate their own sense of success.
  • Work on both the "Wisdom and Knowledge" and "Humanity Values": If you are wise and care about others, it becomes much easier to stick to what's truly important and be good to other people. If you have courage, this might be the best thing to do in order to improve your integrity!

Your Record

Any time you fail to live up to your own personal standards, give yourself a "fault" for the day. If you get the impression that you are unprepared to make important moral decisions because you haven't discovered what's truly important to you, you should also mark yourself as at fault and remember to work on integrity in the near future. When you are focusing on this value, make some goals based on the activities above and mark yourself at fault if you fail to meet them.


The man who cannot endure to have his errors and shortcomings brought to the surface and made known, but tries to hide them, is unfit to walk the highway of truth.

James Allen, New Zealander Statesman

It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.

Francis Bacon, Sr., English Lawyer and Philosopher

If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows.

Moliere, French Playwright and Writer

Golden Mean

Applied situational ethics, conformism

Recommended Reading

Integrity: Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason — by Barbara Killinger

This book gives practical ideas about how to keep personal integrity while living in a world that sometimes challenges it. It also describes how narcissism, obsession, and workaholism can undermine integrity.

Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality — by Henry Cloud

The author of this book believes that integrity is about more than just a person's ethics or morals. He thinks that integrity should be seen as living a full life that works well with reality and remains both intact and uncorrupted. He has his own six character traits that he believes will help build integrity.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you're going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions. Maria Razumich-Zec