Integrity by Denis Waitley

Denis WaitleyThere are no degrees of integrity. You have it or you don’t. A simple motto hung on the living room wall of my grandparents’ small frame house, where many seeds for my development were planted. My grandmother and grandfather didn’t talk about the lines; they lived them.

Life is like a field of newly fallen snow; where I choose to walk, every step will show.

They believed you were either honest or you weren’t. There was nothing in between, no such thing as partial honesty. Integrity, a standard of personal morality and ethics, is not relative to the situation you happen to find yourself in and doesn’t sell out to expediency. Its short supply is getting even shorter— but without it, leadership is a facade.  NULL  Learning to see through exteriors is a critical development in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Sadly, most people continue to be taken in by big talk and media popularity, flashy or bizarre looks, and expensive possessions. They move through most of their years convinced that the externals are what count, and are thus doomed to live shallow lives. Men and women who rely on their looks or status to feel good about themselves inevitably do everything they can to enhance the impression they make— and do correspondingly little to develop their inner value and personal growth.

The paradox is that the people who try hardest to impress are often the least impressive.

Devotion to image is often for the money it can reap. Puffing to appear powerful is an attempt to hide insecurity. If only we could see many of our celebrities when their guard and pretenses were down! The myth that all that counts is bottom-line success often leads to fleeting stardom and ultimate defeat. Ask a thousand has-beens. There are no degrees of integrity. Just as you’re pregnant or you’re not, you have it or you don’t.


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Denis Waitley
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