While we’re discussing my beliefs (see True Confessions), I’ll add another to the pot. This belief is a biggie for me, and growing stronger by the second…due to recent events.
I believe our financial foundation is only as strong as our individual integrity.
I am convinced the economic meltdown was a direct result of a lack of integrity, among consumers and institutions alike. The same applies to all the problems we’re witnessing today. Think: Tiger, Toyota, BP…to name a few. They all are, in large part, crisis that occurred when people acted out of integrity.
I believe that every crisis comes with critical lessons. So instead of reacting solely with fury, frustration or a deep sense of futility—which I tend to do—I remind myself to treat each crisis as a teacher.
Take the oil spill, for example. Maybe I can’t do anything personally to protect the pelicans, but I can learn (and share) the lesson this crisis is offering me. For me, it’s all about integrity.
The word integrity comes from the latin root, meaning wholeness or entirety. Integrity demands that our words and deeds consistently reflect our deepest truths, highest aspirations, and most cherished values.
Now, more than ever, I believe we all need to ask ourselves 2 questions, on a daily basis:
- Where am I out of integrity?
- How can I correct that?
None of us are too big to fail. Nor are we too small to soar. The difference, I believe, rests largely on our level of integrity…and our courage to act on it.