Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

There was a man in New York a number of years back who was the head of a well-known pharmaceutical company that had a major decision to make.

Not only that but it was a decision that would affect the lives of thousands, to include himself, in a negative way…if the “wrong” decision was made.

If he reported on the quarterly report what was actually going on in his company, he’d have to lay off 2000-3000 people.

However…

He also knew that he had something to solve the situation that would turn his company around in 2-3 weeks.

So if he was to tell the truth he would have major issues within the company. And he couldn’t lay off people who had been loyal to him for years. This was a big issue for him.

If he lied and was dishonest, it would “buy” him 2-3 weeks, he would take a gamble, turn everything around, and everything would be back to normal.

It basically came down to either he lays off 2000-3000 people…

Or

…he lies and if caught would wash his career down the drain.

I’m bringing this story up because it represents what you experience during your life.

Now of course you’re probably not the head of a major corporation.

However…

You may be the “head” of your family. You may be an important person among your friends with an important decision to make that could affect their lives.

It can be anything in any area of your life where you find yourself with a decision to make while at the same time wanting to maintain your integrity.

Did this leave you “torn” between both sides of that situation? Did you feel that no matter what you did you were in a “no win” situation?

The question to think about in these difficult situations is,

“Is it dishonest to have integrity?”

1. The integrity paradox- Growing up I was raised and associated with people who believed it was important to act with integrity. I certainly agree with that. The question that has always lingered, until I figured it out was, “what does it mean to have integrity?”

Most people are led to believe that having integrity means that you “should” be honest, tell the truth, be ethical, and do the “right” and moral thing all the time when certain situations come up.

But is that really true?

And what I learned and have seen over and over again is that it’s not.

What do I mean by this?

As you go through your life you’ll be in situations where you’ll be honest. And you’ll be in situations where your dishonesty is needed.

And guess what?

In both cases you are maintaining your integrity.

This is the integrity paradox.

And this is exactly what the head of the major corporation in New York was faced with.

What I’m saying here is…in certain moments you’ll find that it will be for the highest good of the people involved if you’re dishonest. In other words your dishonesty in certain moments would help more people than if you were honest.

Therefore you would have integrity in that moment or during that particular situation.

This is exactly what happened to the gentleman who was head of the pharmaceutical company…and it played a large part into what his decision was.

2. Deep affection and appreciation- After spending nearly 3 days straight going back and forth, he finally decided that by lying and being dishonest he would turn the company around in 2-3 weeks.

He did and the company was fine. He didn’t have to lay off the 2000-3000 people who were loyal to him for years.

Yet…

Making that decision was painstakingly difficult for him. During his decision making process he actually broke down and cried. He had such a deep affection and appreciation for those 2000-3000 people that in his own mind he couldn’t even think of laying those people off.

He believed if he had laid off those people that it would be too overwhelming to re establish the relationships and loyalty he built up over the years.

He felt lying and being dishonest was worth the risk even if he got booted out of his own company and had to deal with a possible scandal.

What it came down to was that he had a higher value and a higher level of importance towards his employees than his own career.

So according to his values he was acting with integrity….

Even though he was so called “dishonest” in the process.

How does this apply to you?

Like I said earlier, you’ll be in situations during your life where being honest will benefit others and the situation…

Also know that they’ll be situations where being dishonest will benefit others and the situation.

Now of course I’m not telling you to go out and lie and be dishonest deliberately while having harmful intentions.

The fact here is that even if you tried to lie and be dishonest 100% of the time you couldn’t do it. Because you would automatically revert back to being truthful. In other words you would course correct.

And the same is true if you tried to be honest and tell the truth 100% of the time. You would course correct here as well.

The bottom line is that certain situations will call for you to act in a certain way. Some may perceive it as being “honest’ and others will see it as being “dishonest.”

In either case you’ll be acting with integrity as long as it is benefitting others for their highest good while you’re being true to yourself and your highest values in the process.

3. Staying true to your word- Whether it’s in your business or any area of your life it is very important to stay true to your word. After all, when you make promises to people it is very wise to follow through on those promises. This is also a big part of maintaining integrity.

Along with this, just know that if a certain situation comes up where you feel that going against your word would actually benefit more people, then it’s wise to make that decision.

No matter what you do in your life you’ll have supporting and challenging situations.

Many people are searching for the “easy” life and want more support than challenge. They want more ease than difficulty. They want more people liking than disliking them.

Anytime you’re searching for the easy and supporting life while wanting more people to like you…

You’ll attract the difficult and challenging life while having more people dislike you.

The Universe is designed to work that way and this is a good thing.

Therefore it’s very wise to stay true to your word but just know that it’s ok sometimes to make necessary changes along with way.

And just like the head of the pharmaceutical company I spoke about earlier, the decisions you make quite often will carry great risks.

But just remember that there are no rewards without risks. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.

No matter how you look at it you’re a person of integrity.

Whether others see that as well isn’t the issue. Because you’ll always have people who will agree and disagree with you no matter what you do.

What counts is that you realize how valuable of a person you are…

And that you have a tremendous amount of value to contribute to the world in your own unique way.

Your ability to use that and help others do the same is what makes you the special person that you are.

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