About Integrity

When you don't know what to do to keep your integrity, simply ask yourself, "Well, what is true for me right now?" Your answer will lead you to the right decision.

This is an idea I got from Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his essay, Self-Reliance, he wrote:
If we cannot at once rise to the sanctities of obedience and faith, let us at least resist our temptations, let us enter into a state of war and wake Thor and Woden, courage and constancy, in our Saxon breasts. This is to be done in our smooth times by speaking the truth.

I have found that simply speaking the truth, at least to myself for the moment, can clarify my situation.

For example, let's say my wife asks me whether I want to go work out or not. I could just weigh the different possibilities and make a decision and say it, even if I am actually and truly undecided.

Another alternative to inventing a decision (just to decide something) is to speak the truth. I could ask myself, "What is true for me right now?"

And if I said it out loud, it might sound like this, "Well, I want to work out, but I'm hungry and I don't like working out when I'm hungry. But I think if we eat something, it'll be too late to go workout."

That's the whole truth. And after saying it, or just answering the question to myself, I often find a solution. If I'm talking to my wife, she'll sometimes see an obvious solution: "Why don't we have a quick snack now and then go work out?"

When you're at any integrity crossroads, no matter how small, you can un-jam yourself by asking, "What is true for me right now?" Try it.

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