Especially when being younger I often felt uncomfortable to express my own views in front of others. The fear of being rejected was huge. In such occasions I was tempted to just echo a general opinion or agree with what was said in the group by others.
Living a life of integrity can be difficult at times. Especially when being in an environment opposing to one’s own ideals it might be convenient to use others as excuse for not living up to one’s principles or one is just not confident enough to stand up for one’s values. However constantly wearing a mask can be stressful and being true to oneself may lead to a more fulfilled life on the long run. Being honest can increase sympathy and make others to open up as well. Being reliable and sticking to one’s principles can build great trust in relationships and makes one satisfied with oneself. Values and principles can help to make good decisions and can give guidance for one’s life. Overall one has to question less one own’s actions.
S. Convey even writes in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
I believe that a life of integrity is the most fundamental source of personal worth. I do not agree with the popular success literature that says that self-esteem is primarily a matter of mind set, of attitude – that you can psych yourself into peace of mind.
Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values and in no other way.
However determining one’s values can be challenging. Convey suggests to imagine one’s own funeral and what one would like relatives and friends there to express about one’s life (Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind). Based on these thoughts one could determine how one should live one’s life to make this vision happen. I prefer a bit different method yielding probably similar or the same results as Convey’s technique. My approach is to determine my values by defining how I want to be treated by others and in what kind of world I want to live right now. From this image I derive the ideals that should exist so that the world would be perfect for me. In my case things like peace, health, sustainability, tolerance, positivity, harmony, autonomy, self-realization and respect comprising honesty and reliability come to my mind.
My philosophy is that living a life of integrity means to live in compliance with the virtues that one admires. If I want to have a peaceful world, I should behave peacefully myself. If I find sustainability important, then I should aim to not waste resources. If I value honesty, then I should also be truthful with others. It is my conviction that sticking to one’s values regardless of one’s surroundings and regardless of other people’s behavior is fundamental to creating the world that one wants to live in. Put in Gandhi’s words: one has to be the change that one wants to see in the world. Every moment we have the power to decide for ourselves whether to make that happen or not.
As stated earlier living a life of integrity can be challenging. Therefore once being aware of your values it’s crucial to adopt a lifestyle allowing you to live in accordance with your values. A lifestyle enabling you to gain and foster your virtues. There might be attributes which you admire in other people, but which you don’t possess yet. Find ways to acquire them. Do whatever is necessary. It’s about creating a life for yourself that you can feel good about and that you want to live.
I regard having an environment supporting my ideals as extremely beneficial. My definition and interpretation of the law of attraction is that on one hand to become like people who I admire, it’s helpful to have such people around myself, so that I can easily learn from them and adopt their traits. On the other hand having certain skills and knowledge helps me to come in touch with similar-minded people sharing my characteristics and beliefs. Therefore you should both work on yourself to become like you want to be and seek for an environment allowing your credo to flourish and solidify. Doing so ideally triggers an upward trend leading to great personal improvements.
For example in order to live healthily having my family around myself is an enormous aid for me. This way I can conveniently learn from my family members about a healthy lifestyle. But I should apply the insights for living healthily even when I’m not with my family members to make a lasting change. Likewise to work for renowned companies I had to study diligently to obtain the necessary qualifications. However once I made it, I could start working together with highly skilled and experienced people contributing that I further professionalize in my job.
All in all to create the life which I want to live and to shape the world the way I want it to be, l should live by example regardless of the behavior of others. I might inspire others, but even if that’s not the case by having values and sticking to principles, I’m true to myself and live my life the way I think it is right. I’m in control of my live. Moreover I have more clarity and guidance for my decisions reducing stress and leading to peace of mind. Such a strong commitment requires much confidence and strength. Therefore after having identified your values, adopt a lifestyle allowing you to meet these virtues. To benefit from the law of attraction focus on developing the qualities which you aspire. Additionally find or create a work and living environment supporting your credo and making it possible for you to live the life that you envision.