Think of a friend who always pulls through for you; if you are in trouble you can always count of them to help, if you need advice they always lend their two cents, if you set up plans you know that they will always be there on time: your friend is dependable to the max, but what is dependability, and how does it affect the way others view us?
Dependability is a track record of consistency. Dependable people are there when we need them, they are clear in their intentions, they stick with their commitments, and they never leave a promise unfulfilled or a job undone. We often respect dependable people and look up to them as role models of character. Dependability is really just a synonym for integrity, and integrity may be the strongest character trait a person can possess. Integrity is lacking majorly in today’s society; the current situation of the world is often uncertain, people live in fear, and many people seek only immediate gratification. So what makes you dependable, what makes someone demonstrate integrity?
They have clearly defined values and a commitment to live by those values.
Deep down integrity is just consistency. People with integrity don’t need to always be right, but they must stand for something, they need to reflect their beliefs and values in every interaction. If a person of integrity believes family is everything then they will reflect that belief in everything they do. For example: fitness becomes a lifestyle for many people; when a person decides to get fit and eat healthy and they make a commitment and they stick with it, they will often succeed in their goals; we may admire them and their willpower, but we will almost certainly respect their dedication- even if we eat fat food 3 times a day and only exercise on our walk from the car to the checkout counter at the grocery store. If you don’t know what you believe in and whats important in your life, then you’ll need to figure that out before you can have any integrity.
Their checks never bounce.
If a person has integrity their words are as good as promises; you don’t need to wrangle a pinky swear or a promise from people of integrity; if they tell you its going to happen, then its already done. People of integrity make priorities, and there actions will almost always reflect their priorities. If a person of integrity commits themselves to something, they are going to do it; their words are a contract.
You can count on them.
People with integrity are confident, safe, and strong. We trust people with integrity because they live by values that guide their thoughts, words, and actions. They are confident because their lives are guided by higher values, they are safe because they are consistent in their actions, they are strong because they always do their best to live by the values that govern their lives. We trust people with integrity because they have demonstrated that they are motivated by something other than their immediate wants and desires; they are driven by something bigger than them: whether it’s commitment to friends, family, career, or health, we know people of integrity can be trusted to follow their priorities.
People without integrity are often inconsistent, they live life solely on autopilot seeking immediate gratification, and they often lack the dedication and willpower to stick with things or follow through with commitments. There is an old story about the scorpion and the frog: the scorpion sits on the bank of a river looking to cross to the other side; he sees a frog approaching and asks the frog to take him across the river to the other side. The frog says, “I want to take you across with me and help you, but you must promise you won’t sting me. If you were to sting me as I am swimming I will sink and we will both drown”. The scorpion responds, “I wouldn’t want to drown, that would be crazy, I don’t want to die, so I won’t sting you”. The scorpion crawls on the frog’s back and the frog starts swimming to the other side; as they get halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog and the frog exclaims, “How could you? Now we will both die.”, the scorpion replies “I am sorry, I couldn’t help it, it is my nature”.
The moral of the story is that we can trust people will do more of the same actions that they have been doing already. Don’t expect a person who regularly shows up late to suddenly be on time, and don’t expect the fast food junky to suddenly eat like a zen master. People can change, people can grow and evolve; that is what Make Your Best Self is all about: the belief in the power of the individual to make themselves into anything they desire; but first, we must commit to higher values, determine what is most important to us, and set clearly defined goals to work towards. Only a person who lives for a purpose beyond their immediate gratification can change their life, otherwise they will fall back into their old ways. What is important to you, and what can you commit yourself to that is beyond your immediate seeking of pleasure? Integrity is the most prominent character trait of successful people: call it willpower, honesty, or dependability, but I’ll just call it a commitment to stand for something. If you want to change your life you must commit your life to something beyond immediate pleasure.
Be strong; stand for something, or you’ll die for nothing.