Integrity is not free

What would you do if you feel that you have a fantastic opportunity, but following it would mean a betrayal of your values, and not following it would hurt your career? Questions like this repeat themselves in multiple stories since the dawn of ages. In them, the protagonist resists the urge and stays true to themselves, which leads to a happy end.

In reality, humans often act differently – this is why this trope is so often used. A significant number of couples cheat, entrepreneurs lie to their customers, leaders break their promises, and employees play dirty games.

Playing dirty is easy, and it feels damn good to trick the world („I deserve this” and other forms of self-deception to justify this is another topic), but such a decision comes with a guaranteed cost. The cost is your integrity.

While it isn’t valued by many, integrity is a crucial factor which differentiates true leaders. Staying true to yourself gives an emotional strength, clarity in decision-making, and makes other people trust you. We are social creatures. This is why people hate hypocrisy in others, as it means that this person can’t be trusted. You will not follow such person, as it is much riskier than you will be betrayed.

In most cases, your unethically achieved benefits will fade, or to keep your new status they will require additional shady decisions. Sunk cost fallacy can lead such person to an awful place in life. Of course, it might not happen, and it can turn up great. However, the damage which you do to yourself will stay with you and your memories forever.

If you are a person between such decision remember to check with yourself if it is worth it. Ensure that you will be able to live happily with seeing your face in the mirror, after selling out your values.

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