What do you suppose would happen if:
- We all loved the IRS and paid all of our taxes all the time?
- Accounted for all our income and expenses with clarity and timeliness?
- Paid our workers and help above board with decent wages?
- Operated out of abundance and not scarcity or fear of loss?
I view INTEGRITY as another integral part in developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with money. Several books have been written and authors quoted regarding how people in general and millionaires in particular benefit by choosing to do the right thing all the time when it comes to the management of their money.
The five factors most often listed by millionaires as being very important in explaining their economic success: — Integrity, Discipline, Social Skills, A Supportive Spouse, and Hard Work.
Dr. Thomas Stanley, author of “Millionaire Next Door” and “Millionaire Mindset,” has researched people who are extremely wealthy. He wanted to find out what it was that caused them to become that wealthy. He wanted to find out what characteristics were vital for the millionaire to have. He found 38 characteristics. One of the characteristics in the top 10 was “an extended, lengthy, one-time marriage.” That is interesting. Even more interesting is the number one indicator: INTEGRITY. Doing the right thing every time. The wealthy people practice INTEGRITY. They pay their taxes to the penny every single year. They point out mistakes on invoices even when it means that they owe more. They have succeeded and they have maintained the highest level of integrity. This is why I value integrity so highly – it is so incredibly important.
Clarity around money is paramount to our integrity. While most of us say and think we are always honest, several observations listed below beg for additional scrutiny:
- Some people don’t want to know and subsequently claim ignorance
- Others are quick to justify and rationalize or defend – which is fear based
- Assume a little wiggle room is acceptable
- Think that small infractions are not important
- “Stretch the Truth” – whatever that means exactly
- Think that the rules don’t apply to them…ends that matter most – not the means
- Want the benefits of living in the most prestigious country, but don’t want to pay
- Charge higher prices to more wealthy clients (personal code of ethics)
- Develop a “Sense of Entitlement” that gets a lot of mileage in their rationalization
There goes my Karma…
With integrity, the energy stays to support you in money endeavors. Without integrity, other things happen to thwart money management.
It is sometimes a difficult and challenging exercise you to look at your surroundings or actions and practice or be willing to step up to changing what bothers you.
My indicator now is if I have a recurring bothersome thought – three times is a trend! – I do something about it just so I don’t have to deal with “it” anymore. This works for me. Stay out of the “Mental Manipulation” that I use to put myself through.
One of the things I remember most about learning about lying or cover-ups is that it takes a great deal of energy to have to remember what the lies are, so we can keep the story straight! It is much cleaner and easier to bite the bullet and take it when we think the truth might harm us. Actually, it is not as difficult as had been imagined. When all else fails – admit it!