“Integrity is the essence of everything successful” – Chinese Proverb
Whenever I think about any form of personal achievement, I have often reflected on how and why it was achieved, rather than simply what was done. Was it done for a just and valid reason? Was it done honorably and fairly?
Integrity is crucial in showing good character. Personal values are vastly more important than social norms and mores. It is your individual sense of right and wrong, and how you live your life according to that mindset. Without your integrity, you are more than just being deceitful, you are being a complete phony
When I think a bout an example of maintaining one’s integrity, I instantly think of a man named Ian Mackaye. While he may not be considered a household name, he has been one of the most influential people in the history of punk rock and indie music, and has also been a role model of mine for the last 5 years. The founder of Dischord Records, and a former member of both Minor Threat and Fugazi (extremely popular punk bands), he has maintained an entirely DIY (Do It Yourself) mentality in every aspect of his career. He has been offered tens of millions of dollars over the years from offers to join major labels and to sell his successful label to corporations. He has done all of his work himself, and has never been involved with PR, booking agents, etc. He has outlined a very specific set of values that he holds, and he has never publicly wavered on them. While others have “sold out”, he has completely retained his integrity.
Whenever I doubt myself, I think of people like Ian. People who stuck to what they believed in and did not submit to popular opinions, and in turn, he was very successful. Maintaining your integrity is one of the most important things someone can do to show their good character.