Integrity and Gratitude
If we had to choose only two concepts as a prescription for a good life, they would be integrity and gratitude. While we usually associate integrity with honesty, the word also means “fits together” as in integrated or integration. Oddly enough, both meanings are also interrelated. When someone is honest, their life tends to “fit together”. It works. As one sage put it, if you’re honest you never have to remember what you said.
People who have integrity are consistent. You can count on them. Wikipedia says “the word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective ‘integer’ meaning whole or complete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of ‘wholeness’ deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character.”
If you or someone you know finds their life is “not working” there may be a lack of integrity somewhere that needs to be sought after and rooted out.
Gratitude has to do with appreciation. Appreciation means to add value to. Things that appreciate tend to grow, just as being grateful for something or someone raises its or their value in our estimation. Even though, at any given time, countless more things are going right than going wrong in most of our lives, too many of us focus more on what’s going wrong and take for granted what’s going right -- our health, our loved ones, our resources.
Grateful people tend to be giving people -- and giving people are the happiest among us. Takers can never be as happy as givers because takers can never get enough. Givers already have more than enough, which is why they have some to give away. But having enough is not a state of fact, it is a state of mind. Once you can cultivate that state of mind you are on your way to a happy life.
One of the best ways to rewire your brain from focusing on the negative to focusing on the positive, is to keep a “Gratitude Journal”, examples of which may be easily googled.
The elusive “holy grail” of being happy can be found by cultivating integrity and gratitude in your life.