Integrity is a characteristic that many of us value. We look for it in ourselves, and we actively seek it out in those around us.
But is integrity a static thing, or can we strengthen our integrity muscles to help us succeed in life?
Well, I believe that our integrity is always in a state of flow, and it is the driving force behind all of our decisions. Simply put, our integrity makes us who we are and shapes the opinions of all those around us.
This is why we must all take a deep dive into integrity and have some must-read books on our bookshelves. It is not enough to just claim integrity, we must be sure of it, we must own it.
For it is only when we listen to our hearts and do the right thing, that life becomes simple.
To that end, I have compiled a list of my 6 must-read books around the subject of integrity.
The Integrity Advantage: Step into Your Truth, Love Your Life, and Claim Your Magnificence
by Kelley Kosow
Are you ready to open up to new levels of self-trust and self-love, to get where you want to go? You vowed to speak up at work and then sat silently in the meeting yet again. You told yourself “this time the diet is going to stick,” only to watch the scale inching up. You felt that something just wasn’t right about someone that-until you learned the hard way that your instincts were right.
“Every time you bite your tongue,” teaches Kelley Kosow, “you swallow your integrity.”
Before Kelley Kosow was a renowned life coach and CEO, she constantly second-guessed herself, let her “to-do” lists and others steer her dreams and passions, and played it “small and safe.” Inspired by the groundbreaking principles of her renowned mentor Debbie Ford, who hand-picked Kelley to be her successor, The Integrity Advantage is Kelley’s step-by-step guide for facing the fear, shame, and false beliefs that cause us to lose our way.
Through life-changing insights, true stories, and proven strategies, this book will show you how to live on your own terms—according to you—from the inside out.
Join this transformational leader and motivational speaker to learn how to:
- Connect with your inner truth and keep it growing stronger day by day
- Level up your self-love and self-trust to get where you want to go
- Embrace the totality of who you are
- Turn the tide on mediocrity
- Break free of the “gravitational pull” of your past
- Get fearless and excited about moving outside of your comfort zone
- Stop living from your “to-do” list and start living from your “bucket” list
- Become the person you want to be
Every day, we make promises to ourselves, and then we break them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re ready to stop fighting with yourself, start trusting your deeper wisdom, and return to wholeness, this is the book for you.
An empowering, heart-opening, and extraordinary book for anyone who wants to live life on their own terms. I loved it.
This is the sort of book that uplifts your spirit and elevates you to a higher form of thinking. Kelley seems to speak directly to you, and it is hard to put this book down. Sadly I found this to be extremely frustrating, but only as I experienced powerful urges to stop so that I could consider the subject matter.
This is a book on integrity that made me think. So I know I will read again and again and always be able to take something new from it. Personally I feel that I have grown from the books’ deep insights into fear, shame, guilt, and the sins of the past.
The Integrity Advantage is a powerful book and, in this sense, is a must for anyone on a path of personal growth.
I strongly urge you to read this book.
Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality
by Henry Cloud
Integrity—more than mere truthfulness, it’s the key to success. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. Drawing on experiences from his work, Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, leadership coach, corporate consultant, and nationally syndicated radio host, shows how our character can keep us from achieving all we want to (or could) be.
In Integrity, Dr. Cloud explores the six qualities of character that define integrity, and how people with integrity:
- Are able to connect with others and build trust
- Are oriented toward reality
- Finish well
- Embrace the negative
- Are oriented toward increase
- Have an understanding of the transcendent
Integrity is not something that you either have or don’t, but instead is an exciting growth path that all of us can engage in and enjoy.
“Let Henry Cloud teach you how to live an authentic life. This is a must-read!” – (Ken Blanchard, Co-Author, The One-Minute Manager)
This book will completely change your perspective on what having integrity means. In this book, you will come to realize that none of us are perfect but we all have choices. And, It is how we decide to engage with those choices on a personal level that influence our lives.
Self-reflection and self-responsibility are strong themes here, and you must be prepared for this.
Dr. Cloud suggests that you cannot fully rise up if you have character issues that are holding you back. Character flaws that are negative, and/or insecurities, not acknowledged, hold us back and prevent us from being our true authentic self.
This book shows us how to discover, acknowledge, and then work on these character flaws.
Only when we understand our true character and develop our ability to correct those flaws can we meet the demands of our world. Or as Dr. Cloud puts it,” embracing those negative realities”.
In doing so we will become more authentic, demonstrate integrity, and realize the success we all aim for.
And people with integrity are always successful.
Creating a Life of Integrity
by Gail Andersen Stark
Creating a Life of Integrity is our personal trainer for strengthening our integrity muscles.
When we don’t speak or act from our own sense of integrity, we feel lousy. Find out how you can live with more integrity—and subsequently more joy—as you follow these lively conversations between Joseph Goldstein, a founder of the modern mindfulness movement, and Gail Stark, a businesswoman and his student and friend of twenty-five years.
As Joseph and Gail unpack the components of integrity—generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, courage, patience, truthfulness, resoluteness, loving-kindness, and equanimity—we discover each is a step on a path that transports us to an empowered place of clarity, commitment, and, consequently, more joy. As we strengthen and weave these qualities into our daily lives they become our trusted first response in a world that needs our integrity now.
“A lovely, practical, intimate, and wise book. Read and you can enjoy an intimate conversation with a great teacher, and learn how to lovingly refine the study your own mind.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
Whether you are an experienced Buddhist practitioner or simply want to know more about Buddhism, Creating a Life of Integrity is a great book to add to your collection. I love the way that integrity is broken down, unpacked, and discussed in a crisp and clear way piece by piece.
Nothing is rushed, and you can steadily work your way forward to an empowered place of tranquility and joy. Learning about integrity in this way helps you to focus inwards and examine your life, its meaning, and brings light to the dark.
If you want a read which helps you to contemplate your life and change it for the better, then this it. Integrity has never been so easy to think about and consume. (For those of us who read slow!)
The Gifts of Imperfection
by Brené Brown
“Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
– The Gifts of Imperfection, page 6
A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling.
With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts” are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life.
Now more than ever, we all need to cultivate feelings of self-worth, as well as acceptance and love for ourselves. In a world where insults, criticisms, and fears are spread too generously alongside messages of unrealistic beauty, attainment, and expectation, we look for ways to “dig deep” and find truth and gratitude in our lives. A new way forward means we can’t hold on too tightly to our own self-defeating thoughts or the displaced pain in our world. Instead, we can embrace the imperfection.
Brené Brown is a woman I could listen to all day long, (and I often do on Ted Talks)! I loved the way this book was framed so that I would think about myself in so many different ways. To me, Brené is both illuminating and provocative in her style of writing and never fails to draw me in.
Her style engages my mind and emotions and forces me to ask the questions: How can I cultivate change within myself? And How can I be authentic and improve my self-worth and personal Integrity?
In “The Gifts of Imperfection,” Brené Brown, share what she’s learned from a decade of research on shame and the power of being authentic and true to oneself. It’s a great integrity book read and sits alongside Daring Greatly as another must for every bookshelf.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
by Stephen R. Covey
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators, and parents—in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations across the world.
This twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of Stephen Covey’s cherished classic commemorates his timeless wisdom, and encourages us to live a life of great and enduring purpose.
Named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century.
“Every so often a book comes along that not only alters the lives of readers but leaves an imprint on the culture itself. The 7 Habits is one of those books.”
—Daniel Pink, New York Times bestselling author of When and Drive
There is a lot of stuff in this book that is directly related to how to live your life with authenticity. Stephen Covey challenges you to shift your way of thinking and increase your moral well being. living a life of integrity, being better than you are and how to achieve self-respect can all be found here.
However, this book requires you to make these shifts in order to obtain the most from life. Rather than being a book about integrity, this book demonstrates how to live a life with integrity. It addresses the untouchable parts of your human spirit that no one controls besides you.
There is a lot of practical challenges for you and ways that you can start to shift your thinking. In doing so you will learn how to be authentic, live your life with integrity, and be a better human being.
Just writing about it makes me want to go back and read it again as it was a must-read when I was working.
Integrity: Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason
by Barbara Killinger
Drawing on her clinical practice and pioneering efforts in workaholism Dr. Killinger describes the personality traits and psychological, philosophical, historical, and familial influences that help develop and maintain integrity.
She also looks at how integrity is undermined and lost as a result of obsession, narcissism, and workaholism. Richly illustrated with personal stories, Integrity offers a positive “how-to” perspective on safeguarding personal and professional integrity and on encouraging our children to develop this vital character trait.
Killinger concludes that integrity is not possible without compassion and makes it clear that doing the right thing includes doing it for the right reason.
This was an interesting integrity book to read although I found it a little hard to get through. The author discusses what integrity is, what can cause people to lose their integrity, and how we can prevent our loss of integrity.
It is bang up to date with discussions of how people behave in today’s society and the narcissistic tendencies of the modern age. Which is probably why I found it a little hard to get through, I like things to be a little lighter to read.
However, Barbara explains many topics and shows the reader the importance of being regarded as a person of high Integrity. Overall there is a lot to think about in this book and it would be a book on integrity that I would recommend reading more than once.
For more information about integrity please read my article: What are the 15 observable traits of integrity.
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Mark Aspland is a proud father of two boys, would be amateur actor and green living enthusiast. He has been sharing hints, tips and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019.
He now has an army of followers who are like hearted individuals passionate about the environment and how to affect positive change through peaceful action.
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