We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.
— Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Integrity comes from the Latin word ‘integritas’– meaning “one” or “whole.” People who are one way on the inside and another way on the outside– i.e., not “whole” – lack integrity; they have “duality” instead. While presenting your view as something other than it is can sometimes be easier in the moment (allowing you to avoid conflict, or embarrassment, or achieve some other short-term goal), the second and third-order effects of having integrity and avoiding duality are immense. People who are one way on the inside and another on the outside become conflicted and often lose touch with their own values. Aligning what you say with what you think and what you think with what you feel will make you more successful. Thinking solely about what’s accurate instead of how it is perceived pushes you to focus on the most important things. It’s also more fair to those around you: Making judgments about people so that they are tried and sentenced in your head, without asking for their perspective, is both unethical and unproductive. Having nothing to hide relieves stress and builds trust.
Never say anything about someone that you wouldn’t say to them directly and don’t try people without accusing them to their faces.
— Ray Dalio, on principles of management