Balance. Purpose. Enlightenment.

How to Build Integrity

When I became a Lemurian student, I was a successful lawyer in a fast-paced, high-energy, good-paying position. But the only thing that seemed to matter to my firm was the results I produced, and I had strayed from my moral bearings, not to mention Christ’s Teachings and natural law. To address this predicament would take courage, a virtue I felt I lacked. How to build integrity became my focus.

I feared the changes I wanted to make in myself could jeopardize my job, but I knew pursuing higher values was essential to my personal growth.

So I looked for how to build integrity in my work while trying to meet the goals of my clients and firm, realizing I was not trying to change others, only myself. It was a lonely road at times, but grudgingly, my bosses accepted more of the new me. And holding to my values in even small ways brought a special feeling of accomplishment.

I made many mistakes. When I tried too hard, was too impulsive or “letter of the law,” I found myself in hot water with my superiors. I got frustrated and angry about what I felt was expected of me. Sometimes my courage failed because I could easily imagine the worst possible outcome. When I stumbled, it was disappointing, but at least I was trying. I drew comfort and many practical techniques from my Philosophy, tried to remember that what really mattered was what I, not others, did, and didn’t let myself feel overly discouraged.

Eventually I realized I was more successful with gradual and quiet efforts to change, not pushing. Instead of refusing to do something because it was wrong, it went more smoothly when I just said I was uncomfortable with the idea. Another helpful approach was to speak to my boss ahead of time about an upcoming problem and propose a mutually acceptable solution. But most often, my efforts were known only to me as I followed the thread of integrity through my workplace challenges.

how to build integrity
I was more successful with gradual and quiet efforts to change

Then came an offer to join another firm. I gratefully accepted, resolving to make truth one of the hallmarks of my new venture. As time passed, though, again I found myself wrestling with integrity. This concerned me because, as a Lemurian student, I had a growing understanding of what to expect from the impersonal operation of God’s laws. When it was clear I could not resolve this conflict within the expectations of my job, it was time for some hard thinking.

I asked myself what I enjoy most about law. It’s helping others. The people part is so much more satisfying than lawsuits over money. Knowing this, with my wife’s support, I went into public interest law. My new job gives greater satisfaction and makes a difference in others’ lives. And clients’ heartfelt appreciation is a great bonus.

Now I know I can be a successful lawyer and stay true to moral values. I’m happier and work with a deeper purpose. And arriving home in a better mood is an unexpected benefit my wife really appreciates. It’s not always easy to walk the narrower path in a world with the emphasis on material accomplishments, but now I know it can be done.

Copyright © 2016 Lemurian Fellowship

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