Each of my Core Values[My Core Values] has a subtitle that describes a litmus test by which I can determine success or failure in that area of life. For this one, it is:

Live with integrity, self-awareness, honesty, humility, gratitude.

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Having the root integer, this quality also denotes “a state of being whole and undivided… unified… [a] lack of corruption.” This quality is the bedrock of any chance of being proud of yourself. Any other basis cannot stand the test of time or the strain of silence. Our inner self cannot rest without integrity.

Self-awareness, the conscience awareness of one’s character is required in this pursuit, because it is the means for testing integrity. To exercise self-awareness is to reckon with the core of who we are.

Honesty is an outpouring of integrity. To be free of deceit is to fully disclose and represent what is. It is not necessary to share and disclose all things to all people in order to be proud of one’s self, but it is necessary to disclose all things to yourself. Also, it is necessary to deal fairly and honestly with all people in order to be proud of one’s self.

Humility, or a modest view of one’s importance is needed in order to rightly see the world and to be proud of one’s self. It takes into account the meager amount of time and influence a person can have and frees a person to truly appreciate what is regarding him-or-herself.

According to The New Oxford American Dictionary gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; [a] readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. I include this quality in my list because it is an outpouring of humility and honest dealings. It is an essential element in producing happiness and satisfaction which, without experiencing, I could never be proud of myself.

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