Reposted from ….

Without relationships, the human experience of life as we know it cannot exist. (That in itself is a blog post for another day).

Relationships are of course complicated and have many elements – but there is one element that glues it all together. That fundamental element is trust.

How do you build trust in your relationships – including your relationship with yourself?

Live your life with these two values: Honesty and Integrity.

Honesty: Be true to others in all that you do.

Integrity: Be true to yourself in all that you do.

Of course you can have varied definitions to these terms, but let’s work with these basic definitions for now.

Why are these values so damn important?

Firstly, the greatest success in life is being happy with yourself. If integrity is absent from your life, you cannot be happy with yourself. Sure, you can still pursue pleasure … but you will be blocking yourself from any real significant fulfillment. If honesty is absent, you will have to lie to yourself to be able to come “comfortably” to terms with your own actions. And the minute you lie to yourself, you violate your integrity … and in the process block yourself from true happiness and fulfillment.

If you cannot be honest with people, you cannot developing long-term meaningful relationships with them, because there is no trust.

If you are not honest with yourself … if you violate your own values, you will have difficulty trusting yourself. You will eventually become overwhelmed with doubt, and with good reason.

In an earlier post, I spoke about authenticity. Authenticity in your business is impossible without honesty and integrity in your life. Especially if you are building a business or a brand online, your moral values and the way you live your life will tie directly into the outcomes in your business.

If you think that taking a shortcut, and sacrificing your integrity, will somehow get you more money and success or more fun and pleasure, think again. You’re probably thinking short term. In the long term, violating trust with others or with yourself is the surest way to failure. Also remember to never confuse pleasure with happiness … they are very different terms and values (again, another post for another day – but the basic idea is that pleasure is a shorter term feeling while happiness is a long-term element of the human experience).

Of course, your values and the meanings you attach to honesty and integrity can be different from mine – but regardless of how you define these values, I strongly urge you to take a serious look at how you apply these values in your life, your business, and your relationships. Short-term results may be deceiving – think about the life you want to create … the person you want to become.

Please comment with your own experiences, negative or positive, regarding honesty and integrity in your life and relationships.