Most people know the ethical thing to do, but when it's inexpedient, they may succumb to the temptations of money, power, or hooking-in the romantic partner they want.
Most people act ethically when it is expedient — for example, making a sizeable charitable donation when the right people will see it. Only a tiny percentage of charitable donations are made anonymously. The challenge is to do the right thing when it's inexpedient.
This refers not just to obvious malfeasance such as absconding with employer or shareholder money, sandbagging a rival for a promotion, or feigning love to trap a desirable romantic partner. It's more often such issues as a salesperson withholding information that would nix a sale, a romantic partner being unduly selfish, or a boss earning enough to live richly while worker bees struggle to pay the rent on a modest place.In my Psychology Today article today, I lay out the elements of an ethical self-improvement plan.