PREPARE YOUR EYES TO READ AND YOUR HEART TO RECEIVE AS YOU TAKE IN THE WORDS THAT LOOK TO CHANGE LIVES, RENEW HEARTS, AND OPEN MINDS. Do you live your life by principle or by preference? Before you answer, please think about your decisions and choices over the past 48 hours. Did you make decisions consistent with your convictions, beliefs, and moral compass, or did you make decisions based on likes, dislikes, and desires?
According to the Oxford dictionary, principles are the fundamental truth that is the foundation for a system of belief or behavior. A preference is a greater liking for one alternative over another.
As the writer of this, I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect, and I, too, struggle with decision-making. Nevertheless, I strive daily to stick with my convictions and beliefs to provide encouraging words that will give me new life and exhibit characteristics of empathy, integrity, compassion, and passion in relationships and leadership.
When I think of principle decisions, two works come to mind, consistency and nevertheless. How powerful are those words to you? If you took the time to think about those words and their meaning of doing something the same way over time, unchanging, despite, standing firm, or notwithstanding, you would agree that these are the characteristics that we look for in relationships and leadership. Also, these words are synonymous when we think about marketing and branding. How many products have you purchased because of a name? Having an unwavering way of decision-making leads to honesty, fairness, and loyalty. Preference decisions are situational and operate based on desires, pleasures, attitudes, moods, perceptions, thoughts, profits, or images. Instead of thinking about the right thing to do, the focus shifts to what will make us feel and look good. This way of decision-making can lead to lying, stealing, cheating, abuse, anger, and many other negative consequences. We all have weak moments and have made decisions that were not morally or ethically correct due to the perceived circumstances or situations in that we found ourselves. Preference decisions lead to reckless living, making a person unstable, less dependable, and manipulative. Being self-aware of who you are and what you stand for should always be your guiding light when it comes to your decisions, as it will allow others to see your authenticity and create boundaries for others and yourself.
So how do we change our decision-making process to be more principle-driven?
First, ask yourself, will I violate my beliefs, ruin my character or credibility? Your next question is, do I do this for personal gain, and do I have to lie, cheat, or steal to do this? What are the possible consequences if someone finds out? The last question is, am I being firm but fair and consistent and remaining true to myself nevertheless of the outcome or what others might think of me? We will never attain perfection, but when we use the word nevertheless to remain steadfast to our moral character and beliefs, we remain true to ourselves and others. #SPEAK2MYHEART