Where is Your Moral Compass Pointing?
The line between moral and immoral actions is not blurred. On the contrary, the choice is binary. The question you need to ask is what are my guiding principles? Where is your moral compass pointing? Like many people, you can be doing well in life and then you shift your moral compass by as little as one degree. Which may not seem like much, but if you were flying from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you'd end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away. So, as you can see, the farther you go down an immoral path, the further you will get from your destination. Taking the “moral high ground” is more than a saying; it is a lifestyle.
As a leader, if you shift your moral compass, you will affect more than just yourself. You have been given a sacred duty to lead others. You must maintain a high level of morality if not you are then charged with others' well-being. This may seem overdramatic, but if you think about it, your decisions do not just affect you.
There are several ways to ensure that you make the right moral decision. My main go to is the Bible. Specifically, the book of Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs is King Solomon's way to pay it forward. King Solomon was the wisest man of his time. His rule was of legend. He wrote the book of Proverbs to pass along this wisdom to his son Rehoboam. For example, Proverbs 11:5-15 is dedicated to morality. In this, King Solomon guides and cautions his son on setting his path, watching what you say, gossip, and being faithful to what is right. Now, to put a sharper point on what I have just stated.
If you do not have a set of principles that are written down you will have difficulty making the moral decision when things are tight. Let's face it, to make a moral call when things are going well is easy. It is when things are not going so well that we tend to make the expedient choice which, more often than not, is not the moral determination.
So, with that said, there is hope. If you intend to make the moral choice, two strategies have served me well. First is a Personal Life Statement (PLS). There are several ways to do this, but what really assisted me in composing mine was to write my own obituary. This may sound a bit morbid, but if you write down how you want to be remembered, it will really help you to get rid of the chaff that is part of your everyday life. Second is the acronym H.A.L.T. When life has you in the silly circle, and you feel your moral compass slipping ask yourself, am I Hungry, am I Angry, am I lonely, or am I tired? If you answer yes to any of the four, then step back and correct.
One more parting thought. It is not too late to change. If you have made morally questionable choices in the past, leave them in the past and set your vision on the future. You have the power to change no matter where you are in life. All it takes is a choice to set your compass true.