After yesterday's message, you might be thinking, "But BK! It's not that easy. Doing the right thing can lead to painful consequences."
Ok. Let's talk about that.
I won't deny that doing what is good and right is sometimes uncomfortable. But why does it discomfort you to act according to what is good and right in your eyes?
Everyone believes in doing the right thing when it appears to benefit them. People only begin to feel uncomfortable with doing the right thing when they think it's not to their advantage or will remove comforts they enjoy.
Our issue is not in doing what is good and right but in our perception of what is advantageous or disadvantageous. As soon as doing what is right seems to come with disadvantages, many people discard what they feel is right in favor of what appears more beneficial.
Cicero (by way of Panaetius) said, "We must aim at nothing other than what is right. [...] Nothing can be advantageous unless it is right and nothing right unless it is advantageous."
You might think there are two questions:
What is good and right to do?
What is advantageous and beneficial?
But there aren’t two questions. There’s just one question. We undermine our lives and the lives of others when we consider what is right and what is advantageous as two separate things.
To value what seems advantageous and beneficial above what is good and right is to vacate integrity for a temporary boost – whether it be money, victory, comfort, convenience, acceptance, social standing, or anything else.
Doing good is always in our interest. Advantages and benefits ultimately flow toward doing good and right things.
Separating what is advantageous from what is right opens the door to the option that we can benefit ourselves by declining to act rightly or, worse, doing what we know is wrong. It also introduces the false belief that acting on what is good and right puts us at a disadvantage and damages us.
All this adds up to a fundamental truth:
We must not allow any belief to establish roots in our individual or shared consciousness that doing what is right is against our interest or that we can somehow gain benefit by acting in any other way than what is good and right.
The time is now. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.