I recently saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge. The movie is based on a true story about Desmond Doss, a committed Seventh Day Adventist and pacifist who served as a medic at the horrendous battle for Okinawa towards the end of the Second World War. He saved 75 lives on the field of battle without ever lifting a weapon, and remains only one of three conscientious objectors to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Core to his belief system was that killing was an unnecessary evil, yet he was determined to serve his country to help save lives.
How many of us would go that far to honour and live by our values?
There are many times in our private and working lives where our beliefs and values are put to the test, yet somehow we manage to convince ourselves that a minor deviation from our core belief system is acceptable because of the culture we work in or the behaviours we believe we have to display in order to succeed.
It can be as trivial as laughing at a Manager’s joke which is in poor taste, to taking performance enhancing drugs in sport.
We justify it by convincing ourselves that it is a “just on this occasion” scenario. We all know this can be a very slippery slope.
Values should drive our choices.
“Values are a set of attitudes, unique to each individual, which govern our behaviour and guide the way we look at the world.”*
Your Small Act that will have a Major Impact is to enlist the help of your colleagues, a coach or simply to spend time writing a list of values that honour who you are and how you want to live.
Once complete, when faced with tough decisions, they won’t seem so tough, just remember to always ask yourself this question first –
Is this decision in line with my values?
Image credit: Lionsgate