One of the few things I remember from business school is a teacher joking about the best answer to every question for business school graduates: "It depends." I remember some accountants joking about a Chief Financial Officer being asked what the return on investment was for something the company was trying to do, and the CFO asked, "What do you want it to be?"
Some things are flexible. Some things do depend on other things, and with some things despite the result can be determined first and then reality made to match it. Obviously many times the answer is fudged and bears no resemblance to reality. Perhaps even more often, reality is fudged and neither the question nor the answer has any relevance to anything worth considering (as in politics, for example).
Fudging in order to deceive someone, living with sliding ethics, going with the flow, and following the wrong crowd are unacceptable for integral people. As leaders, as winners, as self-respecting human beings, we can not allow ourselves to be so victimized by the winds and tides in life.
We must decide what our values are and stick with them. Many of our values have already been determined for us if we want to have a good and successful life. We must not let circumstances move us from our values. If we value something, we by definition think it is important. We should protect it. We should stay close to it. We have no reason to abandon it or let it be abused by others.
If a person, a job, a habit, or anything else gets in the way of us being loyal to something we value, we have to get it out of our lives. Jesus said, "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from the one: it is better for thee to enter into life, halal or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire." He was not talking about us actually maiming ourselves. He was speaking figuratively. He wants us to understand that we have to get things out of our lives that will not get us where we should be, and instead will keep us away from where we should be. If anything gets in the way of us being integral and successful, we should destroy it, whether it be an emotion, a habit, an actual physical thing, or a belief.
We must constantly be in search of truth. We must stick with what is true and not let negativity move us away from truth. We must make principles the structure of our lives and not let fluctuating things make us weak. Once we find something that is true and works, we must let go of anything that is in contradiction to it. Things that are not in keeping with truth are false, and we can not court both truth and falseness. One or the other must go away from our lives. Unfortunately, the default, if we make no effort, is falseness, so we must work hard to get and keep truth in our lives.
We must find people who we respect, because they are respectable, and let them influence us, our beliefs, and our actions. We must find people who we can help and who can help us get where we should be. We should work together to become the best we can be.
We must be loyal to people who are important to us. Our spouse, our children, our families, our employees if we are supervisors deserve that we stick with them. We will never cheat on our spouse, even if we are certain he or she will never find out. It is not within us, as leaders and winners, to even consider or be seriously tempted by such a thing. We are protectors and defenders of our children. We will never do anything even close to abusing our children. We never attack our employees. Even when they make huge mistakes or act disloyal to us, we try to salvage the relationship and if possible help them change to act better and become more competent.
We must work hard to find everything and everyone worth sticking to and stick to them as long as they help us go in the correct direction.