Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quote Sunday

For graduation, someone gave me a copy of Clayton Christensen's How Will You Measure Your Life?  It took me until like a month ago to actually get to the point of reading it, just because I was busy and had other books I was more interested in reading. But I read it, and as it turned out, I really loved it. There's one part in particular that I've been thinking about a lot:
If you give in to "just this once," based on a marginal-cost analysis, you'll regret where you end up. That's the lesson I learned: it's easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don't cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there's nothing to stop you doing it again.
I guess I've been thinking about that because it's something that I've lately found to be true - 100 really is a lot easier than 98.  I think it's because I'm on my own, and there isn't anyone enforcing any rules or morals on me. If I don't want to go to class, no one will make me. And if I want to shoot up heroin, no one will stop me. I'm totally at liberty to do what I want. (Asterisk for clarity: neither of those activities have been happening.) As I've been growing into and adjusting to that freedom, I've found that there is power in establishing personal moral lines, and in following them. There is power in saying "this is what I do because it's what I believe is right."

2 comments:

  1. He gave one of the most thoughtful talks I've ever heard when we were in New York. I read the book last month. Have you read his account of praying about the Book of Mormon when he was at Oxford?

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    1. I love that talk. I'm assuming you mean the one called "why I believe and why I belong".

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