Lead By Example
You are where you are now because of decisions you made in the past. Your entire present existence is the accumulation of what the “past you” worked towards, for better or for worse. Are you proud of where you are right now? Are other people proud of you? Not only do I ask this to inspire evaluation of your current life, but to also shift your perspective towards something deeper.
Many people are, to some degree, proud of themselves. Obviously this is a good thing. However, the perspective I want you to adopt is about holding yourself to the standards that you hold other people to. The separation between the standards people hold for themselves and the standards people hold for others is quite vast. Social media is a major contributing factor to this. With this in mind, we must think of what someone could do that would make us proud of them. Then, when we have an idea of what that may be, we adopt that into ourselves. This may sound pretty simple and straight-forward, but from personal experience, it isn’t always so.
One thing that I believe is very important in society is honesty. I believe everyone should be honest. If everyone in the world was honest, imagine what kind of world we would be living in. With this in mind, let me tell you a story of how I held myself to this standard even when it was inconvenient for me.
Last week, I went to the store to get my weekly shopping done. It is a blazing-hot mid-summer afternoon. I spend about 20-30 minutes gathering what I need in the store, fresh produce, frozen food, milk, and snacks. I checkout while making small-talk with the cashier and then gather my bags and head out to my car. As I walked to my car, I asked myself why I parked so far away while I broke a sweat walking across the scalding asphalt. I loaded my bags into the oven-on-wheels that was my car when I noticed the milk on the bottom of the shopping cart. Immediately I realized that I didn’t pay for it. “Free milk” were the words that instantly popped into my head. For about 5 seconds, I contemplated whether or not I should stick to my morale principles. Be a man of integrity and honesty? Or be lazy and dishonest? The milk wasn’t expensive, it wouldn’t hurt the company to have lost money from it. There were many arguments going on in my head in that short time-span.
Then a voice in my head spoke up louder than all the others: “This is not what we do”. It was right. That’s not the kind of person I think would make the world a better place, nor is it the man that I think of myself as.
After that 5 second debacle in my head, I grabbed the milk, walked my cart back inside, put the cart away, and headed towards the cashier that had helped me previously.
He looked at me as I approached. “I forgot to pay for this”, I said as I held up the gallon of milk.
With a look of bewilderment, he said “Wow, thank you”.
I paid $6 for the gallon of milk (Pretty pricey for milk. It is oat milk though, very delicious. Would definitely recommend it.) and then walked all the way out to my car in hopes that my frozen food wasn’t cooking in my blazin-hot car.
Did I gain anything from doing this? Did I have to do this? Did the world change because I did this? Did I make anyone’s life better?
But I am proud of myself for doing it. I am proud to be the man that I expect others to be. I am proud that, even when inconvenient and likely pointless, I still stuck to my principles.
Holding yourself to the same standards you hold others to is a great characteristic of a leader.
Lead from the front and don’t be a hypocrite.
– Tyrin the Tyrant
Week 1. July 18th, 2023