When you have strong principles, decisions become binary.
– Gbolade Ogunfowote
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts recently; The Pitch. It’s a show where startups and businesses come to pitch to investors to invest in their company. There’s this particular investor (Phil Nadel) who doens’t invest in pre-revenue companies. There was a particular episode that the startup founder in question had a business that Phil really liked. When it was his turn to give feedback, he said something that really struck me. He said it’s a binary decision for him cos he doesn’t invest in pre-revenue businesses so even though he really liked the business, he could not invest.
That was very instructive to me and I realized that that’s one of life’s secret success principles. One of the best things a person can do to improve the quality of their decisions is to have principles they do not compromise no matter what. As much as Phil liked the business, he did not compromise his principle . When one has principles, decisions become binary. It’s either you follow your principles or you don’t.
Principles can also be referred to as values. A lot of people delude themselves as to what their value/principles are and paint very rosy pictures of who they wish to be yet there’s a huge chasm between their supposed values/principles and how they truly live.
Without principles, it’s impossible to have integrity, and without integrity it’s impossible to attain greatness.
I have written exhaustively in the past on how to discover your values.
Take a step further and make all decisions in your life binary. It’s way easier to stick to your principles 100% of the time than 99.99% of the time. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. That one time you go against your values/principles would not only haunt you, but it would open the floodgates to a thousand other incidences of compromise of your principles. My mum always used to tell my siblings and I, that he who lies once, shall tell three more lies to cover it up, and he who lies, shall eventually steal. Another nugget of wisdom I heard from Jim Rohn is:
The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.
You see, it’s a slippery slope, if you compromise any of your values/principles.
Make your decisions binary from today henceforth, and live true to yourself. Even if your principles are not popular or go against the grain, you owe it to yourself to be true to you and make only binary decisions, and in making that decision, always go with your values/principles 100% of the time.