Get a pen and blank sheet of bond paper. Go to a secluded place and reflect what principles you really value; things that you are willing to hold on no matter what happens; principles and truth that you could to die for.
Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People defines
principles as guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring , permanent, value. They’re fundamental. They’re essentially unarguable because they are self-evident.
They are ideals that are worth-holding on, applicable to the present reality. Our nation is founded on these principles. Without which, our country will disintegrate. We can’t live in an orderly society if all our government officials are corrupt, putting aside the principles of integrity, honesty and transparency.
Principles are the fabric that form you as a person. These are your core values on which all your actions stand on. Your decisions are reflections of who you are and of principles you are holding on.
Decide now on these. What are you not willing to change as time passes by? Faith in God. Honesty. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.
We are always at a tug-of-war between our principles and our own selfishness. I remember when there was a youth council federation election about nine years ago, I resolved not to receive any money. I’ve heard there were rumors of bribery that time though I couldn’t confirm. I left that assembly at peace with myself.
During the Chancellorship election of one campus in Southern Philippines on which I was one of the voting member out of fifteen, there were also same rumors. But I resolved not to receive any should there be an offer. It is only by God’s grace that I could say no to these offers, not by my own resolve. I left that boardroom at peace with myself.
I’m not saying that I lived a perfect, straight life either. I crossed the line many times before, to which I mourned, suffered, and regretted. I can only find refuge in the loving grace of God, and start all over-again.
After you finish writing down your non-negotiables, may God bless you as you pursue your dreams. The world needs you. As John G. Holland prayed:
God give us men. The time demands
Strong minds, great hearts,
True faith, and willing hands,
Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
Men whom the spoils of office cannot by;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue;
And damn his treacherous flatteries without sinking;
Tall men, sun-crowned men who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking.
May you be one of these men as you hold on to your non-negotiables. God bless you.