By UDEME ARCHIBONG
Value is an indicator of worth. Value defines quality. Value determines the quality of influence or impact. Value could be an upward surge or a downward spiral; it could be worthwhile or worthless; its quality could be excellent or mediocre; its influence or impact could be positive or negative. In our context, value connotes superior quality that distinguishes from all others.
To become successful, you must become a person of value. In fact, until you become valuable you can never become successful. The more valuable you become, the more successful you become. This invariably implies, you do not seek to become successful rather you seek to become a person of value and you will automatically become successful. The level of contribution you make to life is dependent on the level and quality of value you create for others. Your influence increases when your value increases.
Every human being has equal intrinsic value or self-worth; however, value can be appreciated or increased and value can also be depreciated or decreased. Value is increased through personal growth and development. Value could be decreased through self-depreciation and a stagnating or negative mindset. Value is a product of the level you have grown your mind through investment in self. The quality of investment in self is proportionate to the value you create for others. Therefore, value births influence and influence is the lead way to relevance.
The start-up of a life of value is living a life of integrity. A person of value is not for sale because his or her life is built upon the rock solid foundation of integrity. And upon the rock solid foundation of integrity, towering heights of influence is built. The person of value does not compromise values that are based on eternal or timeless principles. Moral breakdown is the cause of societal breakdown. In fact, moral breakdown is the lead way to emotional breakdown; mental breakdown; relational breakdown and even financial breakdown. When morality is trampled underfoot, value erodes from life. When morality is elevated, value is enhanced. Integrity is not an outdated idea rather it is an upgraded version of living without regrets.
What matters in life is the small things that adds up to make the big things. The root of integrity bears the fruit of respect, dignity and trust. Without integrity, value is lost. When there is a breakdown of integrity, there will be a breakdown of trust and when there is a breakdown of trust there will be a breakdown of harmony and when there is a breakdown of harmony, life loses its potency. Integrity is not flexible in nature; it is not situational; there is no middle ground-it’s either you have integrity or you are void of integrity.
John Maxwell reveals, “Integrity commits itself to character over personal gain; to people over things; to service over power; to principle over convenience; to the long view over the immediate.” Crisis does not make character rather crisis reveals character. Everything you have done in the past and everything you’ve neglected to do unfold under moral pressure. Integrity is not a behavioral modification rather it is the modification of the thought processes. Integrity or character is not a product of upbringing or circumstances rather a life of integrity is a product of choice. Upbringing and circumstances undoubtedly influence your character. And except you are in your childhood, you are absolutely responsible for your choices through life including the character choice.
The level of your value to the world is determined by the strength of character rather than the weight of your credentials. Credentials exploit rights and are short-lived; character expresses responsibility and it is timeless. The value of credentials starts and ends with self; it is self-focused. The value of character positively impacts the lives of others; its people centered. Credentials brags about past accomplishments or achievements. Character builds destinies thereby leaving a timeless legacy in people. Credentials stirs up envy or jealousy in people. Character attracts respect and trust from others. Credentials can open doors but character keeps the door perpetually open for you and consistently open greater doors and keeps them open. Character is the real deal. Public image is superficial unless it harmonizes with a strong moral character. D. L. Moody expresses, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
How you treat people who cannot hurt you and whom you can gain nothing from is a test of the greatness of your character or lack of it. When you role-play based on the person you are with, you rule-out trust and a long term relationship with them. When you are not transparent with others, you trample relationships and business opportunities with others. Your commitment to live a life of integrity sets you up for victory in the moments of crisis or temptation. Integrity grows from the little things or minor things to the big things or major things. Integrity has no price-tag for its value is inestimable; it’s highly esteemed far above power, revenge, pride or money. Therefore, a person of value cannot be bought.