“Just this once… I will never do it again.”
This is the start to a downward slope of the lack of morals and integrity.
I will take it just this once, I’m desperate for cash, I will replace it before anyone realises.
He/She is tempting, I will entertain him/her just this once, no one will find out and besides the urge will go away.
Just this once, no one will find out and besides I won’t do it again.
“Just this once” is a dangerous phrase to think or say to yourself. Often it serves as an excuse to do something you know you shouldn’t.
The problem with “Just this once” is that it is not just this once.
Once you cross the the line that one time, you will do it over and over in the years to come.
If you give in to “just this once,” based on a fact that you will not be caught, you will regret where you end up.
The decisions you make to break the rules is that consequences are almost always low.
But each of those “just this once” decisions roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.
The first step down that path is taken with a small decision.
Unconsciously, you justify all the small decisions that lead up to the big one and then you get into the big one and it doesn’t seem so enormous anymore.
As Dr. Mike Muendane would say, habits start as one drop, then another, then another…drip, drip drip… the next thing you know those drops have turned into an ocean.
Once your conscious get’s used to a small unethical decision you make just this once, it will easily get used to big unethical decisions you make.
You don’t realise that the road you are on until you look up and see you have arrived at a destination you would have once considered unthinkable.
Once you break your moral and ethical line just this once, you will break it again.
The “just this once” applies to every part of our lives. It applies to our health, our work, our relationship and every other area of our lives.
The boundary, you personal moral line, is powerful, because you don’t cross it, if you have justified doing it once, there is nothing to stop you doing it again and again.
As Prof Clay Christensen has said: “It is easier to hold onto our principles 100% of the time than it is 98% of the time.”
Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.