WHY WE CHEAT

Everyone knows cheating is wrong.

 

You learn this the first time you look at another students paper in grade school.  So why do we do it to the top levels of our society?

The answer: we put outcome ahead of honor.

We are all taught that ‘doing the right thing’ is it’s own reward.  Having integrity and your word being your bond are taught at a very young age and the message has not changed, so what has gone wrong?  Why do so many people cheat?

 

Politicians, Wall Street, and professional athletes dominate the news cycle with cheating scandals.  We get to watch these people look into the camera and swear they did not cheat only to find out later they did, and most of these people have already achieved high levels of success and yet, they still cheat.

The answer is simple: fear.

The only job fear has is to control outcomes.  It is your basic survival mechanism; it creates tunnel vision and a sole focus on a specific outcome.

 

This is a great reaction to have if you are on a battle field or a lion is chasing you but it is completely inappropriate in matters of integrity and honor. The head is controlled by fear and it is the heart that is control by honor.  When a soldier jumps on top of a hand grenade to save a fellow soldier he overrides his head and survival instincts and acts out of his heart for a greater good and the love of his brother in arms.

 

We have become a society that measures everything and worships outcome.

 

Nike just came out with an advertisement for Tiger woods that says: “Winning takes care of everything.”

 

winning takes care of everything

 

When you worship outcome, outcome with take control of your life, and you will do anything including cheating to achieve that outcome and in doing so disconnect you from your heart and honor.  If success is defined by outcome then it can never be fully achieved and a person will eventually resort to cheating to stay on top.

 

On the other hand, if success is defined by honor, a great sense of fulfillment and lack of regret will be your reward that you had not cheated yourself of experiencing.

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