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The Harder Right Versus The Easier Wrong

The narrower gate is harder. Trust me.


Imagine you had two gates you could choose to walk through. One is wide and popular. Plus, on the other side of the gate is a path that is paved and looks flat. The second gate is narrower and only a few people enter it. On the other side of it, you see a rocky uphill climb. Most of us would choose the easy comfort of the first path versus the second.  Unfortunately, when it comes to our character, that first path will lead us to our own destruction.


My father, The General, used to say to me: 


“Hey bud!  If doing the right thing were easy, everyone would be doing it.”


When I went to West Point, I learned the West Point Cadet Prayer which asks:


“Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.”


I’ve taken the easier route in my past. I looked at the short term gain at the moment my character was tested, and I ignored the impact of my choices down the road. For a while that gate seemed like the easy choice to walk through.  The more I chose the gate, the wider it got.


Unfortunately, I went so far down that path, I realized how slippery it got. I started sliding downhill.  At the bottom of the hill was a swamp that promised to suck me in with the rest of the people who chose that path.  Fortunately, I remembered my dad’s words, the words of the Cadet Prayer, and the counsel of wise friends who pointed me to the narrower gate.


The narrower gate is harder. Trust me. There are fewer people choosing to climb the rocky hill that we have to climb sometimes to maintain our character. Those climbs make us sweat and breathe hard. Halfway up the hill, we may stop and wonder if it is all worth it.  But when we reach the top of the hill, the view will make all that hard work worth it. Exercising character does not promise you a wide gate with an easy path today.  But, it does promise you a summit in your life, and after your life is over, that will make it all worthwhile.


Choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong is the path Leaders of Character need to choose. And, we must be careful to choose it daily.  It is not a one time choice.  The wider gate will always be there tempting us. In fact, I admit I still choose that wide gate with the seemingly smooth path at times.


We will never be perfect, this side of heaven. But each time we have a choice, we need to choose the hard right thing, even if others are not doing it.  In the end, we will all be happy with the view we get rewarded with at the top of the climb.



●      When have you chosen that wider gate and regretted your choice later?

●      What harder right choice are you facing right now?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.


Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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