My name is Jake Jorgovan and I am a web designer who was hired to help shape this site for The Integritas Project.
Throughout my life, I have battled with the same internal struggles of integrity facing the midshipmen featured in these videos. At times, I have been happy with the choices I was making and happy with myself as a person. Yet at other times times, I have strayed from my values and found myself committing acts that I was ashamed of.
There were times when no one else ever found out about these acts, but on the inside, I knew and it ate away at me.
At the core, this is how I view integrity. It is Doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.
Integrity starts with the small things
At any point in life when I have done something I was truly ashamed of, it didn’t come out of nowhere. Instead it was a result of a series of small acts and decisions that lead to me breaking values. Once you make one small decision out of line with your ethics, then the next one is easier to make as well.
This slippery slope of bad decisions escalates one decision at a time until suddenly you don’t know who you have become.
From my experience, integrity begins with staying in control of the small things. If I can make good choices in the simple daily ethical decisions that many people don’t even think about, then it helps me make better ethical choices when the bigger challenges come my way.
Have your values written down and check them regularly
When I was 18 I read Steven Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book revolutionized my life in several ways, one of which was in my values.
After reading this book, I wrote out all of my core values on a document on my computer. I separated the values out into personal, professional, friendship, health, relationships, and creative. Ever since writing this when I was 18, I have made it a habit of regularly checking in on this document at minimum of once per month.
For the first several years, I found that I knew who I wanted to be, yet I continued to break my values in one area or another on a consistent basis. Yet after years of practice, and referring back to this document I have become much more attuned with my values. They have become engrained in my consciousness and I have slowly become much closer to the person I once desired to be.
How these spots have influenced me
Working on the design of The Integritas Project website with Patrick Finnegan, the filmmaker, I have learned a significant amount about the backstory, mission and purpose of the project. This endeavor and its goals have inspired me to write this.
The Integritas Project is truly unique in that it is trying to brand an idea, to help midshipmen make the right decision in the moment of ethical dilemma.
My hopes are that the midshipmen see this as more than that, and that these spots can help influence them to make the right decision in everything they do in life. Not just the big choices.
As I said before, it starts with the small things. If you can make a habit of making the right choices every single day, regardless of how small, then the big decisions will be much easier to handle.