Happiness Through Character

How is the reputation you have with yourself? I know this can be a tough question. The biggest slap in the face that you can ever experience is thinking that you are “the only one that will know.” A huge part of your happiness is how well you are following your virtues. Following your virtues makes you feel better about yourself, especially in a society today where it is becoming harder to find good virtues. No one is perfect. If you cross your virtues, then stop, reset, and carry on.

If you feel that empty gloom inside, it’s time to visit your character. If you feel that this is all there is, then it’s time to get yourself back on track. Bottom line, character is your integrity gauge. The law of integrity is when what you say, think, and do is consistent. Folks, practice this law of integrity and get ready to unleash the fury of high self-esteem. A high self-esteem will bring all sorts of joy into your life. When you treat others how you would want to be treated yourself, your self-esteem rises. When your thoughts match what you say, and when what you say matches what you do, you enter the highest state of integrity.

Contradiction is self-destruction. Solid integrity is about consistently making decisions that are congruent with who you are. It takes courage to live an integrity-filled life. The word integrity literally is defined as one hundred percent whole. Live with integrity or choose to live with the feeling of knowing that you consistently and deliberately make the wrong choices. That doesn’t work! The more you practice integrity, the higher your self-esteem rises, and the more you will feel better about yourself. You will be more fulfilled emotionally, make more money, have more solid loving relationships, and have the ability to conquer more fear on a regular basis. When you feel better about yourself, it affects everything that is important in your life.

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Forgiveness Perspective

My business attorney told me one time, “Everybody has self-interests, and other people’s self-interests may not be the same as your self-interests.” I thought that was great. Strive to be proactive the next time someone trespasses against you. Expecting the best in people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also accept the worst-case scenario. To recognize that others’ self-interests may not be the same as your self-interests helps take the emotion out of a situation that you feel you were crossed with. Not everyone has one hundred percent integrity. Many times what is perceived as an attack against you is that person’s process of becoming a better person. The person that crossed you may still be learning the fundamentals of the Big Six: Honesty, Respect, Loyalty, Faith, Courage, and Love. It is totally out of your control. If you act with one hundred percent integrity, then most of the time, others will also when dealing with you.

So who did what to you? What are you still upset about? How is carrying that around going for you? I understand that forgiving Johnny for stealing your lunch money may be much, much easier than forgiving your spouse for adultery. I understand that forgiving that stranger that door dinged your car may be much, much easier than forgiving the man that molested your child. There are certainly various degrees of how easy or difficult the process of forgiveness is. My hope is that regardless of the circumstance you need to forgive, it is becoming more clear that resentment will not get you to your greatness. Resentment is continuing to swallow that poisonous pill, expecting the other person to die. Resentment and unforgiveness steals your light, not theirs. Are you going to let them hurt you twice? Once with the action they performed against you and now for the rest of your life? Elevate! It’s hard but worth it.

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