CHARACTER

Building good character is a process of continuous improvement that requires time, effort, purpose, commitment and most of all, accountability. Why is accountability at the top of this list? Because without it, we would “flat out” fail. Not one of us is strong enough, committed enough, and courageous enough to build good character on our own.

I believe anyone that is serious about improving their character needs to identify and enlist an accountability partner. Such a person must share the values one is trying to establish. A close friend is likely to fill that role even without being asked. After all, watching your back is what good friends do.

Are you ready to make character improvements? Read on.

Character Begins in the Mind

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” — Frank Outlaw

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” — Albert Einstein

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” — Bible, Proverbs 23:7

Character Has a Standard that is Oblivious to Popular Opinion

“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!” — Theodore Roosevelt

Character is Not About Role Playing

“It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for whom you are not.” — Ron White

Character is Not a Swap Meet

“The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.” — Abigail Van Buren

Character is Dedication to Personal Standards

“Be absolutely clear about who you are and what you stand for. Refuse to compromise.” — Brian Tracy

Character Requires Daily Training in the Gymnasium of Life

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” — Helen Keller

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.” — Phillips Brooks

The Greatest Reward

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.” — John Ruskin

Character Development is a Responsibility

“Character is a quality that embodies many important traits, such as integrity, courage, perseverance, confidence and wisdom. Unlike your fingerprints that you are born with and can´t change, character is something that you create within yourself and must take responsibility for changing” — Jim Rohn

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

On Purpose

Because we usually go through the day on automatic pilot, its easy to lose track of the reason we do certain things. For example, today I got out of bed, like I do every day. Was this accidental or did I do it on purpose? What was the purpose? I decided to do the mental exercise of listing some of the things I did and the reason(s) behind them.

Action or Thought Purpose
Got out of bed Things to do that are more important than lying in bed.
Ate food Quench my hunger; give me energy; keep me healthy.
Read the Bible Feed my mind; calibrate my attitude.
Showered It’s healthful; to avoid offending others.
Went to a business meeting Make a sale.
Studied & took an online test Improve my mind.
Went to bed Recharge my batteries (sleeping feels good!)

I began to recognize that in each case, these purposes were not the total answer. Each was based on a more foundational purpose. For example, the “things more important than lying in bed” included making a living to help take care of my family. But, that still did not fully satisfy my mental exercise. There was an even deeper purpose at stake. Why should anyone consider caring for his family as a worthwhile purpose? Well, for moral reasons, of course. The next logical question was, “Where do morals come from?” It goes even deeper, but that’s enough for now.

I also thought back on how well I executed the tasks with respect to the intended purpose. Did eating quench my hunger and give me energy? Yes. Did it promote good health? Here I can do better. I humbly admit that I ate too much and did not eat a well-balanced meal.

What is the purpose guiding your life. Is it to be happy and/or to make others happy? Could it be that your purpose is to make a difference in the world? Maybe your purpose is simply to avoid doing harm to others? If so, are you missing an even larger purpose? Unless we are a cosmic accident, we were put here for a special purpose ordained by a creator. Could that creator be God? I hope you enjoy the quotes and are inspired to reflect on your purpose.

“Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television.” — David Letterman

“The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” — Bible, Proverbs 20:5

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“The secret of success is constancy of purpose.” — Benjamin Disraeli

“To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” — Helen Keller

“Any ideas, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” — Napoleon Hill

“Unless a life is activated by sustained purpose it can become a depressingly haphazard affair.” — Richard Guggenheimer

“Providence has nothing good or high in store for one who does not resolutely aim at something high or good. A purpose is the eternal condition of success.” — T. T. Munger

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” — Bible, Proverbs 19:21

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Bible, Romans 8:28

By the way, for those of you who think you know me pretty well, try and guess my favorite quote on purpose.

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright August 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Stuff Happens!

“It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your destination, but the set of the sail. The same wind blows on us all. … It’s not what happens that determines your life’s future. It’s what you do about what happens.” -– Jim Rohn

Life is too short to get stressed out about every negative thing that happens. “Stuff happens” to everyone, but only a relatively few get a disproportionate share. Miserable people have just conditioned themselves to believe they get more stuff. And boy do they like to let us know about it!

Miserable people …

  • focus on bad things so much that they get really good at finding them;
  • blow things totally out of proportion, making small stuff bigger than life;
  • turn good news into bad news;
  • use stuff to get attention.

Have you ever heard someone whine incessantly about something and thought to yourself, “What’s the big deal?” Here’s an example. I recently overheard a man complaining that the cost of gas this year was probably going to keep him from going on vacation. This type of response could be expected from a whiner. Suppose the vacation would require 800 miles of driving. Now, we can all agree that the price of gas by American standards is very high (probably about $1 higher than last summer.) Suppose also that the vehicle of choice gets 20 mpg meaning it will cost an extra $40 (in gas) to go on vacation than it did last year. My conclusion is that if a mere $40 is enough to keep someone at home, he has much bigger problems than the price of gas. How sad that someone would pass up a vacation, make himself unnecessarily miserable, and drag others through his quagmire instead of simply solving the problem.

  • Choose a destination that is 200 miles closer to home.
  • Stay in less expensive hotels or come home one night earlier.
  • Reduce dining out expenses by bringing food or skipping a meal.
  • Bring a friend who will share some of the expenses.
  • Go out and earn $40.

We choose our attitude in every situation. Enough of my words, here are some quotes on the subject.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -– Winston Churchill

“Pessimism is an excuse for not trying and a guarantee to a personal failure.” -– Bill Clinton

“Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.” -– Russell Baker

“A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.” -– Joseph Addison

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” -– Martha Washington

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” -– Robert Frost

“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.” -– Helen Keller

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff” -– Richard Carlson

“Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” — George Carlin

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com