Phillips Brooks(1835-1893), American clergyman, author.
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
© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com
The expression “work smart, not hard” is advice about efficiency by leveraging resources. It presumes that working smart leads to easier work. Efficiency and a lighter burden are always good goals as long as the easy way and hard way both lead to the same destination. The critical question when faced with an easy vs. hard choice is, “Do they really go to the same place?”
As human beings, the natural tendency is to pick the path of least resistance even when this is not expected to produce the best results. Always choosing easy over hard is based on near-term mindset. Instant gratification is an example that comes to mind. In the long run, we end up settling for far less in life if we make a habit of taking the easy path. Being one who is willing to consider and choose the more challenging path, whenever it makes long-term sense, requires a deep-seated commitment to the future.
“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” — Anonymous
Easy and Hard Can Be Matters of Perspective and Attitude
“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
“There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.” — Terence (185 BC – 159 BC)
“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.” — Baltasar Gracian
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill
Difficulties Help Sharpen Our Axes
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” — Seneca (5 BC – 65 AD)
“All things are difficult before they are easy.” — Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654 – 1734)
“If at first you DO succeed, try something harder.” — John C. Maxwell
Facing Difficulty Requires Courage
“It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes.” — Louis Pasteur, microbiologist
“Courage and perseverance have a magic talisman, before which difficulties and obstacles vanish into air.” — John Adams
“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” — Sam Ewing
Dealing With Difficulty
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” — Dale Carnegie
“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.” — Phillips Brooks (1835 – 1893)
Finally, always remember the words of Edward R. Murrow:
“Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.”
© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com