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

Significance vs. Success

What is success? Today’s view, in Western culture, defines success in terms of fame and/or fortune. For example, people are considered successful when they reach the highest levels of their chosen endeavors. Trophies, awards, bonuses, job titles, certificates, prizes and the corner office are treasured symbols reflecting success. Likewise, houses, cars, boats, and club membership are the trophies of financial success. You might recall a once-popular bumper sticker that read “The one with the most toys wins!”

I believe success in these terms falls short of true success. Brian Tracy, who is in the people-building business, wrote,

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ’What’s in it for me?’”

However, since it is difficult to change the vernacular, let’s use a different word.  How about significant?  To me, being significant means living an unselfish life that puts others ahead of self. The result is a legacy defined by the number of lives impacted, rather than the size of a bank account. Tracy and others teach that fame and fortune don’t define success, but are the natural benefits if we don’t make them the goals. Even in the dictionary, “significance” precedes “success.”  I wonder how much better the world would be if more people focused on leaving a legacy of significance.

“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance – and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.” — Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine, September 2002

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” — Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

“There are fine things which you mean to do some day, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is surely yours is the present, hence this is the time to speak the word of appreciation and sympathy, to do the generous deed, to forgive the fault of a thoughtless friend, to sacrifice self a little more for others. Today is the day in which to express your noblest qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed, and to use your God-given abilities for the enrichment of someone less fortunate. Today you can make your life – significant and worthwhile. The present is yours to do with as you will.” — Grenville Kleiser

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” — Bible, Matthew 7:12

As we live our lives, it’s important to realize that everyone leaves a legacy and that we get to choose whether our legacy will be one of significance or something less.

God Bless,

— CC

©Copyright March 2011, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

 

OPPORTUNITY

What does the word “success” mean to you? Whatever images you conjure up, I think it’s true that we all talk, hope, and imagine it differently. Even so, recognizing success is pretty easy.

“You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.” — Warren Beatty

Success comes in big and small packages. It can be a solo accomplishment, but it usually requires a team effort featuring “blood, sweat and tears.”

Blood: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles Du Bos

Sweat: “The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon

Tears: “I have failed many times, and that’s why I am a success.” — Michael Jordan

Opportunity is the starting line for success. In addition to business and career opportunities there are opportunities to make a friend, save a life, spread some sunshine and show kindness. Some of these you will read about in places like Guidepost and Readers’ Digest magazines.

“The opportunity for brotherhood presents itself every time you meet a human being.” — Jane Wyman

Every day provides a new opportunity to learn, quit smoking, improve, eat less, start over, start exercising, save or invest money, read, or just try something new.

“Opportunity never sleeps.” — Vince Bovenzi

While one person might miss an opportunity, there is always someone else who is ready for it.

“While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

“Seize opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind.” — Bulgarian Proverb

“Many of us have heard opportunity knocking at our door, but by the time we unhooked the chain, pushed back the bolt, turned two locks, and shut off the burglar alarm – it was gone.” — Author Unknown

Besides not recognizing opportunity, people will more often than not back away from it for a variety of reasons.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas A. Edison

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.” — James F. Byrnes

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” — Unknown

“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” — Unknown

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” — William James

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it is all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you are willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you are willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you have got the essential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces.” — Joseph Sugarman

God bless,

— CC

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