Monday Morning Coffee | October 18, 2010

WHO ARE YOU?

Who do you want to be? Which are the principles by which you want to live? Do honesty, perseverance, and wisdom define you? Are sincerity, generosity, and a caring attitude your trademark?

Having a vague idea of the benchmark traits you wish to exhibit is not enough. To be extraordinary, it is necessary to define yourself in specific terms. If you haven't adopted a precise set of principles, consider choosing from the list that follows: humility, diligence, moderation, silence, temperance, chastity, courage, resolution, justice, industry, faithfulness, order, tranquility, cleanliness, encouragement, frugality, generosity, sincerity, persistence, honesty, perseverance, or caring.

Choose five that most closely match the person you would choose to be. Next define what each means to you, and how you can adopt them as your trademark traits. Finally, begin acting like the person you would be. Ben Franklin kept a small diary and rated his actions each day by placing a checkmark each time he violated one of his personal principles. Over time, as the checkmarks dwindled for one principle, he would move on to the next.

There's no need to discuss your quest for a principle-centered life with anyone. This is personal, very personal. It's also important to accept the fact that once you've adopted a credo, you won't do a perfect job of living up to it. When you find you've fallen short, "accept the result and move on."

Unless you're living the perfect life right now, and most of us aren't, give some thought to redefining yourself. Decide to be extraordinary and do whatever you must do - NOW!

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