We need the courage to pursue competence in our work. Rather than settle for mediocrity, or spin our wheels in frivolous pastimes, we’d do better to invest in the mastery of some solid skills. Expertise is a gift that keeps on giving for a long time.
All of us have responsibilities, and almost always, these responsibilities are privileges. So we live life at its best when we faithfully maintain (or “keep”) our commitments. Whatever else we throw away, we must not discard our duties.
Seeing things accurately requires work, and so we often fail to see what we should because we haven’t really concentrated on it. “You must scale the mountain if you would view the plain” (Chinese Proverb). We must work at improving our perspective.
As one of our natural endowments, our emotions are meant to help us. I would go so far as to say that our emotions cannot successfully be neglected or misused. If our heart is not involved in our effort to live rightly, that effort is bound to fail.
What about your friends and family? Are they confident? In this world, we are all connected. That being true, discouragement is more than a personal problem — it’s a social problem. When we encourage anybody’s confidence, we help everybody.
Dependability in big things is built up as we learn faithfulness in the little things of daily relationships. So look for some small commitment you can keep today. Then look for another one tomorrow. In time, you’ll see that you’ve become dependable.
If there is any task that duty calls us to complete, then that task is linked to our purpose in life. To finish that task is to take one step toward our vision, and truly, there are no small steps if they are connected to our reason for living.
There is a tendency for us to limit our contacts to individuals within a narrow profile, but if we would make an honest effort to be more inclusive, the results would surprise us. With human beings, inclusiveness is hard, but it’s worth it.
If there is no unity between our conscience and our conduct (preaching vs. practice), this lack of integrity is a serious problem. So we need to get busy integrating our personal characteristics. If life is to be good, the parts have to harmonize.
We hold on to this thought in defiance of short-term disappointments: the courage to make right choices will lead us, sooner or later, in the direction of healthy, life-enhancing growth. If we don’t believe this, then we’re dead already.