It’s always better to:
•be too emotional than inauthentic
•be too deep than shallow
•be too forgiving than bitter
•be too loving than rejecting
•be too compassionate than hard-hearted
•be too giving than stingy
•be too mercy-filled than unfeeling
•be too kind than excluding
•be too grateful than unappreciative
•be too responsible than negligent
•be too concerned than aloof
•be too thoughtful than selfish
•be too humble than arrogant
•be too honest than deceitful
•be too mindful than careless
•be too invested than regretful
•be too dependable than flakey
•have too much character than to look back on life with heartache and regrets
•to seek excellence in all you do than to succumb to mediocrity
Excellence is attainable because excellence is achieved by developing your character.
…And character either makes or breaks a person.
I’ve seen people mightily succeed – or horrifically fail – in their marriages, parenting, relationships with God and family, and also in their business and personal lives…just based on character alone.
When people actively choose to cultivate and improve their character, they’re choosing to positively cultivate and grow success: in their relationships, in their goals, as well as every part of their life.
Look at both the positive and negative character traits above and ask yourself – and allow yourself to truly see – where you need to improve.
It’s always better to actively improve your character, heart, life, and the lives of others than to watch your life pass you by…or worse, to watch your life miserably fail – or your loved ones’ lives deeply hurt due to your poor choices. No one sets out to hurt their loved ones’ hearts or lives, but it happens all the time.
God gives each of us the choice to either create a great life – or to choose a bad life. Whichever is chosen will reap either the blessings or consequences that will follow.
It’s always best to get into the habit of being mindful of where our choices – big and small – will take us.
When you look back on your life, you’ll be glad you made good character a high priority.
Proverbs 22:1, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.”
Matthew 12:35, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.”
Proverbs 28:6, “Better a poor man who lives with integrity than a rich man who distorts right and wrong.”
So how do you develop character and create a great life?
- Read the Bible, especially Proverbs, and ask God to give you wisdom and understanding
- Choose to make one good decision at a time
- Always choose to do the next “right thing”
- Realize life is about so much more than you…always put others first – especially God & family (family is the greatest training ground for character – they’re the only people on earth that God Himself intentionally placed you with…loving & serving them is the true litmus test of character – and sometimes, they can be the most difficult to get along with. You’ll be amazed how God will oftentimes promote you to the next level – especially in ministry – only after you learn how to genuinely love your spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, etc.)
- Love God and others with all of your heart
- Choose to never intentionally hurt or harm others – and go the extra mile to prevent it
- If you’ve messed up, clear your conscience by apologizing & asking for forgiveness from God and others…and by actively making it up to them and making restitution where necessary. Always ask yourself, “if someone hurt me the same way I hurt them, how would I want them to apologize and make it up to me?”
- Research character traits and purposely develop one character trait each week or month (click here for a list: https://griefbites.com/2014/07/01/conflict-resolution-pt-3-75-character-qualities-that-can-change-your-life/ )
- Expect a lot out of yourself in the areas of character, integrity, and how you treat others
- Do unto others how you want done unto you
- Develop empathy, compassion, and kindness
- Quit judging others and have the courage to do your own self-work…and sort through your past and current baggage…so you’re a true joy to others
Developing character and integrity is a lifelong journey. Enjoy every moment of it. It will be one of the most challenging endeavors of your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.
Think of the difference you’ll make in not only your own life, but more importantly, in every life around you.
You’ll look back on life, and be so very grateful for the great life you created.
Your one beautiful, courageous, wild, marvelous, gorgeous life. Create wisely…you only get one!
©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
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