May 27     

Today's quotation:

Material possessions will rust away, wear away, or depreciate, but your inner resources, character, must never depreciate.  In seeking success you must also seek fulfillment.  Ask yourself not only what you want to be, but who you want to be.

Elizabeth Dole

Today's Meditation:

It's far too easy for us to set our sights on what we want to be:  doctors and lawyers and teachers and professional athletes and actors, preferably something at which I can make a decent amount of money.  But that "what" really doesn't do anything to define who we are-- it's merely a means to an end, a way to earn a living and give ourselves something productive to do to fill our time.  As we see in the news every day, a law degree does not confer integrity, and a medical degree does not make a person more compassionate or more loving.

I know people who own huge houses but who aren't happy.  I know people who own hovels who aren't happy.  I know people who own both kinds of homes who are very happy.  It's not the home that makes their happiness, but their sense of self, their character.  They value their character much as an insecure person may value a diamond, and they spend time and make effort to develop their character all the time.

I would love to be a "successful" writer, selling millions of copies of my books, but I would rather live out my days being fulfilled and satisfied.  The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but I'm not going to pursue the former so hard that I'm going to lose the latter if I don't become the million-selling author.

I want to be someone upon whom others can depend.  I want to be true to my friends and my family.  I want to give all that I can give to others without depleting myself.  I know what kind of character I want to have, and that's much more important to me than any "success" built upon recognition ever could be.

Questions to consider:

What is success to you?

What kind of character do you wish to have?  To be?

How would you define "fulfillment"?

For further thought:

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

John Wooden

more thoughts and ideas on character



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