Tag Archives: Values

Are You Willing?

“I know this now.  Every man gives his life for what he believes.  Every woman gives her life for what she believes.  Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and yet they give their lives to that little or nothing.  One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it and then it’s gone.  But to surrender what you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying—even more terrible than dying young.”  –Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc lived less than twenty years.  Yet she fought for her beliefs and made a huge impact on history.  She died for her beliefs at an age when many are just beginning their life’s journey.

She knew what she believed in.  She knew what it meant to sacrifice for her beliefs.  Ask anyone who serves or served in the military, a first responder who runs into a burning building to save others, or a newly formed priest who has answered God’s call.  These are just a few examples.  Each of them know what it means to sacrifice for their beliefs.

Sometimes our beliefs emerge quietly without our knowledge.  We go through life, making seemingly inconsequential decisions about what we will and won’t do.  We decide who our friends are, and how much we will let them into our lives.  We decide when to listen.  We decide how honest we will be with the world around us.

We establish habits for living our life, and we go on our merry way.

Do you know what you believe in?  Really?  Do you know what you believe to be true?  Do you know what is important in your life?

Have you made the quiet time in your life that’s necessary to consider these questions?

What if it turns out that the things you believe in aren’t manifested in the way you live?  Are you willing to change your habits?  Are you willing to eliminate the things that don’t support your beliefs?  Will you support your beliefs in the way you live, and the way you work with others?  Are you willing to make your beliefs the centerpiece of your actions in everything you do?

Joan of Arc was right.  One life is all we have, and then it’s gone.

Where are you in that one life?  Is it too late to examine your beliefs and change the way you live?

The answer is clear  But, it won’t become obvious until we make quiet time in our lives to reflect.  When we do, we find it’s never too late to examine our beliefs and change our life.

Every day is a new beginning if we choose to make it so.  It doesn’t matter what happened in the past.  It doesn’t matter who wronged you.  It doesn’t matter if you had a terrible childhood.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve missed opportunities in the past.  It certainly doesn’t matter if you failed in the past.

All that matters is learning what you believe in.  Then, deciding what to do with that new knowledge, starting today.

The only question is:  Are you willing to find out?

 

Beliefs and Values

h/t:  Matthew Kelly

Allies, Competitors, and Enemies…It’s All About You

Human nature dictates that we will have allies, competitors, and enemies.

Allies agree with us. They’re willing to work with us toward a common goal.

Competitors don’t agree with our goals, and work against them. Competitors are a fact of life. The challenges of a strong competitor drive us to perform at levels we didn’t realize we had. Competition makes us stronger. There are winners and losers in every competition. If we lose, the lessons of that loss can make us stronger for the next competition.

Enemies are an entirely different matter. They aren’t just against our goals. They’re against us, personally. Winning the competition, whether it’s a battle of dollars, a battle for territory, or a battle for the hearts and minds of others, isn’t enough for an enemy. They want us to lose the competition, and be eliminated from future opportunities to compete.

These roles are often in flux. Allies can become competitors. Competitors can become enemies.

The transitions are usually a result of our actions. If we operate with life-giving values like honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, mutual respect, empathy, fairness, and a pursuit of mutual benefit, great things will happen.

Our allies will remain allies. Competitors are much less likely to become our enemies. They may even become new allies in the future.

Operating without life-giving values unleashes a torrent of negativity. You’ll have trouble keeping allies. Competitors will become enemies. Long-term success will slip from your grasp.

What about the people who don’t know you (yet)? The people you’d like to meet. The new customers you’d like to have. The new talent you hope to recruit to your company.

Will you create allies, competitors, or enemies? That all depends on you, and the values you live.

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” –Aristotle