I am an average Joe in many ways, but I draw a very quick and distinct line in the sand when it comes to issues of integrity.
When I see someone lying, cheating and stealing, then acting like they are helping me when in fact they are relieving me of my money while lining their pockets, I take umbrage.
There are no excuses for wrongdoing. I could care less whether your friends, corporate fat cats or even your grandmother is doing it. To justify wrongdoing is saying that everyone else is killing people they do not like so it must be OK for me to kill people too.
I have zero interest in becoming a millionaire at the expense of others. I do not want to be sitting in my mansion counting all of my gold coins alone because I am such a despicable person that no one wants to be around me.
I have spent a good portion of my life studying self-improvement so I can become a better person than I already am. It is as Alexander Pope has said, “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is man.” If there is one person I want to be honest with, it is myself.
When I train at the YMCA on the treadmill I take with me my binder filled with personal quotes that are important to me and my growth.
Many people experience professional growth by earning degrees, attending seminars and training, and reading professional journals. I have had some professional growth, but I am more interested in personal growth, the kind of growth that challenges my thought process and belief system to encourage change for the better.
Here are some of my personal favorite quotes that help me to accommodate change.
Perhaps they may be of interest to you as well:
Seek advice from those who are competent through
their own experience and success to give it.
At any given place on any given day at any given time,
something magical can happen.
It is called “belief”.
If you lack the will for change, there is no one
who can show you the way.
When you blame others, you give up your power to change.
Just as we can learn from our mistakes,
we can gain character from our disappointments.
A dream is a gift you give yourself.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close
they were to success when they gave up.
Fear and fatigue block the mind.
Confront both, and courage and confidence will flow into you.
A mind once stretched by a new idea moves beyond its
old constraints, never returning to its former, limited dimensions.
It is called “imagination”.
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring
those who do not depend on it.
Good luck waits to come to those who accept opportunity.
Money is like a sixth sense without which we
cannot make a complete use of the other five.
W. Somerset Maugham
One may not condemn a man for succeeding financially because
he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away for a man
what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.
A part of all I earn is mine to keep.
Earning money has a way of increasing financial intelligence quickly.
Self-discipline is the No. 1 delineating factor between
the rich, the middle class and the poor.
It was apparent that no one could do for the scribe
what the scribe had done for himself.
Each man has to work out his own understanding of what
needs to be done, and then prepare himself to take advantage
of the opportunity to succeed in a big way.
When aerobic running becomes a daily habit,
Strength and confidence follow.
I never let schooling interfere with my education.
Yoga taught me “impulse control”, the ability
to feel an urge and delay acting on it.
What you think of me is none of my business.
What is most important is what I think of myself.
Always remember that no matter what anyone is saying to you
from the outside, the most important conversation is the one
you are having with yourself on the inside.
When the mind is controlled and still, what remains is the soul.
When stability becomes a habit, maturity and clarity follow.
Success is not the key to happiness.
Happiness is the key to success.
The hardest thing in the world to do is to think,
and that is why people do so little of it.
Your mind, more than your actions, determines your net worth.
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion
without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy
Keep your thoughts positive, because thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because values become your destiny.
(with editing by Ed Bagley)
(Postscript: remember t-w-b-h-v-d to remember
My own thoughts and feelings are the cause of all of my problems,
not the world or the people in it.
I have struggled by using my own negative thoughts and feelings
to negatively influence my productive thoughts and actions.
I let go of all negative thoughts and feelings by releasing them
from my subconscious mind and into oblivion.
I embrace all positive thoughts and feelings.
My conscious mind and subconscious mind are now
clear and positive. I am happy and free.
This time, like all times, is a very good one,
when we know what to do with it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
My most frequent admonition to athletes
and coaches is: train, do not strain.