Character, leadership, decision-making.
How do we decide how we want to live, what we want to do, who we want to be? This is the ongoing challenge, that somehow we have to manage ourselves and lead ourselves to set the standards that we want to be the person that we want.
One of the things that seems to be at the foundation of it is to have honesty with ourselves, to be able to be brutally honest with ourselves, including all the uncomfortable inconvenient things about ourselves.
And so much of what’s holding us back, I think, is in simply not being honest with ourselves because it’s just too uncomfortable.
So instead we find ways to distract ourselves and maybe hide parts of ourselves, so that we can sort of present an image, and sort of even to ourselves, presenting a kind of image to ourselves.
But if we’re able to be raw and honest with ourselves, then it opens us to really be able to lead ourselves in a more full way.
We can start to hear kind of an inner voice, that if we’re open to having that honesty with ourselves, we can start to get more feedback and really be able to make stronger decisions and be able to manage our lives in a more clear way.
And as harsh as this is, as harsh as it can be, and difficult to swallow some of the less-pleasant side of it, it’s also important, I think, that when we judge, we judge the actions.
We judge actions and not the person.
So it’s easy to fall into this kind of dark sense of, you know, “I’m a bad person and all these things are wrong with me.” But it’s OK, I think, to very strongly judge and attack bad actions.
We can just say “I don’t like this action.
I don’t like this way of behaving.” And it’s separate from actually judging the person.
You could say a person who does a lot of bad actions, you could say “bad”, but they’re never really a “bad” person, just a person who does a lot of bad actions.
And if we’re able to be clear about that, that we can judge actions as bad but not the person, then we can start to make changes in ourselves to maybe change some of those bad actions to actions that we like better.
So all this can go towards being a person of integrity, being a person of character, what it means to live life a certain way, according to certain standards.
And we can align ourselves to an ideal, whatever we think is right and good.
Even if it’s some kind of unrealistic model of perfection, we can still have an ideal that we can use as a guideline to bend towards, so that if we gradually make many small choices that in each way try to bring us closer to what our ideal person would do, then over time and over many, many of these choices, we can start to become closer to our ideal.
And even if we never even get close, the ideal can be there as a guiding star, a guideline, to be something that we move towards.
And we can make our lives better, even though we never actually reach any ideal.
And so the idea of alignment: we can sort of build and develop our character through aligning it to the things that we feel are good.
And then there’s the issue of how do we actually carry out this kind of self-government of ourselves? We can have our plan, our strategy, for the person we want to be, and we can have a plan to get there, but because this is self-leadership and self-government, we have to actually follow that.
We have to do it ourselves.
So we have to be not only leaders of ourselves but also followers of ourselves.
If we set a vision and move towards it, we also have to be able to follow that vision and be able to carry out the grunt work, as it is, to move that way.
And we have to respond to all the different- there’s all the different forces inside us that maybe don’t want to just do whatever we want ourselves to do, and we sort of have to manage ourselves to be able to carry out what we think is best.
And all this is part of the idea of character and leadership.
#leadership #character #decisionmaking