No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.” No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one's sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one's character may remain entirely unaffected for the better.
Some may consider the development of character as separate from the development of the mind or body or relationship. We disagree.
Indeed they can be, and most of us have done exactly that. Therein is the missed opportunity.
For example, some may have excelled and focused primarily on their work lives (mind) in isolation and at the expense of the closeness to those in their family lives (relationships).
Others may have spent so much time and singular focus taking care of their own health at the expense of important relationships.
Yet others may spend time developing relationships but not much else.
Staying with the four - seasons analogy, having a singular and unbalanced focus on one dimension of our lives would be analogues to having a long drought season year after year.
In time, that would create great imbalance and destruction within the ecosystem.
I find that most people, however, have already done the hard work of spending time developing each dimension at different times, but the magic is seeing the interconnectedness of each of these dimensions in our lives and developing each dimension approximately.
Understanding how each of the different dimensions work sequentially like the four seasons is the key.
In fact, this cycle that we are referring to as the allegory of the four seasons is something that you have already done many times over.
Have you ever been given directions to a place you have never been before? You are in your car driving, and you know that you are headed in the right direction, but then there's a point when you are not quite sure whether you may have missed a turn somewhere.
You then rely on a bit of logic and your sense of direction, and then you arrive at your destination, having taken the shortest path to get there.
Of course, you didn't know it at the time you were driving, but looking back you amaze yourself.
Developing our character is much the same way.
Every significant achievement you have ever had required that you use strength of character.
Earlier you looked back to particular achievements you have had. Examine a few more of your achievements.
Do the exercise again or look at the achievements of your family members and other important and other important relationships.
Would you agree that to achieve anything, you exercised at least three character traits: first, the courage to act; second, the humility to adjust or change course when needed; and third, the integrity to do what is right and necessary? If your achievements involve others, the fourth character trait you strengthened is the desire to contribute, serve, lift, or love another person.
Consider the relationship between character and results. You can look at it from a formulaic point of view.
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