“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States
Image from Unsplash by Marten Newhall
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence and a significant proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights.
Today’s quote points to the importance of personal character, honesty, and integrity in holding each other to the highest standards of personal conduct.
What might Jefferson think about our world today, where, for all intents and purposes, the world really is watching our every move?
How pleased and proud are you regarding your personal and professional conduct? Where is there room for higher standards you wish to live by and show the world?
Who have been the most influential people throughout your life, helping to shape your character?
Examine your most favorable and admirable traits to see when they were developed. What made you decide, intentionally or by default, to adopt your temperament, personality, and general approach to life?
On the flip side, what are some of your bad habits and less desirable character traits? What people or other factors influenced these qualities and behaviors to become your less than optimal self?
Take a good long and objective look at the company you keep. Where is it time for an upgrade? Where might you perhaps delete some viruses or other character software running in the background?
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
—Charles Spurgeon, 19th Century English Preacher
Image from Unsplash by Kristian Egelund
Over the past year or so, most of us have become aware of the dramatic increase in “Fake News.” During the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, various news outlets went to considerable lengths to disentangle the outright lies and half truths, and get to the facts.
Unfortunately, on many occasions, the truth seems far less interesting than the fake news. Since all media outlets seek greater attention and higher ratings, the path to the truth can be slow and laborious.
Where and on what matters can and will you “lace up” the truth in your personal or professional communities, to bring far greater integrity to the world?
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”
—Will Rogers, 20th Century American Cowboy Humorist
Image from Flickr by Martin Pettitt
Did you know that parrots experience peer pressure? Just like humans, they desire to fit in with others in their group. This is one reason they learn to copy the sounds and language of the people around them.
This morning at the gym one of the other regulars was talking with a trainer. I was shocked by the level of vulgarity, back-stabbing, and general gossip in their conversation, especially being in a public place.
How do your actions and use of language stand up to the parrot test? What adjustments might you make to have the town gossip say only good things, or at the very least, say nothing about you?
“Don’t ever stray away from yourself to get closer to someone else.”
Image from www.scribendi.com
Imagine you are shopping for a new pair of shoes, a suit, or an outfit. In the process, you consider color, style, price, and of course, the fit of each item. When all the factors are optimized, we usually make the purchase. If the factors don’t fit, we usually save our money and keep looking.
What does it mean to stray away from yourself? Who are the people that best fit with your most authentic self? How often do you experience relationships with others that, on a gut level, seem to miss that genuine connection?
Where, currently or in the past, have you strayed from your values, beliefs, and priorities to get closer to others, even when your gut raises a red flag?
How can you use the same values, beliefs, and priorities to attract and engage the people who are the best “fit” in your personal and professional lives?