Build Character or Become a Character

More than “Just” a Facebook Friend

One of my Facebook friends is temporarily back in the US…on loan, as it were, from teaching in China. I’ve been impressed by much of what he has to say and was so moved by this, I felt it needed to be shared. Thank you, Michael Murphy, for your contributions to the world!


I’ve often said that you will either ‘build character in your life or become a character in your life.’ Becoming a character is not something that is very attractive. So focus on building character.

Here’s a few tips on being the person you truly desire to be.

  1. Realize you don’t need to know everything – There is nothing more inauthentic than giving an opinion about something you know little about. You don’t look better when you give your opinion when, you truly get honest about it, you know little about the subject. Stating things as facts is often risky. The truth is, most things are quite subjective. It’s like asking the best way to get somewhere when asking for directions. There are likely several different ways to go. Unless you’ve tried both ways, your instructions are only one way to get there. Most things in life are subjective. Refrain from stating your opinion unless asked. Then, often, it is best to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’ when that is actually the truth.
  2. Realize that you don’t have to say what you think – Having personal peace is better than being ‘right’ about something. ‘Casting your pearls before swine’ is a metaphor that teaches an important lesson. It isn’t that you are calling people pigs. It is valuing and protecting your pearls of wisdom and knowledge. A wise person is known more for what they refrain from saying rather than from what they do say.
  3. Economize your words – Saying the ‘right’ thing is more important that saying a lot of things. Wisdom and true knowledge don’t require a lot of words to express. People will remember more of what you say when you economize your words.
  4. Let others be who they are – We are all different in many ways. Don’t always expect others to be where you are in life. It’s not that you are inferior or superior to where they are. Just acknowledge that you are in different places in life and might have different perspectives, needs and wants right now. Just do what Sir Paul Macartney said and ‘let it be.’
  5. Be very, very, very slow in making judgments. Judging others is not a very wise act, habit or practice in life. Jesus simply said, “Don’t do it.” We feel certain things about ‘right and wrong’. But the true standard in life needs to be about making love, peace, wisdom and understanding our top priorities.
  6. Assume nothing – You know the old adage I’m sure. Ass-u-me. Assuming makes an ass of you AND me. Break this habit if you presently possess it.
  7. Trust yourself more than you trust the words and opinions of others. Always stay open to listening to others. But trust what you feel in your own heart and soul more than you do the opinions of others.

Infographic by 2014


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