Originally posted on Facebook HERE
In getting ready to write today’s “Looking out my back window” post I saw a sentence in a book I’m currently reading that basically said “Ego is the enemy of character”. Now, the first book I published this year (Feed Your Angel) was subtitled “Overcoming our addiction to ego”, so that line kinda struck me. “Character” as defined in the concept he was talking about in the book has to do with honesty and integrity. And, to me – ego is the voice that narrates our lives. It’s so often where we live. It’s where obsessions are bred. It’s where we get the idea that we should lie, or cut corners, cheat and/or steal. If we live in our heads our personal integrity can suffer. Because – well, I know taking office supplies from work it “technically” stealing, but everyone else is doing it, so I will to. I know showing up for work at 8:05-8:10 every day, and leaving early as well even though I’m being paid for the full hour isn’t totally right, but it’s such a small thing I’m ok with it. These are the justifications we make to ourselves when we cheat and steal “just a little”. Cutting corners in any area sets you up for future deceit. Because we have a natural tendency to stretch those boundaries… and before you know it you’re living with things as a matter of fact that years ago you never would have considered. It’s super hard to be totally honest with ourselves and others in everything we do. That fish you caught just keeps getting bigger every time you tell the story, right? We exaggerate. The crowd of 100 that attended the show was maybe only 65 people, but we round up. Is there really anything wrong with that? In looking back at my own memories of the past month or so, I can think of a few conversations I had where to make a point I might have altered things in a way that made for a better story, but if I was being totally 100% honest might not have been exactly how it happened. That’s a thought thing to write, but we get carried away in the moment, right? It’s almost impossible to be completely pure in this area. But, it does pay to be watchful. When it comes to things like being where you said you’d be on time and ready to go, I think that’s pretty important. If you commit to something, do it. Don’t back out last minute. These are the things that other people will notice when making the determination about your character. Every once in a while I’ll be asked to cut a corner, often when I’m working. I steadfastly refuse to do it. I don’t want the people I hire to cut corners, so I made a conscious decision long ago that isn’t how I’ll ever do business. It’s how reputations are built. There is a peace that comes from a relationship with God here, from living in that place that knows only love and from living each day trying to be the best version of yourself. That version of yourself isn’t the version that ever cheats, lies or steals. It doesn’t cut corners. Live from there. Look for ways to make a difference, every day, in some way, for another being on the planet. Deny the voice that asks you to be anything less than that.