Vices and Virtues

My prime objective is to make every word I write meaningful, every word I speak purposeful, and every thought I follow intentional.

We are only as strong as our greatest weakness.

A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.

Vices reflect all the aspects of ourselves we could live without. Virtues on the other hand build character. Where vices take, virtues give. As you reflect on yourself, where do you your thoughts dwell most often - on your virtues or vices?

Pay attention to what it is about others that draws you in. They are likely virtues you honor.

When deserved, I like to tell people that their kindness is their most attractive quality. Artificial attraction is only skin deep, it's once we get to know a person beyond who they appear to be that a lasting connection is made. Someone who is self-centered, has a greater opinion of them self than deserved, When you don't find someone attractive, it Your attractiveness rooted in your kindness. It's no surprise than that my wife is the kindest person I know. More often than not, the virtue I honor most is kindness. I've told people with absolute truth that kindness is your their most attractive quality.

If kindness is Someone I was once attracted to repelled me when their lack of kindness was revealed.

If the best version of ourselves is the antithesis of our vices, then it may serve us to take a long look at our vices. Those we despise may in fact teach us more than we know. When thinking about a close friend (whom I still define as a friend, but not one I admire as highly as I once did), the change began when I began to see her vices revealed.

I realize that we are in a constant state of conflict between our vices and our virtues. It's our vices that reveal our true virtues.

We can learn a great deal from those who we despise often the best advice we can give is how to behave is the exact opposite of. best qualities of the people closest to us. If I could take the best qualities of the people whom I have the highest respect for, it would go a long way in a greater respect for myself.

Rather than envy those who have virtues we want, we are better served to emulate those admire and discover the source of those attributes without our self. It's like trying on a new pair of shoes. Some may fit who you are, and others won't.

Does our character define the roles we play, or do the roles we play define our character? Is who we are the result of nature or nurture? Our DNA or our environment? Authenticity is staying true to your character, despite the roles you play. It's what you do when nobody is watching. I've observed that many people, including myself, will behave quite differently in a social setting. In fact, not so much the social setting, but the people we associate with. From outside the circle, we can't understand why people act they way they do. But if we were in their shoes, we would act the same way.

Conflicts occur when the image we try to uphold is inconsistent with our values, our character. The social dynamics change the role we play. Often we are cast into a role by others, based on their assumptions of who we are, and our character attempts to morph into that role. We try to live up to (or live down to) their perception, real or not. When I go home to visit my parents, I sense a shift in playing up (or more often playing down) to the image they have of me.

In Wireframed, I explain how the analogy of computer programs can unlock new possibilities in our own lives. You will see how your own programming reflects different attributes depending on the routines you've been programmed to run. Since your source code was embedded early in life, it was the result of circumstances mostly beyond your control. Now that we have the benefit of a life of experience, you'll discover how to write new subroutines that work withy our existing programming to produce your desired results.

Next time you are facing an opportunity to respond to a stimuli, ask yourself how the one you most admire would respond. The simple truth is, we are attracted to those who already contain aspects we like about ourselves. What we notice in others is a reflection of what we notice about ourselves - both good and bad. Seeing others as a reflection of ourselves force us to respect others as highly as we do our self. The better we relate to our self, the better we can relate to others. This is another way to see that who you are is one with everyone else.

Feeling better about myself is honoring my virtues and overcome my vices.

Be careful what you say, for what you affects what you think. Be careful what you think for it determines what you do. What you do determines defines your character and your character determines your destiny.

Where we are today is a largely a result of our ability build on our virtues and overcome our vices.

Character is not developed through the easy times in our life. Rather, it's built through challenges when we struggle. If you embrace the setbacks in your life, you will find it's in overcoming those setbacks that we build strength. In the end, it's the setbacks that set us free.

You will be enslaved by your vices until you replace them with virtues.

What will others remember about us? All the good we've done or the times we were at our worst? 10 years of kindness need not be swept away by a second of hate (although it often is). We each carry a double edged sword. Love on one side, hate on the other. Hate is much sharper, so use it with caution. Hate cuts while love heals. Hate can only cut skin deep. Love is the blade that can penetrate a soul.

We all posses a double edge sword. We use it on our self, we use it on others. Hate & Love. Pain & Pleasure. Gain & Loss. Give & Take. Weak & Strong. Vices & Virtues.

Hate is sharper While the sword of hate is much sharper than the sword of love. Where a harsh word stings, a kind word soothes. Like it or not, stings are more noticeable. We do more to avoid pain than we do to attract pleasure. Knowing what I know now, I aim to never speak a word of hate again. When you do it's more likely how the person whom witnesses the hate will remember you.

I've seen firsthand how sharing what might be seen as ones 'true colors' can immediately undo years of honor and respect. In this way, I believe politicians do more separate us than bring us together. After all, aren't we more dependent on the government when we don't get along? Hell, when nations don't get along, you better have a BIGGER government (and the military to go along with it).

The more we work on improving our greatest weaknesses, we improve our overall ranking.

How do I rank among your friends? If people were ranked like books on Amazon, how would I fare?

Could you imagine if Facebook started a ranking of you friends based on your views & likes? It might expose something in our culture, that being the length people go to please and impress others.

Here's my advice: Rank whoever you are with at the top of your list. They are after all the only ones who matter in that moment. Later, when you are with others on your list, rank them at the top. Be impressed because you are standing in front of the bestsellers. Give them all the love they deserve since they are ranked above all the rest.

It's our vices that hold us back. In the hero's journey, they are the shadow archetype as they represent all the things we want to eliminate about ourselves.

A hero is only as strong as his most powerful adversaries. It's when we rise to the challenge. Level up is a term I use to remind myself that I must step up to meet the challenge and the reward is is in overcoming the obstacle. It's in meeting life's challenges that we build character. Be thankful for the setbacks you face, for they become our source of strength. Life gifts us with challenges to build our strength. Whether they are inner demons or actual circumstances beyond our control - we will find strength in facing them head on.

Mistakes and misfortunes are our greatest teachers. You make mistakes, but endure misfortunes.

Achievement in life requires we overcome obstacles and move beyond our mistakes. It demands the best from us. The best we can ever do is be better than we were before. Compare yourself to no one else.

Those who have achieved more in life have made more mistakes and endured greater challenges.

Embrace the challenges of the day ahead. The comfort is to embrace the discomfort. Find the comfort in the discomfort.