Become A Better Character

Instead of making new years resolutions, here’s a few thoughts on becoming something better.

Written by Donald Miller. Find the original here.

1. I’m tired of tricks and tips. I just want to be. And I want to be better. And I am being drawn to slow-growth metaphors rather than quick-fix solutions.

2. I don’t want to go get anything anymore. I don’t want to stand in line at the “discount good life shop.” I just want to enjoy a sunset or sunrise of drive in the country or book. I think having good character IS the good life, in a way. Practicing good character has a way of stabilizing us and keeps us from pining for the things we don’t have. Having good character means cleaning up our inside world, rather than filling it with more stuff like an emotional pack rat.

In the end, having character is about settling. And I firmly believe one key to the happy life is settling. By settling I mean it’s a decision to no longer be gluttonous. I’m gluttonous in so many ways. Not just with food, but with relationships and praise and money and so many other things. Having good character means settling for what little I have, and participating in life rather than trying to conquer life.

3. I think it’s true that character attracts character. When we find ourselves surrounded by people who lack character, it’s probably because our lack of character created compatibility. It’s not always true, but like people often find each other. When we have good character, we have better, more easy conversation with others who have good character and our relationships soon become networks of good people. This is comforting to me.

4. Having good character means having fewer regrets. I hate regrets. I hate sitting around thinking of the crappy things I’ve said to people, or the crappier things I’ve done. I want to build in a few years without regrets to look back on.

5. Having good character is better than making people think you have integrity. It’s fine to have integrity, but it’s a waste of time to convince others that you do. Working on my character seems more Godward and inward focussed than outward focussed on what other humans think. Having good character feels more like having good weather inside you. I want good weather inside me.

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