Posted by: 1of10boyz | June 6, 2014

Important things in Life – Part 2: Character

This is the first factor or category that I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. It is a follow on to our continued discussion about the important things in life. Here is the link to Part 1.

Character; what I mean by this is the establishment of relatively permanent traits that are manifested in the specific ways that an individual relates and reacts to others, to various kinds of stimuli, and to the environment. This is what determines who you are, how you will interact with you family, friends, and those that don’t like you even just a little. This is the most important factor of all because it has cause and effect in everything that you do in life. The traits that you have should be ones that you want not what you think will be most beneficial for the moment. Establish what it is you will be in the long-term and begin building for that goal.

  • In order to obtain the character you want and to be the person you want to be you need to establish principles and priorities in your life to guide you. The principles that you establish will determine and guide every aspect of your life – in your heart, in your family, in your religion, and in your job. You must ensure that your priorities, each day, month, year, and decade, help you make the choices in your life that make you into someone you want to be. You will not be successful if you try to have a different standard, principle, or priority for the different aspects of your life. You should set principles and priorities in your life that make sense to you for all of the aspects of your life. I would strongly suggest that you select those principles and priorities from the teachings of Jesus Christ where the importance of faith, obedience, and service can be pillars to be built upon in everything else that you do.
  • Now that you have identified the pillars of you character resolve that you will never compromise or allow exceptions to them. Hold firmly to the standards that you have chosen; these are the standards whereby you live your life. You must be true to yourself and let the consequence follow. I know that there are many out there that will try to persuade you to do as they are doing. I have been in many situations where those around me did not have the same standards, the principles and priorities that I choose to live by, and I know that the pressure to lower those standards even for a moment is extreme. I will promise that each time you stick with your standards you will find it easier to do it the next time; that holds true for compromising them too. It is never going to be easy to stand by your standards but it gets easier to stand true to your standards the longer that you do it. Never allow yourself to relax your standards; these standards should be absolutes, the boundaries that you never cross. Do not allow yourself to begin to think of these things in relative terms, too often others around you will see things differently. Others will see them as things that have changed from absolute to relative; remember this, “that right is right and wrong is wrong”, FOREVER, when you are basing your standards on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Do not compromise your standards.
  • You are at a time in your life where you think that your parents and family don’t know anything about you and what will make you happy. I challenge you to be loyal to your parents and those that you love at all times regardless of the disagreements that may exist between you and them. Loyalty means that you have or show complete and constant support for something or someone. It means that you are faithful to a cause, ideal, or a custom. From the time you were in high school until now you may have thought that your mother and I are or were always wrong. You will soon begin to see and understand that we were often right and what you saw us do may begin to make sense. Amazingly, you will see in the not too distant future, believe it or not, that you will eventually become like us. I would challenge you to wrap your mind around that as you think about where your loyalty is placed. Remember that dedication and devotion to your family and friends, that recognize the character traits that are important to you, is necessary for your happiness. Enjoy the time that you have with them, you may think that you are now immortal and that is natural; but consider that those around you are not immortal and that their time is limited. There is no amount of money, power, or fame that can stop time and reverse it and those things cannot replace your family and friends or bring them back when they are gone.
  • I am reminded of a story about Karl G. Maeser as he spoke to students at Brigham Young Academy (now University). He spoke of honor and word of honor; I want you to understand this as to have Integrity. The story or quote is worth repeating here: “My young friends, I have been asked what I mean by word of honor. I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls—walls of stone ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground—there is a possibility that in some way or another I may be able to escape; but stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of that circle? No, never! I’d die first!” It is this kind of integrity that you need to have in your life, when you give your word it bounds you to your very soul. This is important because it means that you will make and keep covenants that will bind you and your family for eternity.
  • The world is changing around you, you cannot stand still in life; you are either moving forward or you are moving backwards. It is important that you decide that you will continue to learn. Decide that you will continue to increase in knowledge and understanding. Do not think that you can be stagnant in your learning process. The most important thing I can say about learning is that you cannot think of it as an “event” but as a “process”. You must continue to learn even if you are not in school. Do not let your skills become obsolete. You have to choose to learn and what you will learn will make a difference. There is so much that is available to you with the technology of computers and the internet; use that information to become a better version of you. I would caution you that you should make the right choices about learning; you need to have a focus for your learning. You may be aware of the prophecy from 2 Timothy 3:7 that talks about the people in the last days where they are “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”. Learning requires more than just information but it requires that you have time to quietly ponder and prayerfully consider what you learn so that you can develop information into knowledge and then to mature knowledge into wisdom. For all of the challenges that my choice of how to get my college degrees created I am grateful that those prolonged period of instruction allowed for a much greater opportunity to implement those concepts and principles in my life. I could take what I had learned in my classroom environments and use that information to create a knowledge that has slowly matured into wisdom. I promise that learning is so much easier for me know because I get to choose what I want to learn about. You need to embrace your learning opportunities and identify where the relevant learning opportunities are. Think about graduations for what they really are, the starting blocks to really begin to learn, because you get to choose the information that you will study; this is where real learning begins.
  • I want tell why it matters who your friends are. Choose your associates so that they make you want to be a better you. Much as the saying goes, “you are what you eat” you will become like those with whom you associate. The people you choose as your friends will make an everlasting difference. Make conscience decisions about who you invite into your life. Surround yourself with those that will lift you up and inspire you. I would also recommend that you recognize when you are in the lives of others because they are looking to you as an inspiration to them. In choosing your associates realize that there is as much give as there is take and when that balance is one that is always in the negative and you are always giving and never feeling like they are giving back it is time to re-evaluate if you can “afford” that kind of association. Never allow yourself to be in long-term situations where the investment of your time and effort is squandered and lost.


Coming up next:

Important Things in Life – Part 3 – Decisive



  1. […] This is the second factor or category that I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. It is a follow on third segment in our continued discussion about the important things in life. Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2. […]

  2. […] be longer than I expected. So I am splitting it into at least three parts. Up next, the categories: Character,  Decisive, and Be Persistent will be coming […]

  3. Hi Jerry!

    Jim Rohn developed an excellent series on Cultivating an Unshakable Character. Have you listened to it? If not I’d be happy to send you a copy!

    John Feltis!

    • Thanks for reading John. I would love to hear it.

  4. […] the final segment to my discussion of the important things in life. These are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. What I realized as I got to the end I wanted or needed to summarize, that will be the […]

  5. […] I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. These are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part […]

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