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How Do I Become A Person of Great Moral Character?

Timeless advice that’s never been more crucial

Maybe it was a message from above…
I’m prepping blog pieces…
Had to stop what I was doing as a piece came on TV that made me cry happy tears — Missouri cops and citizens hugging, with their hands up in celebration.
Then I return to writing and this post from Quora appears in my inbox: How do I become a person of great moral character? I figured that was a one-two message from above saying: Let’s enter 2015 on a high note!
Here a few of the responses to that question…
• • •
Keep doing what’s right instead of what’s easy.
— Xu Beixi
• • •
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
—Nelson Mandela
• • •
The only way to become a person of great moral character is the think, speak and act like one all the time and to accept the inevitable suffering that it may well bring you. There are no shortcuts and it will never be easy, but at least you will sleep well!
—Rory Young
• • •
I think you need to be willing to go through tremendous pain. I think you must be willing to sacrifice relationships and things that are important to you to set a good example and stand up for what is just and right. I think you must be able to look ahead at the future, to be able to hope your most difficult decisions are worth it.

You must be brave. You must be better. You must be selfish. You must challenge what has always been. You must ensure those who come after you have better chances, a better life and, somehow, try to leave the world a little better than you found it.
—Michelle Roses
• • •
Don’t think of it as something you become—but as something you hang on it. Remember that a good moral character is not an accomplishment. It’s who you are already. Don’t let anything spoil that.
—Tim Bushell
• • •
I have done some crappy things in my life. Horribly immoral things. I realized I had to have my life change or I would die and bring everyone down with me.

I think morality is the most important guide to success, and the most important way to keep future options as open as possible. Because your morality and ethical standards become like a rock dropped in the middle of the ocean, which sends out ripples to every shore.

How do be more moral [edited for brevity…Two of Altucher’s six suggestions…):

• Mentor yourself to moral people. Find ten people in history you think were incredibly ethical and successful and read their biographies, autobiographies, works they wrote, etc. Study them. Model your life after them. Remember their quotes. You can choose your own list. Some possibilities include: Buddha, Jesus, Socrates, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, St. Francis, Confucius, Nelson Mandela, etc.

Be moral today. Become a beacon to others. Others will react based on what you do and not what you say. Living the life of a moral person spreads morality like a contagion around you. A beacon just needs to keep its lights clear on a foggy night to bring all ships to shore.
— James Altucher
• • •
Finally, something I have learned through my work…
Everything you do uses a portion of someone else’s life.
Use other people’s time wisely, adding as much value as you can. Everyone only gets 1440 minutes every day.
— Bill Jensen

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