Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Truths to Live By: Good Character

In Ifa we believe that good character is the key to positive results. This week we’ll explore what good character is about.

The first element of good character is common to Ifa, and our culture. It involves being honest and ethical. This comes down to being a good person and to treating others, and yourself, with respect.

The second is about understanding what it means to be alive. See yourself and the role you play in a bigger, and bigger, context. Understand that every action you take, plan you make, and even thought you think, has an impact on the whole. This isn’t about sacrifice for the greater good. It is about realizing that creating win-win situations is the only correct approach.

The third element is caring for your world. Start with yourself.  Include your loved ones. Support the communities that you’re part of. Contribute to the world. Play your part in the Universe.

The fourth element of good character is long-term orientation. See the big picture in terms of time. This can be as simple as not sweating the small stuff. It can be as complicated as looking at your actions.  What  impact are you having on the  world? Let go of just wanting to feel good all the time.

Living in good character isn’t easy in our “get it now at any cost” culture. The Yoruba said that it is easier to change a man’s destiny than his character. The strength of our character determines how good our life will be. In the long-term, people of good character live healthy, happy, fulfilled lives. Those with questionable character eventually suffer. Bad character always finds its way home to roost.

Strengthening our character is part of life’s journey. What was once a flawless demonstration of character becomes a daily habit. The Universe gives us opportunities to better ourselves as we move through life. This is particularly true for those of us on a spiritual path. The work of building our character brings us growth, joy and fulfillment.

Do you believe that good character determines our results? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

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