The Ten Commandments of Character

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've been reading through George Simon's latest book Essentials for the Journey so I wanted to post some comments before I continue reading. The book is a commentary on his ten commandments of character development which he first formulated in his book Character Disturbance. From the start he emphasises how important it is to focus on changing the way we act, instead of focusing on changing our thoughts. He writes: "It's a lot more efficacious to act your way into a new way of thinking than it is to think your way into a new way of acting. You have to behave differently to witness different results and gain meaningful new awareness."

Some of these commandments seem pretty straightforward or obvious, but once I started thinking about it more, I realized how far off I am from truly living up to them, and it helps to deepen one's awareness of certain things. As Peterson noted, we need constant reminders of right principles, otherwise it's easy to drift off.

[1.]
You are not the center of the universe. Rather, you are but a small part of a greater reality more vast, complex, and wondrous than you can even imagine. You inhabit space with many other persons, creatures, and objects of creation. So, despite your tendency to think otherwise, it’s definitely not all about you. Be mindful of how you, your wishes, desires, and especially your behavior impact everyone and everything else that exists. Conduct yourself with both caution and concern for the consequences of your very presence on the rest of creation.

One thing that I found out is that it's easy to assume that you know how your behavior is affecting others, but if you truly pay attention, you notice that it isn't necessarily the case, and that in any event you can always do more to be externally considerate.

[2.]
Remember, you are NOT ENTITLED to anything. Your very life is an unearned gift. Strive to be truly grateful for the many gifts you’ve received. Regard life and the miracle of creation with appropriate awe and appreciation. Gratitude will enable you to develop a sense of obligation to value, preserve, and promote life and to respect all aspects of creation. Knowing how inherently indebted you really are will keep you from feeling entitled.

Here he makes a point that in order to cultivate gratitude, it's not enough just to make lists and such (though it is a start), but that we should show our gratitude in actions, to demonstrate it through our daily actions. To ask: How would I behave if I was truly grateful? So it's more like an attitude we have towards life. He also mentions that we can enrich our lives and environment with things and activities that allow us to feel grateful, such as a photo, maybe a family heirloom, or something else that reminds us to be thankful or grateful.

[3.]
You are neither an insignificant speck nor are you so precious or essential to the universe that it simply cannot do without you. Know where you fit in the grand scheme of things and keep a balanced perspective on your sense of worth. Thinking too much of yourself is as dangerous as thinking too little of yourself. Do not dismiss your accomplishments, but don’t laud yourself or lord over others any position or good fortune you’ve managed to secure. Avoid pretense. Keeping a balanced sense of self and being genuine will help you stay humble and avoid false pride. Remember, you are not synonymous with your talents, abilities, or physical attributes. They are all endowments (i.e. fortunate accidents of nature, “gifts” of God, the universe) entrusted to you.

Like in the romance novels, he notes that what truly matters is what we do with what we have, the choices we make with the hand that has been dealt to us, and that we should base our self-worth and self-assessment on that, and not on superficial things such as possessions, accomplishments, talents, looks and so on, since all these things are not really in our control. A balanced view would mean that we don't think of ourselves as either worthless or in some sense special.
 

Magnolia

Jedi
The book is a commentary on his ten commandments of character development.........Remember, you are NOT ENTITLED to anything. Your very life is an unearned gift. Strive to be truly grateful.....
Ditto, re thank you for those excerpts. To quote another author stating an approach I had temporarily forgotten:
"Is the glass half-empty, or is the glass half-full? The pessimist says the glass is half-empty, and the optimist says the glass is half-full. What do we say? 'I am grateful that there is water.'"
 

BHelmet

The Living Force
So many little devils in the details.

2.] Remember, you are NOT ENTITLED to anything. Your very life is an unearned gift. Strive to be truly grateful for the many gifts you’ve received.

Not entitled. True enough. Strive to be great full? Yes

But your life is an unearned gift?

That denies both karma and personal agency.

You are an insignificant speck? Yeah in one sense but, on the other hand, C’s: Nobody is a nobody.

So, yet another mixed bag to sift through.
 

Alix

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
So many little devils in the details.

2.] Remember, you are NOT ENTITLED to anything. Your very life is an unearned gift. Strive to be truly grateful for the many gifts you’ve received.

Not entitled. True enough. Strive to be great full? Yes

But your life is an unearned gift?

That denies both karma and personal agency.

You are an insignificant speck? Yeah in one sense but, on the other hand, C’s: Nobody is a nobody.

So, yet another mixed bag to sift through.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :bacon:
 
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