What does it mean to start where you are? How many people can really start where they are? Not too many people can do that.
People start where they are for different reasons. First, they are afraid that if they don’t take action, their conditions will not change. Second, they understand that time is priceless. They know the value of time. They know that they are the ONLY ones to change their situations. If you take action, your situation will change. Third, they understand that the road to success is not a smooth road, it is a rough road.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”- Arthur Ashe
On the other hand, people don’t start where they are for lots of reasons. First, they don’t see opportunities around them. Second, they are too scared to try new things. They have allowed fear to cripple them. Third, they focus on what they cannot do, instead of focusing on what they can do. Fourth, they are too comfortable to leave where they are. They prefer to stay where they are, for security reasons.
Remember, where you are doesn’t matter, what matters is YOU.
No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.- Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can afford to loose everything that you have, but not your character. Character is all that we need to succeed in life. Changing your circumstances is not the problem, the problem is your character.
How is your character? What are people saying about you? Are you even listening to what people are saying about you? Some people will say something nice about you, others will say the opposite. Remember, what is important is try to be the best person you can be. Don’t try to be someone else. If you do, you are living someone else’s life.
Whatever you are, be a good one.- Abraham Lincoln
It is important to work VERY hard to protect your character. It is the ONLY virtue you need to succeed in life. Without character, you are nothing. If you loose money, it is fine. If you loose crucial relationships, it is fine. If you fail your exam, it is okay to fail. But if you loose your character, you’ve lost everything. Your character is you.
Here are some strategies that will help you strengthen your character:
Respect yourself: when you respect yourself, it helps you figure out what your values are.
Respect people: what is important to us, sometimes, is not what is important to our friends. So, when you respect them, it gives you the room to know what their values are.
Be ethical: no matter where you are, what you do, there is always time to do what is right. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Always do what is right.
Be honest: Do what you say you will do. Don’t promise one thing and do another. Your people will not respect you. For example, if you cannot complete a task, don’t even start it. Or, let the people know that it will take time to finish it.
Be humble: humility is a strength, not a weakness. If you are wrong, admit it. Don’t defend it. If you admit your errors, you are a strong leader. If you defend your errors, you are a weak leader.
Listen to people: When you listen to people, it shows that they are important. It takes you out of the equation. It provides you with the opportunity to learn from other people.