Confidence is such an important quality of strong character, it's really a form of optimism. A certainty that things are going to turn out the way you want, and that you have the power to make that happen.
Confidence is also one of the most illusive and misunderstood quality of a strong character.
How do we recognize a confident individual? Is it someone who dresses well, with firm handshake, an intense smile ?
Perhaps of any other quality, confidence is found to a greater degree in what we give to others, then what we have within or about ourselves.
The roots of the word "confidence" is the word "confide". With entrust, or faith.
When someone is sincere in a business deal, when an offer is made and real money stand behind it, when someone makes the promise and means to keep it, we call the thing a "bonifay offer", a good faith offer.
Confidence has to do with inspiring trust, which you can only do by having faith in other people. Confidence enables you to walk in a room full of strangers, and converse with anyone without fear. It makes the stranger in that room think: Here is someone not only can talk, here is someone I want to talk to.
An ill at ease person makes everyone ill at ease.
Feeling right, makes other feeling right. And they in turn give back what's inside them. The very confident that you give out.
It's like sounding an "A" for an orchestra. Every instrument with an "A" string answers. A sympathetic vibration.
Confidence is the right note, and other people's confidence is the sympathetic vibration.
It's confidence that makes people want to believe what you say to them. Want to accept you as you present yourself.
But confidence is more that something that passes between two individuals on their way through the day, or through their lives. Confidence is the entire basis of social order.
It's the foundation of our monetary system.
The dollar bill says "In God we trust". We have confidence that the government stands behind the value of the dollar.
We are confident that all things are growing, not fading, so we buy stocks and invest in industry.
Without confidence, the world economy would collapse.
It's a powerful force that can grow, empower and flourish if given the right environment.
A truly confident person believe in himself strong enough to believe in others.
Conversely, distrust in yourself breed distrust in everyone you meet.
A confident person bring you confidence, she creates confidence in others.
The strength of a character make you a stronger character.
How do you and I develop confidence?
How do I learn to believe in myself, so that others will believe in me too?
George Washington was able to not only win the war against the red coast, but also to be called Father of this country. George Washington still inspires confidence.
Think about the first time you came across a painting by Picasso. You probably have to admit that you just didn't get it. The faces were all those sharp angles and strange colors, bull's eyes on one side of the face, like some kind of fish you can catch with worms. But if you went back and looked at his picture again, you likely started to see how they made a kind of sense.
In essence you were learning from this man to see differently, to understand either to be two sides to a person's face or example that would show up at the same time.
This artist had so much confidence in what he saw, and were so strong and clear, and even generous in showing the rest of the world what he saw, that he taught everybody to see the old world in a new way. And because of his confidence, we can all become a little more confident ourselves and learn not to reject new things out of hand just because we can't recognize them at first.
Picasso was generous because he made a lot of art, but he also made a lot of money, because the confidence in his art translated into confidence in art dealers.
Picasso and Brigham Young are inspirers of vision and confidence in the people who follow them.
Brigham Young was a kind of politic that deals in the way we feel about ourselves and about others. And how we treat others and expect them to treat us.
You may say: I don't have the strength of George Washington, the faith of the Brigham Young, the imagination of Pablo Picasso. How can I achieve this level of belief in myself?
I think I can give some very specific answers to your question.
Because if you heard me this far, and want to know more, it means I've earned your confidence and remember, you can't inspire confidence or feel confident in yourself if you can't feel confident in others.
So the very first important step has already been taken. And you're already on your way to a new world of confidence. If only we venture just a little more down the path we are standing on, looking ahead together.
There are three areas which we have to talk about before you're ready to add confidence to the other building blocks of your unshakable character.
First, developing the quality of inspiring confidence by uncovering your own confidence in who you are and how you were raised.
Second, seeing how you can derive confidence from that formal education and training you received and the characteristic of your teachers and mentors.
Third, growing confident from the challenges and experiences you've had in all areas of your life. And the success you had in dealing with them.
First, to grow up at all means you have certain kind of vital equipment that are necessary to survive in this tough, technical, highly developed world of ours.
Your parents taught your basics skills: how to walk, how to eat and later feed yourself. Perhaps good manners. You were given a certain amount of strength and mental. Maybe you're not a rock scientist but maybe you know how to fix a land-mower (something many rock-scientist can't do). Maybe you don't have a degree in accounting, but you can tell a joke so well that the whole room will roll with laugher. What are your strong points?
They have to be there or you wouldn't have made it this far.
Maybe you can save money, maybe you know how to find things like somebody's lost contact lens. Chances are you not only have a personal strength, that gift for talent or real ability that should give you some pride or confidence. But it's something that you take so from granted that you don't realize what's it's worth.
We're not talking about what difficult for you, but about what's comes easy.
Just because it's easy for you to cut through with the cross cut saw, doesn't mean that it's easy for everybody. You talents and skills as what you take for granted and maybe don't value enough. Talent isn't hard work.
Everybody got a diploma, so what should I get confidence in my diploma? First of all not everybody got that diploma. And second of all, not all countries in the world enables children to read and write and do maths. So we take for granted something that in the back of nowhere would probably qualify you to be president or the king or the big boss. So don't sell you short because you do have it. You wouldn't think it's nothing if you didn't have one.
Also your teachers, your mentors who showed you the roots at the first job. They saw something in you that maybe you didn't see yourself. Want to know what that something is exactly ? If you can pinpoint what they gave you, what they showed you, you will see yourself through the eyes of that other person. That teacher, or that mentor, or that new friend. Because what they give you is what they saw in you already. Invisible to yourself. If they didn't see you were capable of running that machine, taking that order, lending that account, making that sale, just as they were capable, then they wouldn't bother to teach you in the first place. They had confidence in abilities you may not have known you have. And they shared that confidence with you. Because you already had the skills, you only needed the sharing.
Even more importantly than where you were born and who your parents are, and wether or not you went to any school or the right school, and wether or not anyone stood by you, or showed you the roads, you have lived, and you are here. So you have the richest bank to draw upon that there is. You have experience.
You may have traveled around the world. You may have known many people and learned other languages. Or you may have experienced life in the same place, among people you've known all your life, and known them in a way no one on the moon or ever with dealing with new faces and new friend can ever know another person.
That's your bank row. That's where you can learn and grow up with confidence.
Because the thing about experience is it's really worth. If it didn't, you wouldn't be here. You would be dead and not caring. And I'm sure you have some confidence in life. Because here you are, listening to me talk, and even maybe getting that sympathetic vibration which is the confident tone that sounds in all of us.
The confident man of woman is someone we all admire. Someone we all want to emulate and rightly so.
You need to learn to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run.
Nobody grows to be an adult without faith. The active confidence that says: I have the equipment to walk among people, I have the good will and the shape eyes to do well and to do more than just survive. And I assure you, when you sent confident in others, you are sending your own strength. And if they sent that confidence that you have in yourself, they can do nothing to harm you. What others have, you also have. But what others may lack, you don't have to do with that. You can be absolutely confident of that.
What is good health ? Is it a matter of opinion or a matter of fact ?
Is it a style or is it rather a substance of what we are as a human being ?
Is it the physical condition if we thing of ourselves as flesh and blood machine, or the state of your emotional being if we thing of ourselves as more thoughts than matter.
And in what sense is it an element of a strong character? Because you thought health was all about the body didn't you?
A very old wise lady once told me, if you have your health, you have everything. Lose your health, and there isn't enough money in all the world to make life good or to make you feel like life is worth living.
As a boy I thought that feeling good and having all the parts of my body in good working order was something that came with the territory, like something that just happen by itself, almost everyday of the year. I could take it for granted, and I did.
What would happen if I lose my health ? Would that be a test of character? I certainly thought it would.
It's a test of character when you have the flu for the whole weekend and you just want to lie there and complain, watching television.
Or at least it seems like a test of character until it's over, and you forget about it. But something like that, a minor illness, is really more like a tap on the shoulder than it is a test of character. But sooner or later it will be back. And sooner or later there will be more than a little pat on the shoulder.
Someday you look around, and whatever it is, won't be gone yet, not by a long shot. It test your character just to thing about that, doesn't it?
I'm not trying to scare anybody, I'm just trying to dramatize a point.
You know the kind of life you live when you're a kid. You can eat anything, and you do. You can drink as much as you want. Maybe more than you want in fact. The whole night with pizza and donuts, radio and cigarettes.
Looking back on it now it all makes sense. You're feeling yourself getting bigger and stronger every day. And that's the only real evidence you've got to go on. So what not just go for it? After all, it hasn't hurt you so far.
Of course the reality is not that simple, but it's not as simple either as thinking just because you're older things are now going in the opposite direction. And that while you used to want to do everything, you should now want to do nothing.
No reality is by no means that simple either.
There's a saying that I heard in church, and it took me just about as long to understand that saying, as it did to figure out what good health really means to people. That saying was: You have to lose your life in order to find it.
You have to lose one way of living in order to find a different one. One that's better suited to who you are at this particular time. You have to lose your life in order to find it. You can lose your life and you can find a new one.
I've been very fortunate, I feel good, I'm ok, but that's not like when you were a kid anymore. It's not like when you're sure to win any fast and loose game you decide to play with your body. I've got some insight by this time, I've never really been sick, but it's down on me now that good health is more than just the absent of illness. It's more than just not being sick. Good health is the direct result of right thinking and right living. In other words, of strong character. More than strength, it's all about healthy attitude.
That's like knowing that to go from point A to point B, you have to walk a straight line. And not get distracted by something that might appeared to be pleasant for the moment; but really don't contribute to your well being.
Or as the coach might have said, to the good of the team, that's depending on you. You've got to go straight up and down the field. You can't go sideway just because the hotdogs and soda are over there. That sort of distraction are for after the game, if ever. And not being able to keep to the task is unhealthy thinking and bad attitude and weak character.
Your attitude, the slam you put on things, the way you lean in to life or back away from it, is all part of your character. And if you're in life for the long run, you're going to need strength and endurance for that, which also derives in part from your character.
While health may never have seen like a quality of character to you, I hope that you're starting to see that it truly is one. It's hard to think clearly, to feel confident and strong and decisive and wise if you're short of breath when you stand up after a long sitting on a chair.
How can you hope to make the right decision about where to go with your career, about what to buy and what to sell, about approaching that new client, or about calling out that old friend, if your pants are too sight or if that middle button keeps popping out on your jacket suit?
But here is the good news: I say you don't need to believe all those scary stories on the news and television telling you not to eat this or that because of what statistics say had happened in a number of cases. You don't have to make yourself crazy because of what too much tasty or oily or sweet does to the laboratory rats. Something in big amount really aren't good for you.
Greek philosopher said we should all do all things in all moderation, and nothing in excess.
That's a principle you should definitely apply to your life style.
It can't hurt to have a little ice cream every now and then or a sweet to reward you for a job you've done. A little something to take your mouth on a bad day. But don't go bobbing idea cream with a pack of cigarets and whisky. Some people just do that and it's a one way ticket to the graveyard.
Moderation in all things, nothing in excess.
Worries and stress are as bad for your health as a high cholesterol.
What's worse is having a bad cholesterol and worrying about it.
You have to understand who you are, and how you are made. In other words, you have to understand your character. Physical, mental and emotional. Not everybody is made to run a marathon or climb mountains. Not everybody got the physical or mental equipment to be a truck driver, or a rocket scientist, or a traveling salesman.
People live with different level of activities, with different customs, different ways of training and thinking, and different ways of celebrating.
Each need to eat and relax in different way too.
One person might be able to smoke cigar, while another would be affected with the lightest amount of tobacco. One man can hold his liquor while another can't keep it down. Some people can run for hours but they can't sit still.
Whatever the particulars of your physical constitution, and whatever the current condition of your character, there's one thing I can say immediately and with complete assurance. If you let yourself get seriously out of shape, and if you're engaged in behavior that are self-distracted, you're going to find it very difficult to respect yourself, and you're going to make it nearly impossible for others to respect you.
If you want success, if you want to live, and you wouldn't be hearing me now if you were anything less than a success oriented individual whose ambitious are not going to be held back by the hands that fate had dealt more than fortune.
Good health can only raise your esteem, your standing in respect in the eyes of other people. Good health may give your ambition every advantage and put you in the way of good things in life that comes along.
All those things doesn't exhaust the benefit of good health. They are not the soul and main reason to seek and embrace the habit of good health.
If I can be allowed a moment of physical reflexion, the greatest benefit to health are found in the mind and spirit and soul of the seeker.
If there was one path, one true formula to good health, if I knew what that answer was, I would be holding the key to the most vexing problem of the ages.
Good health may really be an effective character as much as a caused of it.
In my opinion, being a person of strong character is the best prescription for a sane mind and a sane body.
If you feel good about yourself, you will naturally want to take care of your body. But if you lose respect for your body you're more likely to become sw, and in other areas too.
Old people are probably the strongest person in the world because if they weren't they wouldn't have live so long. What do old people who are healthy - sill get out and do things - what does they talk about when they talk together?
About who had an operation, about the new show and movies are worth seing, who they saw at the gold course.
But once the chitchat dies away, they talk about food, and they talk about their digestive system. When it comes to digestion, there are certain food that help smoothly. But those food alone don't make a healthy and balanced diet. You need variety in your diet in order to fulfill your body with any nutrition need. And it's likewise very beneficial to have variety in your life. What's true of financial health is also true of physical being. If you keep doing exactly what you've been doing, you'll keep having exactly what you have.
Anybody who does the same thing everyday, years in and years out is probably in no position to even know wether he or she is in good shape.
As we discussed earlier, you can't know what you have until you leave it, or lose it, or get something else.
Probably the easiest and most helpful way to break up your day, and keep the biological clock so that it doesn't run down to the end of your life, is to catch a nap when the opportunity present itself.
Tai chi combines physical exercises, with philosophy and diet. It teaches a person to defend himself or herself from all kind of attack: from nasty people, attacks from within the body in the form of disease, and even attack in the form of destructive emotions like anger or fear.
I think health is an aspect of character because I see evidence that ethical people are happier and more relax. Stress on the other hand, which I associate with anxiety and anger, is said to cause physical problem.
I do happe to believe People get what they really deserve.
Staying healthy is the only way to get the good part from all the parts of life.
Where the body and mind meet.
It's all what the hard work is about: what the heart, the mind and the muscles are cooperating for.
There's an expression: In the flower of youth. And that flower includes the bloom of health.