Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to “turn over a new leaf”. We greet a new day with a vow or determination to “do better” in a certain area of our lives. But rarely do we give diligent thought to what we consider the highest and noblest pursuits in life. What do you hold to be your personal ideals – the qualities you consider foremost in defining good character? This is what Sir William Osler once said about his own ideals:
“I have three personal ideals. One, to do the day’s work well and not to bother about tomorrow….The second ideal has been to act the Golden Rule, as far as in me lay, toward my professional brethren and toward the patients committed to my care. And the third has been to cultivate such a measure of equanimity as would enable me to bear success with humility, the affection of my friends without pride, and to be ready when the day of sorrow and grief come to meet it with the courage befitting a man.”
As 2020 begins, give some thought to what you hold to be the characteristics of a respected life. What do you aspire to in your own character? As you identify these traits, you can then see more clearly how you desire to live your life and what must change in order to live up to your ideals.
** from “Breakfast with God”, W.B. Freeman Concepts, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1996