Welcome to my new Three-Peat Thursdays! Building from my recent book UNBEATABLE! Seven Pillars of Personal Excellence, each blog will contain three P’s: Pillar, Principle and Practical, all geared towards nourishing you on your personal and spiritual growth journey.
“The external has dwarfed the internal, and we are seeing an increasing tendency to use people and love things, rather than love people and use things.” Unbeatable! Seven Pillars of Personal Excellence
I love the observation made by spiritual writer Reggie Mc Neal in his book Practicing Greatness, where he noted that when people strike up a conversation, an early question is, “So what do you do?” Similarly, I’ve noticed that when friends have not seen each other in a while they usually ask, “So what are you doing now?” This line of questioning, typically, is an enquiry into their job or profession. Mc Neal, usefully, acknowledges that the questioner’s response to you is directly connected to the type of work you do. Isn’t that so true? We are assessed and evaluated by what we do, rather than who we are.
This is sad, in my view. It has led us to prioritize the external trappings of success to the neglect of our inner character. It doesn’t matter if you’re rude, arrogant, pushy or discourteous, once you get your item from the sales’ clerk behind the desk. It’s immaterial whether you cheated, lied or took shortcuts, once you get that “A” in school or promotion on the job. You pay no attention to whether you drive on the shoulder or break the red light, once you reach your destination on time. We exalt the outcome and disregard the integrity of the process. The external has dwarfed the internal.
This reality makes me appreciate the ode to the Proverbs 31 woman where we are reminded that “charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting.” This goes for men and women. Our outward appearance has some benefit, but it’s limited. Professional or academic accomplishments must be honoured, but they too are fleeting. Who you are has greater value than what you do. It is our character that makes us “user-friendly.”
Every time you’re getting dressed to go out or are simply grooming yourself, take a moment to reflect on the condition of your private world. That is what truly makes you handsome or beautiful.
To learn more about these pillars of personal excellence, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.