Surely there are many more incredible character traits one might obligate themselves to should they decide to be an excellent human being. The following list of ten is a starter pack for those who dare to commit to improving in important areas of their life. While not being an exhaustive list, the following ten obligations will help you become an excellent human being.
- Do your Very Best: There is nothing better than your very best. On some days, your very best might not be what you are capable of on other days. You might be tired, ill, or a little bit fuzzy from time to time. On other days, you might have perfect energy and clarity. As much as you wish you could control all the variables to your performance, all you can do is the very best you have in you on that day.
- Try Your Hardest: Give what you are doing your best effort. Try your hardest, even when things are difficult, and even when you are not sure o what you are doing. You may or may not achieve your goal or produce the result you wanted, but by giving it your best effort, you not only increase your odds of success, but you also do better than you would with a half-hearted attempt. Give it your all, and leave it all on the field.
- Never Require a Manager: Never require anyone to tell you to do your work. Never need someone to tell you what you need to do, when you need to do it, or how you should go about something. If you never need anyone to push or prod you to do your work, you will find you are given greater responsibility and greater rewards. Only those who can’t exercise the will and discipline to manage themselves need a manager. Be a self-starter.
- Keep Your Commitments: If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you say you are not going to do something, don’t do it. Make commitments slowly and with careful consideration. Once you commit, you must keep your word. The relationships you develop by keeping your promises large or small will serve you throughout your lifetime. Make your word your bond.
- Show Up On Time and Prepared: Show up on time and prepared for whatever it is you are doing. Being conscientious about time is a sign of respect to others, as is being prepared. Those who show up late show disrespect. Those who show up unprepared show a lack of caring. Time is a gift, and you show your gratitude when you respect it.
- Tell the Truth: Always tell the truth. Be known as a person who will not mislead or deceive another person in things large or small. There will be times when people would prefer not to hear the truth, but in the long run, telling the truth allows other people to trust and believe you. Avoid lies of both commission and omission.
- Have a Positive Attitude: Your attitude is within your control. You will have bad days and stressful moments, but the duration of your negative attitude is a decision within your control. If you want to produce results, start by having a positive mental attitude. Negativity, pessimism, and cynicism are debilitating and disempowering. Your positive attitude will produce positive results in all that you undertake. The price of being optimistic is occasionally being disappointed. The price of being a pessimist is always being disappointed.
- Assume Good Intentions: Assume that the people you encounter in life have good intentions. Believe they are not trying to harm you or inconvenience you. Avoid the belief that others who don’t know you harbor some sort of malice towards you. Instead, recognize that many people struggle, that they are doing their best, and that their intentions are good. Hope others feel the obligation to treat you the same.
- Be Kind and Compassionate: Be kind and compassionate. These two ideas are different than empathy. Empathy is the ability to share what someone else is feeling, putting yourself in their shoes. Being kind and compassionate means taking decisive action to make a difference, a higher standard than empathy alone.
- Don’t Complain: Complaining doesn’t make anything better. It makes things worse. Not only do you have the root cause of the complaint, but you also have the expression of the negative emotions that do nothing to improve anything. Instead of complaining, either do what you can to make things better or outlast what would be a source of the complaint.
These ten obligations might seem like a lot to take on at one time. Just start with the first, and do your very best. That will be enough to get you going in the right direction.