In today’s Western culture, what qualities are supposed to be associated with strength? I'm not referring to physical strength specifically. I'm asking you, the reader, if you had to describe the characteristics of a strong person, what would you say?
At 46, I am still not 100% certain about what it means to be strong for myself and those in my world. I wake up each day intending to strive toward that ideal. I consciously establish a morning routine to set me on the right path for the day. Yet, upon reflection at night, I realize that I have not always lived up to the standards I set for myself, whether in my words or actions.
Each day is a gift—an opportunity to be better than you were the day before.
The Stoic writer Marcus Aurelius said, “All that you've done before, or failed to do, is of no account. The past is dead and gone. Why carry yesterday's regrets on your back? Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live now according to your principles."
So every day, you and I can strive to be the best version of ourselves.
I want to share with you a few actionable items to do in your life that you, if you are like me, want to be strong for yourself and those around you can do:
Get Healthy. Everything starts with the physical. If you can start conquering the body, the mind will follow. Begin by eating real food that fuels your body. Next, hit the gym. It affects how you feel about yourself immediately, and as you begin to feel and look better, it will affect how those around you perceive you.
Put Away Distractions. If you are constantly distracted by the unimportant things in life, those around you will not feel safe. Time to drop the video game controller and turn off the news feeds; why fill your mind with problems you have no actual intention of solving? Instead, listen to a good podcast or read a good book. Something that grows you as a human.
Be respectable. Dress and act the part. By this, care how you look throughout the day, not for others but for your self-confidence. When you feel confident, you will inspire others to be confident. Stand and sit straight; look people in the eyes when speaking. It shows you have respect for yourself and the one you are talking to.
Watch Your Words. You are not the star of a teenage drama, so stop gossiping. Be honest, even when it hurts. A quote attributed to Mark Twain goes, “If you tell the truth, you'll never have to remember anything.” And as my wife, Tara, reminds me, “Let my yes’s be yes, and my no’s be no.”
To summarize, remove gossip, tell the truth and don't ramble.
These four actionable tips will not help you be a strong person, but they will help strengthen your character. Practice these for the next month, and we will talk again in the next issue of OKC Lifestyle.
"The past is dead and gone. Why carry yesterday's regrets on your back?" - Marcus Aurelius