Tuesday, 27 November 2012

More from Samuel Smiles - Character and Habit

Be what you seem, recommends Samuel Smiles,  quoting an American family maxim: "Always endeavour to be what you would wish to appear." He adds that  integrity in word and deed is the backbone of character. Oliver Cromwell is quoted as saying to a lawyer that subtlety may deceive you, integrity never will. Modern pundits like Jim Rohn point out that success is a habit,  while Smiles makes the same point when he quotes Metastasio as saying that "all is habit in mankind, even virtue itself." He goes on: " self-respect, self-help, application, industry, integrity — all of the nature of habits, and not beliefs. Principles, in fact, are but the names which we assigned to have its; for the principles are words, but the habits of the things themselves."  Even happiness is a habit to the extent that we tend to look on the bright or dark side of things.  Habits are hard to change, as we all know. As Jim Rohn observed,  the small things that are easy to do are also  easy not to do.  Persistence requires self-discipline, considered by Brian Tracy to be the most essential personal quality. Easy to say, not so easy to do!