Self-esteem is about our sense of what we have going for us. Self-respect is more about what we have done with our gifts. And both reflect the kind of relationship we have with a “higher power.”
To be genuinely open, we have to accept the inevitability of pain. And if we don’t transform any pain we do experience, we’re certain to transmit it.
Sound character requires that we outgrow our innate egocentricity. And it’s more than an emotional or psychological exercise. It’s a profound spiritual undertaking.
Mindfulness as a character quality is more than a particular practice like meditation. It’s a state of being and a way of living. Being mindful is about keeping ourselves maximally aware of both our inner world and the outer world, as well as the impact of our choices on those worlds. To be of sound character, one has to be mindful.
Change, when it occurs, always happens in the moment of choice. That’s always where our ultimate power lies: the power to choose, and especially, to choose to do differently – at least for any particular moment in time.
By sufficiently training our wills, we can become masters of our appetites and impulses.