The speaker droned on. His presentation lacked any real substance, I was already tired from staying up late the night before to take care of a work-related fire, and I was eyeing up the “X” button on screen to click out of the training.
And then he said something that caught my attention.
“You should always be willing to tell people what you stand for. They should know instantly what you believe in and what you’re made of and where you draw a line in the sand.”
The point being that the stronger our believes, the stronger the presence and commitment that we give off. He soon went back to into sales mode, trying to get you to sign up for his next talk, instead of offering any key takeaways and I once again lost patience and went onto more productive tasks, but I pondered the question for the rest of the day: Do people know what I stand for? Do I spell it out?
My answer: Sometimes I’m good about spelling it out, sometimes I’m not. So here it is, here’s what I stand for, for better or worse. Some full of clichés, some not:
- My top four priorities are God (God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit), my family, being a “good person,” and my country.
- I try to live my live ― not so successfully mind you ― with Christ’s commandment of “faith, hope, and love.”
- I believe in the power of my wife’s hug to turn a crappy day into a memorable one. I believe too in the power of my daughter’s smile, my middle son’s laugh, and the twinkle in my youngest son’s eyes.
- Each day I try to love, laugh, cry, and smile. I try each day too to learn something, to improve myself, and to take another step toward my life goals.
- I believe in working hard and making the most of your talents and opportunities; being authentic and who you say you are; living your life with virtue, including integrity and trustworthiness; honor; patience; fairness and justice; humility; charity and kindness to others; treating people the way I want to be treated; courage; perseverance, and humor. (Yes, humor. I’ve written it before, but I’m convinced that God has a sense of humor. At least that’s my hope.)
- I believe in the written word and how it can move us to emotion ― be it laughter or tears, happiness or anger ― and then to action.
- Finally, I believe in miracles. I’m convinced of them, because God gave me my beautiful wife and kids. They are infinitely more important to me, than I will ever be to them. They inspire and make me a better person. They challenge me and love me for who I am.
I stand for other things too, but these are what stand out today. I’ll leave the rest for another day.