How to focus on who you are rather than what you do

Can you suspend your politics and personal opinions? Can you look past the rhetoric and rage? – David Morris

We put up statues for accomplishments. We tear them down for character. How to elevate who you are over what you do: 🧵
Can you suspend your politics and personal opinions? Can you look past the rhetoric and rage? Last year, there was a reckoning. And I hope its message lasts. Collectively, we reconsidered our “heroes” of the past. We examined them and found many wanting. Statues fell.
I understand that this is a polarizing topic. My goal is not to make a political statement, push your buttons, or stir up anger. I’m not trying to shock you. My aim is to help you remember – to help ME remember – one timeless truth: Who you are matters more than what you do.
For too long we’ve worshipped accomplishment over character. We’ve looked the other way and given people a pass. All that’s mattered is their success. Building businesses and bank accounts elevated over: – How they went about it – Who they were in the process This must stop.
Exalting people for what they do is in our DNA. If we want to change “them” we’ve got to change us. You’ve got to change you. I’ve got to change me. It’s not structural, political, or institutional. It’s personal.
In a public speaking class, I learned the YBH principle: Yes, but how? The principle reminds you that, although people may agree with what you’re saying, that’s not enough. You’ve got to help them understand what to do about it. So, YBH?
1. Evaluate your plans for the future. For most, this time of year is a season of reflection. You examine the past. You script what’s ahead. What shape will those plans take? Will they focus solely on the tactical and tangible? If so, you are part of the problem.
2. Set character goals. Character goals are our plans for developing our internal integrity. Instead of: What do I want to achieve next year? Start with: 12 months from now, who do I want to be? Develop actionable steps to get there.
3. Test your core convictions. Convictions are the core principles that guide how you think, speak, and act. They should pass 3 tests: – Timeless: Will they always be virtuous? – Universal: Can they be applied in any context? – Reflexive: Do I hold myself to this standard?
4. Spread the right seed. Our words seed our world. If you want to change who you are, start by changing what you say. Sound backward? Try it and prove me wrong.
5. Constantly take the temperature of the water. You’re the frog in the pot. The water is the culture you live in. Most people blindly accept the values and beliefs of their day, without ever questioning them. If that’s you, you’ve already lost.
If you want to be great, start by being a great person. Elevate character over accomplishment. That’s the enduring lesson I’m taking with me into the new year. Will you?
Thanks for investing your time in my thread. If it helped you, I’d be grateful if you’d: •Retweet the first tweet so others find it too •Follow me @wdmorrisjr ⏤ it encourages me to keep writing!

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