Yes beware of the seven deadly sins of Personal development, there is no priest no pope no pastor to hold your hands or threaten you with hell and damnation. When you’re forced to make the right choice between a greasy hamburger or pasta salad with yam and sweet potato’s knowing one will nourish your belly and the other will clog you up adding unwanted pounds to your waist line, what do you do? When temptation strikes, how are you going to react to that devil in a blue dress or Mr Stud muffin in the tight blue jeans.
Your Animal desires could destroy all you have worked for just because of that brief encounter with the wrong kind of passion. How do you discern between love and lust, confusing love with lust can lead you into a “whole lot of hot water”.
You need to be able to define what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in your life and be true to your core values. For a start you know that you don’t value any of the following negative quality’s, Greed, Anger, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Pride etc, if you do, let me hold my hands up now I cant help you, not even Anthony Robbins could, you are going to need a exorcist and tones of holy water, for those who are not possessed lets continue.
How do we discern between that which is virtues and that which is deadly. For a start Good and Bad are kinder like two half’s of the same coin. Looking at Good and Bad as choices we make, such as the choice to chose between left and right, moving up or down, do’s or don’t. Each choice has an outcome, desirable and undesirable, life demands that we produce outcomes or effects that are desirable for the majority. Outcomes or effects that benefit the individual personally and the wider community, that’s why civilised societies have established basic laws that prohibit undesirable behaviours such as, rape, murder, theft, pollution which are rightly outlawed.
On one side of the coin we have the deadly sins or the dark side – recognise it, its pleasures are quick to come by, its fruit taste sweet in the mouth but turn bad in the stomach. Ignorance, unbalance, fear mistrust and lies etc is the picture that emerges when people operate from this side of the coin. If values are left unchecked disillusionment carries a person further down the road of the deadly sins – planting bad seeds – seeds that bear fruit which are poisonous to yourself and to others.
On the other side of the coin we have the virtues and values, the way of the light, recognise it by its fruit which are positive growth, balance, trust, opened mindedness, continuous learning, continuous application and success. The fruit on this side of the coin nourish not only the bearer but whoever he/she comes into contact with.
In my youth I found my self court up with gangs. Young men who where out for all they could get and sometimes at whatever the cost – living life at the level of gang consciousness.
Its dog eat dog world, well that’s what some guys said or at least showed in their attitudes to life. People in general who adopt the dog eat dog mentality surly enough experience it. Their minds are loaded with negativity, pride, greed, envy and wrath-hated ect. . Their decision making process is always self-centred and they don’t consider how their actions effect others.
Unvirtuous people see the same negative qualities in other people they meet, they are guarded and suspicious of others, sometimes their influence is strong enough to bring out the negative qualities in otherwise good people – which just goes to validate their perceptions about the world and other people.
The mindset was me against the world and the boys are either with me or against me, if they can help, they stay – if they can’t, they are expendable. All though I associated with some very suspect characters who where in gangs, I can never really class myself as an ex gangster it was just the climate I was in and the groups of youths I came into contact with at that stage in life.
I could never really bring myself to unjustly harm another, that’s just not in my nature or in my code of conduct. My values were too, too strong to be totally influenced by the crowd. In fact when I reflect upon it, I believe my associations and friendship with gang members was a positive period in my life because I learned many personal lessons which strengthened my character. Many times I was forced to rise above popular opinion, which often left me a target, there were times when it was life or death choice, I chose truth justice and peace.
I am not a police officer but I can proudly say I have stop many crimes such as muggings, armed robberies , people being beaten up and many instance of senseless violence and vandalism – just because of my presence and influence . I often used debate to teach and give guidance by slipping in some mental food for thought whenever I could. I had many nick names sometimes people would say, Granddad Lloyd is at it again, teasing me in an attempt to avoid lecture or a debate. A more common statement was Lloyd thinks he is Malcolm X or some kind of Marcus Garvey. Over all I had a calming informative impact on the group and on other young people I came into contact with.
I couldn’t help but to live up to my true values, the expectations instilled in me as a child, they were a guide and armour against dark people. My values give me strength and integrity, my friends always knew were they stood with me. I developed a reputation as being well connected which gained me points amongst the crowed and gave me perceived power. For the majority of my peers that were aware of me I was a nameless, I seemed to pop up around town with well known gang members that I had befriended – I didn’t have to go round town beating people up or act like a mad man to get recognised.
I would project my own value system onto other members of my crew, my influence shaped their behaviour, keeping us out of some very volatile situations. There were some guys who had extremely low values with bad moral judgment, who also had a strong influence upon other members and would project their attitudes and lack of values upon other people. It was a battle over their hearts and minds, I had to excert more of a influence over the group than that of the more negative individuals. I won many battles – not so as physical battles but one of intelligence, quickness sometime intimidation but mostly psychological warfare and ghetto diplomacy. I lost a few conflicts – which became a learning experience for all.
Virtue – it may sound uncool or old fashioned, but the old fashioned principles such as love, wisdom and temperance will serve you well in this day and age, one most be not only smart but wise because I’ve seen many smart people meet their down fall but the wise seem to navigate the pitfalls with greater ease.
Our virtues serve not only ourselves but our communities, we all have a reason for being in our current climates, you can be that unassuming mentor to needy a mind, you may end up learning something yourself. Be that guys or girl who people can confide in, be that someone who can be respected on the merits of your character.
I am extremely blessed to have been raised by two supportive loving progressive parents who possess high standards-values and positive virtues which have been imparted into me. No matter what corrupt or deviant company I found myself in, I was strong because I know who I am and what I stand for. Values aid your vision in all of life’s situations, I could discern between right and wrong in complex situations. I could see the human and social consequences of our actions. I came to figure out much of what was causing so many young men, who are talented, intelligent and highly creative to walk such destructive paths because my values give me night vision while their lack of values left them in the dark.
Just as negative people view the world though negative lenses, positive people see the world through positive lenses. I could see the good in what seemed to be some very heartless characters. When talking to certain members alone – on a one to one, they had no protection against reason, I could see through them, through the hard cold barrier that they erected to protect themselves from the environment they found themselves in.
I helped young men rediscover and maintain their own values which sometime became over shadowed by life’s events and misunderstanding – it was my job to be a guide. I believe that’s why the most high put me, along side people who needed guidance direction and a role model.
If you wish to walk congruently in the light with Integrity being a respected leader in your family, communities or business you are going to have to develop the secret qualities of life. The stuff that makes a person a magnetic force, its your job to consciously reap the rewards and benefits of a virtuous lifestyle that others fail to grasp, consciously identifying and breaking through the limitations and challenges – conquering temptation doing what you know you should do, when you should be doing it, defining your person for a more conscious state of being- exercising greater control over your health happiness and success in what ever you are doing.
What’s your dark side, those around you may not see it, but you know what it is, anyway, whatever it is address it by using the weapons of virtues a positive attitude and faith. The daily cultivation of a positive attitude along with faith is the prefect engine to burn and transforms unwanted negative emotions and feeling such as fear and anger into to understand and acceptance. A positive attitude and faith will insure healthy relationships with yourself and others.
Life is always moving the environment and the people in it, including ourselves who are always changing. We have a choice and that choice is to blow in the winds of change with out input or to co create, having an influence in the cycle, creation and change. Whatever you choose, be diligent and persistent, it’s the glue that holds everything together.
The result of persistence and diligence is courage and integrity – courage and integrity becomes you shield the shields that protects what your hold dear. As a father I hold dear my family as human being I hold dear my vision of an highly cultured progressive and loving human family. My responsibilities houses my core values. There are seven deadly sin but there are tons of beautiful virtue, value and principles to hold close to our heart such as:-
Being Loving ,
Having a Passion,
Opting for Peace
Being Honest, Punctually,
Allowing yourself to be inspired
Cultivating Intelligence – having understanding –being learnard
Being Purpose driven
Being a Visionary
Temperance, Moderation, Self-Restraint as opposed to Gluttony. Diligence and Persistence as opposed to Sloth, Laziness and Lack off will Power. Patience, Calm and Understanding as opposed to Anger, Wrath and Envy. Kindness and Caring as opposed to Greed.
Pick up any Personal Development Book, CD or DVD and you will primarily find that 90 per cent of the time the material is about the development some kind of quality. Own the above qualities and have them at your command. May your happiness productivity and success have go through the roof. I have found that I have infinitely more control since consciously exercising the above virtue. I belief that I will continue to build whatever I put my mind to. A Virtuous life is the foundation – Claim and deserve success by the power of your virtues – in the game of life.
If you find this information helpful take part in the spirit of giving and share with a friend… each one teach one!