ANSWER: Well, how about the next time you take a break, look around you and mindfully appreciate your family and the marvels of the natural world around you?
That’s a biggie, yes. But beyond that I can’t think of a thing. Almost everything else worth having for your family requires a huge commitment, effort and overcoming adversity.
In short, you have to exercise character strength, or what I call personal strength.
You get stronger as a person by exercising this kind of strength. Not just by reading about it. And not just by valuing it. You can feel inspired by these, but you have to take the next step. You have to actually be strong when the situation in your family calls for it. It’s like physical strength. Like a muscle. You get more muscle by exercising the muscle.
So inspiration can be the first step. I find these statements to be particularly inspiring…
“It’s not the honors and not the titles and not the power that is of ultimate importance. It’s what resides inside.” – Fred Rogers, American TV host (1928-2003)
“The most important of life’s battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul.” – David O. McKay, American religious leader (1873-1970)
“What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.” – Thaddeus Golas, American author (1924-1997)
“Anyone can have a good day. The question is what do you do on a bad day. That’s when you’re being tested. In a very tangible sense, a bad day shows your innermost essence more than a good day.” – Arthur Golden, American novelist (1956- )
“We must take care to live not merely a long life, but a full one; for living a long life requires only good fortune, but living a full life requires character.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman playwright (B.C. 4 – A.D. 65)
“Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties that are out of the ordinary as well.” – Brian Tracy, American author (1944- )
“Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” – Mark Twain, American novelist (1835-1910)
“Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is who you really are while your reputation is merely what others think of you.” – John Wooden, American college basketball coach (1910-2010)
“You have to ‘be’ before you can ‘do,’ and do before you can ‘have.’” – Zig Ziglar, American author (1926-2012)
“Success is not measured by heights attained but by obstacles overcome. We’re going to pass through many obstacles in our lives: good days, bad days. But the successful person will overcome those obstacles and constantly move forward.” – Bruce Jenner, American Olympic track champion (1954- )
“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” – William Ellery Channing, American clergyman (1780-1842)
“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.” – Dalai Lama, Tibetan religious leader (1935- )
Inspired? Then take the next step. Apply this inspiration the next time you deal with a problem with your children. The more you do the hard things, the easier they’ll get.