Carve Out Your Character

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Brian Kight

In the pursuit of a principle-driven life, anything can be a friction force. Things like kindness are perceived as good and desirable qualities, but easily become friction forces in certain contexts. 

Kindness is frequently the reason why people don’t tell necessary truths. A desire to be kind, and not appear insensitive, is what slows or stops people from saying what needs to be said. Kindness can be a friction force for truth telling.

A friction force isn’t necessarily something that generates friction for everyone or generates friction by nature, it just creates friction for you. Anything that affects your consistency in bringing discipline to a specific principle is a friction force. Even if it’s another principle, like in the case of kindness and truth telling.

Here’s a list of principle + friction force relationships I frequently observe:

Put honesty before popularity.
Put responsibility before reward.
Put truth before consequences.
Put virtue before vanity.
Put fulfillment before entertainment.
Put growth before comfort.
Put courage before fear.
Put respect before rivalry.
Put understanding before expression.

Put credibility before criticism.
Put connection before accountability.
Put patience before progress.

Answer the call. Do the work.

PS - What did you come up with for yourself? Do any of these feel familiar to you?

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