Honor | The Importance of Character in Success

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Uplifting Honor

Without honor in our character we cannot be successful.

Honor represents one of the core principles on which success is established.  All great men and women seek its wise counsel and bind themselves to the laws of its wisdom.  Although it is rarely the topic of discussion, it is a source from which joy springs… and abundance can never be enjoyed without it.

We can have all the riches in world, but without honor, none of us shall taste true success.

Seeking after Honor

Honor is a classic character trait that is oft overlooked in the rush of modern society.  Living an honorable life is not something that just happens – it is something that must be carefully and continually sought after.  We will not see much of it as we walk through an average day, so we have to be careful to set ourselves apart from the commonality of dishonorable behavior.

  • It is not glorified on our televisions as something to be desired, yet it is more to be desired than fame and riches.
  • It is not often hailed as sacred in the halls of government, yet without it governments cannot succeed.
  • It is not commonly praised among people of fame, yet without it their perceived “success” is often accompanied by unfulfillable desire and feelings of unhappiness and even bitterness.
  • It is not often held as an imperative and foundational component of behavior in our universities, yet without honor the educated man winds up hollow and empty.
  • It is not often a focus of training in our public schools, yet without a foundation of honor our children cannot perceive what behaviors are truly of value.

An honorable character will not find us… we have to find it.

Great men speak of honor…

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”Winston Churchill

“Mine honor is my life; both grow in one; Take honor from me, and my life is done.”William Shakespeare

“Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong.”Thomas Jefferson

“The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor.”George Bernard Shaw

“Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”Sophocles

“Who sows virtue reaps honor.”Leonardo da Vinci

“Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.”  - Joe Paterno

The Bible speaks of honor…

“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” - Leviticus 19:32

“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.”Psalm 104:1

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”Proverbs 22:4

“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)”Ephesians 6:2

“Honour widows that are widows indeed. “I Timothy 5:3

“Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”I Peter 2:17

Let us follow after honor…

I am committed to living an honorable life.  I want to do the right thing, even if no one is looking.  I fail often, but when I do I pick myself up, dust myself off, set my gaze upon that which is right, and try desperately not to lose my way in this world of innumerable distractions.

Living with honor takes courage to stand upon that which you know to be right… even if you have to stand alone.

In our journey toward debt freedom and financial success let us maintain our focus on the things that are right.  If we maintain our honor… we will never fail!



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1 Peter

Having integrity and honor are vastly underrated in our society, and they really shouldn’t be.

Thomas J. Stanley in his book “the millionaire next door” brings this point home by talking with hundreds of multi-millionaires, and for a majority of them, one of the most important traits they attribute their success to is their “integrity”.

When you act with honor and integrity, people know that you mean what you say, and that they can count on you. Even if you tell them something that they don’t want to hear, they will respect your honesty.

So having honor and integrity are important, even if it means that you miss out on some opportunities. Thankfully, however, it seems that having integrity and honor often can lead to financial success as well.

2 Paul @ FiscalGeek

Amen Matt. And Peter that’s so right on I was thinking the same thing as I read this. You can claw your way to the top using every trick imaginable or you can compose yourself with honor and integrity and people will naturally follow.

3 Torrey

It always amazes me that the amount of energy that people put into schemes and trickery to “get over” on people and be dishonest. Many of these are very capable folks who have for one reason or another chosen to focus on shortcuts.

This is a trait that definately needs to be on top of mind for all of us.

4 Joe Plemon

Matt,
Great thoughts. I really liked your quotes of honorable men. The most important sentence, in my opinion, is “I want to do the right thing, even if no one is looking.”

It seems to me that while we view honorable people throughout history as bigger than life, honor is developed when no one is looking. It is not the huge accomplishments that make one honorable; it is the lifetime of doing the little things with integrity…even if no one is looking.

By the way, I like the new look!

5 Don Draper

Walking the straight line, also known as the unbeaten path, takes courage. And most people don’t have that.

6 Walter

Will honor be always lasting? I doubt. :-)

7 Matt Jabs

Since I can only start with myself, I can only promise that it will last with me.

8 Ryan @ Planting Dollars

Building a life without honor and integrity seems a bit like building a house of straw. Eventually you’ll find success, but you won’t have any kind of base to support you when a tornado comes and blows you down. Friends, colleagues and family will all be watching and waiting for you to fail rather than rooting you on.

I agree with peter – it’s highly underrated in our society that places value on quick, easy, and “straw houses.”

9 Matt Jabs

I don’t know Ryan… I suppose some will be watching and waiting for you to fail, but I doubt all would be.

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