Michael Josephson quotes:

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  • It's a great joy but no test of love or commitment to take your son to a ball game. You really prove your credentials as a good dad when you are willing to take your daughter shopping - more than once.

  • The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.

  • One key to success is demanding more than adequacy, never settling for good enough and always doing a little bit more.

  • The opposite of success is not failure. Unsuccessful efforts are not failures unless they so discourage you that you abandon further efforts to achieve your goal. Even then, the venture or effort may be a failure but you are not. Failure is an event not a character trait.

  • Ordinary people, even weak people, can do extraordinary things through temporary courage generated by a situation. But the person of character does not need the situation to generate his courage. It is a part of his being and a standard approach to all life's challenges.

  • What a person says and does in ordinary moments when when no one is looking reveals more about true character than grand actions taken while in the spotlight. Our true character is revealed by normal, consistent, everyday attitudes and behavior, not by self-conscious words or deeds or rare acts of moral courage.

  • To the barefoot man, happiness is a pair of shoes. To the man with old shoes, it's a pair of new shoes. To the man with new shoes, it's stylish shoes. And of course, the fellow with no feet would be happy to be barefoot. Measure your life by what you have not by what you don't.

  • Whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New year will bring new opportunities.

  • At home, be grateful. At work, be appreciative. Gratitude is a gift we give ourselves. Appreciation is a gift we give to others.

  • The choices you make in your life will make your life. Choose wisely.

  • Yes and no are very powerful words. Mean them when you say them. Respect them when you hear them.

  • When it comes to building character, wealth, good looks, athletic ability and even a high IQ are more likely to be impediments than advantages.

  • Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.

  • The way we treat people we think can't help or hurt us - like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries - tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. How we behave when we think no one is looking or when we don't think we will get caught more accurately portrays our character than what we say or do in service of our reputations.

  • A good coach improves your game. A great coach improves your life.

  • Christmas has a certain universal appeal that gives it meaning well beyond a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but Christians have a special duty to experience its sacred and profound spiritual significance and non-Christians have a duty to treat the day with special respect.

  • A person of character seeks true happiness in living a life of purpose and meaning, placing a higher value on significance than success.

  • Creating a child takes no love or skill; being a parent requires lots of both.

  • If we don't invest now in building character into children we will surely invest more tomorrow in trying to repair adults.

  • Using the phrase business ethics might imply that the ethical rules and expectations are somehow different in business than in other contexts. There really is no such thing as business ethics. There is just ethics and the challenge for people in business and every other walk in life to acknowledge and live up to basic moral principles like honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness and caring.

  • There's no such thing as business ethics; there's just ethics. And ethics makes no concessions for the real or imagined necessities of making a profit.

  • Don't let others define you. Don't let the past confine you. Take charge of your life with confidence and determination and there are no limits on what you can do or be.

  • Never underestimate the power of temptation to disarm your better senses. Throughout the ages good people surrendered their honor for the empty promise that wealth or power would bring fulfillment and their dignity, good name and self-esteem for the passing pleasures of sex and drugs.

  • Authentic gratitude is much more rare and precious than expressions of gratitude which are often empty courtesies or simply tactical ploys to encourage further gifts or kindnesses.

  • Personal integrity is important, not because it gets us what we want, but because it helps us be what we want.

  • What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by who and for what?

  • The kind of courage that is strengthened or created by concern about what others will think is really a form of fear. Fear of disapproval or dishonor becoming stronger than fear of injury or even death.

  • If you are the boss it's wise to remember that there are lots of things you don't know and lots of people who hope you won't find out.

  • Take pride in how far you've come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don't forget to enjoy the journey.

  • It isn't the absence of conscience or values that prevents us from being all we should be, it is simply the lack of moral courage.

  • When was the last time you wrote a thank you note? When was the last time you went beyond a mechanical "thank you" to express authentic gratitude? We can enrich the lives of others and ourselves by making it a habit to express genuine appreciation for what others have done for us.

  • I think Samuel Johnson had it right when he observed that hope is itself a species of happiness. So if we want to be happy it only makes sense to discipline ourselves to choose our attitudes, to think positively and to be hopeful.

  • There are two sure ways to fail: never get started and quit before you succeed. Many companies promote the language of risk-taking and innovation but are so concerned with short term profit goals that their culture discourages innovation (trying new things) and abandons promising projects too soon. It shouldn't require exceptional moral courage to try new things and stick with them.

  • A certain formula for an unhappy life is pursue someone else's definition of success. Until you define your own goals and purposes your life is not your own and there can be no sense of fulfillment no matter how much you achieve.

  • Integrity, respect, compassion, and fairness become obstacles to people who think winning is everything

  • A caring heart that listens is often more valued than an intelligent mind that talks.

  • A person is said to have good character when their habits, dispositions and conduct reflect a deep commitment to ethical virtues and moral principles.

  • A person of character knows the difference between right and wrong and always tries to do the right thing for the right reason.

  • America is a song that sounds the best when we all sing together - at least for a while.

  • Be thankful for quality competitors who push you to your limit.

  • Being a father is the most important role I will ever play and if I don't do this well, no other thing I do really matters.

  • Beware of people who constantly assert their integrity and honor. People of character don't have to point it out.

  • Character - We describe the character of a person in reference to moral judgments about the worthiness of a person. Thus, to have a strong, great or honorable character is to be a person of merit, worthy of admiration and honor.

  • Character is both formed and revealed by how one deals with everyday situations as well as extraordinary pressures and temptations. Like a well-made tower, character is built stone by stone, decision by decision.

  • Character is doing the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay. When it comes to character, you dont have to be sick to get better. Its easier for a good person to get better than for a bad person to get good.

  • Character is ethical and moral strength. People of good character have the moral awareness and strength to know the good, love the good and do the good.

  • Character is ethics in action.

  • Character is just another term for "good person." A person of character lives a worthy life guided by moral principles. A person of character is a good parent, a good friend, a good employee and a good citizen.

  • Character is made up of core moral principles called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship. Each of these virtues are independently important but together they provide the foundation for a worthy life.

  • Character is not only doing the right thing when no one is looking, it's doing the right thing when everyone is looking. It's being willing to do the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay.

  • Character is the moral strength to do the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay.

  • Character refers to dispositions and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, failures and successes.

  • Discipline yourself to start each day identifying something to be grateful about. The world opens to those who approach it with a grateful heart.

  • Don't ask whether it is going to be easy. Ask whether it is worth it.

  • Don't confuse fun with fulfillment, or pleasure with happiness.

  • Don't sacrifice a good life for a good time.

  • Ethics doesn't require us to ignore our self-interests or demand a life of self-sacrifice. It requires that we know the difference between what we want and what we should do

  • Ethics is doing more than the law requires and less than the law allows.

  • Ethics is not about the way things are, it is about the way things ought to be.

  • Ethics is not for wimps. It's not easy being a good person. That's why it's such a lofty goal and an admirable achievement

  • Everything you do sends a message about who you are and what you value.

  • Experimenting with drugs is like target practice where your head is the bull's-eye.

  • Expressed gratitude encourages further giving; ingratitude drains vitality out of the spirit of generosity.

  • Failure is much easier to handle if you just think of it as feedback to guide your next effort.

  • For many of us gratitude to others comes with a sense of debt that can never be fully paid and therefore the things we are thankful for are never really ours.

  • Go out there and do your part to change the world. You may not change all you had hoped but the world will be better for the caring demonstrated by your effort.

  • Good character is more important than wealth, good looks, popularity and even education. These things do not guarantee happiness and often they become obstacles to developing good character.

  • Good character is the single most important attribute of a successful and worthy life.

  • Good intentions are simply not enough. Our character is defined and our lives are determined not by what we want, say or think, but by what we do.

  • Gratefulness is a payment everyone can afford.

  • Gratitude is a feeling not statement. It is so easy to say we are grateful that I often don't stop to really, really take the time to experience gratitude. Saying the words doesn't mean a thing without the feeling and it takes a moment of genuine reflection to summon that feeling. This Thanksgiving don't shortchange yourself with hollow words.

  • Gratitude is most treasured when it is unexpected. When we expect, even demand gratitude, we treat it simply as payment due for some service we rendered and we squeeze any good feeling out of it.

  • Gratitude is not a payment for a kindness but another form of gift.

  • Gratitude should be felt and experienced sincerely, expressed generously and received graciously.

  • Happiness is the peace of mind that comes from feeling that I am living a worthy life in the company of people I love and in the service of something bigger than myself.

  • Hire for character, train for skills.

  • Honesty doesn't always pay, but dishonesty always costs.

  • How many times do you get to lie before you are a liar?

  • I am grateful for all those people who said no. It is because of them that I did it myself. Practice an attitude of gratitude. You can either be miserable dwelling on the troubles you have or grateful for the ones you don't have. Your troubles don't care but it makes a huge difference in your life.

  • I am not and never will be perfect. I am not always as honest, respectful, responsible, fair or as kind as I should be. All I can do is what I should do: strive every day, with every decision to be the best person I can be. I don't expect to be perfect but I know I can be better.

  • If one insists on calling all unsuccessful efforts failures the meaning of failure is really quite benign. When trying anything new or taking on any challenge, unsuccessful efforts are an essential aspect of skill building.

  • If we keep treating our most important values as meaningless relics, that's exactly what they'll become.

  • If you pay too much attention to your reputation, you could lose your character.

  • If you want to be happy, learn to be alone without being lonely. Learn that being alone does not mean being unhappy. The world is full of plenty of interesting and enjoyable things to do and people who can enrich your life.

  • In life, we all get scored on every day. The wonderful thing is, if we do our best with courage and tenacity, we might be outscored but we can never be beaten.

  • It can be frustrating and even frightening to observe the success which sometimes comes to outlaws and rogues who seem to refute notions of universal justice. Every time we see a villain enjoying the fruits of dishonorable acts we find ourselves doubting the value of character and the validity of the virtues we have been taught. Thus, it takes character to believe in character, but that belief is always rewarded, often by material success, but always by the esteem it earns from those who matter.

  • It is better to be unsuccessful pursuing a significant goal that being successful attaining an insignificant one.

  • It is easier to be grateful for the things we have than to the people who have helped us get them.

  • It is much more difficult to know what is fair than what is unfair

  • It is not enough that we express our gratitude, we must experience it. We truly honor the must think about our blessings, separately and cumulatively It is not enough to count our blessings and express our gratitude if we don't truly feel grateful.

  • It's actually easier to truly become a person of good character than to persuade others we are what we are not.

  • It's easier to make a good person better than to make a bad person good.

  • Leadership is not a matter of authority, it is a matter of influence. A true leader teaches others to understand more, motivates them to be more and inspires them to become more.

  • Lincoln described character is a tree and reputation as its shadow. The tree will always be what it is but the shadow we see depends on where we stand and the angle of the light.

  • Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters.

  • Many things in life are not fair but all things should be.

  • Necessity is not merely the father of invention; it is the father of courage.

  • Neither heredity nor environment determine character. But whether we give in to or overcome the negative messages we are exposed to as we wend our way through life is often determined by whether our parents, teachers, mentors and friends exposed us to good examples and morally inspiring ideas.

  • Neither the intensity of your feelings nor the certainty of your convictions is any assurance that you are right.

  • Never do anything for another with the expectation of gratitude. The expectation itself turns the gift into an exchange and suggests a debt is owed you.

  • No leader or organization can achieve breakout growth until it treats, "we've always done it this way" as an opportunity to think anew rather than as a reason to stop thinking. Keep in mind, tradition should be a guide, not a jailer.

  • No one is born with good character; it's not a hereditary trait. And it isn't determined by a single noble act. Character is established by conscientious adherence to moral values, not by lofty rhetoric or good intentions.

  • Not everything that is good for you is fun and not everything that is fun is good for you.

  • Nothing about character is hereditary. Everyone, regardless of social background, financial status, race, or sex, enters the world with an equal opportunity to become a person of great or petty character.

  • One of the greatest things about daughters is how they adored you when they were little; how they rushed into your arms with electric delight and demanded that you watch everything they do and listen to everything they say. Those memories will help you through less joyous times when their adoration is replaced by embarrassment or annoyance and they don't want you to see what they are doing or hear what they are saying. And yet, you will adore your daughter every day of her life, hoping to be valued again, but realizing how fortunate you were even if you only get what you already got.

  • One problem with gratitude is that it competes with the sense of pride, self-reliance and accomplishment we have. We want to think what we have is the result of our efforts rather than the gifts, good turns and opportunities provided us by others.

  • Our character is revealed by how we treat people who cannot help us or hurt us.

  • Our expectation of the gratitude of others for what we've done for them is sometimes exaggerated because of our deep desire for appreciation and approval. When our good work or good deeds go unrewarded by hoped for praise, we feel like failures so we treat those who denied us our due as betrayers.

  • Our obligation to others and a gift to ourselves is to acknowledge and authentically express genuine appreciation for courtesies, caring and concern others have given us.

  • People of character do the right thing, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world.

  • People who don't believe in you are right only if you believe they are.

  • People who fight fire with fire end up with only the ashes of their own integrity.

  • Physical courage to a person of honour is easier and less risky than acts that could subject him to embarrassment or humiliation or a diminished career or reputation. These things he must live with. To die for honor is an easier thought to bear.

  • Pretty isn't beauty. Pretty is how you look; Beauty is who you are. Pretty is in the face and body; Beauty is in the heart, mind and soul. Pretty fades; Beauty grows.

  • Some jobs require a more consistent challenge to moral courage than others. Politics is one. In such a setting terrifically good men and women will still be found wanting occasionally. No one does the right thing all the time. It would be more generous and fair to consider their batting average than to judge them only by their last worst act.

  • Someone who lies for you will also lie to you. The occasional benefit your business may gain from a successful deception or concealment is always outweighed by the encouragement it provides to those willing to risk trust for success.

  • Sometimes the dues we pay to maintain integrity are pretty high, but the ultimate cost of moral compromise is so much higher.

  • Sportsmanship is the ethical and moral dimension of sports. It is demonstrated by a number of attributes and attitudes such as fair play, respect for the rules and traditions of the sport and various traits of good character including integrity (abiding by the letter and spirit of the rules and concepts of honor); demonstrated respect for others including teammates, opponents, officials and spectators; accountability, self-control, and graciousness in victory and defeat.

  • Success comes in cans. Failures comes in can'ts.

  • Success in anything important rarely comes without the Five Horsemen of Success: planning, effort, positivity, perseverance and resilience.

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