Better Person, Better Year – Part 2

Table of contents for Better Person, Better Year

  1. Better Person, Better Year – Part 1
  2. Better Person, Better Year – Part 2

We’re continuing our post on having the life you desire and the best year ever by being a better person.

This is Part 2 of a 2-Part post.  If you missed Part 1, please use the series link above.

This is a continuation of resolutions by Jonathon Edwards, a famous historical American, which focus on diligently improving his own person during the course of the year.  We are using them as examples for improving ourselves so that we will have a better year. As Jonathan Edward’s list of resolutions is in old English, I’m going to put the original quotes followed by a summary of my own in blue italics

22. Resolved, To endeavour to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.  More forceful than the earlier quote, it is a challenge to use extremely intense amounts of your energies and abilities to have a happy life, as opposed to pouring your energies into people or situations you cannot change.

24. Resolved, Whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more… Often, we easily focus on other’s failures, especially those which negatively effect us. Be a better person this year by at least putting the same amount of energy, if not more, into changing you.  When you’ve done something obviously wrong, consider why—what prompted it—so you can not follow that path again.

33. Resolved, To do always what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without an overbalancing detriment in other respects.  This is another aspect of bettering yourself that includes boundary setting. Do your best to keep the peace, except in a situation in which doing so would actually be harmful — be to the detriment — of the people involved.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. The same point phrased a little differently than above, but worthy of double emphasis.  Think of those you have talked with who are in the end of their lives, of the things they would have let go and the things they would have gone for if they had the opportunity to live life again. Don’t have the same regrets.

54. Resolved, Whenever I hear anything spoken in commendation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, that I will endeavor to imitate it. This is a fantastic point.  Every time you see or hear of someone you admire, of a great deed accomplished or of a great character trait, choose to be what you admire.

58. Resolved, Not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness, and benignity. This is another great challenge. In conversation, discipline yourself not to display even an “air” of dislike, worry, or anger. If you can conquer this, you will grow immensely in your relationships, emotional stability, and self discipline.

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59. Resolved, When I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. Similar to resolution 58, this is a conscious effort to maintain a good natured disposition even when someone provokes you. Notice again, however, Edwards balance and boundary setting to do this except in a situation when it would be damaging or harmful to you, ie. disadvantageous.

67. Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them; and, what I might have got by them.  As is mentioned by many people of wisdom, a person often grows more through hardship than easy times. After a period of hardship, make a specific effort to determine how it has made you a better person.

70. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak. Benevolence refers to kindness, compassion, generosity, and goodwill. The world would undoubtedly be a better place if we each became better persons by making our words fit within these guidelines.

To read the full list of 70 Resolutions by Jonathon Edwards, click here

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