The ‘Ten Commandments’ of Character Development, Number Ten: Be of Sincere Heart and Purpose

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Dr Simon’s series continues with the last of ‘ten commandments’ of character development: be of sincere heart and purpose.

I’ve been posting a series of articles on what I call the “ten commandments” of character. For years, I’ve worked with individuals whose lives had become a shipwreck primarily because of their lack of sound character development. These individuals taught me the most important lessons they needed to learn to develop the strength and integrity of character necessary to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of those around them.

The “commandments” I’ve posted about so far have included discussion on overcoming egocentricity by being ever-mindful of the world around us and the impact of our presence and actions on it; avoiding attitudes of entitlement by having gratitude for the many gifts we’ve been given; avoiding both ego-inflation and unhealthy inferiority by cultivating a balanced sense of self-worth; avoiding a host of psychological problems by maintaining a steadfast reverence for the truth; elevating oneself to a higher plane of existence by moving beyond the mere pursuit of pleasure; becoming socially responsible by thinking rightly before acting; learning the value of merit by exercising and rightly directing one’s will; learning how to be constructive in life’s pursuits by tempering and managing one’s aggressive instincts; and helping to make the world a better place by treating others with civility and positive regard. The tenth and last commandment is a close cousin to the fourth and involves sincerity of heart and purpose.

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So many people I’ve counseled over the years caused considerable pain to themselves or others as a direct result of their insincerity. They might have known all along that they didn’t really love the person they were with but were still willing to “use” them to fulfill some desire. They might have really loathed their job but couldn’t separate themselves from the money or the status of their position. They might have wanted something from someone but feared they wouldn’t get it by asking for it directly, so they conned or manipulated them. It goes on and on.

Commandment number ten is simple, but it’s by no means easy:

To the best of your ability, have sincerity of heart and purpose. Be honest with yourself about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Let your intentions be noble and transparent. Harbor no hidden agendas. Sincerity is a prerequisite for integrity.

Of all the wonderful things I’ve witnessed in therapy, nothing has been as refreshing or inspiring as engaging with a person soul-to-soul. Something amazingly powerful and transforming happens when people “get real.” And sometimes, it takes every bit of effort they can muster to accomplish that. But in the end, the result is very predictable. Problems resolve. Life improves. Connections are made. The meaning and purpose of being here becomes clear.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this series on character development issues as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Much of the material is included in my upcoming book tentatively titled Character Disturbance [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK](?). It’s release has been delayed many times now, for a variety of reasons, especially the selection of just the right publisher, the necessary final content, and style. Happily, the right publisher has been found in Parkhurst Brothers, and wide release is now but a few months away. Parkhurst will also be releasing a brand new edition of my first book which has remained a bestseller due to grassroots support for over 14 years now. I’ll have more to say about the pending publishing of both works by Parkhurst in an upcoming post.

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