Top 5 Characteristics of People I Admire (and how to cultivate them)

Everyone has someone they admire, whether it be a famous celebrity, athlete, a loved one, or even an ordinary person touching them in an extraordinary way. For me, most of the people I most admire have most or all of these five characteristics in common. Here they are, and how to cultivate them for yourself:

  1. Humility– The people I admire most must possess at least some humility. Humility can be defined as, ” freedom from pride or arrogance,” at least according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humility). Ways we can (unfortunately) display pride or arrogance, and, by the way, are HUGE turnoffs for me, are a.) thinking you are better than everyone else  b.) Not admitting fault and/or blaming others when you make a mistake. This can be a moral mistake (i.e…sin) or any other type of mistake, and to a lesser extent c.) not being able to admit that you need help with something.  People I admire are free from that. They are free to make mistakes and not blame other people for them.  They possess a genuine humility rare in this day and age.  For example, one of the people I admire once accidentally offended some people, and immediately and formally apologized to them. This person never once blamed the offended party for “being too sensitive” or any other such nonsense.  This person owned their fault completely and totally, without a “poor-me” mentality.  C.S. Lewis aptly described humility as, “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” We can learn much from that quote on how to be more humble.  Truly humble people never brag about being humble, or nice, for that matter, or they would cease being humble! They just are, and demonstrate humility and/or kindness through their words and actions. So, to sum it up, truly humble people a.) Just are. b.) Don’t think they are better than anyone else. c.)Admit fault readily when they make a mistake. and d.) Can ask for help when they need it.
  2. Integrity-Another characteristic that people I admire possess is integrity, which can be defined as, ” adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of  moral character; honesty.” (source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/integrity).  These people never lie to enhance their character or save their own skin, so to speak. When they say or promise to you that they will do something, they will do it without fail, and when they can’t they won’t promise you anything.  They are generally pillars of their communities, not because they are rich or important, but because they are morally and ethically sound people. If they are married, they are faithful to their spouses.  They are honest even if being so would cost them something.
  3. Caring/kindness-I put these two together, since they are so interrelated to each other, but another characteristic or characteristics that people I admire have is caring and kindness. Caring can be described as: displaying kindness and concern for others.(source: google.com) Because many of the people I admire most are humble and have great integrity, their caring and kindness for others extend more naturally.  One of the people I admire cared enough for me to tell me personally that they had to move, instead of just emailing me or letting me find out with their other friends.  Another person I admire cares enough about his subordinates to often thank them for their hard work and mean it too, and they hardly (if ever) yell at them, but are able to talk to them nicely even when under stress. Ways we can cultivate this quality in ourselves are a.) Pay attention to “the little things.” Watch your tone of voice and attitude towards people you encounter. Do you often act dismissively and invalidate people, or do you take the time to have a good attitude and minister to their needs too?  b.) Be intentional.  Is someone you know going through a rough time right now? Encourage them. Pray for them (if you believe in prayer).  Thank them for their good qualities. Let them know in some other way that you care about them and that they are not forgotten.  Do you know someone who no one else seems to notice or care about? Talk to them. Get to know them.  Buy them a meal, not for charity’s sake, but so they feel loved and important.
  4. Diligence-Most of the people I admire are not only humble, show integrity, and are caring and kind, but also show diligence. Diligence can be defined as: steady, earnest, and energetic effort : persevering application (source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligence). These people I admire are often successful in my eyes, not only because they are nice people, but also because I know they worked hard to get there.  They live life to the fullest. They don’t wait for someone else to do something for them if they can do it themselves. While these people are diligent, they don’t overdo it either. They know their limits, and so can be effective and diligent in more areas of their lives. They are not ones to give up when the going gets tough, but try again and again until they accomplish what they need to do. Practical ways we can show diligence is: 1) If you work, do it with all your energy or might. Do you work efficiently and the best you can.  Unless you are doing something else work-related, never let other people do the work you’re supposed to be doing yourself. This applies to students going to school too, and does not only have to include “paid” work, but unpaid work as well (i.e…household or other chores) .   2.) Have a purpose and a passion to work hard. Reward yourself when you work hard. That way you will always be motivated to do everything in life (not just a job) well.
  5. Affirming-Last, but certainly not least, the people I admire are affirming.  They are master validators of people.  They value not only people they admire most, but everyone else as well. According to Google, one of the ways affirming can be defined is, ” [to] offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement. ” (source:https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=affirming+definition). They always “shine” before people, because they always know how to bring out the very best in others.  Ways we can be more affirming is a.) To value others. See posts :https://placeinthisworld224.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/giving-value-to-others/ and https://placeinthisworld224.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/on-validation-and-invalidation/ for more information.  b.) Be supportive to others in their time of need. When someone is upset or sad, we can offer a listening ear. We can remind them that we do, in fact, care for them. We can make sure we have a soothing and/or encouraging tone of voice when we speak to others.   c.) We can look for good qualities in others, and speak about those, rather than gossip and/or complain about others. The people I admire most, while they sometimes do complain, mostly are very grateful and honoring to others, and when they see something good about someone they make sure to let the person who has that good quality know about it so that the person and others can cultivate that quality even more!

So, if you would like to be a person most admired, not only by me, but other people, I believe you should cultivate at least four of these five qualities.  No fallible human being I know, has these qualities down perfectly. (I know  myself don’t. ) However, we can all constantly learn from each other and these people, and strive to become better people and never give up learning to be better on this side of eternity.

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