September 30, 2002
The best are infamous for setting high standards for themselves. They take a great deal of pride in their personal value systems and so should you. When we speak of values, we are talking about the standards, rules and beliefs that we have established for ourselves and govern our way of living. This special "code of honor" includes our approach to such things as loyalty, faith, character, integrity and honesty.
These cherished values are not just words to a champion. They actually lay the foundation for who the winner is and what he or she is all about. Oh sure, we can decide to swallow our pride and try to con ourselves into thinking that it is acceptable to give less than our best. We might even be able to convince ourselves that it is all right to cheat "just a little" this time around because nobody is looking. Maybe we can even compromise what we believe is right and look the other way to pocket a quick but deceitful profit today.
Come on, who do we think we are really fooling? Certainly not ourselves, thats for sure. Whenever we foolishly compromise what we believe is right and just, we recklessly trample all over our own values and belief systems. If we do not believe in honoring our own values, then what in the world do we really believe in after all?
Does cheating, stealing, lying or giving less than our best make us feel good about ourselves? No way, not even close. As a matter of fact, we ultimately feel ashamed and humiliated when we negligently let our guard down and undercut our pride. Why? Because our pride never hides or takes a day off.
We must refuse to give in to the temptation of accepting anything but the best from ourselves, because giving less than our best undermines our esteem and feelings of self worth. We must protect our reputation at all costs, since it is the only one we'll ever have. We need to keep our word good by saying what we mean and meaning what we say.
By consistently exhibiting the traits of a winner determination, dedication and selflessness, we'll bring honor and value to everyone we meet each and every day.
Our pride comes from way down deep inside each of us. We need to let it out. We need to be proud of who we are, proud of what we do and most of all, we should always be proud of what we stand for. When we stand for something truly special, we can take a great deal of pride in ourselves.
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