I was looking at a poster I have in my kitchen about different positive attributes. Three of them I noticed today were “sincere,” “tolerant” and “enthusiastic.” They’re principles that I can practice and notice when my thoughts and actions are aligned with them.
Sincere means being consistent between what I say and what I mean. In sincerity, I’ll act in good faith because I will value my own integrity. In sincerity, I won’t need to worry about being misunderstood or to feel uncomfortable with internal conflict. Sincerity can be a barrier against hypocrisy. I’ll try to make my actions align with what I believe and say. It isn’t a guarantee, but it pushes me toward doing what I profess. Sincerity enhances the goal of honesty.
Tolerant means that I allow people to disagree with me. I can look charitably on people who are different. Measuring other people with the ruler of my own perceptions and experience will be uncomfortable because I know I fall short as well. When I act in tolerance, I don’t need to obsess on the small “misdeeds” that I see other people do. I don’t know what they are thinking or how their understanding is different from me. I am not always right when I think I am, so I can believe that other people could be right when I think they’re wrong.
Enthusiastic feelings are a source of strength and energy. When I’m enthusiastic I’m looking away from depression and negative judgements. When I decide to do something, I can put my whole effort into it. The time I spend will be meaningful and might have unexpected benefits. My enthusiasm can be a little extra power when I am trying to accomplish a goal.
It isn’t an issue of trying to act on these ideas perfectly or to apply them in every situation that I find myself. When I offer myself self-forgiveness, I accept that I will fall short. At times I will notice that I’m doing the opposite, being insincere, judgmental, or lack-luster. Although I won’t find all of my opportunities to do better, my goal still is to improve.