Actions speak louder than words.
In my world, intentions hold little value. Sure, mistakes happen.
There is always a level of unpredictability in any endeavor we take on. We can’t predict the future, and often, the future surprises us, catches us off guard.
Having good intentions is important; however, they aren’t what make the world go round.
They aren’t what shape society, culture or our planet. Intentions don’t interact with the physical world — actions do.
Good intentions with misguided, misdirected, miscalculated action aren’t worth a dime.
Maybe a nickel, but definitely not a dime. You are defined by what you do, not by your intentions that lie behind and drive your actions.
1. You’re defined by how you treat people, not by how you justify your treatment of them.
The most important thing you do in life is define “goodness” for yourself. How you define goodness, how you define good and bad, good and evil, right and wrong, defines the person that you are.
And it all starts with how you treat other people — not just the people in your life, but acquaintances and strangers. How much value you give life itself and how you treat living things defines you as an individual..
We all have our reasons for treating others poorly — if only from time to time. While the more heinous of us find ways of justifying rape and murder, the majority of us find reasons to be rude, cold, aggressive, insulting and just plain mean.
Yes, sometimes we do have good reasons for acting less than friendly, but usually those reasons lack valid justification.
2. You’re defined by what you pursue in life, not by your reasons for pursuing it.
This may seem slightly counterintuitive. We all hear and talk about finding our purpose in life, finding our reason for existing, finding happiness, joy and creating the life of our dreams. I, I, I, I, me, me, me, me.
Sure, you need to do your best to satisfy your wants and needs in order to stay happy — but only so you can be more efficient in pursuing a goal worth pursuing.
Self-indulgence is only justified when it allows us to do more good. Other than that, it’s just us being selfish.
People are egocentric and by definition, at the very least, partially selfish. Yet, we are not enough. We are not important enough. We are a very small piece of a very large system.
Thinking we matter most is ridiculous. Of course, the individual does matter — but we need to learn to keep balance.
3. You’re defined by the people you surround yourself with, not by your excuses for keeping the wrong people around.
It’s difficult for us to cut those off who deserve to be cut off — even if we understand what must be done, we shrink and refuse to do so.
Most of the people you meet in life won’t deserve the title of “friend.”
This doesn’t mean they are worth any less than the next individual, but it does mean keeping them around can affect you in a negative manner.
You should respect everyone, but you don’t need to allow everyone into your life. It may be hard to keep or cut people off, but it’s a necessary part of life.
4. You’re defined by your beliefs, not by why you believe them.
I’m sorry, but “I’ve been taught and raised to believe this” or “this is all I know” is not a valid argument. If you don’t know why you believe what you believe, then you are a f*cking idiot.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it; if you don’t have a logical reason for believing your beliefs, then your beliefs are nonsense.
Worthless. Poisonous. Delusional. You can believe whatever you’d like to believe if you have a valid reason for believing it — and the only valid reason is rationale. If your beliefs are irrational, then you are irrational and your life is irrational.
5. You’re defined by the way you love, not by why you don’t know how to love.
This one is a bit hard for even me to accept… but only because I tried justifying my actions in a million different ways. I was young. I was stupid. I didn’t understand what I had, what I was part of. I didn’t know what I was doing. The truth is, it doesn’t matter.
You broke their heart. You hurt them. You damaged them. You changed their reality and changed it for the darker.
You were a negative influence on their life, and you can never go back to undo what you did. C’est la vie.
6. You’re defined by the person you love, not by why you’re trying to move on.
You can try to move on, try to replace the love you lost with a new one. Unfortunately, if you love someone — truly love that someone — you will always love him or her. It’s not something you can escape.
This isn’t to say you can’t find another person to love, but even if the memory of that old love goes into hibernation, it still exists, submerged below the current.
Trying to move on when you can’t move on clearly defines the person that you are. It defines who means most to you in the world, and it defines, to an extent, the future ahead of you.
7. You’re defined by the life you create, not by all the excuses you managed to adopt along the way.
Nothing defines you more than the life that you have created for yourself — it is you. Your life is the sum of your thoughts, your beliefs, your loves, your passions, your weaknesses, your inhibitions, dreams and wishes — failed or other.
It does not matter what you intended to create. It doesn’t matter how you intended your life to turn out. It doesn’t matter why you decided to go down this particular path in life, nor does it matter why you are the person you’ve become.
If you believe in free will, then you must accept your reality as your own design.
Your intentions don’t matter. The outcome matters. The results matter. The way things turn out and how those ways affect all the world’s living things, matters.
Everything else is just you rationalizing why you failed. Who cares why you failed? All that matters is that, given endless opportunity to succeed, you chose this life.
by Paul Hudson
About the author
A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. He primarily addresses the successes and downfalls of love and life.
This article originally appeared on Elite Daily. Reprinted with permission.
Photo credit: Nathan Congleton /flickr