Character

“You must avoid the common mistake of making judgments based on your initial impressions of people.  Such impressions can sometimes tell you something, but more often they are misleading.  There are several reasons for this.  In our initial encounter you tend to be nervous, less open, and more inward.  You are not really paying attention.  Furthermore, people have trained themselves to appear a certain way; they have a persona they use in public that acts like a second skin to protect them.  Unless you are incredibly perceptive, you will tend to mistake the mask for the reality.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“People will say all kinds of things about their motives and intentions; they are used to dressing things up with words.  Their actions, however, say much more about their character, about what is going on underneath the surface.  If they present a harmless front but have acted aggressively on several occasions, give the knowledge of that aggression much greater weight than the surface they present.  In a similar vein, you should take special note of how people respond to stressful situations—often the mask they wear in public falls off in the heat of the moment.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“If you have not lived rightly, you will not be able to die rightly.  Death is the final offering.  It is the highest; it is the crowning or the peak.  Death is the essence and the flowering of life.  How can your death be right if you have spent your life wrongly?  How can your death be full of meaning if your life has been a waste?  How can a tree whose roots are rotten bear sweet fruit?  It is impossible.” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying

“[My wife] likes to think of money as a big magnifying glass.  If you are a good person before you had money… then money makes you an even better person.  If you were a charitable person before you had money… then money makes you even more charitable.  But if you were an asshole before you had money… well then, money makes you an even bigger asshole.” ~ Jesse Itzler, Living with a SEAL

“Yet we are what we read.  We are the educators of our own personalities.  Certainly we have great influence in the crafting of our children.  If we brought half the intelligence to the making of souls that we bring to the making of machines, we would be people of character and imagination.  We would be sharp and therefore less inclined to kill and cheat each other.  We would know where to find the deep pleasures, so we would be less desperate for shallow entertainments and the ephemeral gratifications of gadgets.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self

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