“When you are content to be simply be yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”—Lao-Tzu

The first question is, “Do you know who you are?” How do you know? When you know who you are. you are fairly clear about the things you like to do and are crystal clear about the things you won’t do. You know what your purpose is in life and the majority, if not all, of your activities are aligned with that purpose. When you are unhappy, you are quick to identify the cause and adjust yourself to be better able to deal with the situation so you don’t stay unhappy for long. Knowing yourself can be something you understand at an early age and it can also take your entire life to figure out.

If you know who you are, then you can live your life in chorus with whom you want to be. If you don’t know who you are, then you may want to spend some time figuring it out. One of the first things to determine is what your priorities are and what’s most important to you. That will begin the process. So if you had 15 seconds to evacuate your home and you could only take one thing with you, what would it be? What does that one item say about what’s important to you? That may give you a beginning clue about who you are. You can also ask the question, on your 100th birthday, what do you people to say about you? How do you want to be remembered? What kind of person do you want to have been?

When you begin to live your life in concert with your most important values, you will be respected, first by yourself and then by others. It’s having integrity with yourself that wins you respect on all counts. Are you living in integrity with what’s important in your life? If not, what will you change?

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