Ethos is the spirit and characteristics that define us. Ethos is what we live by and what we use to accomplish our goals and our dreams. Ethos is sometimes a beacon that guides us home, a foundation, and the cornerstone of our lives. I live by four ethos: Discipline, Strength, Honor, and Love. I have lived by these four characteristics since I was 19. Anytime I have found myself at a low point in life, it is because I have lost sight of one these characteristics.
Augusta F. Kantra said, “Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want the most.” It is the difference between staying away from the crutches in life and getting in front of the barbell. It doesn’t only apply to the barbell, but to anything and everything in life, from getting through an average day to tackling your demons head on. It is making a choice to sometimes take the harder, but better, road,
Strength is a characteristic that is wide-reaching, encompassing not just physical strength but mental as well. It is about building your mind as well as your body. It is being open to the lessons to be learned in this life and willing to gather the information that each mistake teaches you. It is the willingness to admit you were wrong and to ask for forgiveness. Strength is also having the courage and the will to push forward through the things that are thrown at you, things that seem impossible to bear, but are a part of your journey.
Honor means showing respect to and having pride in not only your beliefs, your family, and heritage, but most importantly, who you are. Throughout a lifetime, you are constantly changing, evolving as you experience more and learn more and become more. An honorable man respects the situations he has been through, the people that have helped him get through those situations, and the things that he learned along the way.
Without honor as a part of your core values, what are you living for?
The last ethos is something that is new to me, but the most dear. It is simply love. This is something that is not natural to me and is something that I know I will have to work at everyday for the rest of my life. I am afraid to admit it, but anger, frustration, and aggression are easier and more natural for me to express than compassion and love. I have come to a point where I realize it is better to strive for love than to allow for negativity and hatred to dominate. How will I ever be able to enjoy life and leave this world a better place if I do not live with love in my heart?
These are my ethos, my words to live by.