Editors’ Note: This is a guest post from Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker.
Many years ago, when I was a young fellow of 23, I said goodbye to my native England and journeyed to British Columbia. My heart said I would find meaning and freedom in that big, wild country. About a year after arriving in BC my entire life changed in an instant one summer afternoon.
A friend had arranged for me to meet a British lord named Martin Cecil. He was a member of a famous British family, a well-known B.C. cattleman and also leader of a spiritual community in the interior B.C.
I had a good job as a reporter in Victoria, B.C., but wanted to learn more about this community. I had a strong feeling that I would know, as soon as I met Martin Cecil, if I could trust him — and if the community was the right thing for me.
No sooner did he get out of his chair and walk toward me than I knew instinctively that I could trust him – and wanted to join the community. He was irresistible. He didn’t have to say a word. I felt the peace of his presence. I felt his integrity in his smile and in his clear blue eyes.
I felt the strength, love, wisdom and utter dependability of his character and the truth is I was part of the community he founded in the Cariboo country of BC for 36 years.
Do you want to be irresistible?
Do you want to be irresistible? It’s quite simple. All you have to do is to be true to your own true character, and express that character in living.
But how do we do that? How do we access the gold of love and truth that is buried deep in every one of us? And what is it anyway, this authentic character that is our true wealth and the greatest gift, really, that we have to give to our world?
Here are some ways to express true character
1. Learn from nature.
If you want to be irresistible, what better place to start than studying nature? Nature doesn’t seem to find it hard to be irresistible. Whether nature is being a daffodil, a tree, a hurricane, or the roar in a lion’s throat, it simply IS irresistible.
One of the things I love most about nature is its patience. Consider, for example, how a young tree grows. It takes its time. It doesn’t just try to push itself out of the ground by brute force, it spirals its way out of the ground – gently, but very persistently. I can say, after 79 years of living on this planet, that quaint though it may sound, this approach really works. It can get you through a lot of difficult situations, too.
2. Be still.
“Silence,” says an ancient Native Indian tradition “is the cornerstone of true character.” We live in a culture that is very oriented to doing and achieving. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But if we want to deepen our connection with our own being, with our own true character, we must take some time every now and again to simply be still.
“Be still, and know that I am God,” said the Psalmist, and the words are the compass of my life.
The interesting thing is that sometimes, a few moments consciously “not doing” can actually increase our creativity and productivity no end. It can also help us in connecting more deeply with our own inner wisdom. History is full of tales of famous people who had their “breakthrough” moments when, strangely enough, they weren’t doing anything. In fact they may have given up on their project altogether.
3. Be persistent.
I recently created a course on the theme of “happy aging” that I’m offering at my blog on May 23 entitled “How to look (and feel) 10 years younger: The true promise and potential of aging.” I share my own experience that aging is nothing to fear, but can be a door to true meaning and happiness at any age. And I share how though our physical form ages, our unconquerable spirit never grows old.
I can tell you that finishing “The True Promise and Potential of Aging” over the last few months with serious help from Mary Jaksch of the A-List Blogger Club has been like giving birth.
It’s called for every ounce of persistence that is in me. Please don’t give up on any true and worthwhile endeavor in which you may be engaged. Don’t give up on a single one of your dreams or goals, if they are true dreams and true goals. We live in a benevolent universe and all you need is persistence and a little wisdom and your dreams will come true.
4. Value little moments as much as big ones.
When we are expressing true character we appreciate the little moments of life and care for them to the best of our ability just as much as we honor the “big” moments.
I used to marvel at how my mentor, Martin, would take so much care with cutting his lawn or fixing a broken toilet. Walking into a coffee shop, for example, or into a food market, listening to a stream or watching children at play – it’s all an opportunity to step back from our conditioned existence and celebrate the joy and spontaneity of life.
5. Love balance.
We live in a loving universe that relies on balance. If we would be true to our own true character we too must love balance and seek balance at all times. For example, it seems paradoxical, but only the strong can be gentle. And although I find great delight, especially as I get older, in sometimes simply sitting in a chair doing nothing, life demands action and creativity too.
6. Be interested in other people.
If you really want to be irresistible, be genuinely interested in what someone else is interested in. If you can find out what makes someone excited or happy – their eyes will glow and friendship will flow.
7. Be kind.
Be kind to yourself and others. Sometimes, caught up in some important task, we put undue pressure on ourselves or another. It’s important to be kind and gracious to everything and everyone we meet. It is not weak to be kind. It is a mark of true character — it reveals the love at the core of our being.