In James Harmon’s collection of letters, Take My Advice: Letters to the Next Generation from People who Know a Thing or Two, author and radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger writes, “When you do less than your best with any aspect of your life, you lose the respect and trust of others, momentum toward your virtuous goals, your will to persevere against evil, and finally, the opportunity to do the good.” This part of her advice relates to the idea that one should always live so that in 20 years they can look back on their life and respect the person they were. Schlessinger compares bad habits to splinters in our rationalization and our whole self, and to her, these splinters damage our integrity and make it difficult to continue along the arduous path moving us towards out goals.
When I read this quote I left myself a note saying that it is important to find ways to build momentum towards virtuous goals. Schlessinger would say that the way to do this is to always be the best version of ourselves at this moment, with a goal of continually growing through good actions. I think a second cornerstone idea to this quote is having clearly defined goals that align in a positive way with your inner self. Greedy goals and material desires that are simply meant to build the facade of a lifestyle that you want to project are not virtuous, and will not have the foundation necessary for one to achieve any form of balance. Obstacles will pile up when our goal is to obtain wealth to impress others, and while we may be able to persevere, we will not do so with confidence, and we will not appreciate the end result.