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Principles for character development and personal growth to be successful in life

Principles for character developmentA value is a belief, a mission or a philosophy that is meaningful. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual human being has a set of core personal values reside in the heart. Values can range from the belief in hard work and punctuality to the more psychological, such as self-reliance, concern for others and purpose driven life.

We all have values that determine our decisions and guide our day to day lives. Those who value their individuality take responsibility, are self-reliant and act with self-respect. Those who value truthfulness cannot bring themselves to tell a lie. Those who value family or friendship sacrifice their personal interests for the good of others. Those who value goodness cannot bring themselves to do something they know is wrong. We express values in our relations with other people when we are loyal, reliable, honest, generous, trusting, trustworthy, feel a sense of responsibility for family, friends, co-workers, our organization, community or country. On a more physical level, we may place great value on cleanliness, punctuality, orderliness, accuracy, quality and physical perfection in whatever we do.

Values are psychological objects. Although we cannot see or touch them, they are every bit as real as any physical object. People may dedicate their entire lives or even give up their lives to pursue their values. Examples look at the character development of Imam Hussain (as), who sacrificed everything including his life on the principles of Islam to save the moral values of humanity.

Islam provides clear guidance to its followers on how people should conduct themselves in their daily lives. A Muslim the follower of Islam is advised in the Noble Qur'an to use the best of manners when interacting with others. The root of the word Islam is "peace," and Muslims are to be peaceful in word and deed, treat people with kindness and mercy, and be tolerant and fair. Hypocrisy is considered to be one of the greatest of sins. Muslims embrace diversity and strive to "walk upon the earth in humility."

And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!" (Noble Qur'an 25:63).

Accomplishment in life depends not only on physical energy, but even more on the intensity of psychological energy we are able to bring to our action. Interest, commitment, determination, passion, drive, enthusiasm are some of the ways in which we characterize the intensity of our psychological energy. It turns out that value direct our psychological energies for accomplishment. When we examine the lives of famous people, we often see how personal values guided them, propelling them to the top of their fields.

We can energize our lives by making the full effort to implement the values we subscribe to. Once we identify values that are meaningful to us, we can develop strategies to implement them in our lives. When we make the determined effort to implement those strategies, good fortune and success is sure to follow.

The lack of core human values and the loss of core human values that has occurred due to modernization, economic growth and the loss of a sense of community and social responsibility is one of the root causes of the declination of healthy moral responsible societies throughout the world. The time to take action is now. It is time to establish a responsible worldwide education system that includes the commitment to preserving and teaching core moral values of humanity and pass these values to our children's character development. It is our sincere hope that this will lay a strong foundation for a safer, mature and more socially responsible worldwide community.

Below is a list of very important personal values culled from years of observing individual achievement and success.

Principle Values Character Development
Belief Justice
Sacrifice
Spirit (Spirituality in life)
Knowledge (Wisdom)
Fulfilling the Promise
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true. Principle of belief makes someone to be Spiritual in life and fight for Justice by sacrificing everything he owns with full Knowledge and Wisdom.
Faith Trust
Hope
Patience
There is a Loving Intelligence that pervades all things. All that is necessary is for us to maintain our trust and hope even though we live in the midst of uncertainty. Faith is our willingness to take the next step without fear or looking back and yet have the patience to allow Divine Order to work through our situation without trying to force the results ourselves.
Cause and Effect Restraint
Accountability
Good Intentions
Reliable (Dependable)
According to the law of the universe, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When we realize that we are accountable for every thought, word and deed, we recognize the wisdom of restraint and being aware of the intentions of our actions.
Attraction Discernment
Self-Awareness
Mind your own business
Wherever we devote our attention it attracts us and is increased in our worldly desire. If we do nothing to curb our destructive desires, life becomes increasingly difficult for us to control. If we develop discernment and self-awareness, then we can distinguish between what is beneficial or destructive that we are attracting into our lives. Develop mind your own business policy in lives.
Devotion Concentration
Calmness
Focus
Dedicated (Hard work)
We can contact Creative Intelligence by taking the time to go within our heart and souls. We find our true self here, not the ego and self-praise. This can be done by anyone, through dedication and maintaining a feeling of calmness and concentrating on higher thoughts, whether through prayer (Dua), meditation (Namaz) or a walk in the woods. When we focus our lives on higher thoughts and actions, we connect with the Divine.
Forgiveness Compassion
Mercy (Beneficence)
Understanding
Islam teaches that God is Al-Ghaffur "The All-Forgiving", and is the original source of all forgiveness (Ghufran). Forgiveness often requires the repentance of those being forgiven. Forgiveness is a conscious act that frees us from the damaging image of ourselves as a victim and dissolves the poison of resentment. These act as blocks to the Universal Reality. Because we choose a new understanding of our situation, we are now free to extend mercy and compassion to ourselves and to those who have wronged us. This reconnects us back to our real self.
Gratitude Generosity
Magnanimity
Appreciation
The true state of Universal Reality is abundance. When we are grateful and appreciate what life has to offer to us, it indicates to the Universe that we accept whatever has been given to us and that we lack nothing. If we want to attract more prosperity into our lives, we need to start the process of thinking magnanimously and being extremely generous to all of life. All of this opens up the flow of supply into our world because whatever we give to life returns to us back in multiple folds.
Harmony Optimism
Co-operation
Enthusiasm
Passionate
Authentic
Comfortable
Captivating (Charismatic)
One of the universal laws is that we can choose what feelings we want to experience. When we choose negative feelings, our lives become infinitely more stressful and complex. When we choose to be optimistic, cooperative, comfortable, captivating and enthusiastic (charismatic) rather than being a victim of our negative emotions, we remain in control of ourselves and maintain inner happiness.
Humility Modesty
Unpretentious
Gentleness (Openness)
Through an attitude of modesty and unpretentiousness, we realize that we don't have to raise ourselves up with self-importance. God in his own way and time will reward us with whatever we need, as long as we rid ourselves of pride and maintain an attitude of gentleness and humbleness toward life.
Integrity Truthfulness
Courage
Sincerity
Honesty
Loyalty
Teamwork (Leadership)
Punctuality (Timeliness)
Our connection to our inner reality is strengthened when we align our thoughts, words and actions with truth (strong moral principles) and have the courage to act with sincerity and honesty. This is the act of letting go of our own will and honoring the Divine Will instead.
Love and Affection Self-Esteem
Self-Respect
Caring (Friendship)
Thoughtfulness
Kindness
Nurturing
All living things require love and affection to survive, including ourselves. We must first attend to our own needs for love before we can love others. When we neglect ourselves emotionally, we become emotionally toxic and are not whole enough to give love to others. When we change the inner dialogue from the inner critic to that of the inner companion, we bolster our self-esteem and self-respect. Then we are free to nurture all individuals by being the caring, compassionate, thoughtful and kind beings we truly are.
Moderation Balance
Inner Peace
Tranquillity (Stability)
When we choose moderation in all aspects, we bring balance and stability into our lives. Instead of experiencing burn-out and stress, which actually hinders our productivity and blocks the creative flow of energy, we maintain our connection with our inner peace and true reality.
Perseverance Striving (Challenge)
Effort (Success)
Confidence
Endurance (Efficiency)
Committed
Accomplishment
Wholeness is not realized in a moment. Throughout a lifetime, there must be constant effort and striving toward self-perfection. In order to accomplish this, we need the confidence to endure all situations in order to reach our goal and success.
Purity Perfection
Simplicity
Innocence
Cleanliness (Orderliness)
When we choose to see the beauty of the simple things in life and the perfection all around us, instead of complexity and distortion, we retain our innocence. Purity then restores us to the joy of life. It is that which uplifts us and reconnects us to our true inner being.
Respect for Life Equality
Tolerance
Courtesy
Coordination
We are all a part of this Creative Intelligence and have a spark of the divine within us. Therefore, even though there is diversity among us, through religion, sex, culture, age and status, we are all part of the Divine Family. Everyone we meet deserves our respect because we honor the divine within them. We show this through courtesy, tolerance and coordination with all whom we meet. Imam Ali (as) says, Oh! Humanity, "Who is Man? Man is either your brother in religion (faith) or your brother in humanity".
Self-Discipline Determination
Obedience
Restraint
When we have the determination to restrain our lower desires, the door is opened for us to fulfill our highest aspirations. Through obedience to our higher self, we develop an inner control and greater confidence in ourselves. Through this process, we strengthen our connection to the Creative Intelligence and experience greater empowerment. Humans have a higher status than Angels but only when they tread the path of humanity. That is they subject their carnal desires, anger and other qualities to Shariah and reason. They become perfect and qualities like chastity, contentment, piety, valor, charity, magnanimity and forgiveness are nurtured in them.
Service Purpose
Responsibility
Creativity
We came into this life with a special plan or purpose to help elevate humanity and life on earth through our own unique service. It is our responsibility to be successful in carrying out our plan and to infuse our service with creativity, or our own special God given talent.
Surrender Acceptance
Freedom (Liberty)
Contentment
When we accept what is happening to us at the present moment as part of a grander plan needed for our growth, we experience a new freedom and liberty. We welcome whatever comes into our lives, surrendering all wants and desires. With this new awareness comes contentment and peace.

The heart is a very important flesh of the human body. If it is corrupt, the entire body is corrupted. No one is safe from misguidance. So remember to constantly ask Allah (SWT) to keep you on the straight path. The most frequent supplication the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said was: "Yaa Muqallibal Quloob Thabbit Qalbee 'alaa Deenik [O, Turner of the hearts (Allah, the Most High), turn our hearts to Your obedience/religion.]"

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016