strong convictions

13 Keys in Developing Strong Convictions

Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who stood by strong convictions. Regardless of how he was being treated, he stood with dignity, grace, and love. And courage. I’ve often thought of the courage of Dr. King and others who stood shoulder to shoulder with him.

Because of them, I could coach in the Super Bowl and drink out of the same water fountain as all of my assistant coaches. My wife did not have to move to the back of the bus when riding to a game. The black players on my teams didn’t have to stay at a separate hotel for away games. Because of that courage, my friend Mike Tomlin will never have to worry about finding a restaurant that will serve him in the South, and an old friend of mine, Ernie Cook, was invited to speak to the graduating class of 2008 at Florida State University.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people,” said Dr. King. Have the courage to stand by your convictions. Here are 13 keys in developing your core convictions.

1. Remember that what you do when no one is watching matters.

2. The means matter as much as the ends, if not more.

3. Hang in there. Character is revealed through adversity.

4. Often we grow as much through the little things as we do through the big ones.

5. Truth is critical. Being truthful is too.

6. Don’t rationalize your way around honesty.

7. Don’t blow your own horn.

8. Don’t be falsely modest; you have amazing gifts. Just recognize that others do too.

Some of the most rewarding times in life are when you have to stand alone, even if you are uncomfortable doing so. 

9. You are important, but not indispensable. The same goes for others. See yourself as a significant part of the process.

10. Be careful about what you do with your resources, gifts, time, and talents. You’ve been entrusted with them.

11. Some of the most rewarding times in life are when you have to stand alone, even if you are uncomfortable doing so.

12. Life is hard. Courage is essential.

13. Never give up. Never.

Sound off: What do you think is the most important conviction a man can have?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Who is the most courageous person you know?”