Primary Virtue. Temperance.
This virtue enables our brain to kick in when we are swept away by passion. Passion means that we are taken over by a strong desire that can blind us to other factors we should be considering before we act.
Temperance is the virtue that restrains a person from committing an injustice against themselves or another. Temperance prevents an individual, if overwhelmed and blinded by emotions, from engaging in destructive behavior. The difference between impetuousness and mastery of ourselves is – practice.
Diligence is the earnest, conscientious application of our energy to accomplish what we’ve undertaken. When we are diligent, we pay careful attention to detail and are dedicated to achieving quality results.
Diligence means that we are continually working toward our goals, making use of what resources and opportunities are available. We are vigilant to avoid errors and to stay focused on the task at hand. Our diligence provides a basis for people trusting us with jobs that are tricky or complicated and also important to them. Diligence does not rely on talent, but employs commitment, industry, and perseverance to transform vision into reality.
Moderation is a specific kind of balance. It means recognizing that too much of any good thing is bad.
Many qualities, resources or activities can serve the health and well-being of humans or the web of life we call home. But even a virtue when pursued to excess crowds out other virtues and causes harm. When we practice moderation we seek to find the balance between insufficiency and excess.
The greatest barrier to moderation is our very human tendency to label entities as good or bad in absolute terms rather than weighing them as a part of a greater, complex whole
Responsibility means ownership: owning what needs doing and accepting blame when we cause problems. Responsibility also means committing ourselves – to lead, to create, to solve problems—and then following through. It involves taking risks and working hard. Being responsible can be daunting but also rewarding.
Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin; when we have power or resources, we have responsibility to use them well. When new resources or technologies present us with new options, they present us with new responsibilities.
It is important to be aware of where our responsibilities end and where the responsibilities of other begin. We must let others be responsible for their own challenges if they are to grow.
Tact means being discriminating about what we say. It means that before we speak we consider the effect on other people and we choose our words wisely and well.
Tact is what allows us to honor both honesty and compassion in difficult conversations. It lets us speak truth in ways that other people are able to hear without becoming too threatened or hurt. To be tactful means choosing our timing as well as our words. Tact requires that we put ourselves in another person’s place and think about their circumstances and feelings.
Self regulation means deliberately aligning our energy with our values and priorities. Through mental practice we focus in on a task before us and lets other temptations and distractions pass us by.
Self-regulation asks that we endure frustration, disappointment, and pain in the service of a higher goal. It means being willing to push ourselves to the limits of our will and endurance if that is what is needed for success.
Self-regulation need not be harsh; it can take the form of a quiet resolve or determination that then directs our choices. It is exacting, but is rarely served by our being self-critical or self-denigrating. Self-regulation allows us to make use of whatever power and capabilities have been given us, to be all that we can in the service of our dreams.