What Is Your Ethos?


Our use of "ethos" comes from the modern idea that it is the spirit, mood or characteristics that arise out of the relationships we cultivate in our lives.  

In a nutshell, ethos is our personal culture; it determines the character of our lifestyle. "Ferns do not grow in the desert," proposing the significance of ethos in realizing desired outcomes in life. If we aspire to something new in our lives, being intentional about the particular environment we generate with others impacts the character of the results produced.

The question is, what is next in your life? Will the ethos you are cultivating in your relationships be favorable for your next level aspirations?

Heroic living begins with exercising our imagination by asking what is next, what is wanted and needed to break through to our next level experience, impact, expression, etc.? What is the next level of vision that is calling me into action?

We believe that to productively engage these types of questions it requires what has been described as the foundation of a life well lived: humility.


“The first product of self-awareness is humility.“ Flannery O’Connor

Humility is an attitude which produces a supernatural ethos nourishing the most profound of human aspirations.

Every heroic adventure begins with a vision, a deep-rooted current experience of what the future holds. Unfortunately, a majority of us never get to actualize what we originally set out to accomplish and pride is more often than not the cause of the disappointment.


Because we took our eyes off the horizon and turned them inward on ourselves, our romantic sensations about who we have been, who we think we are and who we’ve convinced ourselves we will become, often disassociate us from the authentic concerns of our family and community. Our influential minds labor to delete, distort and generalize reality to confirm our self-serving bias unwittingly exiling us to wander through the desert of ego.  

The aimless ruts that disconnect us from our relationships are most often the manifestations of pride and vanity. Conditions that can only be remedied by a humble heart committed to a ferocious interrogation of current reality.

The term "humility" may be translated as "humble," but also as "grounded," or "from the earth," since it derives in turn from humus. (earth).

Heroic ethos emerges from connecting to other people on their ground, where they live their everyday lives. Through our struggles, failures and foibles we can choose to relate to circumstances as a chronic complaint or a heroic adventure. We can choose to be cynical about our circumstances or we can choose to be inspired by our circumstances.

Imagine that, our attitude, the soil from which our relationships grow, offers us some sort of future. For example, what future does a relationship grounded in suspicion offer us? What future does a relationship grounded in understanding offer us?

Have you ever considered that your attitude was making an offer to you for a particular type of future?

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, and internals I can control.  I can can control how I relate to the things I cannot control. I do control where I find good and bad. In me, in my choices.” — Epictetus

The practice of humility has a far-reaching impact on the quality of our relationships with others, with our work as well as our relationship with ourselves.

If you juxtapose humility over and against pride and vanity, you will see what it means to be confidently grounded in the moment, simultaneously opening the possibility of deeply connecting with others because your energy isn’t robbed by ego’s need to protect and defend itself.

After more than 30 years of working with people, Dr. William Glasser describes this way, "People's sense of themselves tends to range from flattery to pure fantasy," shedding some light on what may be a profoundly pernicious contributor to divorce as well as the breakup of professional relationships.


Excerpt from the E-Book The Hero Being.

Be sure to download your copy today.