So? What Exactly Do You Admire?

The word ‘admire’ comes from the Latin word admirari – meaning to wonder or marvel at something.  It means to look at, or consider someone – or something – with pleasure and wonderment and approval.

So.  Having established that – what do you admire in other people?

At first glance you might think you admire someone who is beautiful.  But do you, really?  Are the feelings you have for physical beauty something that inspire you with absolute wonderment?  Gazing on someone (or something) beautiful can give pleasure but for most of us it is fleeting and short-lived – like beauty itself.

Perhaps wealth seems admirable?  But is your admiration for the wealth itself or is it for the hard-work or ingenuity or self-discipline that was involved in acquiring that wealth?

There are lots of human traits that we all admire – honesty, perseverance, kindness, physical bravery, moral courage, fairness – all admirable.  But what are the traits you wish you had?

Do you know which human traits take your breath away when you see them?

Which ones fill you with that sense of electric wonder that makes you say – “I so admire how brave/kind/fair/open/selfless…that person is.”

If you want to become someone you can admire, you first have to work out what that might be.

So.  What do you admire?

42 Comments

  1. A+ post! To wonder or marvel at life itself is, in my opinion, the greatest opportunity us human beings have. To expand on seeing beauty in someone, I would like to say that this is one of the traits that leaves me most awe-struck. However, I don’t see beauty as a shallow, only-physical trait that we so often label it as. A truly beautiful person doesn’t know he or she is. They radiate an energy that makes being around them enjoyable, positive, and meaningful. They show a brilliance in their encounters with all people, and there is a positive vibe that they (most unknowingly) project, just by being themselves. I have met three people in my 23 years that possess this beauty. They are healthy. They are successful. They are wonderful. If we are looking for the right traits, we may find them in every person we encounter, even the stranger that makes your coffee for you. I believe our main goal in fulfilling our potential in life is to find our own beauty. I like “If you want to become someone you can admire, you first have to work out what that might be” very much. Admiration –> Goals –> Fulfillment. Great job on a great post!

    • I think describing admirable traits as beauty is a wonderful way to express it and I agree that beauty is not at all necessarily a shallow trait. In fact, I honestly believe that there is real value in beauty – even scientists use it as a guide when searching for truth. I suppose my point was simply to do with aiming to develop superficial, physical beauty. So much suffering in western societies (and perhaps also in others but I don’t know the details) comes from a belief that we should all ‘look’ a certain way and that if we look that way we will be happier, more successful etc. We have a whole ‘beauty industry’.
      I completely believe that we find people beautiful because we love them or admire other traits in them and then their physical attributes – whatever they are – radiate and they become absolutely beautiful to us.
      It’s just the pursuit of external physical beauty as an end in itself that I think is misguided energy.
      Thank you so much for your insightful comment and for dropping by.

  2. A+ post! To wonder or marvel at life itself is, in my opinion, the greatest opportunity us human beings have. To expand on seeing beauty in someone, I would like to say that this is one of the traits that leaves me most awe-struck. However, I don’t see beauty as a shallow, only-physical trait that we so often label it as. A truly beautiful person doesn’t know he or she is. They radiate an energy that makes being around them enjoyable, positive, and meaningful. They show a brilliance in their encounters with all people, and there is a positive vibe that they (most unknowingly) project, just by being themselves. I have met three people in my 23 years that possess this beauty. They are healthy. They are successful. They are wonderful. If we are looking for the right traits, we may find them in every person we encounter, even the stranger that makes your coffee for you. I believe our main goal in fulfilling our potential in life is to find our own beauty. I like “If you want to become someone you can admire, you first have to work out what that might be” very much. Admiration –> Goals –> Fulfillment. Great job on a great post!

    • I think describing admirable traits as beauty is a wonderful way to express it and I agree that beauty is not at all necessarily a shallow trait. In fact, I honestly believe that there is real value in beauty – even scientists use it as a guide when searching for truth. I suppose my point was simply to do with aiming to develop superficial, physical beauty. So much suffering in western societies (and perhaps also in others but I don’t know the details) comes from a belief that we should all ‘look’ a certain way and that if we look that way we will be happier, more successful etc. We have a whole ‘beauty industry’.
      I completely believe that we find people beautiful because we love them or admire other traits in them and then their physical attributes – whatever they are – radiate and they become absolutely beautiful to us.
      It’s just the pursuit of external physical beauty as an end in itself that I think is misguided energy.
      Thank you so much for your insightful comment and for dropping by.

  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog and I’m so pleased to have found you. What an interesting blog subject you have. As for beauty I agree with plats001in that beauty isn’t limited to the physical. For me I’m drawn to people who have the ability to cherish life in an everydayness kind of way. It’s quite a difficult thing to achieve but I’ve noticed that people who cherish, even the small things in life have a depth and often a calmness that is quite staggering. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    • Hi there – no need to thank me – I very much enjoyed your blog. As you can see below I also agree with plats001 and completely think that there is beauty in everything. It wasn’t meant as a criticism of beauty per se – beauty is a wonderful thing and as I said already is often used by scientists to evaluate theories and formulae – if it isn’t beautiful it will likely be wrong. However, I doubt that these beautiful theories, for example, are ever going to find their way onto Britain/America’s Next Top Model type programmes as examples of beauty! My only concern is our absolutely relentless pursuit of physical beauty as an end in itself and at all costs. This doesn’t just lead to a vacuous society only concerned with superficialities, it deprives our society of all the other wonderful ‘beauty’ that might potentially be developed.
      Thanks you very much for your comment and for dropping by – I really appreciate teasing things out like this.

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog and I’m so pleased to have found you. What an interesting blog subject you have. As for beauty I agree with plats001in that beauty isn’t limited to the physical. For me I’m drawn to people who have the ability to cherish life in an everydayness kind of way. It’s quite a difficult thing to achieve but I’ve noticed that people who cherish, even the small things in life have a depth and often a calmness that is quite staggering. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    • Hi there – no need to thank me – I very much enjoyed your blog. As you can see below I also agree with plats001 and completely think that there is beauty in everything. It wasn’t meant as a criticism of beauty per se – beauty is a wonderful thing and as I said already is often used by scientists to evaluate theories and formulae – if it isn’t beautiful it will likely be wrong. However, I doubt that these beautiful theories, for example, are ever going to find their way onto Britain/America’s Next Top Model type programmes as examples of beauty! My only concern is our absolutely relentless pursuit of physical beauty as an end in itself and at all costs. This doesn’t just lead to a vacuous society only concerned with superficialities, it deprives our society of all the other wonderful ‘beauty’ that might potentially be developed.
      Thanks you very much for your comment and for dropping by – I really appreciate teasing things out like this.

  5. I admire the radiance of inner peace . . . like that exhibited by the Dalai Lama.
    I admire crinkled eyes, twinkling with merriment, and kind smiles.

    I admire people who exude loving kindness and compassion.

  6. I admire the radiance of inner peace . . . like that exhibited by the Dalai Lama.
    I admire crinkled eyes, twinkling with merriment, and kind smiles.

    I admire people who exude loving kindness and compassion.

  7. oops . . . boils over (not off)

  8. I admire people who have the courage to listen to their inner truth, and don’t care about being judged or made fun of for being different by other people. I admire people who cannot be embarrassed.
    Peace & grace,
    ~Miro

  9. I admire people who have the courage to listen to their inner truth, and don’t care about being judged or made fun of for being different by other people. I admire people who cannot be embarrassed.
    Peace & grace,
    ~Miro

  10. Wonderful post to really stimulate us out of our assumptions about what is admirable. I admire the following, for starters:

    1. intelligent bravery
    2. useful service
    3. affirming love
    4. inspired creativity
    5. unrelenting faithfulness

  11. I admire psychological mirth and it’s counterpart, mystery. There’s depth to each of us that so few seldom take on to explore and those who do are frequently ostracized and misunderstood for their discoveries. It is one thing to ask yourself difficult amorphous questions, it’s yet another to answer those questions and live a life within the auspices of what you found. And yet still another, to turn those wonderful discoveries about the depth of yourself, and turn it around to positively affect the world.

    People like *you*, who are coalescing an emergence and springboarding us towards kindness, compassion, and equity. Nearly every other admiration I can think of feeds this larger process.

  12. I admire psychological mirth and it’s counterpart, mystery. There’s depth to each of us that so few seldom take on to explore and those who do are frequently ostracized and misunderstood for their discoveries. It is one thing to ask yourself difficult amorphous questions, it’s yet another to answer those questions and live a life within the auspices of what you found. And yet still another, to turn those wonderful discoveries about the depth of yourself, and turn it around to positively affect the world.

    People like *you*, who are coalescing an emergence and springboarding us towards kindness, compassion, and equity. Nearly every other admiration I can think of feeds this larger process.

  13. I admire lots of qualities but thoughtfulness matters more. When we act from a place of thoughtfulness, we are considerate and kind and appreciate others and the world we share… Other qualities emanate from that place… I love this post and thought about it when I saw it as a prompt… 🙂

  14. I admire lots of qualities but thoughtfulness matters more. When we act from a place of thoughtfulness, we are considerate and kind and appreciate others and the world we share… Other qualities emanate from that place… I love this post and thought about it when I saw it as a prompt… 🙂

  15. Loving kindness and compassion are at the top of my list. Thanks for another thought provoking post.

  16. Loving kindness and compassion are at the top of my list. Thanks for another thought provoking post.

  17. Nancy’s words resonate with me, too…
    “I admire the radiance of inner peace . . . like that exhibited by the Dalai Lama.
    I admire crinkled eyes, twinkling with merriment, and kind smiles.
    I admire people who exude loving kindness and compassion.”
    I was with a Tibetan monk on Saturday, one of the older generation of the Dalai Lama…he had exactly those crinkling eyes, twinkling with merriment and kind smiles….glowing and radiating out to others…and I even received one of his twinkling smiles too..that’s what I admire.

  18. Nancy’s words resonate with me, too…
    “I admire the radiance of inner peace . . . like that exhibited by the Dalai Lama.
    I admire crinkled eyes, twinkling with merriment, and kind smiles.
    I admire people who exude loving kindness and compassion.”
    I was with a Tibetan monk on Saturday, one of the older generation of the Dalai Lama…he had exactly those crinkling eyes, twinkling with merriment and kind smiles….glowing and radiating out to others…and I even received one of his twinkling smiles too..that’s what I admire.

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  21. this made me think… i admire those who give of themselves without question, who love unconditionally as we are all brothers and sisters, and who dare to believe.. the world is a brighter place because of those of people.

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