character - character 2 - character 3

If you make friends with people
who are without character, your
own character will tarnish as well.



The severest test of character is not so much the ability to keep a secret as it is, when the secret is finally out, to refrain from disclosing that you knew it all along.

Sydney J. Harris


Material possessions will rust away, wear away, or depreciate, but your inner resources--character--must never depreciate.  In seeking success you must also seek fulfillment.  Ask yourself not only what you want to be, but who you want to be.

Elizabeth Dole
(see immediately below)


Whether on the floor of Congress or in the boardrooms of corporate America or in the corridors of a big city hospital, there is no body of professional expertise and no anthology of case studies which can supplant the force of character which provides both a sense of direction and a means of fulfillment.  It asks, not what you want to be, but who you want to be.

Elizabeth Hanford Dole


One exemplary act may affect one life, or even millions of lives.  All those who set standards for themselves, who strengthen the bonds of community, who do their work creditably and accept individual responsibility, are building the common future.

John W. Gardner


The poor Mullah Nasreddin was reduced to living on a diet
of chickpeas and bread, while his neighbor dined on
fancy delicacies provided by the King himself.

One day his neighbor said to Nasreddin:  "If you were truly wise
you would learn to flatter the King and obey his every whim
like I do.  Then you would not have to live on chickpeas
and bread."  Nasreddin answered, "And if you would learn
to live on chickpeas and bread like I do, then you would
not have to flatter the King and obey his every whim."

Traditional Sufi Story


quotations - contents - welcome page - obstacles
the people behind the words - our current e-zine - articles and excerpts
Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation



What is the true test of character unless it be its progressive development
in the bustle and turmoil, in the action and reaction of daily life.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


It is better to suffer wrong than to do it,
and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.

Samuel Johnson

We say we want a renewal of character in our day but we don't really know what we ask for.  To have a renewal of character is to have a renewal of a creedal order that constrains, limits, binds, obligates and compels.  This price is too high for us to pay.  We want character but without conviction; we want strong morality but without the emotional burden of guilt or shame; we want virtue but without particular moral justifications that invariably offend; we want good without having to name evil; we want decency without the authority to insist upon it; we want moral community without any limitations to personal freedom.  In short, we want what we cannot possibly have on the terms that we want it.

James Davison Hunter
Your character is your destiny.  Building character is a task for the brave
and dedicated.  There are no shortcuts when it comes to building character.
If you wish to cure minimalism in your own life, to develop a complete
commitment to excellence and an absolute rejection of mediocrity, the
question you need to start asking yourself is, "What is the most I can do?"

Matthew Kelly

Every one of us has in him or her a continent of undiscovered character. 
Blessed are they who act the Columbus to their own souls.


People of character will make themselves worthy of any position they are given.

Mohandas Gandhi

To be wealthy, a rich nature is the first requisite and money but the second.
To be of a quick and healthy blood, to share in all honorable curiosities,
to be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good
of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still
a dear possession in absence or unkindness—these are the gifts of fortune
which money cannot buy, and without which money can buy nothing.

Robert Louis Stevenson


If seeds in the black earth can turn into such
beautiful roses, what might not the hearts
of humans become in their long journey
toward the stars?

G.K. Chesterton



Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, words
and thoughts:  daily forgiveness, unselfishness, kindnesses,
sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others,
struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial.
It is these, like the blinding colors in a picture, or the
blending notes of music, which constitute the person.

John MacDuff

character - character 2 - character 3

The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor
intellectual achievements, but moral acts:  to return love for hate, to
include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong."

Sydney J. Harris


Everyone journeys through character as well as through time.
The person one becomes depends on the person one has been.

Dick Francis

You can tell more about people by what they say about others
than you can by what others say about them.

Leo Aikman

You can easily judge the character of people
by how they treat those who can do nothing for them.

James D. Miles



 HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words



Characters live to be noticed.  People with character notice how they live.

Nancy Moser

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build
and nobody wants to do maintenance.

Kurt Vonnegut


Excellence is never an accident.

Jerold Panas

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost,
something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.

German saying

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world
is also a confession of character.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Parents can only give good advice or put children on the right paths, but
the final forming of a person's character lies in his or her own hands.

Anne Frank


Prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer
is the only thing that changes one's character.  A change in character, or a
change in soul, is a real change. When that kind of change takes place, you
become a different person and, therefore, for the rest of your life you act
in a different way from the way in which you have previously acted, and in
which you would have continued to act had you not prayed.  In other words,
you become a different person.  The amount of difference may be only very
slight for each time that you pray:  nevertheless it is there, for you cannot
pray without making yourself different in some degree.

Emmet Fox



We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

character - character 2 - character 3

As you pursue your grand dreams, never forget the person you really
want to be.  More vital than success at work or in personal pursuits is
the character that you will develop in the process.  On a very deep level
you will seek to be the kind of person that enjoys wholesome self-respect.

Robert Schuller

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through
experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision
cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Helen Keller

Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow.  The shadow
is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.

Abraham Lincoln

It's been fascinating over the last few years, watching the high
and mighty in business and politics fall precipitously--not because
their plans didn't work, but because their character flaws undercut
those plans.  Whether the microphone caught them making racist
comments or their greed overcame their common sense, who they
were as people made all the difference--more than their résumés,
their degrees, or even their past successes.  If you fail at the art
of being human and staying human, you recklessly court disaster.

Marianne Williamson
The Age of Miracles


I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain
what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
the character of an honest man.

George Washington



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.