August 30     

Today's quotation:

Character is not something you were born with and can't change like your fingerprint.  In fact, because you weren't born with it, it is something that you must take responsibility for creating.  I don't believe that adversity by itself builds character and I certainly don't think that success erodes it.  Character is built by how you respond to what happens in your life, whether it's winning every game or losing every game, getting rich or dealing with hard times.

Jim Rohn

Today's Meditation:

I'm never sure about my character.  Sometimes I think that I've developed a pretty decent character and that I'm a positive influence in my own little worlds, and other times I can't believe that I do or say or think certain things that really don't reflect the character that I'd like to say I have.  It seems to be a full-time job trying to maintain a certain character that is honest, respectful, compassionate, caring. . . and so many other things.

How do I build character?  I suppose it's by making decisions, over and over again.  But to me, character also means having a full set of already-made decisions about ways that I'll act and react in life.  If someone insults another person, do I call them out or do I let it slide?  If I find a wallet full of money, do I return it to the owner or help myself to the windfall?  I want such decisions to be automatic-- knowing the right thing to do, I do it, and thus I define my character.

Am I going to be always a good loser?  How about a good winner?  Am I going to refuse to mock other people, or make jokes about them, even if I'm in a crowd of people that find making fun of each other to be perfectly natural and completely acceptable?  My character will help me to define and decide what's right for me, and what won't fly under any circumstances.

Our character helps other people to know how to deal with us, so it's important that we pay close attention to the character that we develop from day to day.  We need to know what we're willing to do and what we are not willing to do-- and why and why not.  And often it helps a lot to already know how we're going to act in certain situations, and to make sure that our better sides shine through.

Questions to consider:

What do you consider to be character?  Do other people see your character in the same ways that you do?

How do you build character?

What does Henry mean below when he says that "on our character we build our destiny"?

For further thought:

Out of our beliefs are born deeds; out of our deeds we form habits; out of our habits grows our character; and on our character we build our destiny.

Henry Hancock

more on character



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