The most thorough, direct and effective way to increase power over our own self, life and choices, is to upgrade our character. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at how making daily choices in accordance with strong, stable character traits creates inner resolve, self-worth and a life we love to live.
QUIZ: How powerful is your character?
Please rate the following questions on a scale from (1 never – 5 always).
1) I adapt who I am to fit the situation or person.
2) Sometimes I tell people what they want to hear so they’ll get off my back or do what I want.
3) People tend to distrust me.
4) I hide behaviors from my family that they would disapprove of (phone/computer, drugs, drinking, affairs, porn, etc.).
5) If I always told the truth, my friends and family would probably disown me.
6) I feel like I’m always taking care of everybody else.
Add up the scores. If the total was 6-12, our character is in fine stead … it could just use a li’l spit-shine to make it more steady. If the total was 13-24, our character could use a good scrub to get the bugs off. If we totaled 25 -30, our character is questionable … we may want to adjust the bent frame and get some body work done before a good detail job. Whatever our total, let’s read on to give ourselves a super-solid character that SHINES! …
What is character?
Character is the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to an individual and directly related to his or her strength, reputation, stature, status and position.
Someone with POWERFUL CHARACTER could be described as: knowing themself, upstanding, solid, reputable, trustworthy, stable, worthy, reliable, responsible, steadfast, committed, successful, “going places,” true to themself, a mature adult, not easily swayed or manipulated, goal-oriented, aware, inclusive, understanding, interested in the betterment of all, keeps promises, recognizes their own strengths and the strengths of others, uplifting, genuine, up-front, unconditional.
On the other hand, someone with WEAK CHARACTER may be described as: lost, wishy-washy, neither here-nor-there, not on solid ground, immature, unstable, overly emotional or logical, stuck, unreliable, untrustworthy, “an unknown element,” uncaring, cruel, vengeful, hateful, disturbed, liar, cheater, thief, easily tempted or swayed, not their own person, needing approval and acceptance, needy, greedy, controlling, fearful, angry, immoral, without moral compass, lacking direction and focus, willing to prostitute good values for a quick fix/cheap thrill, without rules, sneaky, fox-in-a-henhouse, punitive, “out for themselves,” selfish, blind to the big picture and unaware of how they affect others, breaks promises, unaware of the true strengths and weaknesses of themselves and others, critical of themselves and others, a suffering fool, pitiful, skeptical, indirect, ambiguous, insincere and “of the world.”
Why is character so powerful?
As stated in national e-zine, Live Bold & Bloom:
Good character attracts trust and respect, allows you to influence others, changes your perspective about failure, sustains you through difficult times and transitions, improves your self-esteem and confidence, creates a foundation for happy relationships, helps you stay committed to your values (because you know what they are!) and improves your chances of success in work and personal endeavors.
Good character is the basis of willpower!
When we know what good character traits we stand for, addictions fall to the wayside. It becomes obvious that there is no place for them in our new life of success and health. Bad habits are an impediment and detriment to good character. When we commit to good character, and apply it to every action we make, the other nonsense dies. Such is the power of good character in our OWN lives, and the lives of others.
As a coach for willpower and empowerment, I can say first-hand that a person who has healthy habits also has a defined character. If we allow our character values (like honesty, kindness, etc.) to be undefined and fluctuate based on our moods, what happened that day, whether or not the “hottie” called us, who we’re with or trying to impress, we have no homeostasis or way to calibrate our behavior. We change with the “wind.” With this type of person, their behavior and willpower and behavior are always in flux, as they have no guidelines for their actions.
And, having “Sometimes Good Character” is not true character. Some clients tout “being good” for a period of time—maybe even months. They quit smoking, lose weight, eat right, and then … they say they “need to take a break,” so they go back to doing all the things that led them to unhappiness and failure before. If we have good character sometimes and bad character other times, guess what we’re known for? Bad Character. Same goes for how character works with bad habits. If we apply good character all the time, we have no bad habits. If we apply it sporadically, our bad habits are cyclical, just like our character. And a part-time addict is still an addict. These cycles continue until we choose and commit to good character values and OWN them, making them our structure for life and our life-style.
Why people create shady character
Growing up, we may have believed that we couldn’t succeed by means of good character traits. Or we may have idolized thugs, our parents or people like The Kardashians. In these cases, we may have built our personality on shady character traits, believing that would help us win at this game of life. For example, if we believed that we can’t become wealthy by making an honest living, we may have developed a shady character built on lying, cheating and stealing to get wealthy. If we believed that we can’t get a good mate by being kind, caring, honest, thoughtful and generous (aka nice guys finish last), then we developed a shady character built on lying, cheating and stealing to get “some.” If we believed that we can’t honestly pay for what we want or need, then we have a second checkbook or cash stash somewhere so we can do and buy what we want without letting “the provider” know.
Building good character
The only person we can change is ourself. Good character can be created at any time, is worth its weight in gold, effects our self-worth, value to others and bolsters our willpower like nothing else in this world! To spit-shine or redefine our current character, choose at least 8 good character traits that you would like to embody from this day forth, and act accordingly and invariably. Then practice, practice, practice! Below are some traits from which to choose, or select your own:
Are you willing to put some shine on your character? Share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,