Personal success is built on the foundation of character, and character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you make that gradually turn who you are at any given moment into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you’ll still be somebody—you’ll still be alive—but you may have a personality rather than a character, and to me that’s something very different.
Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you must take responsibility for forming. You build character by how you respond to what happens in your life, whether it’s winning every game, losing every game, getting rich or dealing with hard times.
You build character from certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself, just like you would a plant and water a seed or gather wood to build a campfire. You’ve got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut. You’ve got to chisel away in order to find them, just like chiseling away rock to create the sculpture that has previously existed only in the imagination.
But the really amazing thing about character is that, if you’re sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you’ll not only create those qualities, you’ll strengthen them and re-create them in abundance, even as your drawing on them every day of your life. That’s why building your character is vital to becoming all you can be.
Excerpted from Leading an Inspired Life.
Photo by @kellietalbert/Twenty20