by Francis J. Kong
“He’s a character isn’t he?”
I hear that expression all the time.
It’s usually used to describe somebody who seems to act, talk or behave in a peculiar way.
But if we go right down to the issue’ what is character really?
A Greek proverb says: “Character is habit long continued.”
Listen to what motivator Jim Rohn has to say.
Could creating your character be likened to an artist creating a sculpture? In my opinion, I believe that character is not something that just happens by itself, any more than a chisel can create a work of art without the hand of an artist guiding
it. In both instances, a conscious decision for a specific outcome has been made. A conscious process is at work. 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 will still be somebody. You will still be alive, but may have a personality rather than a character.
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.
You build character out of certain qualities that you must create and diligently
nurture within yourself. Just like you would plant and water a seed or gather wood and 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 the rock in order to create the sculpture that has previously existed only in your imagination.
But do you want to know the really amazing thing about character? If you are sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you’ll not only create those qualities, but you’ll continually strengthen them. And you will recreate them in abundance even as you are drawing on them every day of your life. Just like the burning bush in the biblical book of Exodus, the bush burned but the flames did not consume it. Character sustains itself and nurtures itself even as it is being put to work, tested, and challenged. And once character is formed, it will serve as a solid, lasting foundation upon which to build the life you
Right to the point. Jim Rohn always has a way of doing that.
Every single day offers choices we make that either makes or breaks our character. For after all, our lives is simply a summary of the choices we make from day to day.
In one of the seminars I gave, somebody stood up to ask me this question: “How would I know whether the decision I make is right or wrong?”
My answer is this. “We all need a reference point wherein we base our moral choices on. I’m a Bible kind of guy. I make my decision based on what the Good Book says. And indeed it’s like sculpture. Chiseling away the useless parts and building those that are useful.
Character is defined by what you’re willing to do when the spotlight has been turned off when the applause has died down, and no one is around to give you credit.
“It is possible that through ability we may get to the top, but it is always character that would keep us there.”
by Francis J. Kong