A friend posted the following  on his Facbebook page the other  day…..

“ I had the overwhelming desire to do the wrong thing but didn't. Why not do the wrong thing is most often the difficult question and especially when no one is looking. "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are." -- John Wooden

This quote encouraged me to think about personal character. I would like to hear your thoughts as well.

I am curious about character because lately it often feels like I am locked in personal and professional battles.  In fact, so much so that I often feel weary. Tired of the next hard conversation I may need to have.  While in the midst of battle I attempt to always be aware of my behavior and whether or not I am staying true to the things that are deeply important to me.  However, I am curious because over the course of time the things that are deeply important to me change. 

Some of the concepts that are deeply important to me consist of being a leader, seeking inspiration, having autonomy and independence, and maintaining a no excuse lifestyle.

I have settled on a belief that character is internal and that we are individually the best judge of our own character if we intentionally choose to be honest with ourselves.

I considered the following concepts and thoughts as I came to my conclusion:

-       Character is a set of behavior traits that define what type of person you are

-       Character determines whether you will achieve your goals or will be forthright in dealing with others

-       Character develops over time and does not change quickly

-       A person’s behavior is an indication of character

-       Character consists of learned behavior

-       A person with strong character shows drive, energy, determination, self-discipline, and will power. – This attracts followers

-       A person with weak character is disorganized, vacillates and is inconsistent.

It seems to me that personal character then translates into integrity.  From my point of view integrity is being true to one’s self, one’s values, beliefs and standards. 

The battles I find myself in are a constant reminder that people and situations are constantly pulling at us to forget our priorities. Yes, if I am to be, do and have what is important to me then I must me strong and courageous and therefore hold my own in any and all circumstances.

Kind of like this John F Kennedy quote:
"Courage - not complacecy - is our need today.  Leadership not salesmanship"

So these are the things that I stand behind and will fight for:
  • Foster trusting and authentic relationships
  • Be dependable
  • Be predictable
  • Show genuine interest and curiosity
  • Approach conversations with sincerity
  • Empower others
  • Create win-win opportunities
  • Honor all commitments
  • Work hard – Play Hard
  • Cultivate business relationships not business transactions
  • Celebrate successes….no matter how great or small
  • Go beyond expectations
  • Never leave doubt of my passion
  • Get things done
  • Find opportunities to be both a student and a teacher.
  • Take the time to show appreciation
  • Be honest

What are the things that are deeply important to you that shape your character?  Do you suffer and face some of the same battles I do?