Theme: The Importance of Character Development
In this context, character is simply doing what is right in accordance with some form of moral standard. Leaders and scholars of various types agree that one’s ability to do what is right in the absence of others is the essence of one’s character.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
President Abraham Lincoln said, “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.”
I believe that character plays a role in our reflection as we stand before the mirror of life. Furthermore, others form opinions based on a perceived character, be it good or less than desirable. Decisions at times can be influenced by one’s character and when assessing, there is oftentimes room for constant growth regarding character refinement.
I often think about the people within my life that set aside time to develop and to instill a sense of responsibility within me. I think about the difficult choices and the bearable consequences. I think about the crossroads of yesterday and what would the advice of my elders and mentors be – based on my decisions.
From the lessons of yesterday, I work to be a better me. In current times and during daily encounter with young men, I can hear the voices of yesterday saying what needed to be said and framing it in an understandable way. Therefore, today I am more cognizant of my character as well as what I profess, provide and promote along my colorful journey.
This month and forward, the challenge is to examine your character and work to promote healthy qualities within. Daily, be mindful of your dialogue with others. Your decisions and the execution of your actions should be in accordance with a defined measure of ethical standards. This is a month of inward investments. Therefore, strive to live in an honorable way and as the opportunity presents, share measurable truths.
Over the next month, work to improve your individual actions and model the behavior you desire to see in those within your circle of communication. In regards to character, make a list of your strengths and areas in which you desire to grow. Think about the consequences of your actions and inaction within your given circumstances. Erase any spiteful or unpleasant thoughts and be of high morals as you work on self-development.
Comply with the following consideration by keeping a weekly log of events and actions.
1. Show respect and appreciation for self and others. Define your values, write them down, post them in your home, and work to improve. Do this by not devaluing the personal experiences, current conditions, and knowledge of others.
2. Create a dignified family, work, and social environment. Promote an environment of good words and goodwill. Profanity, gossip, sexist and racist remarks, and cultural intolerance are unacceptable.
3. Do not demean others, make personal attacks, or indulge in casual betrayals. Be respectful in your critiques. Be genuine when speaking and listening. Think about how you can be of greater value by being a resource.
4. Continue to assess actions, media, the subliminal messages your send, and your total impact.
5. Be responsible, accountable, and keep learning.
If you are already engaged in this type of activity, expand by discussing your experiences and the sharing of best practices. The challenge is inward growth while discussing and demonstrating the importance of such honorable qualities. In addition to this, teach others through a useful task to reinforce personal development. For example, teach someone how to engage in positive communication throughout the day.
Before ending your personal building session for this month, give those in your circle of association, especially a young achiever, something of personal value to remind them to walk upright during their future travels. Always remember to think as well as inspire others to think. The act of thought will serve as a reminder of the significance of your efforts.
Weekly, identify the soft and hard skills you seek to strengthen in three areas:
1. Personal development as it relates to your core values.
2. Personal development in regards to your attitude and outlook on life.
3. Personal development in terms of educating and encouraging others.
Ensure the use of technology aligns with your values, your ability to take advantage of the available platforms and resources, and your discipline in terms of shying away from distractions. Review post on Facebooks, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social sites. Question the principles associated with your postings and how you respond to the posts of others. Assess ways to be better in this area by utilizing weekly goals.
** You will grow in awareness, thus, enabling you to be a better person and make principle-centered decisions.
** You will achieve a sense of personal contribution, thus, enabling you to teach and inspire others to be of greater value and service. The ability to impact one’s environment in a positive fashion is instrumental to character development.
** You will be able to note the challenges and document solutions as you remain committed to learning, leading, and serving in an appropriate manner because life must also be about exerting efforts to improve.
Enjoy this challenge and remember the words of Confucius: “See a person’s means of getting things. Observe his motives. Examine his results.”
Bennis, Warren. (2014). The Character of Leadership. Retrieved from http://josephsoninstitute.org/business/resources/poc_bennis_character-leadership.html
Character in Action: Absolute Values, Absolute Results. Retrieved from http://character-in-action.com/character-trait-definitions/
Hugo, Victor (1987). Les Misérables
Ogden, G., Meyer, D. (2007). Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character
Now is our time for mental rejuvenation. Through adaptability, conviction, determination, education and resolve – we will achieve. Character counts!