Most people with talent make it into the limelight,but the ones who have neglected to develop strong character rarely stay there long. Absence of strong character eventually topples talent.Why? Because people cannot climb beyond the limitations of their character.Talented people are sometimes tempted to take shortcuts. Character prevents it. Talented people may feel superior and expect special priviledges. Character helps them to know better.
People are like icebergs. There’s more to them than meets the eye. When you look at the iceberg,only about 15 percent is visible- that’s talent. The rest- their character is below the surface,hidden. It’s what they think and never share with others.It’s what they do when no one is watching them.It’s how they react to terrible traffic and other everyday aggravations. It’s how they handle failure and success.
Here are the components of character you need to embrace as you progress through life:
Self-discipline is the ability to do what is right even when you don’t feel like doing it. Outstanding leaders and achievers throughout history understood this.
Greek philosopher Plato asserted, ” The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
The greatest victories are internal ones.The battle for self-discipline is won within.
2. Core Values
Our core values are the principles we live by everyday. They define what we believe and how we live Ideally,we should write out our core values so that they become a clear beacon we can always use to guide us.
Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel stated, “The man who has no inner life is the slave of his sorroundings.”
Core values give order and structure to an individual’s inner life,and when that inner life is in order,a person can navigate almost anything the world throws at him.
3. A Sense Of Identity
When it comes to character,each of us must answer the critical question, “Who am I? This answer often provides the motivation to practice self-discipline.It is fundamental for the identification of core values. And helps to establish emotional security. Our sense of security- or lack of it- often drives what we do.
How do you identify yourself? Where does your personal value come from? What is your motivation ad it relates to money and power?
If you live with a chip on your shoulder,believe deep down you have no intrinsic value,or see yourself as a victim,you will have distorted view of yourself and your sorroundings.This,in turn,will impact your character.No matter how hard you try,you cannot consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with how you see yourself.Thus,a strong and accurate sense of identity is essential.To paraphrase author Ruth Barton,people are set up to fail if they envision what they want to do before they figure out what kind of person they should be.
The final component in strong character is integrity,which is an alignment of values,thoughts,feelings,and actions. People who possess the consistency which comes with strong integrity can be very compelling.
When values,thoughts and actions are in alignment,a person becomes focused and his character is strengthened.