Wisdom Workout

Day 2 of 7 • This day’s reading


Everything we do or say or grow into stems from what our character is about. My character was shaped primarily by something I would have never chosen for myself, adversity. At the age of nine, I lost my mother to terribly tragic circumstances. My grief and loneliness led to a very premature addiction to alcohol and a series of wrong relationships. I was always on the lookout for a relationship that would make up for the loss of my mom and that would make me feel loved and accepted as only she could.

Great character doesn’t come easy. It is something that needs to be worked on. Everything of value, it comes at a price and often with much sacrifice. I discovered the price to develop good character was to let go of certain things and embrace others. For instance, I had to let go of certain relationships which were dragging me down.

Character is also not who we are in public but it comprises of who we are in private. I'm a strong believer of the fact that private choices affect public persona and eventually public performance. These private choices steam from our mind. The human mind is our lifetime's treasure so I believe that we must do all that we can to develop a healthy and sound mind. In order to be healthy, one has to on a daily basis be renewed so that all the old, unhealthy thoughts are pushed out and fresh, healthy and positive ideas are pumped in.

As far as character in ones career goes, knowledge, skill and talent are definitely important for a great career. But their benefits are nullified in the absence of character. Many super talented corporate honchos, sport stars and artists have fallen by the wayside due to an appalling lack of character. Character is the glue that holds values in victories, integrity in ambition, right choices with consequences and values people more than performance. Character will sustain you over the long run. It is the raw material that helps you build a legacy.

Lastly I want to talk about character as far as our reputation is concerned. Relationships matter significantly more than reputation. One of the greatest treasures we have is our relationships. Reputations are what we aspire for others to think about us while character is what we know about ourselves. Strong and meaningful relationships require strong character. The thing with reputation is that it's more of an external attribute while character is entirely internal.

Since reputation is primarily external it can be altered and manipulated to suit people, occasions and conditions. In addition, it being external, it involves our ego. Character on the other hand, being internal cannot be altered with. When credibility is lacking our relationships leak and ultimately break. Relationships require partners or participants to be vulnerable with each other. This is where altered reputations get exposed. Character and credibility stand consistent across the passage of time.

Things to Consider:

1. What are some practical steps that you can take towards being a more credible person?

2. Your Curriculum Vitae normally has a ‘career objective.’ Write down a ‘character objective.’

3. How can you change your mindset to enable you to have a victor’s mindset?