Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character. – Horace Greeley
What does that mean?
This is a pile-driver way of pointing out the obvious. Fame has no endurance, just think of sports or Hollywood stars who have come and gone. Popularity isn’t really reliable either, if you can recall your days in High School. As for riches, for those who have a 401k or any investments in the market, you know just how fast things can change.
The quote ends with the comment that the only thing that actually endures is character. At theFreeDictionary.com, character is defined as “Moral or ethical strength.” and “Public estimation of someone; reputation.” What you do, repeatedly, is what you become, and that is eventually noticed by others. Even in death, your reputation may well follow you. Honest Abe, anyone?
Why is character important?
Character is also sometimes described as “That which you do when no one is looking.” A person’s character, whether perceived or actual, impacts how we deal with them. Someone who behaves and speaks in a shifty or disreputable manner will be treated differently than someone who behaves and speaks in a manner we considerable honorable.
It may seem inappropriate to judge people by how they act and how they speak, but experience often tells us otherwise. If you have known some people who lie, cheat, and steal, and then meet someone who behaves and speaks in the same manner, one would expect certain precautions would be taken by a prudent person.
How you behave and how you speak are part of the ‘first impression’ that people talk about. How will someone who does not know you react when you first meet? Your character, that set of behaviors and beliefs which you do regularly, will be a large portion of what they see. People tend to see me as a geek, and as fairly trustworthy. How do people see you and your character?
Where can I apply this in my life?
Let’s start by examining habits. What do you do on a regular basis? Do you tell the truth 100% of the time, 50% of the time or somewhat less? What you do on a regular basis will become an aspect of your character. Please note that I consider it far more important to be honest with yourself than to appear better than you are.
By being honest with yourself, you can note where you are not as you wish to be, and can take steps to correct the differences. If you are not honest with yourself, what point is there in continuing on in this exercise? Please take the time and be as certain of your answers as you can be.
We talked about truthfulness, one of the key aspects of character, but there are many others. Some of them may be cultural or societal in nature. Only you know what is important to you and your definition of character, and even for what kind character you wish to be known.
What have you come up with? How well do you think you did? As I have done this before, I’m fairly close to where I want to be. You will be too, if you put some effort into improving those aspects you feel are lacking, and repeat the exercise a few more times.
How you ranked your character attributes matters not, what matters is that you have identified some aspect of your character you wish to work on, to improve. I would pick three or four that you most want to improve and write them down. Circle the one you consider the most important to improve.
With the list in front of you, consider when and how each of these aspect manifest themselves in your life. What do you do now, and what would you prefer to do in these situations? This is a before/after snapshot of how your character looks to yourself and others.
Now all you have to do is determine how you will break your old habits and begin to drive the new habits deeply into your life. If you need help, there are coaches and web pages accessible from all over the world that talk about the all of the different methods to do this.
Take the first step and look up a method or two. Read it, and then come up with the next step. And then take the next, and the next, and the next. Your journey is underway, and your goals draw closer with each step.
From: Twitter, @quotepage
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/horacegree150676.html
Photo by Believe Creative