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Character


Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”- Lao Tzu

Based on this quote, character is the summation of who you are. It starts from your thought life to the formation of your habits which in turn shapes who you are. Will love to read your definition of character when you comment. Character is very essential, because it reveals your destiny. Destiny is not a mystery- if you want to know yours or another’s, look at the character, that is key.

Today, let us look at some truths on character that could give us a macro view on this all important subject:

1. Character is not the same as reputation 

Character is not your reputation. Reputation is what other people think you are, but character is what you really are. Character is who you are when nobody is looking. It is who you are when you are not on stage. I have heard couples bemoan the fact when the marriage turns sour that, “I thought he or she had character”. I normally respond to that in my thoughts, “he or she is a character but never had one: huge difference”. In most replationships, especially at the beginning, reputation will play off till you subject that relationship to time to see the cracks in the person’s reputation and that is when the real him or her shows up- character. I am not an expert on relationships, but one advice to give is take your time when forming one. Let the relationship be tested and don’t swoon too much into “Lala-Land”. It is one thing to be praised in public that you are a man of honesty and integrity, it is another when you are by yourself with no press, and tempted to “cook the books”. D.L. Moody said it best, “character is who you are in the dark”.

2. Character is also determined by your network.

Heard this phrase as a child, “show me your friend and I will show you your character”. Every human has five strong influences that will shape your upbringing on this earth, and one of them is company. Traits and habits can be learnt and passed on. Maybe, it is time to audit your relationships this week and trace why some habits, whether positive or negative are reoccurring in your life presently. A series of habits is the last stage in forming your character according to Tzu. When I look at my life personally, one good trait I developed was writing notes. I didn’t use to write notes and saw no need for that, until one day, I sat by a friend in Sunday School called Solomon who was always writing. As our friendship developed, I saw the benefits of writing in him. Perhaps without him and learning that from him, I would not be here today penning a blog. I met this guy in my pre-teens, though life has taken us in different directions, one of the many positives I picked from him is documenting and I am grateful for that. We thought our parents were the fun police when they told us not to hang around or play with certain people. In hindsight, what they were really telling us is the people you play with today could end up forming your character which will predict your destiny. Your network indeed determines your net worth.

3. Character can be reshaped

There is nothing as a permanent character. To me, I see it very temporary. You can be good today, bad tomorrow; optimistic today, pessimistic tomorrow; grateful today, ungrateful tomorrow. Why do I say that? Because the first step to forming a character, whether positive or negative, has to do with your thought life- what words are you reading, what conversations do you have and what images are you watching. Basically, your information base is where your thoughts are formed. When one undergoes a criminal investigation, one of the things the detectives do is to find out his knowledge base, hence seize his laptop, go through his library, screen his phone conversations and check his financial statements (which speaks of what he is passionate about) among many more. Your knowledge base tells a lot about you- by this assessment they build your profile to tell your character and that is a clue to whether you are a suspect in their case or not. All that I am saying is, if your thought life changes, it will go a long way in determining your character. 

Let me end with this quote again. Perhaps, today will be a good time to muse on what changes we all need to make when it comes to character:

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny”- Lao Tzu

Will like to read your comments because your feedback means a lot to me. Please don’t also forget to like, share or subscribe to this blog.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love 

8 thoughts on “Character”

  1. Too often I don’t think we truly assess our influencers. What we read, who hang around with, what we watch and so forth. We take cues from our environment. Thanks for sharing and causing us to pause and think.

    Liked by 1 person

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