Each time we are faced with a choice, we are either moving closer to the person we want to be or further from it.
Who we are as a person is determined by the choices we make in life. Courage is a choice. Humility is a choice. Integrity is a choice. Selflessness is a choice. Duty is a choice. Positivity is a choice. Our circumstances may not be in our control, but the choices we make in the midst of those circumstances are.
Each time we make a choice, it makes it easier to make that same choice again. That is how our habits are formed – one choice at a time. This is true with habits like drinking, smoking or working out. It is also true with our Habits of Character.
What Are My Choices?
The Habits of Character I create or reinforce are the result of my choices. First the good news! If I have a weak Habit of Character, I can begin to change that by making new choices today! Now the bad news. If I am not choosing to exercise character, I am choosing to be something I would never tell my kids to be.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
I choose Courage, or I choose Cowardice
- If I do not speak up or act because it might hurt me personally….then I am a coward.
- If it is not Courage, then what is it?
I choose Humility, or I choose Arrogance
- If I believe I don’t need to grow or won’t admit mistakes…then I am arrogant.
- If it is not Humility, then what is it?
I choose Integrity, or I choose Hypocrisy
- If I get mad when I am lied to by others and then tell fibs or white lies myself….I am a hypocrite.
- If it is not Integrity, then what is it?
I choose Selflessness, or I choose to be Selfish
- If I put my needs in front of others….I am selfish.
- If it is not Selflessness, then what is it?
I choose Duty, or I choose to be Unreliable
- If I only fulfill my commitments when I feel like it….I am unreliable.
- If I do not do my Duty, then what am I?
I choose Positivity, or I choose to be a Joy Sucker
- If I consistently make people feel worse with my complaining….I am a Joy Sucker.
- If it is not Positivity, then what is it?
Who I am is not determined by who I think I am or by whom I wish to be. Who I am is determined by my choices. Take this free, private, 5 minute Character Assessment to get an snapshot of where your character is today. Click on this link:
The Bottom Line:
When it comes to our character we have a choice. Do we move closer to being the person we want to be, or do we move further from that person?
Few of us believe choosing to be cowardly, arrogant, hypocritical, selfish, unreliable and a joy-sucker is appealing to others. In fact, we all believe in the need for Courage, Humility, Integrity, Selflessness, Duty, and Positivity where we work and in our homes. We want our children to display each of these habits.
We can easily point out people around us who need to work on these Habits of Character. It is easy to point out what others need to work on. But what about me?
I have a choice. Do I admit that I need work? Or am going to choose to ignore the cracks in my character (see Arrogance)?
It comes down to a choice. We can choose to start becoming who we want to be and who we want our kids to be. Or we can choose to be moving away from that person and do the thing we tell our kids not to do (see Hypocrite).
It is a choice that will make me or break me.
Which of these Habits of Character are most critical for you to strengthen?
Dave Anderson is coauthor of the Amazon Best-Seller Becoming a Leader of Character – Six Habits that Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home with his father General James L. Anderson (USA Retired).
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