Monthly Archives: January 2016

character counts

Building Character

Building Character in Yourself

The title implies that you can exercise some level of control over your character. Building character is done daily, minute by minute. Every choice builds or erodes your character.

According to the team at Let It Ripple, there is scientific evidence that you can shape your own personal character. The eight minute video is worth a look.

Of course there is also the tried and true words of our parents and grandparents, “Do it because it builds character.” Check out this great post by Jon Mertz over at the Thin Difference talking about what builds character. Building character is not easy.

Perhaps this is why a lot of people do not even try. It’s not because they want bad character, but because there are so many barriers. Personal mental barriers due to how you think. Social barriers set by people with no care about character. A lifetime of habits, both good and bad contribute to the wall that must be surmounted. Building character is hard work.

Creating character is not physically, but mentally hard work. You must exercise your will. It is much like standing in front of your shower and turning on the cold water. You know it’s cold, but you exert your will to step into the shower anyway. This is the type of effort that must be made when developing character.

Building Character in Others

building characterUnderstanding how to improve your own character is the first step. Learning to encourage others is the next. The bad news is you cannot build character in others. You can give them opportunities. You can promote good character. You can encourage them. You can teach them. But ultimately, each person must make the choice their self. Influence those around you by being a good example. Children especially learn more by seeing a behavior than just being taught. Reminds me of a quote from  Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

The key to building character is take action everyday. Be aware of how every choice you make affects your character. Notice how those actions affect those around you. Take note of the people watching you. That is how you build your character and encourage others to build their own character.

weekend coffee share busy edition

Road Trip Edition Weekend Coffee Share

Road Trip East Texas

If we were sitting down to our favorite beverage, I would tell you that I had a great week. My lovely wife and I ended the week by hopping in the car and taking a road trip around East Texas. Ever since we found this great app called Roadside America Attractions, we love to find new, interesting and odd things to see and do. How was your week? Where did you go? What did you do? Tell me about it.

For example, Saturday we saw the grave of Shorty the Squirrel and a small town jail that held Bonnie of Bonnie & Clyde fame for a couple of nights. We visited the world’s richest acre and had a nice chat whilst driving around East Texas.

In Jefferson, TX we found a great little bar-b-que joint and an old-fashioned country store. After dinner, we hit the road again and headed home by the light of the full moon. We love getting out and seeing the sites via a road trip in East Texas or anywhere.

What’s around You?

Do you have any interesting or unusual sites around you? We would love to hear what they are so we can visit. Please leave your comments below and share our site with a friend.

When forging character gratitude is important Qutoe by Cicero

Gratitude, The Parent of Character


GratitudeGratitude. My grandfather was a coal miner. My grandmother took care of the home, the garden, the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning and the kids. They did not have much in the way that our materialistic society today measures things, but what they did have, they were grateful for it. They had a small garden, a few cows, pigs and chickens. This provided their food. They had great neighbors, friends and family. They had a clear, cold spring for fresh water.

Grandaddy had worked in the coal mines and as a result had black lung disease from breathing all the coal dust. He trouble doing anything without getting out of breath.  Grandma had severe osteoarthritis and had a hard time getting around or using her hands.

Even with all these challenges, they were grateful what they had, plenty of food, water and good family and friends. Simple, but important things. Friends dropping in for a quilting bee. Hanging out at the service station playing checkers. A roof over their heads. Watching the ducks down by the creek. All these simple things were appreciated. For my grandparents, gratitude is the parent of character.

Above all they had gratitude.

Gratitude is the parent of character

What does gratitude have to do with character? When one thinks of character, things like trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness and compassion come to mind. Without a spirit of graciousness, the other traits are greatly diminished.

According to Cicero, gratitude is the parent of all character virtues.

Gratitude is the parent of all character virtues

What are you grateful for?

Being able to appreciate what you have is one the greatest gifts which you can give yourself. I do not mean that you must be satisfied with your current situation. But you must appreciate it and accept it. Do not settle for where you are.

What I am saying is that if you cannot learn happiness  where you are and with you have, you will never be happy.

  • Employment (self or otherwise) which allows us to support our bad habits like eating and sleeping under a roof
  • Customers and clients that make it possible to get paid
  • People that provide our food and water
  • A roof to sleep under

Learning to be grateful is the first step toward improving your life. Are you ready to start? What are you grateful for? We would love to hear your thoughts below.

weekend coffee share busy edition

Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share

As we sit down to enjoy our favorite beverage, I want to ask how your week went. Did you get done the things you had planned? Were there steps to in improve your character or some other challenge? Let’s have a little weekend coffee share.

weekend coffee share directionsIt’s been a great week. I got a newsletter out and a couple of blog articles written. A bit of research done around a couple of chapters in the book. My lovely wife and I visited the senior center, joined and started a couple of classes. We swim a couple of times per week. My lovely wife is doing a workout class and I’m attending the weekly writer’s get together. There are two published authors in the group and then the rest of us. All at various stages of writing. Some are working on a book. Others just thoughts and poetry.

Where are you headed? Do you have a plan? Or do you just play it by ear? Is there an established goal? Maybe it’s take it as it comes? I think a little of both is the best. Have a plan or a goal, but be flexible. Bend with the issues or challenges that arise. Plan but adapt. Be ready to change directions.

Your Direction?

What’s going on with you? Any new or interesting projects? A challenge or road block perhaps? Let’s talk about it. I would love to hear what’s going on. Maybe I can help. Sometimes talking or writing about challenges will help you sort out a solution. What’s going well? Anything need work? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Join the Weekend Coffee Share

Don’t forget to write your own weekend coffee share and visit Diana at Part Time Monster to add your link to the linky.