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
Understanding 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.