Character is a pattern of behavior, thoughts and feelings based on universal principles, moral strength, and integrity – plus the guts to live by those principles every day. Character is evidenced by your life’s virtues and the “line you never cross.” Character is the most valuable thing you have, and nobody can ever take it away.
Why Character is Important
Character in life is what makes people believe in you and is essential both for individual success and for our society to function successfully. Each individual must do his or her part every day by living a life of integrity.
Integrity is adhering to a moral code of honesty, courage, strength and truthfulness – being true to your word. When you don’t exhibit integrity, other people get hurt. But you hurt yourself even more.
When you cheat, your “success” is false. When you break a promise, you are showing that your word is meaningless. When you lie, you deceive others and lose their respect.
All of those examples destroy your reputation and break the trust others have in you. Without your good reputation and trustworthiness, your relationships fail.
Relationships and Success
Relationships are the foundation for success in life.
For example, when you destroy the relationships with your friends, you will have no friends. You will be isolated and alone.
If a student promises not to cheat, but does, he is taking unfair advantage to put himself ahead of others without deserving it. He can ruin his reputation, his academic record and his job prospects forever.
When a businessman makes a promise to customers and doesn’t deliver, he destroys his relationships with his customers. His customers go elsewhere and his business fails.
By breaking your relationships, you break the foundation for success in your life. What is true success? For example, who is more successful? Someone who is famous and makes a great deal of money, or someone who has no fame, makes little money, but is a great parent? Today, in school, is too much emphasis being placed on “good grades” and “high test scores” – so much so that are these things, rather than good character, how we define success?
Your good character is the most important asset you have. It takes a lifetime to build but can be lost in an instant. Once lost, it is difficult to regain. Your true character is revealed when no one else is looking. Often, people decide to act based on short term gain, or an easy fix to a problem and end up doing the wrong thing.
The old adage “you are what you do” is true. Failure to consider the long term consequences of your acts can be disastrous. By study and focusing on the importance of character, you will be guided by principles, moral strength, and integrity to do the right thing. Nothing is more important for true success in your life.