We live in a busy world. It is total social overload. We want to be “liked”, “shared” and “tagged”. Most of us spend so much time on what others see that we fail to see what is right in front of us.
What kind of person are you becoming?
Question – What do you put more effort into:
– Improving your public image
– Improving your personal character
First things first, lets get over a common misconception. Believe it or not, some people think you can not change.
This is a lie. You can change. It takes better choices, but you certainly can change. Plus, if you are intentional about your choices then you can change for the better. No one is born with personal character. You are not born with integrity. You are not born trustworthy. You are not born with a solid reputation. No, you develop. You learn. You earn, and you become. The bottom line is you must be intentional about who you want to be.
Remember what Ralph said,
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
So what are the benefits of becoming a person of character? Well, it’s not easy, but if you decide to make the tough choices necessary, then you will build the following:
1) Self Confidence
Self confidence is empowering. It is difficult to describe, but obvious when you see it. A confident person is like a a magnet. She draws others in and gets the best out of them. Don’t mistake being self confidence for entitlement or being cocky. It is not even in the same ballpark. A person who is confident in their own skin is a joy to be around. They are encouraging, passionate and difference makers.
Strong character builds confidence.
2) Build Trust With Others
Warren Buffett said, “Trust is like air. When it is present, no one really notices. But when it is absent, everyone notices.”
This is a simple truth with profound implications. Trust is vital. We never know how vital it is until it evaporates. A moral lapse in judgement can cost you big, but consistence make for a strong foundation. This is when relationships flourish. People want to be around people they trust.
Strong character builds trust.
3) Inspire Your Family, Friends and Followers
Dave Ramsey talks a lot on his radio program about how people can change their family tree.
This refers to when they actively choose to take control of their money and their life. He helps stop the destructive cycle of debt and dumb decisions. When one family changes the tree splits. New branches are formed and the generations to come are changed. In fact, the entire trajectory is altered.
This is awesome and exciting. The same idea can be applied to character. Improving your character has the potential to impact generations of people. (pause for effect) This is not hyperbole. It is true. Think of the possibilities. The decisions you make today matter. They really matter. They are an inspiration for your friends, family and followers. You never know who is watching.
Strong character builds inspiration.
4) First Class Reputation
Why does someone buy a Honda for their sixteen year old?
Is it the coolness factor? Is it the gas mileage? It it the safety rating? Is it the price?
No, no, no, and no… a parent buys a Honda because of it’s reputation. Honda has a great reputation. Sure, the car’s coolness, safety, gas mileage, and price all figure into the equation, but ultimately the brand has built a solid reputation. It has a reputation for overall quality. The keyword is overall. Your personal character determines everything. It impacts your overall reputation. People respect people with values.
Strong character builds a first class reputation.
When I was younger I used to work on a fishing boat. Tourists would charter the boat, and we would take them fishing. I have a confession.
It was a great boat, and we tried our best. Still, we did not catch the most fish. We did not have the nicest boat, and we did not have the best equipment. Yet, with all these short comings, our customers came back every year. We had great customers. They left happy, and they were loyal.
But why… why did they continue to come back.
Simple, they liked us. They new we would give 100%, but more than that, they like us. Customers do business with people they like. Loyalty is not always about catching the most fish. Loyalty is won when people like you enough to stick with you. People like people with character.
Strong character builds loyalty.
Your legacy is not about you.
It is about how you make others feel. It is about how others will remember you. Legacy is about others. Your personal character affects others. Business leaders who build a legacy bigger than their business do it by helping others.
Strong character builds a legacy worth remembering.
If you have read this far then you want to be better. Everyone says they want to be a person of character, but in order to really do it you must take the right steps. What is one thing you can do today to improve your personal character?
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/68502717@N08/7155138495″>IMG_1362</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>