Life throws many challenges, she pushes you, propels you and prods you. How you behave, act and live through each of these challenges is your choice. Your character is who you are in these moments of choice.
We have good days and bad days. Good days give you joy, and bad days tests you, teaches you and how you deal with it makes you who you are. Your character is tested and revealed the most during adversities.
What are the key elements of Character ?
1. Commitment – how dedicated are you to who you are and what you seek to do? Words are necessary but actions provide the power and prove who you are and the important link between the two is Commitment. How would you feel, when someone who borrowed your book fails to return within the promised time? In every aspect of life, you need to walk and live your talk. Your thoughts, audio and video needs to be in sync.
2. Honesty – A journey within, to follow the inner voice that has both gentleness and clarity and helps you find who you really are. We need to be bold and courageous to follow this inner journey, to face who we are, what we are capable of, what we are uncomfortable with and be true and honest to the inner core. How authentic are you? Authenticity is not only being true to oneself, being yourself or “walking your talk” but also how you feel about yourself. Authenticity is when you are comfortable in your skin and also connecting with others without any hypocrisies.
3. Attitude – I find it rather strange that on Twitter, many choose to say thank you immediately if a mention or a Retweet has been made by someone who has more than 30,000 followers. Till then the person who has done a RT and Mention is completely ignored. This to me reveals the attitude of the person and a true display of their character. You reveal your character in how you choose to treat someone who can’t do anything for you. Your attitude is what you choose and something you have complete control of.
4. Respect – one of the values I was taught as a child is to give respect and then take. Respect not only those who are rich and famous but a waiter in a restaurant or a person who cleans the public toilets. Imagine if the public toilets in the airports weren’t cleaned or the trash wasn’t cleared. Would you like to do that job ? Respect a person irrespective of status or titles.
5. Abilities – your ability is in not how high your IQ is but depends to a great extent on your EI when you deal with others.
6. Courage – how often have you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried to be who you are or who you wanted to be? How many times have you approached your daily life with courage? I drive a lot of inspiration from reading or seeing or knowing people, who, despite their physical limitations, have ventured to climb Mountain Kilimanjaro or have engaged in similar activities.
7. Trust – no journey or relation begins without Trust. Your behavior, your act and your own inner journey should enable reliance to be placed on your integrity, strength, ability and who you are.
8. Empathy– how well are you able to identify with another’s situation, feelings and emotions? Do you like to take center stage by talking more than listening? Do you listen to understand or respond? The best gift you can give someone is your attention and empathy. How you empathize reveals your character?
9. Righteousness – doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances whether or not anyone is watching or observing you. Does the end justify the means for you and do you allow the end to dominate your behavior? Do you listen to your inner voice or go by the herd mentality in situations of dilemma?
Inward change begins when you evaluate and reflect on your strengths, your blind spots and attitudes. You can be a leader when you look in the mirror and make changes you need to make. Leadership is not about titles or occupying a big position in an organization. It begins with small things in day-to-day life be it in how you respond to abuse on the street, how you behave in a crowd when you see something blatantly wrong, how you respond to someone who may not be able to do anything for you in your life and who you are when you feel your life is in the trenches.
-How are you revealing your character on a daily basis ?
-Are you humble in your acts and who you are ?
-Does leadership mean only occupying a title and position within an organization?
-How are you influencing those lives whom you touch on a daily basis ?