Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sustain Your Success In Life With a Strong Character

Often in life we observe someone emerge from obscurity to achieve great success. They flash across the firmament like a shooting star, only to then crash and burn. Why is that so? Often it's because their talent isn't underpinned by strong character. Ability can take you to the top in any endeavor, but only character that will keep you there.

Outstanding character is more important than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not a given, it's not set in stone but is a construct, built on the foundation of our beliefs. And it changes over time based on what it is we give our attention to. Character therefore can be both de-constructed and also re-constructed. It is built brick by brick, by daily attention to our thoughts, our choices, with courage, and determination.

So what exactly is character? Our character is comprised of the collective mental and moral qualities that distinguish us as an individual. It's our ability to follow through with a commitment we make to ourselves. It's the sum total of the choices we make every day. Our character today is as a result of past choices.  Our character tomorrow will be a result of today's choices. Our choices and our character will be inevitably and eventually congruent. To change our character, we must simply change our choices. Because day by day, what we think, what we chose, and what we do is who we become.

Although there will always be differences of opinion as to what constitutes character, some traits appear to be universal. A recent survey found that truthfulness, compassion, freedom, responsibility, and reverence for life were considered the most important traits. From a practical perspective, the world could not function properly if responsibility and truthfulness did not exist. A person of character has behaviors that display both respect and integrity.

The definitions of character are all to do with action or behavior and our character is revealed through our behavior. In contrast to a belief or attitude which isn't the same as an action. We may think one way, but act another. People behave in certain ways because they possess a particular philosophy, and we can observe their philosophy by observing their behavior.

Often the most important aspects of our character are developed in adversity. Just like the best timber which comes from the strongest trees; those that have been buffeted by the wind, and tested by the elements, such that the tension creates fine close grained timber much prized by artisans and artists.

I prize his poem but unfortunately I cannot reference the author. It's titled: The common law of Life.

The tree that never had to fight: for sun and sky and air and light. But stood out in the open plain: And always got its share of rain; will never become a forest king. But will live and die a spindly thing.

The man who never had to learn to toil; to gain and work his patch of soil. Who never had to win his share; of sun and sky and light and air. Never became an inspiring man; but lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind the stronger the trees. The higher the sky the longer the length: the more the storm the more the strength. Through sun and cold by rain and snow; in both trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest is the forest growth. We find the patriarchs of both. And they hold counsel with the stars. Whose broken branches show the scars; of many winds and much of strife; this is the common law of life.

Welcome adversity, learn and apply its lessons; they will help you develop a strong character, one that will sustain you in your journey through life.

To your success,
Lloyd Dobson

Lloyd Dobson is an expert trainer on how to utilize proper online marketing techniques and strategies that can help you ANY online business you are involved with. Learn exactly how to generate more leads without cold calling, buying expensive leads or chasing your friends by clicking this link: FREE Marketing Success Secrets.


Juniper Currie said...

Lloyd, I loved what you wrote "Welcome adversity, learn and apply its lessons; they will help you develop a strong character, one that will sustain you in your journey through life." It's important not to get discouraged when things don't work out the way you think they should but continuously and without letup work towards your goal.

Alexander Hay said...

I like the focus on character. It is something that most people disregard at their peril. Once someone cannot be trusted, they have cut off their primary source of help.

I also like the comparison of trees. When you plant trees for lumber, you need to pack them together. That way they fight for the sun, and grow straight and true reaching up to light.

Edward said...

Hey Lloyd, Love the new look of your blog.

Thanks for sharing this with us.
Reminds of the fact that we are the ones who can build our character... no one else can do it for us and others determine our reputation which is based on their perception of the character they see in us and we project to them.

Make it a great day!
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Must truth and ism's in your post about adversity and life. However I've seen how truly unfair life can be it will kick you in the face for on reason just because it can. Some people online have done the same to me. But mostly when you speak of character I find daily at the end of the day actions speak louder then words.

Monty Ferbert
The garden blog

Michael said...

Loved your post Lloyd. I guess I choose to use being in integrity more than I talk about character. They are so intertwined. Thanks so much for the reminder.

I have a gift for you which I believe will make you laugh and kick off your weekend.


DeAnna Troupe said...

Very good post. It is so rare to find someone else that understands that it takes time to develop greatness. People want everything quick these days. Nice to know you have grasped this point. I also like that you pointed out that without character your success will be short lived. You should do well in your endeavors.

Theuns said...


This a very good post and i agree with you.

What you do today will determine what you will be tomorrow.


Theuns said...

Hi Lloyd

I cant agree more with you what we think and do today will determinant what we will become tomorrow.

Yesterday is past tens and we cant change it only today.

Great post thanks


Peter Fuller MBA CA said...

Hey Lloyd

Excellent and thought provoking post.

It does not matter what we think, we can only be judged by our actions.

Thanks, I enjoyed the read.


Andrew Sayers said...

Hi Lloyd,
A very well written post and very true. All to often we can overlook alarm bells about someones character at our cost.
I agree that we often learn and become so much more as a result of adversity. I'd have to say that applies to me anyway.
As true as we try to be, others often see us as they are, not necessarily as we genuinely are and for this reason being truly congruent is vital.

Thanks again,


Rob Franta said...

This is like the lottery winner who is broke in 2 years. The reason is his education, mindset, character did not match his bank account.

I feel our character is grown and nurtured along our path to success. The up's and down's etc. will teach up character along the way.

Christine Casey said...

Hi Lloyd, What out outstanding post topic ~ Totally agree with all the points you made & imagine what the world might be like if more of us had outstanding character traits ;-) Christine

Mark Hiatt said...

Rockin' poem - love that. I so agree that we are a sum of our responses to challenges. It's not just facing the challenge that counts - it's how we face it. Pondering what type of character we have is a good exercise for those of us that want to achieve amazing things and are doing so.

Bill Hobstetter said...

Hi Lloyd, Great looking blog and terrific content. I think setting up your perfect day is an aspect of goal setting in your life and being rather weak at that I really appreciate the way you approach and explain it.

Best Wishes,
Bill Hobstetter