Saturday, December 03, 2016

Three Powerful Measures of Character

Character is more than personality.  Character reflects our deepest values and priorities and our most fundamental commitments.  When someone has a good personality, we might like that person.  When someone has a good character, we're likely to admire that person.

Here are three simple but powerful measures of character:

1)  How does the person spend his or her free time?  Per Ayn Rand's observation above, what does he or she do for enjoyment?  

2)  How does the person respond to your successes?  Many people are willing to commiserate with you when you're down and elevate themselves in the process.  A person of genuine goodwill celebrates your successes and is happy for your happiness.

3)  What strong beliefs does the person voice and live through their actions?  Character means standing for what you believe in and living your beliefs.  Go along and get along might be comfortable, but commitment is what powers effective action in the world.

Now apply the three criteria of character to yourself.  What do you do for enjoyment?  How do you respond to the successes of family members and colleagues?  If someone were to read your writings, hear your speech, and observe your actions, what would they conclude about your beliefs, values, and commitments?

Character is a magnet:  who we are determines who is drawn to us.

Further Reading:  Personality and Character in Trading