Count on character

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
― Abraham Lincoln

How people deal with the crises, circumstances, and tragedies of life tells us a great deal about their potential. Some will immediately accept responsibility for whatever befalls them, others immediately deflect blame on anyone and everyone–launch investigations, send letters, complain when quite clearly they were at fault…but refuse responsibility for their actions.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
― John Wooden

Crisis does not make character, but it does reveal it. So when a person faces adversity–he/she stands at a very literal crossroads: the two roads are simply–character or compromise.

When a person chooses character – it builds strength, as in weight training, this strength does not always come pain-free, many times the choice of character will bring negative consequences in the short term – but the development of character is at the very heart of our development as human beings and honestly it will go on forever. Many times a short term loss equates to a long term BIG gain.

John Maxwell notes:
– Character is more than talk
– Talent is a gift, but character is a choice
– Character brings lasting success with people

An individual simply can not rise above the limitations of their character so we all have to work on growing it — everyday and sometimes it is painful.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
― Helen Keller

No Strength Without Struggle

caterpillar-to-butterfly1

In a biology lab, the teacher explained how butterfly struggles to break the cocoon as students curiously observed this metamorphosis. Before leaving the class, she urged students to just observe and not help the butterfly.

After a while, one of the students took pity on the struggling butterfly and broke the cocoon to help. But shortly afterwards, the butterfly died.

When the teacher returned, she saw what had happened. “Your help killed the butterfly. Struggle helps butterfly in developing and strengthening its wings,” she said.

“Our struggles are the source of our strength.”

Have you ever considered how your life struggles can actually help you?

I remember reading a great piece of wisdom: “part of identifying your life purpose is to identify your struggles and set backs.” From there, you can then feel actually prepared to ask yourself how to utilize this information in a way to help others.