The Essence of Character
true character is revealed by the clarity of your convictions,
the choices you make, and the promises you kep. Hold
strongly to your principles and refuse to follow the
currents of convenience. What you say and do
defines who you are, and who you are … you are
The founder of Achieve
Lifeskills was searching for a simple tool that can be used
by children and young people to
recognise that the kind of life they may be leading could
have a lot to do with two very powerful characteristics,
attitude and self-confidence. These characteristics
are supported by many of the fundamental values that are
in Achieve Lifeskills classes.
It’s a question of character.
was felt that something was needed to attract the attention
of the student from the
very first lesson … this
is why Character Map was developed. The aim is to use
the simplicity and power of the Character Map as a means
to capture the imagination
and interest of every student that enrolls with Achieve Lifeskills,
from their very first class.
We want them to be inspired
to attend Achieve Lifeskills classes, to believe that there
is a purpose in doing so and to feel that there will be
lots more worthwhile subjects to cover over the rest of the
(the duration of each Achieve Lifeskills level of education
is one whole school term, about 9 to 10 weeks).
Don’t worry Wilbur, it’s character that counts,
and you have very good character."
The character of a person and their
mark in life are inseparable. The
characters of Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Budha
and Jesus Christ, speak for themselves, and gave each person
their respective destinies. The characters of Adolf Hitler
and Sadam Hussein also resulted in their respective and deserved
Your fate is determined by your character.” … if
we accept this to be true, it becomes the foundation of a very powerful tool:
shape your character and determine your destiny. If we make an effort to
shape our character, which is entirely under our control, we can determine our
fate in life … and therefore live a worthwhile life, on purpose.
“ You sow your character
and reap your destiny.
Therefore, destiny is in your hands.”
- Sathya Sai Baba
Using the concept of the Character Map,
young people and their parents will be able to understand
at a glance what shapes their character and
on the character map. One can then instantly recognize how to go about
changing one’s character for the better, and so the destiny of a better
The Character Map very simply identifies
the four main types of character that
are determined by two very powerful attributes: attitude and self-confidence. By
understanding and identifying these four character types, one can then set about
to improve one’s character and subsequently their lot in life. Once
you make the commitment in your life to develop your character for the better,
by improving your attitude and self-confidence, you will find yourself in control
of your destiny, which will in turn improve the quality of your life, in everything
-ty›d”) n. 1. A state of mind or a feeling;
disposition: an attitude of open hostility.
“ Attitudes determine the
way your respond to, or feel about, an issue, situation
or person. Attitudes are often based on values, principles or beliefs that
n. 1. Trust or faith in a person or thing. 2. A trusting
relationship: I took them into my confidence. 3. A feeling
of assurance, especially of self-assurance. 4. The state
or quality of being certain: I have every confidence
in your ability to succeed.
n. Confidence in oneself or one's own abilities:
self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle” (Virginia
n. Pride in oneself; self-respect.
“ Watch your thoughts,
for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they will become your character.
Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
n 1. The inevitable or necessary fate to which
a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot in life.
Where do you fit
on The Character Map?
are you on the Character Map? Once
you have established this,
can choose to accept your position, character and corresponding fate in life … or
you can choose to move in a positive direction on the Character Map to be in
a more desirable position. To do this means to shape your character, and
have faith that your fate will take care of itself.
Take the time to consider
fully the contents of The Character Map, it may
a good way of awakening some action for the better:
- lacking enthusiasm
- seeking purpose, but happy with their lot in life
- reactive contribution
- gives respect
- reluctant to receive
CREATE / LEAD
other people centered
- ability to create
- possibly charismatic
- enthusiastic and passionate
- strong sense of purpose
- proactive contribution
- gives/receives respect
- self destructive
- lack of self worth
- lack of control
- potentially depressed
- lacks passion
- no purpose in life
- zero contribution
- misguided control; questionable ethics / values
- self centered; lacks respect, although demands
it from others
- misguided and ill-used passion
- knowingly destructive
- unknowingly self destructive
- potentially violent
- lack of worthy purpose in life
- no purposeful contribution
are four main characteristics that have a direct effect on
a person’s attitude and self-confidence,
and therefore determine a person’s character. These
four characteristics are core values that are fundamental
in giving meaning to and shaping our lives. The presence,
absence or quality of these core values, determine our
position on the Character Map.
1. Purpose – a
belief that we are able to achieve anything we want to;
find a purpose in our lives, something to give our time
2. Passion – once we
find our purpose, we then throw everything at it; we become
passionate about fulfilling our purpose.
3. Contribution – once
we have climbed our own mountain, we then look for a way
to be useful to our community and help others to climb
their own mountains. The act of giving, is very powerful
for the soul … there is no better way to develop
4. Respect – the one
underlying quality that counts before anything else; respect
for self, respect for others and respect for the Earth.
good news is that we have complete control over the above
four characteristics that affect our attitude and
and ultimately our character. This of course means
we are in complete control of our destiny in life … we
are completely responsible for our lives and our fate,
nobody else. We are in complete control of the choices
we make, every moment of our lives. There is nobody
else to blame for our failures … there is nobody
else to thank for our successes.
Of the four characteristics, probably the most important one that plays a part
in everything we do, is respect. Respect for one’s self, respect
for others, and respect for the world we live in. The level of success
we achieve in life is almost entirely dependent on how well we understand and
practice the true meaning of respect.
“ The most important value
needed for success,
is that of valuing one's self.”
Integrity is another quality which
depends almost entirely on the quality
and value of respect in one’s life …respect for one’s self,
for others and for the environment we live in. No respect, no integrity. Integrity
is a trait that only comes with having and practicing respect.
The level of
respect we achieve and practice in our lives will determine the outcome of
the choices we make … this is called taking responsibility
for one’s actions. Every day, in every moment, we have to make
alone are responsible for the choices we make, and we alone must accept the
consequences of our actions. Remember, the effect of every choice we
make, is either to create, or to destroy … so choose wisely.
“ Many of life's circumstances are created by three basic choices:
the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with, and the
- Charles Millhuff
“ Isn't it strange,
That Princes and Kings,
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings,
And common people
Like you and me,
Are builders for eternity?
Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
A book of rules,
And each must make,
Ere life is flown,
A stumbling block
Or a stepping stone.”
- Robert Sharpe (1853-1890)
How can you improve the four characteristics
that will ultimately chart
course in life? There is one very simple way … start to achieve and
to feel that you are worthwhile. How can you make this happen? Just
Each and every one of us has something
that we can do, or express, better than
any other person. Search yourself for the one thing that you feel good
about, that you feel confident about … you will know what this thing is
because you enjoy doing it, it comes easy and naturally to you, it makes you
happy, it makes you feel worthwhile and important … makes you feel like
you are achieving something and making a contribution.
Once you find this
one thing that you can do better, or express better,
anybody else, then simply go ahead and “do” or “express” this
unique talent that you have. Put it into action, to good use, with passion. Your
unique talent and your passion will make you feel that you have found a purpose
in life … your purpose in life.
When you use your passion and purpose
to make a contribution to your community, you will find that respect develops
for you and from you. The ultimate
result of all this is that you will find yourself living your life in Quadrant
1 of the Character Map. You will have no choice but to live a happy, fulfilled
and contented life.
Sow a thought and you reap an action
Sow an action and you reap a habit
Sow a habit and you reap a character
Sow a character and you reap a destiny
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The worth of a life is not determined by a single failure, or a solitary
much we stumble, it is a teacher’s burden always to hope, that with learning,
a boy’s character might be changed, and so the destiny of a man.
A man’s character is his fate.
- The Emperor’s Club