char·ac·ter (k2r“…k-t…r) n. 1. The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person from another. 2. A distinguishing feature or attribute of an individual, a group, or a category. 3. Moral or ethical strength.  

The Essence of Character
Your 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 forever.

The founder of Achieve Lifeskills was searching for a simple tool that can be used by children and young people to instantly recognise that the kind of life they may be leading could have a lot to do with two very powerful characteristics, namely attitude and self-confidence.  These characteristics are supported by many of the fundamental values that are reinforced in Achieve Lifeskills classes.


It’s a question of character.

It 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 term (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."

    - Charlotte’s Web

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 destinies.

“ 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 where they fit 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 life.

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 you do.


at·ti·tude (2t“1-t›d”, -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 we hold.”

con·fi·dence (k1⁄4n“f1-d…ns) 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.


self-con·fi·dence (sµlf“k1⁄4n“f1-d…ns) n. Confidence in oneself or one's own abilities:
       “Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle” (Virginia Woolf).


self-es·teem (sµlf”1-st m“) 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


des·ti·ny (dµs“t…-n) 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?

Where are you on the Character Map?  Once you have established this, you 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 be a good way of awakening some action for the better:


- followers; labourers
- lacking enthusiasm
- seeking purpose, but happy with their lot in life
- reactive contribution
- gives respect
- reluctant to receive

- effective leader;
    other people centered
- constructive
- 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
- aggressive
- potentially violent
- lack of worthy purpose in life
- no purposeful contribution


There 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. They are;


1. Purpose – a belief that we are able to achieve anything we want to; we therefore find a purpose in our lives, something to give our time to.

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 medicine for the soul … there is no better way to develop self-esteem.

4. Respect – the one underlying quality that counts before anything else; respect for self, respect for others and respect for the Earth.

The good news is that we have complete control over the above four characteristics that affect our attitude and self-confidence 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 choices.  We 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 laws you choose to obey.”
- 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 your 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 do it!

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, than 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 success.  However 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

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