“Sow a thought reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit reap a character, sow a character, reap a DESTINY.”
For long I was a person who believed that no one can actually change. And honestly some part of me may still believe this to be true. But I must acknowledge as time goes by I have recognized the transformation occurring in people’s lives including my own. And to be honest and fair to myself, it is that transformation that made me sort of a late believer.
In this article I shall discuss the concept of change and how character and personality may help a young professional develop his career. This article is mostly based on what I have learnt through my reading of the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, a book which I credit to enlighten my mind on the concept of character, personality, behavior/habit and choice.
IN THE BEGINNING…
“Until a person can say deeply and honestly, ‘I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday’, that person can’t say, ‘I choose otherwise’.”
Over the weekend I had a pleasure to be invited by a friend at his place for dinner and hang-out. I have known the guy for the past 9 years and we went to school together. I remember when we were in boarding school, this friend of mine was considered a troublemaker, a good for nothing and without a clear future. He was a perfect fit for a group that one could call “the least to succeed in the future.” And as always, anyone associated with him was grouped and judged the same: a troublemaker, a good for nothing and without a clear future.
Flash forward few years later, today, the same guy has the most successful business platform than all of us, his ideas, the way he dresses, and the way he speaks reflects nothing of his past. He has become a new person and a matured man. I couldn’t believe my eyes or my ears as we were talking. At the end of our conversation he told me, “Elias, I decided to change. I saw an opportunity to change two years ago and I took it. Do not let anybody tell you what you can or cannot do, even if that person is your parent.”
So what is the moral of this story? The moral is, with a firm deep and unequivocal decision or choice you can change your life. Whomever you want to be is only a CHOICE away.
PERSONALITY VS. CHARACTER
“Character is what you do when no one is looking at you, when no one is paying attention on you.”
Beverly Uebert Angel, of the Good News Church.
To put it quite simplified and without eating up your energy and time, character may be defined to be a set of morals and mental qualities and beliefs that makes a person different from others. While personality is the outer appearance and the revealed behavior of a person.
Stephen Covey says that personality ethic is based on attitudes, skills and techniques while character ethic is based on values, attributes and principles.
In order for a person to really change, constant improvement should be made on the character although personality has its own role to play. The best character will create in a person the best personality but the best personality cannot create in a person the best character. Let us remember that all things begin from the inside. Personality is very easy to change and can easily change basing on circumstances, company and environment. Therefore true change starts with an improved character.
Let us reflect on Proverbs 27:19 (regardless of our religions off course) which says, “As water reflects the face, so the heart of man reflects him.”
WHO YOU ARE CREATES WHO YOU BECOME.
“Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.”
“How you treat ONE reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately ONE.”
Talking of becoming effective in the professional/career life, one cannot ignore character and personality. Although between the two character is the most important, one cannot afford to ignore the personality as it is the one visible in your work place, office or wherever you might be. Therefore development and improvement of both is crucial for career development.
In your improvement of character and personality for effective professional life, you must study yourself. Get to know WHO YOU ARE and not who you think you are. After KNOWING yourself, you have to make an unequivocal deep decision to change whatever you want to change about yourself. Just for advice though, you may wish to make changes which will create in you qualities such as professional ethics, networking, goal focus, self-confidence, self-aware, self-discipline, enthusiasm, leadership character and integrity. These qualities are hard to cultivate but the returns are beyond imagination once you have them. At the end of it all, your reputation will precede you. It will speak volumes beyond your words. And what is reputation? It is simply what people say about you when you are not there.