The Missing Ingredient Is Character – Part One

As I get older – I am in my mid-seventies – I am finding that my values are probably deeper and stronger than they have ever been in my life. And I am valuing the area of my character more than many other yet still important areas of life. And I am taking note of character, or the lack of it, in other people’s lives. 

Character is a word that we don’t think about a lot. In fact, often we are not even sure what a look at character truly involves. What are we looking for in a person when we comment on their character or are working to know their character? 

In my study of character over the years I have created a list of what I believe constitutes “character” in a person. These are the qualities I look at and look for…

I invite you to look over this character traits list and pick at least one of these good qualities to begin working on:

1. Integrity

Integrity is a personal trait that has strong moral principles and core values and then conducting your life with those as your guide. When you have integrity you maintain your adherence to it whether or not other people are watching.

2. Honesty

Honesty is a good trait that is more than telling the truth. It’s living the truth. It is being straightforward and trustworthy in all of your interactions, relationships, and thoughts. Being honest requires self-honesty and authenticity.

Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny. 

3. Loyalty

Loyalty is an ethical trait of faithfulness and devotion to your loved ones, your friends, and anyone with whom you have a trusted relationship.

Loyalty is a good quality that can also extend to your employer, the organizations you belong to, the team you work or play with, your community, and your country.

4. Respectfulness

With this character attribute you treat yourself and others with courtesy, kindness, deference, dignity, and civility. You offer basic respect as a sign that you value the worth of all people and accept the person regardless of who they are. 

5. Responsibility

This exceptional quality accepts personal, relational, career, community, and societal obligations even when they are difficult or uncomfortable. This personal trait follows through on commitments and proactively create or accept accountability for your behaviour and choices.

6. Humility

You have a confident yet modest opinion of your own self-importance. You don’t see yourself as “too good” for other people or situations. With this honourable trait you have a learning and growth mindset and the desire to express and experience gratitude for what you have, rather than expecting you deserve more.

7. Compassion

This character trait feels deep sympathy and pity for the suffering and misfortune of others, and you have a desire to do something to alleviate their suffering.

8. Fairness

Using discernment, compassion, and integrity, this character trait strives to make decisions and take actions based on what you consider the ultimate best course or outcome for all involved.

9. Forgiveness

You make conscious, intentional decisions to let go of resentment and anger toward someone for an offense — whether or not forgiveness is sought by the offender.

Forgiveness may or may not include pardoning, restoration, or reconciliation. It extends both to others and to one’s self.

10. Authenticity

With this virtuous attribute you are able to be your real and true self, without pretension, posturing, or insincerity. You are capable of showing appropriate vulnerability and self-awareness.

11. Courageousness

In spite of fear, danger, discomfort, or pain, this good human quality requires the mental fortitude to carry on with a commitment, plan, or decision, knowing it is the right or best course of action regardless of the opposition.

12. Generosity

This good quality is willing to offer time, energy, efforts, emotions, words, or assets without the expectation of something in return. This character trait offers these freely and often joyously.

13. Perseverance

Perseverance is a character trait seen as a steadfast persistence and determination to continue on with a course of action, belief, or purpose, even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable in order to reach a higher goal or outcome.

14. Politeness

This character trait is knowledgeable of basic good manners, common courtesies, and etiquette, and are willing to apply those to all people you encounter. You desire to learn the personal skills of politeness in order to enhance your relationships and self-esteem.

15. Kindness

Kindness is a positive attribute of being considerate, helpful, and benevolent to others.

This virtuous trait is motivated by a positive disposition and the desire for warm and pleasant interactions.

16. Loving

This character trait has the ability to be loving toward all people showing them through your words, actions, and expressions how deeply you care about them. It includes the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

17. Optimism

Optimism is having a sense of hopefulness and confidence about the future. It involves a positive mental attitude in which you interpret life events, people, and situations in a promising light.

18. Reliability

This character quality can be consistently depended upon to follow through on your commitments, actions, and decisions. You do what you say you will do.

19. Conscientious

This character attribute has the desire to do things well or to the best of your ability.

You are thorough, careful, efficient, organized, and vigilant in your efforts, based on your own principles or sense of what is right.

20. Self-disciplined

With this good character trait, you are able, through good habits or willpower, to overcome your desires or feelings in order to follow the best course of action or to rise to your commitments or principles. You have a strong sense of self-control in order to reach a desired goal.

21. Ambitious

When you are ambitious, you possess the keen desire to achieve your goals.

Whether you are seeking to move ahead in your life and leadership, your ambition gives you the motivation to make it happen.

This character trait is positive as long as your ambition doesn’t overshadow your values or force you to compromise other positive character traits.

22. Encouraging

When you are encouraging, you offer hope, strength, and positive reinforcement to others. You go out of your way to give someone support and confidence.

This is an excellent trait as it reveals your ability to understand and care for others in an emotionally intelligent way. Because of your encouraging nature, others are naturally attracted to you.

23. Forgiving

The ability to forgive yourself and others reveals that you have a balanced perspective of human nature and the flaws inherent in all of us. You are able to let go of grudges, hurts, offences, and resentment which in turn frees you and anyone who might have offended you. It is an advanced trait that is an act of courage and commitment.

24. Considerate

When you possess the trait of being considerate, you show an ability to think of other people as well as yourself. You show care to others and seek to understand how they might feel in certain situations and adjust your behaviour accordingly. To be considerate also means being polite and respectful — even of those at a different station in life from you.

25. Thoroughness

When you are thorough, you’re willing to put in the extra effort to ensure things are done completely, correctly and with excellence. Others can count on you to fulfill your commitments with great care and attention to detail.