Lifestyles: How Do You Define Yourself?

Bryan GoldenAuthor of  “Dare to Live Without Limits”

Bryan Golden
Author of “Dare to Live Without Limits”

Who are you?  Do you strive to be liked by everyone?  Do you seek other peoples’ approval before you make decisions?  Do your beliefs always reflect popular opinion?  Or do you have a set of principles that are based on what you understand to be right and good?  And do you stand fast on your principles regardless of what is happening around you?

Your character is defined by what you stand for.  Your reputation is how others view you.  Character doesn’t vary.  It’s not based on current events, your perception of what others think, whatever is in vogue, or the actions of other people.
True character is set in stone.  It gets stronger the more it’s tested.  True character doesn’t require anyone’s approval.  When things get tough, true character gives you direction, keeping you from getting lost.

People with character don’t choose a course because it is easy.  They take the route they feel is right.  Not only is this far from the path of least resistance, it is usually rife with challenges.  Those with character can’t be bought for any price.
Do you know who you are and what you stand for?  You should.  If you don’t, you need to spend some time examining your values and beliefs.  No one is perfect.  Although we all have flaws, character emanates from basic convictions.

Where does your character come from?  It begins forming based on the examples you see growing up.  Your parents, siblings, friends, and others you come into contact with all have an impact.  You can also be influenced by role models in public life.  However there are other factors at work.

There are many examples of people emerging from an imperfect upbringing with a stellar character.  Conversely, there are numerous instances of people growing up with the best influences, yet developing without character.

Regardless of where your character originated from or when, you can reinforce or modify it.  Your character is based on your thoughts and actions, all of which you control.  Therefore you control your character.  There are no excuses.  If you don’t like who you are, then change.

Your character is like steel; it is forged by heat and pressure over time.  The more experiences you have, the more problems you solve, the more obstacles you overcome, and the more adversity you go through, the more your character deepens.

People with a solid character know who they are and what they stand for.  They don’t need to decide where they stand based on their circumstances.  They have no problem looking in the mirror or sleeping at night.  Their conscience doesn’t eat away at them.  They don’t need someone’s approval for how they live.

People whose lives are directed by their character may be criticized, mocked, or shunned.  Although such treatment can be uncomfortable, they don’t allow it to change who they are.  These people understand that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.  So make sure you know who you are and live by it.