Why Do We Do What We Do? (Character & Personality)

Sometimes we do what we do because it’s a force of character. According to character-training.com/blog/, our character is what determines our responses to life situations (07/06/12). Character should be your main focus on your path to finding you personal and professional “Why”. Simply put, character is the foundation for success. Therefore, knowledge of what makes up your character brings you a step closer to your meaningful “Why” and the true source or fuel for your vision. As the definition above states, our character is in direct connection to our behavioral and verbal responses. I’m here to tell you, you have the power to change those responses. The first step is to get to know your character as much as you know your personality.

As defined by thepersonalitysystem.org, personality “is the entire mental organization of a human being at any stage of his development.” (07/06/12) Other web resources that talk about the concept of personality define it as “an attempt to capture or summarized an individual’s essence.” (wilderdom.com 07/06/12), or “the pattern of thought, feelings and behaviors that makes each of us the individuals that we are.” (mind.org.uk 07/06/12). What we gather from all these is that personality is a psychological and social construct, another way to privately and publicly classify and place people within socially accepted molds, according to their patterns of behavior. It is about what goes on in the realm of the mind and what defines our individuality. Also, it is a pattern, but unlike habits, the patterns of behaviors that make up our personality are innate, not learned. And what about character? As found in psychologytoday.com/blog, and its 04/03/11 post by Alex Lickerman, Personality vs. Character (07/06/12), character “includes traits that revel themselves only in specific and often uncommon circumstances.” Even more, “research has shown that personality traits are determined largely by heredity”, while character “traits like honesty, virtue and kindness”…“are more malleable” and “based on beliefs” (psychologytoday.com/blog). Our beliefs are “assumed truths” that “anchor our understanding of the world around us” (changingminds.org 07/09/12). As long as our experiences and knowledge of the world remains the same, so will our beliefs. We internalized other people’s beliefs, we take them from the mass media, and this is what drives our material consumption, as well as from the traumatic experiences from our own lives. This is crucial for the discovery of our meaningful why.

As we have seen, our why takes shape and forms from a true knowledge of our “self”, and therefore, of our needs, and a true commitment to change from within. I want to empower you to embrace change as the self-discovery of a better version of yourself. It is possible to change negative patterns into ‘new’ more productive and positive habits. It is possible to change the negative character traits that we have acquired along the way, from childhood to adulthood. What change requires is a measure of commitment. The paths to take are self analysis and self- accounting. Our wants can be separated from our needs; our core beliefs can be dissipated or reinforced by knowledge. Once we take the time to understand how our habits and character might be hindering us from moving forward, impacting our responses and in consequence our lives, change can be put in motion and, as a result, a better visualization of our Why and stronger determination to achieve it.

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