Thursday, December 08, 2016

Knowing the Difference Between Personality and Character

"When your circle of friends decreases in size, it actually increases in value." I am a believer of that quote. For many years, I've said YES to so many people in attempts to avoid conflicts and preserve personal and professional connections. However, I slowly and painfully learned that not all of them deserved to be nurtured because they were one-sided relationships.

Oprah Winfrey said, "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo,
but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you
when the limo breaks down."
Based on a lot of bad experiences in the past, I've found that not everyone who appears to be nice, funny, and friendly all the time can be trusted. Instinctively, I knew what qualities I want to see in people I'd want to surround myself with but couldn't exactly explain how and why I came to that point.  

That question was finally answered when I recently attended a Personal Branding workshop at La Vie Institute located at Commercenter in Alabang. I experienced several light bulb moments that day as our mentor, Ren Ming Zi, clarified ideas that used to be amorphous concepts in my brain. She affirmed the validity of the many thoughts that have been going around in my mind and I am grateful for the enlightenment.

"Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking."
One of the top things that resonated with me is the differentiation between Personality and Character. Finally, it's now easier to for me to grasp why I've never warmed up to certain people or why I drifted away from some. In a nutshell -- it's because we don't share the same values.

Have you experienced meeting individuals who appear to be very likeable because they love paying others compliments, they always have a smile for everyone, and are generous in giving gifts? I am not saying all of them are not genuinely nice but I've honestly encountered fake ones. 

going with the flow is not always a good thing
learn when you have to say NO
These are people we mistakenly consider as friends but who turned out to be badmouthing us behind our backs, taking advantage of the "friendship card" by asking us to provide professional services for free or for a pittance, giving promises they keep on breaking, and using our connections to further their agendas but would instantly leave us hanging when it is our turn to need their help. Sounds familiar?

This is why we have to learn how to discern between peoples' personalities and characters. Doing so would save ourselves the heartaches and pain of being betrayed by users. 

Remember, a person is not truly a friend until he/she
has defended you in your absence
Personality is the perception of you made by others based on what you show them. I've met so many people who say all the right words and yet act totally the opposite of their declared beliefs. Frankly, these are people I am now very wary of getting close to. 

Character is who you are and what you are in your core. One of its origins is Greek word kharakter that means "engraved mark." Like a block of granite that's either carved upon with care or hacked at with reckless disregard, it will, in the end be either a masterpiece or ruined rubble. Character -- the composite of values and virtues etched in that living stone -- will ultimately define it's true worth.

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Luke 6:31, the Holy Bible
We often hear quotes about physical beauty and how it fades over time but that true, inner beauty will last a lifetime. The same way with the stone, no cosmetic enhancement or decorative drapery can make a useless stone into enduring art. Only character can do that. 

All of us are still works in progress though and we can always build upon the good values we already have. According to Ren, there are six elements of character we should focus on and develop within us: Courage, Loyalty, Diligence, Modesty, Honesty, and Gratitude.

what is the real you?
Which ones do you possess? Which ones move you? And who are your role models for each characteristic? Think about these six things and see which ones you need to work on to make yourself a better person.

At the end of the day, I'd rather be connected with people who may not appear warm and friendly at the onset but who, over time, would prove that they possess the values and principles I am likewise doing my best to imprint on my soul. 

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