My Character List
Years ago, I was working with a wayward teen. In one of our sessions, we discussed character. Since he didn’t know what character was, this sparked a good discussion about personal standards someone tries to uphold. It got me to specifically think about what my own core values were – the things I try to live by. I thought it would be a good idea to give it some real thought and I decided to type them out on a Word document.
Over time, I would continue to add to the list. I broke it down into personal and professional categories. Since that first day, I keep this list in mind as something I always try to aspire to. For example, some of the 53 current items on my list include:
- Never be spiteful.
- Make all of the appointments I schedule/be dependable.
- Always be at least 15 minutes early.
- Value people’s time.
- Smile often.
- Always give my best.
- Be prepared.
- Never do drugs.
- Do random acts of kindness often.
In sessions, when people aren’t sure who they are or what they want to become, I explain my character list and how helpful it’s been to me. People are intrigued. I make similar suggestions for them to consider character lists for what they stand for at work, at school, in relationships, and at home. Everybody I have spoken to has thought it was a really good idea when they weren’t sure of their own values to proudly live by. I highly recommend developing an actual list of the core characteristics you hold, will not waiver on, and expect others to uphold as well.
Tip: Don’t expect others to live to higher standards than you are demonstrating yourself.
Give some thought to who you are. It will undoubtedly help you evolve to be better.