In the new book, The Pursuit Of Growth (A Lifestyle To Flourish In Today’s World), Dallas-based authors Greg W. Brinkley and Sammy Gonzalez are leading the charge to inspire readers in personal development and goal achievement. Here, in an exclusive expert, the theme of character is a compelling topic during these times.

Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. The responsibility of identifying and improving good character traits is critical to our wellbeing. Good character promotes peace of mind by eliminating guilt associated with bad character. It strengthens trust, which helps to grow personal and professional relationships. It reduces anxiety by eliminating the baggage of bad character. It increases the effectiveness of the ability to lead others. It builds self-esteem through living a life of personal satisfaction and inner peace.

In our culture, accolades are given to those who achieve certain levels of status, which includes their power, wealth, possessions, and personal accomplishments. I won’t argue that any of these examples of achievement are bad in and of themselves, but I will argue that these accomplishments without the presence of good character are not worthy of accolades or celebration. If forced to choose between the two, I would rather live my life with trustworthiness, fairness, respect, caring, responsibility, and good citizenship over piled up trophies, awards, and riches.

  •  Your character is more important than reputation. Reputation is based only on what others observe, while character is the depth underneath the surface.
  •  Your character is based on the principle of doing the right thing regardless of whether or not someone is
    there to see it.
  •  Your character grows through its expression. The more character is displayed, the easier it is to replicate. Good or bad.
  •  Your character is a choice.
  •  Your character is influenced by others, especially close relationships.
  •  Your character traits must receive consistent focus and reflection to ensure they become habitual and natural in their response.
  •  Your character builds your mental strength and discipline.
  •  Your character affects your mental health and wellbeing, and good character is a tremendous benefit to friends, family, and society.
  •  Your character is rewarded over time as a result of the positive influence it extends to others, just as bad character will eventually return and bring pain.

Your character is tested throughout each day, ranging from small decisions that only affect yourself to big decisions that affect others with various risks and consequences. These instances of testing occur when you feel some adversity standing in the way of a decision you need to make. In many circumstances, your natural instinct is to handle adversity by making decisions that will benefit or keep you out of short-term trouble. This may include taking unethical shortcuts, cheating, lying, or reacting based on your primary impulses of getting ahead. It’s very similar to how children behave. In fact, have you noticed that the biggest difference between your struggles with bad character and those of a small child is your ability to hide the bad behavior with more skill? With which character traits do you struggle?

To succeed with the Pursuit of Growth lifestyle, you must develop a habit of feeding yourself examples of good character. You can read books and study how to grow good character traits. If you are religious, you can explore the moral lessons found in your faith.

You have opportunities to observe good character traits in other people. Speak with people to learn their best practices on character. Develop your list of the character traits you must improve upon and define how you can replicate them in your day-to-day life. Think about circumstances where you are likely to face adversity and focus on reacting with good character. Perhaps imagine the worst-case scenario that could occur as a result of making difficult decisions based on good character. You’ll constantly surprise yourself by realizing the worst-case scenarios are rarely as bad as you originally believed. This training prepares you for situations that you’ll face daily, and it strengthens your willpower to make the right decisions. How will you grow your character?

The Book