My buddy Sam and I recently had a conversation about the unique qualities associated with a person possessing a strong moral character, or as he coined the phrase, “force of character”. People with noble intentions are found everywhere, but people with “force of character” stand out from the crowd. As the fire inside the rest of us flickers from gusts of indecision, these minds usually burn bright and rise above the storm while confidently pressing forward. They seem to know the secret for personal success. This buried secret also indirectly draws in the individual regard and respect of others.
Most of us start off with a similar set of good intentions. So what do people with “force of character” do differently? What is their secret to success? I think it comes down to one thing and one thing alone. They consciously think before they act, and when the decision is made to act, they always take full ownership of their actions. They immediately reap the benefits of their successful acts, but also quickly and openly address those that went awry. Possessing “force of character” means dependably taking responsibility for your own actions, even when the outcome is negative.
Negative actions are initial failures, but they are not long term failures unless they are ignored. When strong moral value and good intent is combined with failure, a resolution is always found. Remember that most headline news is generally bad news, even when it’s scaled down into small social circles. By honestly addressing the effects of a negative action you visibly sooth the minds of anyone affected, thus turning bad news into good news. Everyone respects honesty. It’s easy for someone to take ownership of success, but when the headlines read “failure” only those possessing “force of character” have the influential capacity to shine.