What IS Character Development, Anyway?

by Haider on January 5, 2009 · 1 comment

in Character Development

Personal development and character development seem to have the same meaning. So isn’t it vague to say that my focus for the new year is “character development”? As if the entire subject of personal development is my focus, which isn’t really a FOCUS!

To better explain what “character development” is, it’s important to distinguish it from personal development. To do this, I will give a very basic overview of what personal development covers and how character development fits into it.

An Overview of Personal Development

While there’s a lot more detail to include, but a very simple break down of the components that make up personal development are:

Beliefs: These form our understanding of the world and how we relate to it. Do we believe in God? Do we believe in the Law of Attraction? Do we believe that intuition is a reliable basis for judgment? What is our purpose in life? Do we believe success is possible for us?

Principles: These are a condensation of our beliefs into values we uphold and seek to live by. We can believe that human beings have free will and that our prosperity lies in exercising our free will without being forced into any decision against our will. Therefore, the principle would be: “I should make my own decisions about my life.”

Character: This is the extent to which our principles are ingrained in our being and what impression people (including ourselves) form about us. Being truthful, patient, kind, ambitious, etc. are all character traits that we possess based on the principles we truly live by (and not those we wish to live by).

Habits: These are the ways we consistently behave that reveal fragments of our character, and what we use to determine what a person’s character is. We say that a person is truthful when he consistently speaks the truth, or patient when he consistently acts patiently in the face of challenges.

Behaviors: These are the ways we conduct ourselves in any given moment. They depend on the extent to which we are committed to our principles, how clear our principles are and our awareness of how our principles should be translated into practice. You may believe that respecting others is important, but don’t realize how that should be done.

As can be seen from this overview of personal development, character development is only a branch of personal development and not another name for it. To be more accurate, it is an approach to personal growth that puts Character as the focus, and seeks to define everything else based on character traits and the person you wish to become.

In the next post we will look at how character development can be carried out!

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Personal Growth Map » Blog Archive » Reasons for Choosing Character Development
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