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How to Strengthen Character
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Character, from the Greek χαρακτήρα, originally used for a mark impressed upon a coin, is the sum of all the attributes, such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty, in a person. Character is perhaps the most important possession of a person, as it defines who a person is. To strengthen one's character is to mold one into a productive person within one's sphere of influence. Here's some advice on how to strengthen one's character, or to train one's moral discipline.
Strength in character is about freedom from prejudices so that you love others as yourself, by extending yourself in kindness and concern (freely, to the others' benefit). Know what constitutes strength in character. Strength in character are the qualities that allow its possessor to exercise control over his instincts and passions, to master himself, and to resist the myriad temptations that constantly confront us. Moreover, strength in character is freedom from biases and prejudices of the mind, and tolerance, love, and respect for others.

Strength in character allows you to accomplish your goals. Understand why strength of character is important to yourself and especially to others:

Strength of character allows you to carry out your will freely, while enabling you to cope with reverses and accomplish your goals in the end.

It allows you to inquire into the causes of ill-fortune, instead of just complaining about it, as many do.

It gives you the courage to admit your own faults, frivolity, and weaknesses.

It gives you the strength to keep a foothold when the tide turns against you, and to continue to climb in the face of obstacles.

Empathize with others. The most important way to strengthen your character is to empathize with others, especially the weaker souls, and love others as yourself. This may come some cost -- ungrudgingly. Empathizing differs from sympathizing in connotation -- as empathizing is to involve and project oneself and engage as needed (walk in and help clear the other persons pathway);[1] whereas sympathy implies an emotional but passive reaction, such as listening, looking and grimacing without extending oneself.

Favour strong reason, as Emmanual Kant did. Seek the truth. Favour reason over emotion. The man with a strong character will examine all the facts with the head, and not be biased by emotions from the heart. He will settles all matters upon reason alone, and not entangle himself in the chaos of sensations.

Be a leader. Be neither a pessimist nor an optimist, but a leader. A pessimist complains about the wind, an optimist expects the adverse wind condition to improve, but the leader takes action to adjust the sails.

Guard against irrational impulses, such as the crave for sweets. Guard against irrational impulses. Always look before you leap. Free yourself from enslavement by your own passions. Inordinate, sensual appetites are the marks of a weak character.

Be content with what you have. Be content with your lot. Appreciate your own values and that which you have.

Be brave. Be brave enough to take calculated risks. If you shun the battle, you must forego the victory and the joy associated therewith. Neither be cowardly, nor aloof, nor evade your rightful duties, but be courageous to contribute to the progress of mankind.

Fix on the right path, and walk therein, turning neither to the left nor to the right. Dismiss foreign suggestions contrary to the resolution you are fixed upon. Every individual has his or her interest foremost in mind, whether consciously or unconsciously. Neither impose your will upon others, nor allow others to impose their will upon yourself. Also, different people will have different suggestions. You cannot please everyone. Find the right path, and walk therein, neither turn to the right nor the left. Govern yourself, and never abandon the right path.

Learn to do good. Learn to do good and eschew evil. Seek peace and pursue it earnestly. Aim not after personal goals, but aim after noble and worthy motives to benefit society as a whole. If you seek personal gains, you will run into conflicts with others, and, in the end, you will inevitably fail. If you seek the mutual good, all will benefit, and you will also have your personal gains as well.

Master your feelings. Learn to master your feelings. Let not anything other than sound reason dictate your decisions in the conduct of everyday life. Suppress inordinate impulses, and flee from temptations as soon as they appear. It is always difficult, and at times impossible, not to yield to feelings deep within the habitation of your soul, but you can learn to suppress their manifestations, and overcome them with common sense and sound judgment.

Always seek the middle ground. Be neither prodigal, nor miserly, but seek the middle ground. The ability to seek the middle ground is the mark of a strong character capable of resisting extremes.

Be calm, and you will have smooth sail. Be calm in all things. Calmness is a state of quietude that enables you to concentrate and reassemble your divergent thoughts and meditate with profit. Contemplation leads to ideas, and ideas lead to opportunities, and opportunities lead to success. Calmness is a sine qua non of a strong character. Without calmness, there can be no strength in character. Without calmness, passion will become overheated into an intense desire and interfere with sound reason. Calmness is not the foe of feelings, but its regulator to allow their proper expression. Calmness eliminates all obstacles to the desired object.

Be positive. Focus on the positives in life, and give no thought to the negatives. A physician once said to a young woman complaining of all sorts of troubles for which she asked of him a cure: "Don't think of them: it is the most powerful of all cures." Physical and mental pains can be alleviated by effort of the will to divert the mind into opposite channels, and exacerbated by the dwelling upon them.

Oppose fatalism. You can change destiny by adjusting the sails. Oppose fatalism. Each individual is responsible for his or her own development and fortune. To accept fatalism, that is, to believe that destiny is somehow immovable, is to discourage all initiatives and to fetter all perseverance. Destiny is blind and deaf; it will neither hear nor regard us. It is strength in character to fix calamities and change destiny to the better. Work out your happiness.

Be patient. Have patience. An individual with a strong character will not quit when faced with obstacles, but will persevere to the end and overcome all obstacles. Learn to delay gratifications in life.

Overcome all fears, such as the fear of heights. Conquer all fears. Timidity is a stumbling block to success. Entertain no superstition, based upon superficial observations, but accepts facts based only upon solid reason. Build not your foundation upon sand, but upon a rock. Once you overcome fear, you will have the strength in character to think, to resolve, and to act victorious.

To grow a beautiful and fruitful garden like this, you must clear the soil by removing all the weeds. Just as a gardener must remove all the weed to grow his crops, so you must likewise dispel your mind all feeble thoughts to clear the soil for strength. Guard against excessive emotions, and attribute to them their exact significance. Whenever you find yourself preoccupied with some overwhelming emotion, you should immediately occupy yourself with something else for fifteen minutes up to an hour. Many great warriors have lost their lives when they react too brashly to insults, and go to fight prematurely against their insulters without adequate preparations, acting merely upon a hot head. That is a weakness you must learn to overcome with practice. Anger is a common vice in all those of weak character.

Have a business plan. Exercise coolness, circumspection, discernment, and prudence in business. Cultivate your mind with logic, and conduct your affairs accordingly.

Be honest always. Always be truthful in all things and every aspect of life. If you are dishonest, you are dishonest with yourself, and that is an assault upon your own character.

Work hard. Finally, excel wherever you are, and do your best in whatever you do. Work hard, and shun idleness like the plague.

Tips and Warnings:

  • Be happy. Happiness is health. Happiness gives you strength to overcome the monotonous and dispel boredom in life. It allows you to make the best of all things. Happiness is a state of mind. It has been observed, that there are more smiles on the faces of some of modest means, than on those of wealthy bankers on Wall Street.
  • Be a good friend. Devote yourself to your friend, and be willing to sacrifice. Never hold grudges, and dismiss all petty incidents. Live in harmony with others. Do not be egoistic: always think in terms of others' interests.
  • Do physical exercise to train your endurance. The mind and the body interconnect. So train your physical endurance to strengthen your mental endurance.
  • Have discipline and self-control. Flee from bad impulses (including destructive works or actions that one regrets later) -- and compulsive-obsessive behaviors that become a habit and deform character.
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