Our Character is made up of specific Character Traits, or Qualities, that Determine How We Will Respond to the Events, Situations and Circumstances of Our Life

Our overall character is made up of specific individual traits, or qualities.  Each of us, as individuals, have some character qualities that are more positive and some that are more negative. Some are stronger and others are weaker.  It is those character traits, or qualities, that determine how we will respond in any given situation.


For example, someone who has a strong character trait of alertness will likely to be a better, safer, driver than a person who does not see or recognize the potential dangers around him (carelessness).  A person with a strong character quality of truthfulness is much more likely to accurately report the facts in a given situation than a person who is characterized by deceptiveness.  A person with the character quality of endurance will keep on going when the "going gets tough" instead of giving up.

Our Responses Determine Our Results

The results we achieve in any given situation depend, more than anything else, on how we respond to the events and circumstances we are facing.  And, it is our character traits that determine how we will respond to those events and circumstances.  Therefore,  it really is our character that determines our success.

Of course, that doesn't mean that "good" people will always experience more "success" than "bad" people.  There are, however, some character traits that tend to lead to "success" and others that tend to produce "failure."

The question then, is, "What are the "good," or "positive," character traits, and how can we strengthen them, and what are "bad" ("negative") qualities and how can we minimize them?

There is no one, single, list of “character qualities,” or “character traits.” If you and I were each to make our own list, they would probably be different, but we would probably both include words such as honesty, integrity, dependability, loyalty, enthusiasm, etc. Of course, there are many other qualities that we might add to our lists.

For example, “honesty” really consists of several more basic qualities – truthfulnessdependabilitydiligence, etc.  So, when we work on becoming more honest, we do it by working to become more truthful, more dependable, more diligent, etc.

A good list of character traits that was developed by the Character Training Institute of Oklahoma City breaks “character” down into forty-nine specific qualities, or traits.

Having such a list of character traits is helpful because it allows us to focus on specific qualities in order to build the “good character traits” into our lives.

Breaking character down into its basic elements allows us to focus on building specific qualities into our lives. For example, if we feel we are weak in the quality of "Alertness," we can concentrate on becoming more alert to what is going on around us.

As we work on strengthening specific good character qualities, we will have better responses to the circumstances we face.  And, because our responses will be better, we will have more "success."

As we have said, our character is what really determines our success in any area of life. Our character qualities guide our responses to the situations and circumstances we face in our lives. They are why we do the things we do and they are why we do things the way we do them.

And, since how we respond to the various situations and circumstances that come into our lives is what determines the results we get, our success really depends on our character traits.  That's why it is so important that we work on developing good character traits.