The Meaning of Character

Character Determines Success!

What Is Character?

What did Abraham Lincoln Have to Say About Character?

Abraham Lincoln said, Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.

(Learn More About Abraham Lincoln)



What did Winston Churchill Say About Character?

Winston Churchill said, “The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not technicalities.”

(Learn More About Winston Churchill)

What is “Character”?  Why is it so important?

Our character is much more than just our reputation.  Our reputation is what others to see about us.  Our character is who we really are, even when no one is watching. Having  “Good Character” means doing the right thing just because it is right to do what is right.

Dictionary Definitions of “Character” 

One dictionary defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Another says it is “the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person.” In still another dictionary, character is said to be “the stable and distinctive qualities built into an individual’s life which determine his or her response regardless of circumstances.

How Does Character Determine Success?

Our Character Is What Determines How We Respond to the Situations and Circumstances of Life

The dictionary definitions said character is a “complex of mental and ethical traits“, that those traits, or qualities, are “distinctive to an individual” and that they are “built into an individual’s life.” It is those character qualities, those character traits, that determine a person’s response in any given situation. For example, a person in with a strong character quality of truthfulness is much more likely to accurately report the facts in a given situation than a person who tends to be characterized by deceptiveness. Someone who has the character trait of alertness will be more 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 the character quality of tolerance will be more accepting of others – less prejudiced.

Success or failure in any situation or endeavor depends, more than anything else, on how we respond to events and circumstances.  It follows that it 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 is, “What are the “good” character qualities, and what are “bad” qualities?


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Next… Good Character and Bad Character



What Do You Think?

What is your opinion about the importance of character in life?

– “Can you really train for character? or is it set during childhood?”
– “Is character training important?”
– “Should character education be done in schools or at home?”
– “Is Character Training ‘Unbiblical’ as some claim?”
– “Is Character Training A Cult?”

Please join the conversation and let us know what you think by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and leaving a comment.


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103 Responses

  1. rob says:

    Exceⅼlent articlе. І certainly appreciate this websіte.

  2. HARBANS says:

    I opine character to be the inner strength which gives us sustenance or staying power in any venture – it may be putting our body and mind in the attainment of a goal or keeping balance both in happy and not so happy occasions besides not carried away by the challenges which may come in our way. Our character is tested when we possess the nack to accomplish our task without let or hindrance.

  3. Nanshin Daniel Yapshak says:

    I believe strongly that character can be built in a person. I’m in great support of character education in schools because parents these days are too busy working to keep the families together, considering the times we’re in. Hence the children are given less attention in that area. I’m working towards starting a non-profit organization that teaches character education and development. dimkananshin@gmail is my email address if anyone has any input that could help my startup. Merci.

  4. Smart fortunate says:

    I am delighted to see this expantiate on the word character

  5. Nurul Amin says:

    Character is the best part of human life. So character education should be enlisted in school syllabus and it should be practiced at home.

  6. vincent t ndebvu says:

    nice comments

  7. Derrol Johns says:

    Character is the anchor of your life. It determines who and what you are.It determines how others view you.
    My question: Could you reasonably determine a person’s character through observation after a few hours spread over several months?

  8. Abbey Kalibbala says:

    Thank you for the posts about character. Children should be taught seriously about character because they are continuously becoming immoral.

  9. Lavona Aseltine says:

    I must show some appreciation to you for bailing me out of this particular dilemma. As a result of looking throughout the internet and getting techniques that were not beneficial, I thought my entire life was gone. Living without the answers to the difficulties you’ve fixed as a result of your entire post is a serious case, as well as those that would have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t noticed your web blog. Your main mastery and kindness in maneuvering the whole lot was very helpful. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a stuff like this. I can at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot very much for your skilled and result oriented guide. I will not be reluctant to suggest your blog to any person who would like recommendations on this subject.

  10. Mark says:

    True Character is mandatory to “house” success. Too much success with out the container of Character is a recipe for implosion. Look to Tiger Woods, Aaron Hernandez, etc… Character is lived from the inside out not the outside in. If all traits of virtue were ingredients, Character would be the final product.

  11. jisha s raj says:

    Character has two major parts like a coin one is good character and the another one is bad character

  12. S.k.y says:


  13. Diesel says:

    Character is as character does. Character can not be defined by words, it relies too heavily on the intangible substance of a person. Character is who we are in action.

  14. Raymond Rabo says:

    The word “CHARACTER” is a very elaborating subject. It is a unifying factor that reflects our mental and emotional response to situations, it’s quite different from reputation; what people think we are, realizing and developing our character will go a greater extent to determine to build the foundations of our destiny in life.

  15. I am creating a series on gratitude and came across your article while searching for resources about character. I am going to include a link to your article in the series. As I continue to find good information about character and the practical application of how to improve my own character, I discover that the foundation of character seems to be made up of how many of the virtues I am “doing.” I think the “doing” part of my life, that is, my choices…my actions…are in bed with my state of consciousness. I like the saying, ‘Established in Being, Perform Action.” In this case, being refers to the state of being awake inside your own awareness, and includes the “witness state” of awareness. It can also be called “mindfulness.” At any rate, the deliberate practice of virtue is helped by a steady and calm state of mind, even in the midst of dynamic activity and while under great stress. Thank you for your article. It is adding to the improvement of the world.

  16. Keisha Gushwa says:

    I enjoy reading through an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!|

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