There could be many lists of character traits or character qualities. In fact, if you and I were each to make our own list of character traits it is likely that they would be somewhat different.
Sometimes, different words might be used to describe the same character trait – honesty and truthfulness, for example. Or your list might contain character traits that I didn’t think about and would have included if I had thought of them. It might be that one of us would include some things in our list that the other would not agree with. I might include intelligence in my list of character traits, but you might say that intelligence is not a character trait but an ability.
So, in the full knowledge that there may be other just as valid lists of character traits, I am presenting below one list that has been very helpful to me. The working definitions associated with each character trait are from Character First!(tm).
- Alertness – Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.
- Attentiveness – Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration. (see more)
- Availability – Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.
- Benevolence – Giving to others basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
- Boldness – Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.
- Cautiousness – Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
- Compassion – Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.
- Contentment – Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions.
- Creativity – Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
- Decisiveness – The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
- Deference – Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me.
- Dependability – Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
- Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
- Diligence – Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me.
- Discernment – Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.
- Discretion – Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.
- Endurance – The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.
- Enthusiasm – Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
- Faith – Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how.
- Flexibility – Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities.
- Forgiveness – Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.
- Generosity – Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.
- Gentleness – Showing consideration and personal concern for others.
- Gratefulness – Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefitted my life.
- Honor – Respecting those in leadership because of the highter authorities they represent.
- Hospitality – Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.
- Humility – Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
- Initiative – Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
- Joyfulness – Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.
- Justice – Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true.
- Loyalty – Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.
- Meekness – Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve.
- Obedience – Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.
- Orderliness – Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
- Patience – Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.
- Persuasiveness – Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks.
- Punctuality – Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time.
- Resourcefulness – Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.
- Responsibility – Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
- Security – Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.
- Self-Control – Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right.
- Sensitivity – Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me.
- Sincerity – Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.
- Thoroughness – Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.
- Thriftiness – Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.
- Tolerance – Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.
- Truthfulness – Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
- Virtue – The moral excellen ce evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.
- Wisdom – Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.
Character First! published booklets on each of these character qualities. Each booklet is designed to describe the quality more fully and give illustrations of how it is demonstrated in life. These booklets are valuable resources for those who wish to build good character qualities into their lives. Go here to learn more or to purchase the booklets.
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