Tonight, I wanted to spend a few moments discussing an element that will be key from this point forward.
That of character.
That seemingly finite entity, possessed of an infinite capacity.
And to find my voice in advance of this subject, I first sought to define it:
Character: “..the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual….a complex of mental and ethical traits or qualities, distinctive to an individual built into an individual’s life….the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves : someone’s personality
Then, went on to describe its nature. Or traits. Like courage, honesty, loyalty, caring, optimism, faith, patience, persistence, leadership, and vision.
Searched for relevant examples.
But in the end, all I felt, were lacking in currency.
Thoughts and things after the fact. Stories about what had happened. Accomplishments wrought by it.
The end results of character.
Not what I was after.
I wanted to describe that place one is compelled to know in order to fully exert it.
Now we are taught that character is ultimately revealed and exposed by choice.
Defining both you and your actions on the basis of the value you assign to that instant, a circumstance or a challenge.
Through experience, we have learned that success or failure in any situation or endeavor usually depends – without exception – on how we choose to respond.
What we make of the moment.
It follows, then, that it is character that determines our success
The only true guide that can take you through that instant.
From you, to choice, and then, onto action.
Character is what is meant to carry you from “here” to “there.
For that brief moment. That bridge from perseverance to achievement.
Optimism to opportunity.
Habit to excellence.
Leadership to success.
Character is the one absolute made to precisely fit that gap – the one prior to choice – in anticipation of action.
In essence, this place is your turning point. A brief moment of reflection.
The proverbial moment of truth.
The intersection of you, your choice and action. .
That instant where you must quickly and skillfully acknowledge, accept, and appreciate before you can aspire to finally – assert.
To acknowledge the magnitude and power of your gifts and your abilities. And commit yourself to employing them to their fullest.
To accept that you might have to be the one – and – to appreciate the opportunity to bear that burden. Embracing the responsibility for having to carry the mass of this moment, reveling in the chance to reveal who and what you are.
Then, in crossing this threshold, you aspire to act. Choosing your response and deciding to bring definition to that moment, on your terms.
And finally, asserting yourself.
Exerting your will.
Your defining moment.
Man in full.