Building Character

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”  
– James Anthony Froude

This quote has always been interesting to me. As we all strive to develop our character, it requires much action. Defined in the dictionary, the word character is “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” So basically, we are who we choose to be. That can also change based on our mental and moral qualities that we choose act from. 

Just like the quote above, you can’t just dream yourself into who you want to be. You can’t say that you will be who you want to be “someday”. You will “someday” yourself out of your entire life. Developing your character requires action. It requires you choosing to do it and not looking back. Choose to develop YOU.

Similar to characters in novels, your development can and will take time. You may not have the same qualities you did when you were eight years old versus eighteen years old. You’ve chosen some of those qualities and continue to choose them while others, you stopped choosing. You may also choose to act and have a quality, and you might think that you really “get it.” However, as time goes by and you continue to invest in yourself, you will rediscover that quality and “get it” some more, in a new and different way. 

Have you ever read a book before and then sometime in the future, you go back and reread it? New things stand out in ways that they didn’t before.

This is what growth is. When you take the things you learn and ACT on them, you have to understand that the consequences of those choices may not always be immediate. Just because you may not see anything at first, does not mean that things are not majorly shifting for you. 

Time is defined as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” When you choose to give yourself the time to apply the things you learn, and commit to growing them, you are choosing to see the whole picture. You see how your past choices contributed to where you are, you discern and act precisely in your present time, and you look forward to the future knowing the choices you are choosing now, will create that future. Time is progress, and there is progress in time. No matter how small it may seem.

-Erika Ludwig
YFF Chief Operating Officer

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