Other Key Factors For Achievement
Achievement is not just getting what we want, but also getting ahead. It’s difficult to advance our lot in life if we lack character. Character is the result of habits, but those with poor self-esteem may believe habits are the result of character. To the outside observer this also seems true, and to some degree it is. After all, who would think a person that succumbs to destructive or poor habits could also have a strong character?
To be clear, our habits do not always reflect our character and here’s why. The difference is in our personal perception of what our habits are. A person with a weak character will not recognize that their habits are bad, while a person of stronger character will recognize they are partaking in bad habits, but simply don’t know how to change them yet. There are three things that contribute to our character and habits.
Let’s look at them and how they play a role.
Heredity – While it is true that you cannot choose your family, it’s also true that you can be aware of any influence they have. If their influence is negative you’ll have to be firm when they try to tempt you into bad habits. That doesn’t mean you should stop loving them or ignore them, but be aware of their influence on you.
Our families contribute to the make-up of our character. How can you get rid of the bad ones? It will take some effort as you can’t change your genetics. In a moment we will look at other areas that are more in your control.
For now, choose to focus more on your family’s positive influences and downplay the negative ones. This way you’ll be thankful for the good traits you have inherited and be able to put them to work for you.
Environment – When it comes to character, your environment can play a huge role. Environment doesn’t just refer to your physical surroundings, but also your social.
Physical surroundings have an influence on our habits and character, but not as big as you may think. Many great people have lived in terrible surroundings. War, poverty and suppression were not able to stop some of the world’s best people. They prove that your surroundings can actually build character by making you stronger. And this is where habits really come in. If you have poor mental habits, you can let sub-par surroundings effect you negatively – using them as an excuse for failure. However, if your habits are strong and positive you have the power to manifest great character. Just as a blacksmith uses heat to harden steel, so too can a great person use a bad environment to better themselves.
That covers the physical, but what about our social environment? This is probably the biggest area of influence in our lives. Let’s face it, we choose to hang around with these people. Take a step back and look objectively at who you think your friends are. Do they have the same moral compass as you? Do they encourage you to do things you know you really shouldn’t? Do they ridicule you when you try to do better? Perhaps your friends are a good influence, perhaps not. Just look at your closest friends and you will get a good idea of the person you are now, or will soon be. If that doesn’t fit in with your vision of achievement, then you will want to broaden your circle of friends to include the right kind of people.
Education – In this sense, education refers to the things we learn. Obviously, this means it’s not limited to the things we learn in school. We also learn a lot from experience and circumstance. In a way it’s education that really molds our habits and character. And that’s good news, too, because you can then also educate yourself to develop better habits and character.
Reading is an excellent way to do this. Fill your mind with good things and put what you learn into action. However, you can also re-educate yourself by being open to new experiences. Ask yourself what you need to do to change a bad habit, or what you could do to build character.
Often the answers lie within us, if we are willing to be honest with ourselves. When it comes to achievement a strong and good character is vital. Habits, god or bad, are a reflection of character. Finding the areas of influence in your life will help you develop the character you need to move ahead.