Do you believe those with great character are *born* that way? Or is it up to that person and life experiences to bring it out?

marissa ‏ @marissa: Do you believe those with great character are *born* that way? Or is it up to that person and life experiences to bring it out?

ANSWER:

Let’s say two people are born with the same potential. The same genetics. Is it possible that one’s character can be forged into a completely different person? Another way to put it, a way that applies more directly to me, is can a person with bad character become a person with good character?

A mountain of clay has great potential but can sit for years as a mountain of clay.

Then a great sculptor can come along and change the mountain of clay into a beautiful sculpture.

So step one: Yes, people can change. I’ve changed. I’ve been a horrible person at times. And still am occasionally. Every day I hope to be better.

The next question is: how do we invite a great sculptor in.

Step two: I know how I did it. It might be different for others. But every day I make sure I pay attention to the four “bodies” that I feel everyone needs to nurture and feed. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. People are usually good at feeding one, maybe two, but all four are critically important to build true character.

This doesn’t mean do 6000 pushups a day and then speak in tongues in the local church. It could mean I just “check the box” on these four things. Maybe I walk around the block (Physical), Maybe I find something new about someone I’m in love with (emotional), maybe I come up with an idea for a blog post (mental), maybe I appreciate for a split second how beautiful the Universe is (spiritual).

As time goes on, I find that I check these boxes in deeper and deeper ways and on some days I might skip a box. it goes both ways. But The Daily Practice of checking these boxes is the sculptor that molds the clay over time. I know it’s the case because its worked for me over and over – even since the 4 years since I’ve met you, Marissa.

I feel so strongly about this that I’ve been working with a developer on creating tdp.me. People have had a very hard past few years. The whole world is in transition. It’s become vitally important to feed and nurture the four bodies.

The site above is still in pre-alpha but the basic functionality is there for checking the boxes. Some days I forget to do it. But over time, I let it continue to sculpt me. The final work of art (character) is never finished until death. But I hope at the end it was all worth the work.

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