Building Character

“Habits change into character.”

Ovid

Have you ever strongly identified with a character in a novel or film? One that comes to mind for me is Kvothe from The Name of the Wind, written by Patrick Rothfuss.

He’s someone I admire and relate to in many ways. Kvothe is a true Renaissance (and larger than life) character. What draws me to him is his desire for knowledge in, well, everything. Creativity, engineering, finance, love, etc. He’s flawed and far from perfect, but neither am I ;).

I won’t go into much more detail (Just in case you want to pick up a copy of the book and read it) but Kvothe also frequently gets in his own way and lets negative control him.

I’ve been in my head, psyching myself out too much this past week. I’ve got some good things going, but I can’t help but feel dragged down by my (thoughtless) thoughts. I’m actively trying to avoid this. Meditation helps. Focusing on one task at a time helps. Working on fun projects helps.

But I haven’t been able to shake it yet.

Negative or discouraging thoughts are like toxins in the body. They cause all sorts of damages (and some you can’t see) and wreak havoc on your ability to change and move forward. Detox is possible, but it’s not immediate. It takes work to clean up toxic thoughts and override them with helpful ones.

Sooner or later, you realize that in life, everything is about mindset. And your mindset reflects your habits.

And all of a sudden, the person you currently are is holding back and suppress the better person you could be.

If you get into the bad habit of thinking you’re not doing enough, or you’re not good enough, eventually, you’ll start to believe it. And that believe will ripple across your life in harmful ways.

But the same can also be said about good thoughts too.

Thoughts, actions, habits, and character traits are all on the same spectrum.

Thoughts are the most malleable. They can easily be changed by internal and external events—which also means they can also be honed to work for you instead of against you.

Actions are next. They are malleable too but take effort (or sometimes whim) to see them through. Actions are powerful because they are thoughts converted into reality.

Habits are less malleable than thoughts and actions and take some time to sink in. They’re really just actions done consistently. The more consistent actions you take in something, the more likely it will become a habit.

Character is ridged but can be overridden by habits if done consistently enough.

The battle for change starts in the mind.

Negative thoughts are a part of life, but they are also in your control. There’s always going to be a scared, worrisome, sometimes crazy little version of yourself instead of your head who wants to keep your life bubble-wrapped. But that doesn’t mean you have to let them win.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #998

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