Character is Built in the Dark

May 22, 2024

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”

– H. Jackson Brown, American author

In the military, soldiers train hard for battle. During battle, their actions need to be finely honed and automatic. They must rely on their training to provide their response to the situation. If a soldier cheats a little on his training it could get him killed under fire.

Character operates much the same. In public, we act a certain way, purporting that to be our character, but it is what we do in the dark, when we are alone and think no one is looking, that comes to light in tough situations.

When I was younger I thought I could act one way in public and another in private. That does not work in real life. I found myself thinking much harder in public about my actions. Automatic responses were not possible because I had to keep myself in check all the time. The mental energy to maintain that, and embarrassment when you slip up, is just not worth it.

Your character is built in the dark. What you do when no one else is watching influences what you do when they are.

How is your character? What do you need to do to build better character today?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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