In a recent article I wrote about how mistakes are impossible to avoid when you’re exploring uncertain territory. In the piece I talked about ways to cope when you make a wrong turn. One thing I didn’t talk about was the concept of character. When you have character it means you are conscious of yourself and those around you. You are not selfish or completely selfless. Having character means that you monitor your thoughts as well as your actions. A person of character always strives to do the right thing.
Your reputation as a person of integrity who is also honest, fair, positive and hard working can possibly be the best remedy for the occasional unavoidable blunder.
Also I’ve discovered that being a person of character helps when you’ve been wronged. In one of my many jobs an issue developed between myself and someone whose job it was to show me the ropes. After unsuccessfully trying to work it out with my assigned trainer, following protocol, I looked for someone else who could intervene. When I went to the manager and stated my case, the first thing she asked me was if I’d ever been late.
“Never,” I responded, not knowing what this had to do with my predicament.
“Ever absent?” She continued the same line of questioning.
“No.” I still had no idea as to where she was headed. But only after I assured her that I was following all of the rules, did she get up from her seat, put on her jacket and take me seriously.
“You see,” she explained later. “Even if they were wrong, they would have used poor attendance against you.”
In the end the issue was resolved and I learned what I needed to know to do my job. The situation reminded me of a maxim a co-worker from another job used to live by. “Be blameless,” she used to say.
With the job where I had trouble with the trainer, I couldn’t help being new and ignorant of certain things, but I could control my character. I could honor my commitment to come in every day and on time. So when I asked for help, people listened.
A sturdy character is like Teflon. Here are some ways to strengthen your inner constitution:
1)Keep your word. If you have to break a promise, don’t hide. Let the other person know that you won’t be able to meet that deadline or make the appointment. Apologized and make restitution.
2)By the same token under promise and overachieve. In other words don’t bite off more than you can chew. Say no every once in a while.
3)T.D Jakes advises us to solve problems without ever mentioning that there is one. Keep complaining to a minimum.
4)Be resilient. Don’t let one bad day seep into another.