Motivations to Change Your Own Character
by Ron Kurtus (4 March 2007)
Although most people do not think about or judge their own character, events in your life may motivate a change. You may realize that you are not achieving your goals and decide to change your personal character. Also, you may see that the opinion other people have of you is not what you would like, so you decide to change your social character.
If you move to another area or change religions, you may have to adapt your cultural character. Usually, the change in character is in the positive direction, but there are also cases where people change in the negative direction.
Questions you may have include:
- Why change your personal character?
- Why change your social character?
- Why change your cultural character?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Changing personal character
Personal character traits are attitudes concerning overcoming challenges and achieving goals. Something must motivate you to change the personal character traits that you have been taught.
You may realize that you are not moving forward because of certain fears or a lack of determination. Perhaps you were taught as a young child to worry about failing or getting hurt. Since this is holding you back, you may want to change your personal character to become a more courageous and determined person.
Some people become discouraged because of their lack of success, perhaps due to overestimating their abilities and chances. Such a person may become fearful and will avoid taking the risks necessary to achieve a goal. Others may simply give up and have a negative personal character trait of one who doesn't try.
Changing social character
Social character concerns your attitudes in dealing with others. You may change in a positive or negative direction. Something must motivate you to change the social character traits that you have been taught.
You may have grown up with training from your parents or peers that you can get what you want by being dishonest. But after being caught by your dishonesty, you realize that it does not pay. Perhaps you have been severely punished for being dishonest. Thus, you make an effort to change your character and become extremely honest. You are also motivated by this change by saying that an honest reputation is worthwhile.
On the other hand, there are people who have been honest and have found that they are falling behind others in their peer group who are dishonest. You may feel that being honest does not pay and decide to change your character for the worse.
We received a letter from a woman in a former communist country who said that she always tried to be an honest woman, but the other women in her community scoffed at her and called her a fool. This gave her a difficult choice of having the social character in which she was brought up or in following the cultural character of her community's culture.
Changing cultural character
Cultural character is following the rules or laws of your government, cultural group or religion. Something must motivate you to change the cultural character traits that you have been taught.
A person with a rebellious personality may find that the consequences of breaking the rules are so great that breaking the rules are not worth the consequences. The police may arrest you or your family may disown you. In such a case, you may decide to change your ways, change your character and obey the laws and rules of the group.In the case of religion, the consequences of disobedience are not obvious, unless the church also controls the government or cultural rules. But often, when you change religions, you may become very devout and obedient to the rules of your new religion.
People who move in the negative direction concerning cultural character usually have been wronged by the group and become bitter toward it. This can be seen in protesters against certain government policies in which they completely disagree. Some Catholics became atheists after suffering abuse from a priest.
Events may motivate a change in your character. If you are not achieving your goals, you may decide to change your personal character. You may hear the opinions other people have about you and decide to change your social character. If you move to another area or change religions, you may need to adapt your cultural character. Usually, a change in character is in a positive direction, but there are also cases where people change in the negative direction.
Sometimes, change is good
Resources and references
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