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Know and Build Elements of a Good Character

by Rajesh Gotan

In general sense, when we talk of a character of a person, we try to define the kind of person someone is. We never say the person is of good character. We give different labels to a person like funny, courageous, strong, strange, emotional and so on so forth.

However, character means much more that a single attribute. It is much beyond the “character certificate” issued by authorities which merely means that the person is not a bad element. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of traits that make a good character. And it’s not easy to build a good character.  The first step of good character building is self-examination. It a process to know what you are struggling with. In other way, it’s about identifying your character defects. After that the next step is working on identified areas. Also, building good character is consistent process of working to evolve the required traits.

Let’s know the elements of the good character and ways to build them:


In order to progress towards wisdom, humility is the first starting point. It means building acceptance and being open to new things and ways. Most importantly, you need to stop looking at things from a coloured lens. Humility has a power to convert your “intelligence” to “wisdom”. And a humble person is appreciated by all as being good.  


Integrity is doing things right when no one is looking at you.  Integrity is not an easy attribute to build. It’s a product of your thoughts and actions. And managing thoughts and actions calls for mammoth and continual effort. The most important part is to keep filling your mind with good thoughts. When practiced, it becomes your habit over a period of time.   

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”
Dennis Prager

 Values and Principles

You need to define what is right and always follow it. Living with Principles and values makes the decision making and life quite easy. For example, you may say that you will only do the business which has a social impact. In such a case, your goal post is not profit or wealth. But something that gives back to the society. With defined principles and values, you will never face distraction as you have yardsticks to measure.   


Without setting rules for yourself, you can’t make a progress towards the goals that you have defined for yourself. You may know that keeping healthy is most important, but merely the awareness of it does not take you anywhere unless you action it. Self-discipline allows you to invest your time in structured way to yield results in the defined areas. Initially setting discipline looks hard, but eventually it becomes your habit. And habit is like an addiction. Ask people who go to gym regularly, most of them will agree that they are addicted to it.


Take responsibility and be accountable for what you commit.  However, the commitment is not only outward, but it’s about yourself also. The effective way of building this is habit is by surrounding yourself with people who have high expectations. As a matter of fact, the force of expectations by others will push you towards becoming accountable.

Building a good character is not an accident. It’s a result of conscious and continuous effort. And the whole thing starts with the self-examination of who you are. Keep aside the positives you are blessed with, identify you negatives. Make a self-development plan for yourself and adhere to it. Over a period of time, the reflection of your improvements can be judged via the opinions and reactions of others.

Never forget that self-acceptance is the key. And it takes a lot of courage to accept your negatives. 

Knowing your flaws is half the battle won towards the path to build a good character!

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