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Monday, May 18, 2020

Character Is Destiny - Ancient Wisdom For The Digital Age

The modern world is rammed with distractions, which attempt to divert our attention from the things that matter in our lives. But when you peel back all the layers of social complexity and technological sophistication, you realize that the basics of life are mostly the same as they were thousands of years ago. We still have families. We still have love. And we still have work - though that might change depending on how the coronavirus pandemic unfolds.

Thus, when it comes to the critical questions of life, it pays to heed ancient wisdom. People living in antiquity lived relatively uncluttered lives. They weren’t on social media or planning their next vacay. Instead, they were planning how to store seed crops for the next year or farming the land. Their lives were relatively empty in comparison to ours, so they had much more time to think.

Image Source: Pixabay - CC0 License

Greek philosophers are still celebrated today for their insights and wisdom. Heraclitus, who lived around 500 BC, is credited with the phrase “character is destiny.” But what does this actually mean?

The World Is Out Of Control But That Doesn’t Matter
When Heraclitus said this, he was making the point that while the world might seem fundamentally out of control, power was ultimately in our hands.

That might seem like a strange thing to say. Things happen that are outside of our control all the time, and they can have meaningful impacts on our lives. But Heraclitus’ message was primarily one of hope. His view was that life could batter you from time to time, but what you make of it fundamentally comes down to the strength of your character. Sure, you could have had an awful childhood, but some people can break free of that and live as if their upbringing was peaceful and healthy.

Fundamentally, therefore, it is a message of hope. The phrase simply means that over the long course of your life, things will work out well for you if you have an excellent character compared to if you don’t. People who are wise, robust, and stoic will tend to gravitate over time to success, while those who aren’t, won’t.

What Type Of Character Do You Have?
It all begs the question, what type of character do you have? On a basic level, you probably already know. If you’re the sort of person who has flights of fancy and doesn’t see things through, then you probably already know that you’re on the wrong path. If you work hard and smart towards your goals, then you might be moving in the right direction.

You can take the Enneagram test online for free to get a more detailed appraisal. This test tells you your primary personality type and underlying drives. It gives you a scientific insight into your character and gives you pointers for what you might want to change.

Knowing yourself isn’t easy. Once you understand your character, you will have a better idea of where you’re going in life.
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