Character is a skill, not a trait.
I am now convinced that character is a skill and not a trait. My claims are backed by research work done by James Heckman and Tim kautz (both of America’s National Bureau of Economic Research) in a paper they published in 2013.
They argue that more emphasis should be placed on “character skills”. These skills are sought after by employers and are indicators of employees’ ability to acquire new skills and adapt when it becomes necessary.
Perseverance, sociability and curiosity are things we will need to survive the current trends in the work force. Ability to learn, unlearn and relearn at any point in time are now sought after skills.
If you have these, every other thing can be gotten. And the thing about character- a lot of people believe they were made a certain way, with a certain behavior and temperament tagged to their names, so it has to stay that way. That it is not entirely true. You can change a lot about yourself if you are ready to do so-and pay the price to achieve it.
I have taken steps to test this and come to see that indeed, it is possible to tweak how we are.
I used to think reading for long hours isn’t for me. I also thought that reading bulky materials was meant for those first class students.
I loved computer games honestly. I grew up playing all sorts and types of games.
From the water game to the X-Box One, I conquered as much as I could. I could do six hours with a console but one hour on a book was mission impossible. I never thought I had the flair for intense studies of materials that would help me grow, which were outside stuff I was forced to read in school. This mentality made me loose out on a lot of interesting things hidden in books that were more than 30 to 50 pages.
As my desire to learn grew stronger, it became obvious that I really had to find a way to move beyond my limitations. I set out to try. What I did first was to fuel my hunger and desire to read till there was enough desire and interest to study for hours. Games were interesting to me, that was why time became ‘liquidated’ when I had to play games. The technique I used was to start with the less voluminous stuff and then grow steadily. It required a lot of discipline but when I look back at the things I have been able to learn, there is no doubt that it has really been worth it.
You should be ready to drop any stiff-necked attitude towards what you know and how you are. You should pay more attention to your character and attitude. Listen to and observe how people respond to you. Take note of (and even document) the kind of feedback you get from people you work with day after day. If you are honest with yourself, you would agree with most of the negative feedback you get. Once you are able to identify those traits that have made you loose out on opportunities, take definite steps to change those character flaws.
It could be procrastination, laziness, bad temper or a host of may other things. You have to believe you can get better at these things. Yes, you can. There has to be enough desire to drive you through the painful process of getting better with soft skills. Learn to persevere and hang on a bit longer. Be interested in how people regard you and become more sociable. And finally, be curious-let there be an insatiable lust for knowledge and you would get closer to achieving your dreams.