Ask Fred > Ethics > How do I strengthen my dormant character?

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Dear Fred

How do you overcome your weakness with a struggle that is pounding you time after time and at the same time help strengthen my dormant character in order to do so?

Fred's Response

I like your term, "dormant character." Character to me is a constant challenge and I find it to be very personal. I have been an executive for over 50 years and yet I've never had any associate come to me and admit that he had a weak character. I've had many, many come and say they had inadequate education, training or experience to handle the job, but never had one say, "I have a weak character." And yet, at least 75-85% of all failures in business that I've seen have been character failures. I am not sure that I could recommend what would wake up your character. And in reality, maybe it's not dormant, but needs strengthening. I believe that many times our desire overcomes our duty. The excitement overcomes long term joy. And I think it is because of our human proclivity for sin. I'd make two suggestions: First, avoid the mood in which the weakness attacks. I find that our mood rationalizes our action. For example, you might say, "I don't know why in the world I did that" but if you will go back to the same mood that you had when you did it, you'd repeat the action. Our moods just simply control our actions often. The other thing, stay out of the environment in which the weakness shows up. It may be people, it may be greed, an ego situation... whatever the situation is usually is created within a specific environment. Remember Joseph when confronted by Potiphar's wife? He didn't stop to discuss, reason or converse --- he ran! Sometimes, there are sins that we just simply have to run from. We can't stand even though we feel weak in not facing it --- but it isn't God's will for us to stand; it is God's will for us to run.