The Wisdom

With Patrick Mosher

The Path to Outstanding_Part I

I went to an all-boys college prep high school.  We were to assume leadership roles in government and industry.  I'm proud of my education at this fine institution. 

In my sophomore year, I took Civics taught by our football coach, Mr. Balaban.  It was an afternoon class, right after lunch.  I sat on the right side, about a third of the way back.  That way, I could lean my head against the wall.  It was an easy "A" class.  Not a shining beacon of my education … except for one short impactful lesson.  I guess it was related to civics and good citizenship.  I can see his massive form as he delivered this character-building sentence:

"Men, it's better to be Outstanding than Standing Out."

Have you ever felt like you were just left standing there? 

I thought of all the times I was the last one picked for teams on the playground.  There I was, Standing Out.  I thought of the parties in high school that I wasn't...

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The Quest for Character

Have you ever wondered if you adequately develop your Character or show up with Character at work?  With your kids?  In your life? 

What Does Character Even Mean? 

Let's start with the definition of Character.  Webster dictionary gives us all sorts of definitions of the word, Character.

  • Attribute that distinguishes an individual
  • Mental or ethical traits that individualize a person, group or nation
  • Essential nature, strongly marked to distinguish
  • Moral excellence
  • Graphic symbol, as in an alphabet

What do you see as common elements in those five definitions of Character?  I see … DISTINGUISH.  After all, who wants to go to the movies or a watch a play or read a novel with bland characters?  Or how could you read an alphabet where all characters looked alike!?!  They must be distinguishable, each with their own sound or meaning.

The second common component in the five definitions of Character is ethical traits and moral...

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