The reasons why
How you get it
What I say to myself: affirmations and declarations
Research and the classification of strengths
A personal note
THE REASONS WHY
If life is about getting the best results you want in life, then the strength of character is the most essential "tool" to getting that. Strength of character is the result of the multiplication and interactions between several key qualities; it is not about strong arming or hard discipline.
An incredibly valuable benefit is that one learns to value one's character and the how of one's getting somewhere more than the results - one becomes less affected by disappointments. With strength of character you are clear about the rightness of how you operate in life - which is a good chunk of the Buddhist Eightfold Path to happiness (and eliminating suffering) - preceded by the word "right" (ethically aligned), the paths are right understanding, right thoughs, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right meditation. One of the key ways people suffer, though they often cannot identify it without some assistance, is in their poor opinion of themselves. Regard for oneself is one of the two key parts of Happiness.
It determines your life.
It gives you the power to get what you want.
It is the skill and habit to make life successful.
Keeping promises, plus - On time, following through, accountable for results and Complete Self-Care - Appearance all the way to the most vital, which is self Mastery - Excellence and completing what matters, including one's work. Effectiveness - Productive, accomplished, constructive, proactive, progressive,
Clarity, commitment, stand for something - Clear about life
people, so do appropriate action instead of automatic reaction.
Composed, keep perspective - High value on "looking" with perspective to see
what is important and top priority, virtually never overloaded, a sense of
HOW YOU GET IT
The same way you get to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice. But first you need to learn what they are individually and decide that they are more valuable than false payoffs (that most people don't see, though they always lead to a feeling of emptiness or non-satisfaction). Read the key links above, surveying at first but with an eye on what to learn in more depth.
WHAT I SAY TO MYSELF: AFFIRMATIONS AND DECLARATIONS
I choose powerfully. I develop huge strength of character for my life success and for benefitting others. I absolutely honor my promises, and value my integrity at the highest.
I realize that strength of character is essential to my having a good opinion of myself, thought I realize I need not be perfect in that regard.
I do not, and will not, allow short term expediency to rule over the long term good.
No matter what, I take time to have perspective over all that is going on and I make sure I am not operating under pressure. I stay organized and orderly so that I can be in control over the pieces in my life. I choose what to work on rather than vice versa.
RESEARCH AND THE VIA CLASSIFICATION OF STRENGTHS
"Consistently and robustly associated with life satisfaction were hope, zest, gratitude, love, and curiosity. Only weakly associated with life satisfaction, in contrast, were modesty and the intellectual strengths of appreciation of beauty, creativity, judgment, and love of learning."
A PERSONAL NOTE, TO MYSELF
"Although I've attempted to do right for others, I have often not done right for myself. I've indulged myself and distracted myself and not done what I needed to be done, procrastinating alot. Staying up all night playing my little computer game, again, was pure indulgence to what was easiest - and did not show a real strength of character - which is what prompted me to write this article.
I can accept those diversions from being on a better path, though I do feel disappointed in myself about that; however, the key point is that in got in the way of getting the results I want in life. I'm not talking about money or "success", but more about taking care of oneself and being with others and 'getting the most out of life'.
I now choose strength of character above random feel goods or escapes. I know this is the right path and I choose it for the rest of my life."