There are all kinds of treasures to have. Many are very valuable. Many have worked hard to amass these treasures, but a few are available but undervalued and easily mocked by society today.
What are these treasures that are easy to reach? They’re the intangibles of life that makes humanity work. Some call it soft skills, others call it knowledge.
No matter what you call it, having it is priceless and is theft proof actually.
“No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.” – L. Frank Baum
We are born with the basics of our personality and a great aptitude to learn and develop our character. Many feel the two are one and the same. They’re not.
Your personality is what colors the experience people have of you. Some folks are bright and warm. Others are grim and solitary. The combinations are endless. The personality is what you experience when you approach and meet someone.
Their character is something different and shows up through experience. The character is the sum of all habits a person has.
On one hand… a person may be warm, friendly, social, appealing and that’s just touching their personality. On the other hand, a person can be timely, punctual, disciplined, responsible, respectful, courteous, empathetic, reflective, proactive, and that’s just the short list of traits of the character.
What is the difference?
Life can influence your personality but your genes and your home experience has had a stronger hold on how you express your own personality. Society has something to do with that too.
However, the list of choices one makes, the skills one learns, the repetition of habits, those all lead to your character. The character is shaped. One may be the nicest person around, but if they’ve never learned to say “please” and “thank you” that niceness will be lacking those words. Traits that are learned and become habitual are things that influences and shape your character.
That said. We can change our characters. We can mold them. It gets harder the older one gets, but it is not impossible. The only way to change a character is to learn new habits to change the nature of the character.
Example. In most western cultures, it is not considered highly offensive to have the bottom of your shoe visible to the person you’re talking to. Just look at how often someone has crossed their legs and you’ve seen the soul of their shoe, or went to sit on the train only to see someone’s feet up on the chair exposing their soles. In other cultures, that’s consider very offensive to the viewer of the sole of the shoes (think… on the level of giving the middle finger).
One can learn not to show the sole of their shoe in public when one moves to such a culture. No matter how old one is. They can learn. So much so that when they return back to their western culture, they may not chose to go back to their old ways. Their character has changed. They’ve learned to be more polite in a different context.
How is that linked to knowledge?
Without knowing the need to adjust one’s sole showing ways, one would not even know to do the necessary work to learn how not to show their soles.
What we invest in, to become who we are, says a lot about the things we value. No one can go into your mind and steal what you know, especially if it’s part of your character.
(yes, there is the possible scenario where the brain computer interface becomes reality in the future and memories can be altered… but until said day… what’s inside your mind is yours)
No matter how much people push buttons, a person who has learned the habit of self-restraint will generally be pretty good at keeping their composure in the face of an annoying person.
Same with those who have mastered the skill of conflict avoidance. They just do what they do. They avoid conflict. That piece of knowledge is ingrained into their character.
This is why applied knowledge is so powerful. When a person learns the art of success, then builds on that knowledge and applies it to being successful, they become successful. You can take away all the physical manifestations of that success, given enough time and resources, they will manifest more success again. Over and over and over again. It is in their character to be successful.
Applied knowledge is powerful
This is why the acquisition of knowledge is so important. This is why it is so critical to teach children while they’re young. It is easier to learn when the mind is not distracted by heavy responsibilities.
Once that knowledge is gained, should the owner decide to guard the avenues to their mind, that knowledge can’t easily be diluted or taken. That is why there is such a premium on being a strong minded person (in this example, a humble strong mind is the one being used)
We tend to invest in the end results. Example. We will buy a vacation package that has everything provided for us so we just show up. We will buy a complete toy set so we don’t have to do anything but open the box and play. This is very convenient. But it also plays to the personality more than the character.
What am I trying to say? If one has to put in some effort to learn about the process behind the experience, one gains knowledge that is valuable.
Having an all inclusive vacation is not a bad thing. However, the process of learning how to put one together, as annoying as it can be, is useful.
One never knows when one has to put together a package that is not pre-made. I’ve had the experience of doing a vacation or two with my wife. We could not afford to buy the premium package. However, because we knew how to put together a series of low budge experiences, we ended up having very similar experiences as our friends who purchased their premium packages.
When we compared photos, both parties were just as happy. Both had great memories. But only we had the joy of knowing we crafted the package exactly as we wanted and got more value from it than those who didn’t (relatively speaking). They had a few complaints about how services weren’t as expected. They had complaints about certain delays that nearly ruined their day compared to us who didn’t have any of that.
No one can take those experiences away from us. And we had nothing to gripe about because we got more than we bargained for.
To push this example just a bit further. No one can take your happiness away from you without your consent. A skill worth having. No one can ruin your contentment, another skill worth having. No one can take your optimism away, another skill to cultivate.
All of these soft skills can be learned. The method of learning will vary from person to person, but it is learn-able. This week, what is one skill you will work on learning to become the person you want to be? To have the skills you want to have? To have the abilities you need to have?
Feel free to share below.
The more you know, the better you are able to handle when access to a search engine is not available. No one can ever take what’s in your head out of your head (without causing significant trauma… like a lobotomy, or electroshock damages)
Embrace learning. Embrace knowledge. Make it an awesome week of discovering new wonderful pieces of knowledge that you can then apply to your habits which greatly shapes your character.
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