Key dates in our lives such as anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and other personal dates of meaningful accomplishment or quiet bereavement are helpful to support a deeper reflection on the important things in life. They also provide an opportunity to reassess our progress on our journey towards reaching our full potential.
The purpose of today’s blog is to reflect back on just over a year of writing to support the importance of building and strengthening our character as the critical catalyst to reach our full potential.
At Harvest Time Partners, we believe that Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our hopes and dreams and this weekly blog is one of our platforms to provide support and encouragement to others striving to reach their full potential.
Why is character so important?
In order to answer that question, it is important to reflect back on some universal truths in our world.
(1) In life, we will experience both ups and downs, great highs and great lows. Whether it is in school, work, our community, and certainly in our homes, we will encounter situations that provide us with an opportunity to grow.
(2) In life, there are always 3 aspects to our experience:
a SITUATION: There is our present situation. Many times, our situation is beyond our immediate, personal control like the weather, an emergency customer call on a Sunday morning, a reckless driver, an outburst from an individual in an overwhelming situation, etc.
a GAP: There is a gap, a moment in our consciousness that forms our response to the situation. The gap could be a split second or a long period of time.
a RESPONSE: There is our response to the situation.
(3) How we fill the GAP will determine our potential and our overall emotional health. In the GAP, lies our character. We are not confined to a stimulus-response type paradigm like animals. Our unique human qualities provide us with what Viktor Frankl described as “the last of the human freedoms,” the freedom to choose our response to our situation. We possess the potential to rise above our situation by using the GAP between our situation and our response.
At Harvest Time Partners, we believe our character is Standing in the Gap® between a situation and our response. Our character is our inner voice (our internal compass) that guides our thoughts, decisions, and actions. When we guide our thoughts, decisions, and actions by principles like courage, loyalty, honesty, teamwork, and commitment, we build and strengthen our character. As our character is strengthened, we widen the gap to develop our most effective response. Our most effective response will eventually lead to an improved situation, a pathway to reach our full potential, and our emotional health…and the cycle continues with every situation.
As we consistently build and strengthen our character through thoughts, decisions, and actions based on principles, we develop the habits to fill and widen the gap in order to consistently deliver an effective response, regardless of our situation. Our principle-based response will eventually produce an improved situation which has a positive impact on ourselves and those around us.
It is in the gap between a situation and our response where we have the opportunity to reach our full potential. Our character is Standing in the Gap® and this is why we believe that character is the critical catalyst to reaching our full potential.
How does this play out in the real world?
As an employee sitting down with a boss and receiving a difficult performance review. We can blame the boss, the company’s product line, global competition, or we can rise above and fill the gap with thoughts, decisions, and actions to understand where we fell short, perhaps work smarter and/or harder, and increase teamwork, in order to prepare to improve performance in the next cycle. In doing so, we position ourselves to reach our full potential.
As a student, we all have received a poor grade every now and then. We can blame the teacher, say the curriculum is irrelevant, the “system” stinks, or we can rise above and fill the gap with thoughts, decisions, and actions that identify our mistakes, commit to receive help earlier, study more, and persevere towards our goal of graduation. In doing so, we position ourselves to reach our full potential.
As a struggling family (all families go through difficult times), we can blame a sibling, our spouse, parents, or we can rise above and fill the gap with thoughts, decisions, and actions based on loyalty, commitment, and understanding in order to deliver an effective response to repair the damage and rebuild the bond of family and close relationships.
As we face situations in life, there is a gap between that situation and our response. How we fill that gap will determine our potential and our overall emotional health. Our character stands in the gap and our Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential.
I look forward to providing these weekly updates in the months and years to come. Please feel free to reply to this post or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts or comments to help improve the impact of this project. Thank you for your help.