Strong character, noble character, well-balanced and unified character—have we not each known someone who exemplified those qualities for us? Is there a higher achievement in this life? And yet we don’t grow character by trying to build character. We grow by engaging in diverse kinds of activity and forgetting ourselves as we plunge into reality with its uncertainties, disappointments, apparent defeats, difficulties, immense challenges, and things we can’t explain . . . along with the familiar and dependable times, the satisfactions, victories, moments of ease, and situations that we understand.

We don’t grow a well-rounded character by retreating into a specialty where our gifts and accomplishments enable us to shine, which tempts us to respond to all kinds of situations with the same strength even though the situation may call for something different.

The phases of living highlighted here all develop qualities that may become balanced and unified in our character. Scientific, philosophical, spiritual, natural, artistic, and moral living represent the sources of strong character. But even though we don’t develop character by focusing on ourselves and our own growth, it does help to think of persons and qualities (virtues) that are relevant to our intention as we go into the different types of situation that come up over and over again in life, as well as the surprises. But those too are recurring.

Here are blog posts with an emphasis on character.