Kobina's Shrine

Character is everything – Forget talent


In my short stay on Earth, I have come to realize that we often major on the minors and minor on the majors. We spend so much time building our talent and only little time to build who we really are or ought to be.

A young man meets a young woman, falls head over heels in love with her beauty and talent… ignoring her character. A few years after marriage, he comes to the sad realization that what really sustains a relationship is the truth. And… that truth is character. Truth stands!

In another instance, a young dreamer is doing all he can to get his dreams exposed to the necessary audience. He invests a chunk of his earnings into his skills and talents… ignoring any investment into who he really is.

Years on, his business starts dwindling because of lack of integrity. His clients start complaining because his products and services are not really what he claims they are. Thing is, a little deficiency in character will cost the greatest talent.

People with great character yet only little talent will reach heights others with great talent yet only little character can only imagine climbing to someday. Your bad character is like bad breath. Everyone will smell it when they draw near.

Inasmuch as we build our skills and talent, we ought to build who we are inside. Your character will reflect in everything you do. Regardless of how much talent you have been gifted with, a bad character will just shoot you down.

Character is who you are. Talent is what you have. Talent is what takes you to the top. Character is what makes you stay there. Talent is the outer illumination that draws people to you. Character is the inner illumination that will make them stay!

It’s amazing how we gloss over who we truly are in our bid to focus on what we have. If we indeed knew our fate revolved around our character, we would have spent a chunk of our lives building it. Trust me, talent and opportunities without character are absolute vanity!

Observe a talented young man with no character and another with great character but with only little talent. Many years on, you would notice the latter has reached great heights with even more talents than the former. Character will make him learn!

Great doors have been slammed in the face of very talented people because of their bad attitude. Your talent will take you to the door but your character will open that door. Oftentimes, the only weight pulling us down is our character. Character, like gravity, can pull you back to your starting point.

Sometimes, the only devil sitting on our destinies is our own character. Our character may be that gun that has shot us in the foot. The character we have built over the years is what will either make or unmake us. You are where you are today partly because of your talent but mainly because of your character.

Our future depends on how we think, act and speak― our character. Who we become when hard times come is who we truly are. Often, the storms of life unveil our true character. Our true selves are like gold. It’s only fire that can bring it out!

Others can barely stay at one place. They can’t stay in a relationship beyond three months. Staying in one church for long is not their thing. They have never kept a job for more than a year. You see, sometimes what you need is not further education. What you need to change is not your CV. It’s your character!

How far we will ever go in this life depends on our character. I grew up with many friends who were exceptionally talented footballers. Today, I see those same friends waste their lives away and I can only imagine what happened to their talent. There was talent in abundance but only little character.

Talent is never enough. If you don’t add a good, winning attitude to your talent, sad to say, you will get nowhere. What makes a man is not his talent. It’s his character. If you see a man on top of his game, take note that his talent alone didn’t get him there. His undying passion to succeed drives that talent.

Talent is like a car. Character is the fuel that drives it. Without character, talent becomes useless. Without character, your beauty will take you nowhere. Without character, your skills will just be a waste. Character is everything!

Build your character. Develop your thinking capacity. Build your tenacity. Build your self-control and honesty one day at a time. Character is a priceless asset no amount of money can buy. You need to manufacture it on your own. You need to build it yourself.

As you prepare for marriage, build your character. As you prepare for greater opportunities in life, mould your attitude. Good times test your talent. Tough times test your character. Build what you have inside (character) as much as you build the outside (talent).

Talent or beauty may not stand the test of time. They may fade off with age. What will remain when everything else is gone is… what you have built inside; your character. Character is everything, friends. Forget talent!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is on Sept. 16/17 at the Drama Studio, Legon.

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