Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Choice of Character

I have quite a few character traits in my life; my own personal character traits and those I write about. The ones I write about and incorporate into the characters I create in my stories are usually the ones I find more exciting. The creative traits I come up with aren't necessarily outer worldly, but when it comes to the "good guy" I tend to take more chances with what my characters do on paper, (because I get to know the outcome ahead of time) as opposed to my REAL life which I go through with just a little more caution. And while occasionally I borrow traits for my fictional characters from others or simply make them up as to what feels right for that person, my main "hero" or "good guy" is given a fair amount of traits I either have, agree with or aspire to.
It is one of the main reasons I write. I enjoy allowing some of those altruistic qualities of a person shine a little more than they sometimes do in REAL life

In REAL life, I try to live with my own altruistic character traits. But I find it hard sometimes to be the person I think I should be. Making the right choice isn't always easy and sometimes I'm afraid of doing something wrong or letting someone down. I just have to remind myself that doing something wrong or letting someone down is bound to happen sometimes; we can't all do everything perfectly. But then sometimes I wonder if thinking that way makes us as perfect as we can be.

I try to live by an unspoken set of rules that are written in my head; although I suppose now they'll be written here. It is not always easy to live by these rules, I sometimes feel I fail or come a little short at certain things, but I try. These rules are borrowed, in part, by Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote The Four Agreements.

Rule #1 Always give it your best effort.
Rule #2 Choose your words carefully. Even though I am a writer who loves words and think they can be very powerful, meaningful, and descriptive, I think that they can sometimes get in the way.
Rule #3 Learn to let things go. How many of us let one thing ruin an entire day? I've seen someone, surrounded by friends, wallow in misery because of something that happened in the course of 15 minutes at work.
Rule #4 Listen. How many people do you think hear what you say and the noise you make as oppesed to actually listening to your words?
Rule #5  Appreciate. Beautiful things are everywhere and happen all the time.
Rule #6 Take your time. People are always in such a hurry. It can make #1, 2, 4 & 5 problematic.
Rule #7 Don't assume. Everything changes and every thing, situation and person are different.
Rule #8 Be optimistic. If you want life to suck, it will.
Rule #9 Accept. Change is inevitable; different situations will arise; and sometimes, these rules won't apply and/or will need to be changed.

I realize some people may think these rules are lame, but when it comes to that I apply Rule #3. :) Maybe some of you have your own rules in life to help you get through.
These rules help make up the person I am and the character traits that are within me. In life there are so many choices, and like me, I think a lot of us try to make the right one. To be good; to help others; to take the right path. I think it all boils down to our choice of character, who we want to be. And I think making that internal choice, will help with all of those external ones.

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