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Character Qualities

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Character Qualities

These 49 character qualities are copyrighted materials of CHARACTER FIRST!® and are used on this site with the permission of the Character Training Institute. The Character Council of Indiana has adopted these as the starting-point for studying character. Many other qualities could be added to the list. It does, however, represent a very comprehensive view of good character.

Each quality has an operational definition that is action-oriented. The opposite of the quality helps to clarify its meaning. Just as character qualities are linked to success in life, their opposites can lead to failure. The "I will" statements break down a quality into practical commitments that help to deepen our understanding of what good character looks like in action.

The 49 Character Qualities are listed here in alphabetical order. Click to download supporting information.

Decisiveness
Generosity
Meekness
Security Self-Control
   

 

ALERTNESS vs. Carelessness
Exercising my physical and spiritual senses to recognize the dangers that could diminish the resources entrusted to me
I will...
  • remember that I am at war with the Enemy
  • guard my time from distracters
  • recognize and heed warning signals
  • choose to do right before I’m tempted
  • protect my good name
  • stay away from unsafe situations
  • RESOURCES
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    ATTENTIVENESS vs. Distraction
    Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration
    I will...
  • look at people when they speak to me
  • ask questions if I don't understand
  • sit or stand up straight
  • not draw attention to myself
  • keep my eyes, ears, hands, feet, & mouth from distractions
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    AVAILABILITY vs. Self-centeredness
    Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve
    I will...
  • put others ahead of myself
  • f ind a way to help, not a way to hide
  • be ready when I am called
  • be glad for the chance to serve
  • check with the right person before I make commitments
  • RESOURCES
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    BENEVOLENCE vs. Selfishness
    Giving to others' basic needs without having as my motive personal reward
    I will...
  • see the needs of others as quickly as I see my own
  • give freely without expecting anything in return
  • not hoard things for myself
  • not profit from the misfortune of others
  • give more as I get more
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    BOLDNESS vs. Fearfulness
    Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just
    I will...
  • not be afraid to speak the truth
  • keep a clear conscience
  • support others when they are right
  • be willing to stand alone
  • speak with humility
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    CAUTIOUSNESS vs. Rashness
    Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions
    I will...
  • think before I act
  • follow safety rules
  • ask permission
  • talk at the right time
  • look out for danger
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    COMPASSION vs. Indifference
    Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others
    I will...
  • stop to help
  • listen when others want to talk
  • give of my resources to help those in need
  • look for lasting solutions
  • comfort others without regard to race, gender, faith, or age
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    CONTENTMENT vs. Covetousness
    Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions
    I will...
  • be thankful for what I do have
  • not complain about what I don't have
  • not always ask for "one more"
  • value people above things
  • want less and give more
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    CREATIVITY vs. Underachievement
    Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective
    I will...
  • use my talents for good
  • see things from more than one perspective
  • use principles to solve problems
  • learn all I can
  • look for new ways to be a person of character
  • Back to top

    DECISIVENESS vs. Procrastination
    The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions
    I will...
  • not look back
  • do what I say
  • make the right decision and stick to it
  • look at things from more than one point of view
  • not give in to peer pressure
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    DEFERENCE vs. Rudeness
    Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me
    I will...
  • notice those around me
  • respect the feelings of others
  • not use offensive language
  • not play loud music in public
  • be careful how I dress
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    DEPENDABILITY vs. Inconsistency
    Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice
    I will...
  • keep my word
  • be careful what I promise
  • correct my mistakes
  • pull my share of the load
  • not have a bad attitude
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    DETERMINATION vs. Faintheartedness
    Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition
    I will...
  • set goals
  • make sure my goals are right
  • ignore distractions
  • not be discouraged by others
  • face problems head-on
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    DILIGENCE vs. Slothfulness
    Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me
    I will...
  • finish my projects
  • do a job right
  • follow instructions
  • concentrate on my work
  • not be lazy
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    DISCERNMENT vs. Shortsightedness
    Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen
    I will...
  • ask questions
  • not judge hastily
  • learn from experience
  • not repeat mistakes
  • trace problems to their causes
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    DISCRETION vs. Simplemindedness
    Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences
    I will...
  • choose my words carefully
  • practice good manners
  • listen to criticism
  • not make fun of others
  • turn down any invitation to do wrong
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    ENDURANCE vs. Discouragement
    The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best
    I will...
  • not be a "quitter"
  • accept both instructions and correction
  • not waste my time, energy, and talent on meaningless pursuits
  • bend instead of break
  • put my whole heart into everything I do
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    ENTHUSIASM vs. Apathy
    Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort
    I will...
  • be an energy-giver
  • smile
  • treat every job as important
  • put my whole heart into what I do
  • not be discouraged by failure
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    FAITH vs. Presumption
    Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how
    I will...
  • expect the best
  • make right choices based on principles of character rather than whims of circumstance
  • believer the truth and reject a lie
  • not take things for granted
  • trust those who have proven character
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    FLEXIBILITY vs. Resistance
    Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities
    I will...
  • not get upset when plans change
  • respect the decisions of my authorities
  • not be stubborn
  • look for the good in changes
  • not compromise what is right
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
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    FORGIVENESS vs. Rejection
    Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge
    I will...
  • be quick to forgive
  • not cover up my own wrongs but will be quick to ask for forgiveness
  • not seek revenge
  • respond kindly to those who hurt me
  • not take up offenses for others
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    GENEROSITY vs. Stinginess
    Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need
    I will...
  • share what I have with others
  • recycle
  • not expect anything in return for my generosity
  • give of my time and talents
  • praise the good I see in others
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    GENTLENESS vs. Harshness
    Showing consideration and personal concern for others
    I will...
  • show good manners
  • reject violence as a solution to my problems
  • look for ways to ease the pain of others
  • not annoy or irritate others
  • be a peacemaker
  • Back to top

    GRATEFULNESS vs. Unthankfulness
    Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefited my life
    I will...
  • show my parents and teachers that I appreciate them
  • write "thank you" notes
  • take care of my things
  • be content with what I have
  • count my benefits rather than my burdens
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    HONOR vs. Disrespect
    Respecting those in leadership because of the higher authorities they represent
    I will...
  • be attentive to those who lead me
  • show loyalty to my authorities
  • speak only the truth
  • obey cheerfully
  • give place to those who are older or hold positions of prominence
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    HOSPITALITY vs. Loneliness
    Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others
    I will...
  • welcome visitors
  • make others feel important
  • prepare for guests
  • gladly share my things
  • not expect anything in return
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
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    Bulletin Insert
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    HUMILITY vs. Pride
    Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life
    I will...
  • praise my parents, teachers, teammates, and coaches
  • not think more highly of myself than I ought
  • take responsibility for all my actions
  • try again after each defeat
  • give credit to those who have made me successful
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    INITIATIVE vs. Idleness
    Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it
    I will...
  • do what is right before being told
  • not put off until tomorrow the things I can do today
  • contribute to the success of the whole team
  • be a part of the solution rather then the problem
  • look for ways to help others
  • Back to top

    JOYFULNESS vs. Self-Pity
    Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions
    I will...
  • look for good in all things
  • smile at adversity
  • not give in to discouragement
  • not allow my emotions to rule my mind
  • take time out of every day to laugh and to sing
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    JUSTICE vs. Corruption
    Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true
    I will...
  • respect the authority of the law
  • speak out for what is pure, right, and true
  • never prejudice others
  • always remain open to reason
  • keep my own conscience clean
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    LOYALTY vs. Unfaithfulness
    Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve
    I will...
  • serve my family and teachers
  • encourage others in hard times
  • not mock authorities
  • point out the good in others
  • honor my country
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    MEEKNESS vs. Anger
    Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve
    I will...
  • be slow to get angry
  • not boast
  • not grumble or complain
  • look for ways to help those in need
  • be willing to go last
  • Back to top

    OBEDIENCE vs. Willfulness
    Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the wise direction of those who are responsible for me
    I will...
  • obey my authorities immediately
  • have a cheerful attitude
  • complete all that I am expected to do
  • not complain
  • go the "extra mile"
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    ORDERLINESS vs. Confusion
    Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency
    I will...
  • pick up after myself
  • keep my work and play areas clean and neat
  • put things back where they belong
  • use things only for their intended purposes
  • return lost things to their rightful owners
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    PATIENCE vs. Restlessness
    Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it
    I will...
  • change the things I can change and accept the things I can't
  • keep trying until I succeed
  • make the most of my spare time
  • not interrupt
  • not complain if I don't get my way
  • Back to top

    PERSUASIVENESS vs. Contentiousness
    Guiding vital truths around another's mental roadblocks
    I will...
  • point others in the right direction
  • not stretch the truth to make it more attractive
  • appeal to a person's conscience in terms of character
  • wait for the best time
  • not argue
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    PUNCTUALITY vs. Tardinesss
    Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time
    I will...
  • be at the right place at the right time
  • prepare for unexpected delays
  • do my work ahead of time
  • plan a daily schedule and keep it
  • not fall into the trap of "just one more"
  • Back to top

    RESOURCEFULNESS vs. Wastefulness
    Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard
    I will...
  • see value in objects, ideas, and people
  • repair, reuse, and recycle
  • make wise use of my time, talents, energy, and mind
  • give away or sell the things I do not use
  • not litter
  • Back to top

    RESPONSIBILITY vs. Unreliability
    Knowing and doing what is expected of me
    I will...
  • keep my promises
  • not make excuses
  • do all my work to the best of my ability
  • make things right when I do wrong
  • know my duty and do my duty
  • Back to top

    SECURITY vs. Anxiety
    Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away
    I will...
  • not worry or fret
  • look to my authorities for protection
  • correct unsafe conditions
  • find peace of mind in a clear conscience rather than personal comfort
  • not meddle in the concerns of others
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    SELF-CONTROL vs. Self-Indulgence
    Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right
    I will...
  • not act impulsively
  • not equate desires with rights
  • set my own limits
  • see my anger as a sign that something is wrong in me
  • walk away from things that aren't right
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    SENSITIVITY vs. Callousness
    Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me
    I will...
  • listen to others fully
  • watch facial expressions
  • notice tone of voice
  • put myself in others' shoes
  • show that I care
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    SINCERITY vs. Hypocrisy
    Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives
    I will...
  • be all that I can be
  • take responsibility for my own actions
  • respect others' opinions
  • always mean what I say
  • not take advantage of other people
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    THOROUGHNESS vs. Incompleteness
    Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words, if neglected
    I will...
  • plan my work
  • pay attention to details
  • make a list so I don't forget
  • finish what I start
  • clean up before I quit
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    THRIFTINESS vs. Extravagance
    Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary
    I will...
  • save more and spend less
  • make good use of what I already have
  • look for the best value
  • budget my money, time, and energy
  • not confuse what I need with what I want
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    TOLERANCE vs. Prejudice
    Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development
    I will...
  • not confuse what is right with what is popular
  • expect the same of myself as I expect others
  • look for ways to help others mature
  • accept my own unchangeables & the unchangeables of others
  • listen before I form an opinion
  • Back to top

    TRUTHFULNESS vs. Deception
    Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts
    I will...
  • tell the truth
  • encourage others to be truthful
  • not cheat or steal
  • admit when I am wrong
  • not exaggerate to make things seem different from what they are
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    VIRTUE vs. Impurity
    The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right
    I will...
  • do what is right and encourage others to do the same
  • guard my eyes, ears, words, and thoughts
  • learn to stand alone
  • abstain from anything which might damage or pollute my mind or body
  • treat others as I would want them to treat me
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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    WISDOM vs. Foolishness
    Making practical applications of truth in daily decisions
    I will...
  • listen to my parents and teachers
  • learn from correction
  • choose my friends carefully
  • remember there are consequences to all my actions
  • ask, "What is the right thing to do?"
  • RESOURCES
    Character Comments
    Biblical Character study
    Bulletin Insert
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