Well over two thousand years ago, Socrates advised, “Know yourself.” This could mean different things to different folks.

To determine what this means to you, think of two sides of yourself: your personality and your character. Since some people tend to confuse these two features, let’s take a look at the difference between personality and character.

For one thing, personality is a reflection of your natural qualities. To name a few examples: optimism vs. pessimism, the ability to sing on key, a sense of humor, the pace and speed of your behavior, athletic ability, your specific kind of intelligence, being sociable or solitary and your capacity to sense other people’s moods and feelings.

Character, on the other hand, has more to do with your choices, your values and your behavior. Character qualities include, among others: work ethic, honesty, integrity, loyalty, courage, humility, maturity, the desire to help and reliability.

We don’t usually think about such things. But when a personal crisis arises, such as a health challenge, divorce or the loss of a job, we’d profit greatly to think about them.

If you need some help in how to do this, simply jot the words “personality” and “character” on a piece of paper, leaving plenty of space, and write what you know about yourself under each of the two categories.

As you think about yourself, you might come up with something like this:


Am I …

Tense or Easy-going

Shy or Outgoing

Self-confident or Self-doubting

Sensible and Patient or Impulsive

Spontaneous or Well-organized

Motor-mouth or Slow to speak 

Fast-moving or Sluggish

Clumsy or Graceful 

Sense of humor or Humorless 

Emotional or Cool-headed 

Charming or Boring


Am I …

Wise or Foolish

Honest or Deceitful

Dependable or Unreliable

Self-controlled or  Undisciplined

Hard working or Lazy

Humble or Proud

Patient or Impatient

Caring or Selfish

Respectful or Contemptuous

Brave or Cowardly

Kind or Mean

Polite or Rude

Loyal or Disloyal

If you’re going through a tough time, and you’re not very used to thinking about such things … and you think you might benefit from feedback … please feel free to call 219-309-3928. I’d be honored to be of service.

Thanks for reading!