Character v. resume

Consider this: Is the work you’re doing building character? Or a resume?

So much of what we do in life gets into the resume column – where we grow up, where we go to school, the jobs we have. Even volunteer work is often done as a resume builder. Who do you know? Where have you been? What have you accomplished?

But what about the work you do that’s helpful and brings joy to others – and where you get no credit? The times you pick up trash on the side of the street. Or are kind to a stranger. Or take the time to listen to a friend.

How about when you have no chance of succeeding but feel compelled to continue what you’re doing? When you step away from the limelight and give credit to someone else? When you sacrifice a personal goal to help someone else succeed?

That’s all work that builds character.

Our daily to-do lists tend toward the resume side of life. But isn’t character work the part of life that brings you the deepest joy – both to do it and to receive it?

What can you do today to add to your character column? What good deed can you do that you get no credit for? What act of kindness can you do with no expectation in return?

If you’re looking for inspirational ideas, David Brooks’ book The Road to Character is a great compilation of case studies of people who you may know by their accomplishments (resume). But his focus is on their softer side, their character side, and how they got there.

Safe travels today! 🙂

This lovely rock art comes to you courtesy of Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME.

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2 thoughts on “Character v. resume

  1. It’s funny how this blog correlates to what I did just the other day Janie. I was tired and wanted to get home, but I saw a woman trying to rake with her walker and couldn’t just pass her by. I ended up doing some yard work that she couldn’t do and another friend saw me and joined in the clean up. It was about doing the right thing and helping someone in need. One random act of kindness. Thanks once again for your posts!


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