The best definition of success has nothing to do with money or fame. It is the ability to deliberately change one's character.
So if we begin to genuinely pay attention to the thoughts that shape our actions and the actions that shape our habits and the habits that shape our character, we'll find that character is what shapes our destiny.
We all imagine better lives than the ones we've created so far. We could be better friends; better citizens; better parents; better in the kitchen, the wood-shop and in making the mattress squeak in the bedroom. But for most people the idea of what your better life ought to look like is an immature and flimsy sketch, more a flighty daydream than a deep understanding of what genuine aliveness feels like. You most likely feel too busy to slow down and carefully re-design who you really are and where you're authentically called to go.
But what if you began to imagine a life that was born out of exuberance for the way it actually is? And that was unafraid of the horizon line? A bold way of living that makes your hairs stand up?
Consider your time of living unimaginatively out of past habits to be over.
We encounter models for our character re-design both in people of excellence and in our collective culture: it's why art and literature and music and sport and philosophy and film matter. So together let's get real close to the most beautifully alive people and their work and consider carefully how they can inspire us to live more fiercely.
Character: that part of our life's skeleton which we are free to shape ourselves.
So listen hard! Each week CxD will send you three character cultivating insights to explore: suggestions of books to deepen into, essays poke us in the ribs, podcasts to stir things up, quotes to ponder, exercises to actually do, movies to reflect on, meditations to experience, all in the context of learning to live out of an emerging future rather than the stale habits of the past. You'll also get news of the latest workshops and classes because merely thinking about character doesn't actually help you design it.
As Bill Murray reminds us: "Well, brother, this is not a dress rehearsal, this is your life. This is not a dress rehearsal. This is your life."