Becoming The Change Podcast (Episode 500): Character Over Intellect

Welcome to the Becoming The Change Podcast. Each daily reading focuses on a different quote on how we can best apply it to our own moral compass and one of the five areas in Social Emotional Learning: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making. Thank you for listening and we hope you consider subscribing to the podcast for future episodes.

Character Over Intellect

“Character is higher than intellect…A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’ve often heard the phrase mind over matter. In today’s quote writer Ralph Waldo Emerson presents us with what I think is something we must always be consciously aware of: our character is higher than our intellect. And the beauty behind this is that it is all within our control. Our soul will always be more powerful than our intellect. I realize that is just my opinion but when you really think about it what do most people remember about people in particular: how smart they were or who the person truly was and how they made others feel? A majority I believe would say the latter. Emerson even goes onto to say within his quote that it is a great soul will not only help us become stronger to live but stronger to think too. So in essence by focusing on character, intellect will soon follow suit: two for the price of one.

On his own website David Horsager wrote about Five Ways To Build Our Character:

Be Humble. Humility is the beginning of wisdom. In order to build your character, you must be open to new ways.

Live out your principles and values. Whether it’s “love others,” or ” do the right thing,” living by your principles will make decision making easier and your character more steadfast.

Be intentional. Integrity does not happen by accident. We are all products of our thoughts and habits. Be intentional about filling your mind with good thoughts. Create a habit of this internalizes principles and breeds high character.

Practice self discipline. Being of high character takes the ability to do what is right over what is easy.

Be accountable. Surround yourself with people who have high expectations. Be responsible for yourself first. Lose the pride. Open yourself up to accountability.Let others push you to high character.

These ways will help you to hone in on recognizing the need to be more aware of how these can help enhance the qualities of your character but also help to manage yourself in achieving them.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards improving your self awareness and self management skills?

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Music from

“Relaxing Piano Music” by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (

A special thank you to Feedspot for recognizing the Becoming The Change podcast as one of the Top 10 Social Emotional Learning Podcasts  on the internet. It is an honor to be amongst the other podcasts on this list as we all strive to make this world a better place.

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