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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #10 --- Personality

Updated on November 28, 2015

Quotations on Personality

Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determines his unique adjustments to his environment.

—G.W. Allport, quoted by Louie D. Newton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 14, 1941.

You need not copyright or secure a patent on yourself. No one can take your individuality from you. There is no danger of plagiarism or infringement of patent rights so far as you are personally concerned. You may have imitators, but you will never equal the original. Each person is his original copy. It is for him to make it legible and complete as possible.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Feb. 29, 1948.

Personality is more than appearance; it is the individual reality. Personality is the sum total of the self, its inheritance, its inspiration, and its preparations. We inherit statute; we receive inspiration; we make preparation. Preparation gives to the personality a consciousness of power that causes the world to make way for it. Preparation gives to the personality a front-door attitude that demands recognition. Preparation is to one's personality what good securities are to one's credit. Personality is the great thing in leadership; preparation is the one ever-increasing, ever-advancing element of personality.

—George H. Brimhall, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 19, 1924.

The highest quality which distinguishes man from all other forms of creation is personality. Personality consists of two things, self-consciousness, and self-determination. Character cannot exist without either of these. The dog is not responsible for his conduct, because he is only partially self-conscious, and has no self-will. He acts according to his instincts. A horse has no self-determination, else he would not allow himself to be driven. Self-consciousness is that thing which causes a man to say, "I am myself," as distinguished from my clothes or objects around me. The mind, the will, and all of man's faculties have been developed through the necessity of time, just as the hand was developed into a perfect organ for grasping.

—Allyn K. Foster, The Prairie, Canyon, Texas, March 21, 1921.

The personality that sways us for good is one that has a sense of majesty, runs along simple and genuine lines of action, and is free from all that is superficial or artificial. In vision power it goes beyond all provincial and petty questions; in its generosity, it exceeds all limitations of a technical character; in its appreciation it is superior to all prejudices. It is pure in mind, chaste in expression, gentle in manner, modest in pretensions, sympathetic in judgment, free from the censorious and carping. Without bigotry, it can see the opposite sides of the issues, it advocates, concedes value in opponents, and wins by soul majesty.

—Howland Hanson, The Register and Leader, Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 20, 1911.

Personality is the little lamp within the soul which shines through. As you go through the world you radiate, or just give a dim little light, or pass unseen, according to the size and luminosity of your soul.

---Helen Rowland, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., March 1, 1918.

The fullest enjoyment of life is available to the disciplined personality.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 19, 1958.

An unstable personality is a ready pushover for annoyance.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 10, 1961.

The larger the personality, the more disposed to be of service to others.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 10, 1964.

Personality is cashed in at the Bank of Persistence.

---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., March 14, 1918.

Personality is that conscious possession of one’s own selfhood which is the very center of being.

---S. Parkes Cadman, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., March 15, 1926.

Wherever you are to be, you must be there as a personality. Without personality nothing that is conceivable can exist in the realm of intelligence.

---S. Parkes Cadman, The Brooklyn Standard Union, Brooklyn, N.Y., Nov. 15, 1926.

Personality is what makes it possible for a person to seem to be present when you know very well that he or she is not there.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Sept. 13, 1972.

Personality is what you are coming to the surface.

---Jack Williams, Sr., Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Oct. 26, 1940.

A pleasing personality pleases others, and the pleasure of others pleases you.

---Jack Williams, Sr., Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 24, 1941.

Individuality and personality are two different things. Individuality is an acquirement, personality an achievement. The one at the bequest of our forebears; the other, like character, is attained through personal endeavor.

---Rufus C. Baker, El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, Dec. 1, 1917.

What is personality? It is those elements which make us different each one from all the rest. To be sure, we are all alike, but at the same time we are all different. To be one’s self, then, to let go—that is the secret of personality. For the most part we are all the time acting, masking, playing a part. To get rid of that and to be just simply one’s own self is a difficult thing, is the result of years of training, is the finest of the fine arts. We frequently hear it said, “How charming she is,” or “How much personality he has.” That simply means that the person in question knows how to let go and be himself. Persons are so much more delightful and charming than they seem to be. The inside is so much more beautiful than the outside, if only we could get it brought to the surface.

---Burris A. Jenkins, St. Joseph Gazette, St. Joseph, Mo., Jan. 9, 1927.

Personality is built by discipline of mind and body. It does not come easy but it may pay great dividends. It may be said that personality is a gift. It is true that some people have a better start in that respect than others. But it is within the reach of all willing to pay the price of good habits and hard work.

---Grove H. Patterson, Painesville Telegraph, Painesville, Ohio, Feb. 2, 1929.

Small men need titles to lean against. The weak need titles to hold them up. The strong need no titles. Personality does not need a title.

---Grove H. Patterson, Meriden Record, Meriden, Conn, Oct. 17, 1929.

A man with a profound respect and reverence for the personality of others [is] never pompous, self-important, or dictatorial, but always considerate and fair—quick to acknowledge the good qualities of others. Closely coupled with this willing appreciation is cheerfulness. A sparkling vivacity, a sprightly kindliness, a delightful humor kindles cheerfulness in those around him. Henry Ward Beecher said: “Of all the lights you can carry in your heart, joy will reach the farthest to sea.” The finest and rarest quality of a gentleman is difficult to name. It is the ability to develop all these rich qualities, to express your very best, in a beautiful way. The artist is a man that has practiced and practiced doing things to perfection until it has ceased to be arduous and has become a delight. When a man can thus express his highest thoughts and feelings in a beautiful way, we call him cultured. Most of us are rather crude, just roughly blocked out, and we’ll need a lot of chiseling before we are finished.

---James Watt Raine, The Citizen, Berea, Ky., Dec. 15, 1921.

There is something in a magnetic personality which cannot be expressed. It is intangible. It eludes biographers and photographers alike, This mysterious something, which we sometimes call individuality, is often more powerful than the ability which can be measured, or the qualities that can be rated. It makes a man popular and successful far beyond one who, though having more ability, is lacking in this indefinable power. People who possess this rare quality are frequently ignorant of the source of their power. They simply know they have it, but cannot locate or describe it. While it is, like poetry, music, or art, a gift of nature, born in one, it can be cultivated to a certain extent. Much of the charm of a magnetic personality comes from a fine, cultivated manner. Tact, also, is a very important element—next to a fine manner, perhaps the most important. One must know exactly what to do, and be able to do just the right thing at the proper time. Good judgment and common sense are indispensable to those who are trying to acquire this magic power. Good taste is also one of the elements of personal charm. You cannot offend the tastes of others without hurting their sensibilities.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., July 1903.

The best in others will only come out to meet the best in you.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., June 1905.

The secret of many a man’s success is an affable manner, which makes everybody feel easy in his presence, dispels fear and timidity, and calls out the finest qualities in one’s nature. Comparatively few people have the delightful faculty of being able to get at the best in others, and of so drawing them out of their shell of reserve or shyness that they will appear to the best advantage. It is a wonderful gift to be able to reach the heart of a man and to help him to develop powers and qualities of attraction which he did not know he possessed. Such a gift has sealed great friendships for life, and has caused a man to be sought after in business as well as in social circles. By taking a large-hearted interest in everyone we meet, by trying to pierce through the mask of the outer man or woman, to his inmost care, and by cultivating kindly feelings toward everyone we meet, it is possible to acquire this inestimable gift. It is really only the development of our own finest qualities that enables us to understand and draw out what is fine and noble in others. Nothing will pay one better than the acquisition of the power to make others feel at ease, happy, and satisfied with themselves. Nothing else will make one more popular and sought after.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., December 1905.

Every material or spiritual blessing you need or want is yours--if you learn to live harmoniously with your fellow man!

A pleasing personality is the greatest single asset you can possess. It is a key that will unlock doors to the friendship of others. It can disarm enemies and bring them to your side.

Many people believe that you must be born with a pleasing personality. You either have it, or you don't have it, they say. But that's not so. A pleasing personality can be developed through conscious endeavor to attain those traits of character, good manners, and concern for others that make us attractive spiritually to others.

It might be well for you to assess your present personality--to see whether you are yourself a person with whom you would like daily contact.

Perhaps the best way to do this is by setting up a yardstick based on those personality features that all of us agree are the most objectionable. I've listed 17 of them here. It might be well to have yourself checked on these points by the person who knows you best.

(1) Do you make sure that a conversation is two-sided, that the other person gets ample chance to speak, that you don't monopolize the talk and turn it into a monologue?

(2) In conversation, do you put heavy emphasis on yourself and your personal interests?

(3) Do you reveal yourself, by word or deed, as a selfish person?

(4) Do you indulge in sarcasm and disparaging insinuations about others?

(5) Do you exaggerate, revealing an uncontrolled imagination?

(6) Are you vain? Are you guilty of actual or implied self-praise, forgetting that deeds--not words--are the only true means of self-evaluation.

(7) Are you indifferent toward others and their personal interests? Remember, the most important person living, at the moment, is the one with whom you are speaking--always.

(8) Do you try to minimize the virtues and capabilities of others?

(9) Do you use ingratiating flattery?

(10) Do you try to talk over the heads of others just to convey a snob impression of superiority?

(11) Do you lapse into insincerity (possibly in the form of flattery) in a phony attempt to please?

(12) Do you indulge in cheap gossip or other forms of slander?

(13) Are you slovenly in your dress, posture, or manner of speaking? Do you curse, use obscenity or profanity, or let poor slang weaken the forcefulness of your argument?

(14) Do you try to attract attention unnecessarily, especially when it is someone else's turn to be the center of attraction?

(15) Do you tread unnecessarily on the dangerous conversational grounds involved in such controversial subjects as race, religion and politics when such subjects are obviously out of place?

(16) Do you look for arguments just for the sake of arguments?

(17) Do you bore and depress your listeners by constantly talking "poor mouth," by telling of your ailments, misfortunes and strong personal dislikes?

By frankly admitting your failings in this list--and vowing to correct them--you will take a long step toward developing a pleasing personality.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, June 18, 1956.

"That man has a fine personality" is often heard expressed about some individual whose manner among his fellows is always pleasing and attractive. What is this? Nobody can exactly define it, yet we all know it is there, it is present in many individuals. In presence of such a one, you are thrilled, and you cannot tell how or why. Yet you feel it, and seek his presence, for his conversation and his contact is always gratifying and uplifting. That is what we commonly term a fine personality. And it reaches out far beyond the one person. A bouquet of beautiful roses disseminates perfume into the room until it fills the room. As far as can be observed the fact that a hundred people enjoy the perfume does not perceptibly diminish its fragrance. The perfume is just as sweet to the hundredth person as it was to the first one. That same thing is true of a pleasant smile and a cordial greeting. It takes no more effort to be pleasant to a hundred folks during the day than it does to be pleasant to one, and, having been pleasant, one's supply of good will and smiles and hearty greetings remains the same. But they reach out to many, like the perfume of the rose, they are not lost, though given freely. This thing called personality consists mainly of assuming a correct attitude toward one's fellows and associates. He has the most of it who has the biggest, most generous heart, and who is always honest and square, never deceiving his friend and neighbor, but always being frank with him.

‑‑‑Emmett J. Lee, The Gazette, Farmerville, La., July 21, 1937.

The man or woman who has learned to make the most of personality has learned that everyone has something to give to him, as he in turn hopes to give to them; he therefore approaches all new contacts with an open, receptive mind. He is prepared from the beginning to be friendly, for through a friendly attitude alone can he get any advantage from the association. And, perforce that friendly gesture engenders friendliness in the other. And the second man does not, perhaps, understand why he is attracted, but he calls that attraction “charm.” It is magnetism, the entering wedge of all new friendships.

Personality is above all the revelation of you. It is the essential color of your soul. If you want to develop an influential and interesting personality, be sure that it is yours, your very own. There may be a temptation to imitate the personality, the mannerisms and speech of someone whose power you have admired. Such an attempt is a fatal mistake. There can be no artificiality in this game of ours. Remember: Personality is the visible expression of character. You cannot adopt the character of anyone else; you can imitate its expression. But you will defeat your own purpose if you try that, for its falsity will be so evident that you will merely have added to your difficulty the burden of overcoming the charge of artificiality. Better to be a nonentity than to be a mere copy, a cheat, a fake. If you must copy, be sure that the mannerisms you adopt become yours, suited to you, eventually involuntary and natural. Avoid any such solution if you can. The essential thing is to be genuine, always and ever unconquerably yourself. “Accept no substitutes.” You won’t need them. Their use is like the lazy man’s use of unnecessary crutches.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 6, 1937.

Personality is power. Why? Because it is the only thing you possess that is unique—the asset distinctly your own, inviolably YOU, with which you may meet the millions about you. Train it to serve you; you will have one weapon which cannot be defeated. Let it die, and you will be the victim of every stronger will, of every greater personality.
We all recognize the importance of first impressions. You wouldn’t go to a party where new people are to be met without trying to look especially attractive; you wouldn’t apply for a new job without looking your best. Well, why try to see yourself unless you present the best self you can produce?

Your first concern is with two subjects so simple that you may conclude that they are unimportant. Don’t fool yourself!

In order of importance they are (1) physical bearing, gestures, mannerisms, etc., and speech; and (2) I put them in that order because, while you are groping to find your most impressive and effective self, you CAN remain silent, for the most part, but you MUST move about. The eyes of those judging you will form opinions before their ears.

Physical things are of the least importance in the long run. That is, many people with very unpleasant mannerisms, even repulsive ones, have become outstanding figures because their mental equipment has been unusually good and valuable. But we are not all big enough to cherish the hope of qualifying in that class.

Some simple rules about physical appeal are, however, self-evident. First of all, walk BRAVELY. Does that sound goofy? “Bravely” is exactly the word I want. Walk, move, sit with self-confidence. No matter how anxious you may be about that first impression, how many “goose bumps” may be studding your skin, how closely your legs may resemble in wobbliness two strings of cooked spaghetti, concentrate your will on the thought, “I am I. No one else can be I. I am about to meet the greatest living tenor (or artist, or bricklayer, or what-have-you). But why should I fear that? I am THE ONLY LIVING I.” You will be surprised at the poise that becomes yours. The first battle is won.

But if you are not sure of your speech and its impression, God give you grace to keep your mouth shut while you are trying to make an impression. No matter how perfect your deportment, you cannot get away with mistakes in speech.

Don’t talk until you are ready to talk. First of all, cultivate a vocabulary. Never have to hunt for a word. Use the dictionary, books or synonyms, antonyms, etc., and above all the good literature of your own language. Go out and get yourself plenty of words and USE THEM.

The use of words is a tricky thing. Some helpful, simple rules to follow:

Use as few words as may be to express your thought. If your vocabulary is good, one word to replace three or four will often occur to you.

Speak vividly. In short, speak sincerely. Tell the truth. Say what you think. I wish I could tell you how much that means to the early expression of your personality. Be genuine, always. Imitations don’t count.

Be silent much of the time. (Sounds silly to connect that with the power of speech, doesn’t it? Just listen!) Stop to think. Everyone you meet wants to express himself, just as much as you do; he will feel the warmest possible response to the “good listener” who will let him use his newfound power to the full, in order to express himself. You would too, wouldn’t you? I should. Remember, “God gave you two ears but one tongue.” Listen and forget to repeat. Speak after thought and sincerely. Don’t speak at all otherwise. You will soon begin to find people thinking of you as “awfully interesting.”

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 7, 1937.

Suppressed personality! What is it?

First of all, it is literally, of course, a personality which has failed to find expression, one which has become submerged, either through voluntary subjection to the stronger character of another, or through pressure of circumstance. We cannot live our lives without thought of others, unless we are truly antisocial. So sometimes we, loving too much and desiring to serve the loved one, give up any hope or expectation of developing any interesting life for ourselves and subject every thought and effort to serving the loved one. And sometimes someone who has no love for us, forces us into circumstances that thwart and kill our efforts at self-expression.

Secondly, suppressed personality is tragedy, pure and simple the death of something that might have been strong and beautiful.

But cheer up! It can be revived and brought back to a real and forceful entity. I am going to tell you the stories of two people; the first one who voluntarily (if unconsciously) buried herself in service and is now beginning again to find and reveal herself. And one who was made to feel of no account and inadvertently discovered the power to recreate and interesting personality. Both these illustrations are actual case histories from the experiences of the writer as a consultant on personal adjustment.

One, the first, came to me because she did not comprehend what was happening to her, and of course she had no idea that she herself was largely to blame. She is a young married woman whose husband has done well in the business world. They have a lovely home, a charming daughter and plenty of money. They are popular with their friends. The wife is pretty and attractive and keeps a pleasant home. She was troubled over the fact that her husband had suddenly seemed to lose interest in her. In fact, she feared that he was becoming interested elsewhere. It didn’t take long to find out how she had contributed to that development herself. Her idea of marriage, from the very first, had been that she was a “helpmate.” She had made her entire career one of service. Everything was done as her husband liked it. She even gave up serving any dishes which she particularly enjoyed and he disliked. The entire schedule and regiment of her house centered around his interests. She even refused invitations if she found that accepting them meant that his evening would be spent alone, though he was made to feel quite free to leave her much alone.

I pointed out to her how she had become just a “yes man” to her husband, and by so doing had stopped being the interesting girl with whom he had fallen in love years before. Tired, often discouraged over his own decisions during the day, he found in her only a reflection of himself. Her very devotion had gradually made her less and less interesting. She is beginning to assert herself again, though it isn’t easy; but it is beginning to show results. Her husband is beginning to recognize her personality again.

A young girl had been so criticized for being ugly (of all things) by a heartless foster mother who had hoped to establish herself financially by marrying the child to a man of wealth, that she actually grew painfully timid. She is ugly, having not a single redeeming feature except her beautiful eyes. But her personality is outstanding. Her victory over the fears and inhibitions instilled in her by her foster mother was one of the most interesting tales I ever heard. She had discovered to her amazement, that when she entered the business world, she, who had always dreaded to meet people, so self-conscious had she become, rose rapidly and was a natural leader. She recognized the power of her personality and used it to the full.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 14, 1937.

Beware of the “missionary of personality,” the person who wants everyone to have a personality exactly like his or her own. Such a person has forgotten one of the elementary rules of our game: that” personality is the outward expression of individual character.

Don’t go around trying to make people over to your own particular pattern. There is scarcely anything that will prove more disappointing in the long run. It will lose more friends for you than any other thing you can do. It is presumptuous, and it fails to give your friends credit for any character or intelligence of their own.

Always give those with whom you are associated the credit of having minds of their own and the right to their own opinions. Don’t think your pattern of living is the only one properly cut. It isn’t. There are as infinite a variety of patterns as there are varieties of character. Out of all the past ages, each man and woman has sifted for his use certain attributes which to go make up his particular individuality. They are his and his alone. Often, they resemble in no single item the characteristics of his parents. Such people are called sometimes “throwbacks.” They are reversions to types not immediately apparent. Let each man use his own material. You can’t make a mustard paste out of personality and slap it on other’s defects.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 21, 1937.

There is little use of thinking of our personalities unless we are interested in improving them. To improve anything, there must be a desire to raise its standard; to do so efficiently and to some purpose, there must be a definite goal at which one may aim. Where character, and its expression in personality, is concerned, that goal must necessarily be the highest we can conceive. What other name is there for such a goal that God. God is my Partner, who faces every sorrow and disappointment with me, who shares every joy. Find Him or fall back into the category of those who have no incentive to grow. The ideal that transcends all others is essential to a determination of where you want to go, of what you want to be. It is the thing that differentiates us from the higher animals.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 26, 1937.

Did you ever stop to think of exactly what makes up the personality which is best able to give you a boost over the rough spots?

It is, of course, the man or woman who is sympathetic, the one who understands your own particular problem.

Now why do some people seem able to help and others not? Why isn’t everyone who has “charm” and is “good company” a desirable source of help in time of trouble?

Because experience is the best developer. Instinctively we turn to those who have known the same or similar problems when we need help. The friend who has ONLY charm and personality isn’t always the one who can stimulate and encourage. The one whose warmth and understanding draw us is the one who has lived through a good deal himself.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 4, 1937.

It is quite all right to imitate the traits which seem to make interesting or forceful the character of those about us—so long as we adopt what we imitate. We must make is “second nature” to use only those mannerisms and tricks of speech and gesture, unless we are to be accused of artificiality.

But there is one important thing to remember, if you find it necessary to “crib” part of the equipment of vividness: Don’t take on more than you can handle.

A young woman who has lifted herself to a position of considerable influence, of definite social achievement, of successful business accomplishment—but she is in danger of losing the whole thing because she has lapses into the stupidity, the crassness, the tawdriness of her former environment.

She deserves every commendation for her original achievement. Her family was satisfied with mediocrity. The phrase most common to the mother was, “What satisfied my mother and father is good enough for me.” And when the daughter tried to do things a bit more tastefully, a bit more in good breeding, the family asked, “What’s the big idea? Trying to keep up with the Joneses?” But she kept on. She educated herself far more than any of her predecessors had done; she moved in a more cultured circle, she made business connections which were definitely helpful and progressive. For several years she was decidedly on the way up.

But she had tackled more than she could do. Not realizing that she had taken on a “full time” job, she began to weaken. Whenever she was tired, she relaxed too much. In other words, when “she let her hair down,” she let her standards down, too. She told tawdry stories, which revealed low ideals; she sought out cheap and foolish companions. In short, she gave herself away. She had failed to make the things she had adopted her own, part of her essential self. She had laid them on like a veneer over her real self and had hoped to get by with that.

But it won’t work. People are beginning to suspect the genuineness of her character. They are beginning to doubt her value. She had forgotten that veneer cracks if not properly cared for.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 11, 1937.

Find something to do for somebody—and your personality will grow.

We attract through personality only when that personality is giving out, only when it is actively warming, serving. An empty fireplace doesn’t draw you to it. An unused spring doesn’t make you thirsty.

Your personality will pay you dividends commensurate with your investment in it, your willingness to pay out interest, in others, in order to feed their interest in you.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 15, 1937.

I wish that I might make clear the feeling I have about how easily you can make your personality grow, and expand its influence.

Personality is like a pebble dropped into a pool of water.

When a stone is dropped into the lake, the deeper it falls and from the greater height, the farther the rings will spread from the point of its plunge toward the shore of the lake.

Personality is like that.

The greater the height of spiritual concept from which you start your plunge into the waters of living, and the deeper your immersion through acceptance without fear or all experience, the farther the rings of influence spreading from your personality will reach.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 16, 1937.

Personality is soul, since it is the single unique difference granted to self. Can we, then, get away from the idea that the entire question of how to develop your personality is one of faith? It boils down to this: Believe that you are you for some specific reason; try to find that reason.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 21, 1937.

There are some things about the power of personality that seem at first glance so contradictory.

Personality that is the growth of sincerity and the purposeful, unrelenting effort to one’s best self becomes involuntarily leadership.

If one be ever and always the best self that one can be, success is bound to come.

But it is ever the person who is not thinking of himself as a leader, who reaches leadership.

A young lady wrote me who seemed to have every qualification for leadership among young friends. She was evidently well educated, charming and humorous company, talented to a marked degree and sincere in her integrity to self.

And yet she was unhappy.

She wrote, “I don’t think that I am conceited. It would be stupid not to recognize my good points. But I don’t take credit for them to myself. I know that I am not smug or phariseeical. Why am I not popular?”

I really believe that she did not appear conceited.

The whole trouble lay in the fact that she recognized in herself the potential leadership of her group and she got to working toward that end.

One must not work at leadership. It is a power that must grow out of one’s strength in natural and easy fashion.

Remember, your personality must spread out from you of its own strength.

When you begin to try to influence, you are taking time from yourself that you need in growth. If your ideas are constructive and right, they will form their own powerful eddy of influence. Don’t work over it. Be yourself, do your job wherever it may be sincerely and with integrity, “and all these things shall be added unto you.”

In this sense it is true that leaders are born, not made.

If leadership is to be yours, it will come.

You have only one job of work to do: Make of yourself the finest instrument for whatever job may open before you, and then, WAIT.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 27, 1937.

Keep the surface of your personality smooth, so that its progress upward in the stream of life will not be impeded by the little roughening barnacles of outside irritations.

There are such barnacles. They are made up of jealousies, chagrin, sensitiveness in various forms. Inferiority complexes are some of the most obstructive; superiority complexes, the paranoiac’s Napoleonic concept, too.

There’s a young girl I know who has marvelous ability. She is capable of fine things, of making a definite mark in the world.

But her progress has been retarded by the frequent occurrence of periods of moodiness and depression.

These periods are directly traceable to the critical attitude of an older sister. The sister is popular, an attractive personality and she is the object of her younger sister’s devotion and admiration. It is for that reason that her opinion is of such value to the younger girl.

Don’t let the unjust criticism of others roughen your external service.

Truth and sincerity need not apology and no retraction. If you live truthfully and sincerely, no expression of adverse opinion has any power to hurt you, save as you let it. The only gift it has for you is that of self-contemplation.

Out of the voice of criticism comes sometimes a clearer vision of yourself. It may point out error and show the way to correction. Listen to it, and then use it constructively.

All must be grist that comes to your mill. Criticism is part of that grist. But no grist goes to a mill that is not sifted. Get the wheat free from the chaff, and then use the wheat and discard the chaff.

Someone once said, “So live as to have no regrets.” That is very much condensing the code of ethics and morals. But it is fine psychology.

Chagrin, remorse, jealousy, such things may follow in the wake of error. But the lesson once learned must be applied in the affirmative and progressive living, not toted along as a burden of negative repentance, a mortgage on the future possibilities of character, a sliver in the smooth surface of structure.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 31, 1937.

I firmly believe that there is nothing impossible of achievement to the person who develops his personality in every possible way through every possible source of help, working ever toward some goal of service, in absolute sincerity.

The so-called “divine spark” which makes of man something of immeasurable power, that elevates him above the beasts and constitutes that part of him which is made in “the image of God” is the subconscious mind.

It is as nearly all-powerful as anything within our human conception can be. It is God-in-You.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 7, 1937.

Don’t let the power of your personality run away with you. Remember that it is meant to serve, not to dominate.

If you begin to think that you have the right or privilege, either through the accident of relationship or through the strength of affection, to make other people over to your own pattern, you will cause trouble.

I stress the importance of each man using the pattern cut to his measure. And no one pattern of personality fits two people, no matter how intimately their lives may join.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 10, 1937.

The determiner of character seals destiny. The self-conscious, self-active, self-determined gathers in the impressions, feelings, habits and images, the resultant of which is personality. ... Reputation is the thunder of silent fidelity.

—C. Polk Goodson, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, March 4, 1901.

Personality is constantly changing in two lines: expansion and higher integration. In the development of personality, the substitution of aim in place of immediate desire is important; and the aim should be big enough to integrate in an unfolding process. Care should be taken in choosing this aim, because even a bad or low aim will integrate action. The active life is largely for the sake of the spiritual life. The activity of loving is necessary to spiritual growth. The true service of others is the challenging service which helps them to climb.

—Edward Howard Griggs, The Prairie, Canyon, Texas, July 10, 1922.

The finest flower of civilization is a personality differing in interesting ways from other personalities.

—Edward Howard Griggs, The Prairie, Canyon, Texas, Jan. 19, 1943.

The man who would forge ahead in the game must develop his personality with knowledge. He will then become known as a personality with an associated value. The reason that the biggest men are born as such is because their personalities stand out and are known to represent the best knowledge of a particular line of work. ... Knowledge is the developer of personality and only in so far as your knowledge is of use to the world will your personality stand out above the crowd as that of a man who is worthwhile and who is remembered in the minds of the people who count as one of them.

—Ralph T. Jones, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 20, 1913.

No person achieves success of the higher sort without discovering the channel of expression and service through which the personality is poured out.

—Daniel A. Poling, New York Times, New York, N.Y., Jan. 25, 1926.

In order to understand what personality is, let us see its attributes. First, is knowledge. Whenever there is personality there is knowledge. Next is mind. Third, is leadership. The greater a personality, the greater the power of leadership.

—Perry F. Webb, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Oct. 5, 1925.

The way to develop personality is to become active in doing things. Personality grows by active pursuance of things, active associations. Become friendly with others. Participate in activities. You'll have disappointments, but these disappointments will help develop your personality. You can't develop a good personality if you can't express yourself.

—Ernest L. Wilkinson, As a Man Thinketh, Provo, Utah, March 3, 1970.

Personality is the aroma of strong, virile manhood, brought to the nth power of usefulness and of service. Personality is the blending of all the powers of mind, body and soul, in consecration to some noble occupation. Personality cannot be developed apart from concentration, intense earnestness and consuming zeal, for some worthy object. You cannot counterfeit personality with clothes, superficial culture, ten lessons in expression and a cheap degree gotten from some correspondence school, established for the vanity of fools. Personality is not in adopting the idiosyncrasies of successful men. ... Personality is not to be distinguished by going to extremes either way–by appearing to be undertrained or overtrained. Avoid extremes and strive to bring your own personality up to the highest value of service, using common sense to befit your case.

—I.E. Gates, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, May 24, 1917.

Personality is the sum total of all the physical-mental traits, habits, and abilities we possess, put together in a pattern which impresses others.

—Raleigh M. Drake, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 1, 1941.

Character is out potential self. Personality is what we appear to be through the manner in which we express ourselves; a display of acquired characteristics which may or may not be a true indication of our character, of what we actually are or at least what we might be, if we understood more fully how to express ourselves adequately.

—Mildred Baker, Millennial Star, London, England, Feb. 28, 1935.

The greatest gift to society is the gift of great personality, for in realizing himself the individual brings the greatest progress to the social order. The truth of this standpoint becomes apparent when we realize that the highest self-realization of the individual can never be a selfish one. ... The successful personality is the one that loses life, all anxiety about life and its rewards, for the sake of the highest service. Such a personality finds the root sources of true inspiration and goes beyond itself in multiplying capacity for self-realization. In forgetfulness of self it realizes its true self. This fact is that which ties personality to the social order. We cannot realize ourselves in the truest sense apart from the social relations. Any attempt to do it by retreat to the cloister, or by wild evasion and rebellion against the social requirements, will meet with equal failure. Not to know one's self socially is to fail. The greater number of our criminals are merely people who have failed of social self-realization. They are out of step with their fellow men. They refuse to work in harness.

—Ralph Tyler Flewelling, The Personalist, Los Angeles, Calif., July 1926.

Personality does not detach itself from substance. It cannot be folded up and put into a drawer. It cannot parade like a ghost. It is not something you find; it is something you create. As far as I am concerned, your personality is what you do to me when we come in contact. The most important thing as far as mental life is concerned is that you understand your own possibilities and limitations. A complete personality can be developed in spite of physical and mental handicaps, if you understand your limitation. There was a time when we believed that it was unwise to talk to people about disabilities. But in the development of personality this is exactly what should be done. It is not the deformities of life that destroy personality, but it is the attitude of the individual toward such deformities. We should keep our emotions under control, but we should color life with emotional experiences if we are to have well-balanced personalities. ... Emotional balance is important. If you live in the realm of gloom or an atmosphere of continuous hilarity, there is danger of life becoming one-sided. Every time you build a new ideal, which is an emotionalized idea, you are forming personality. If you would better your personality, look well to your morals and manners. The little niceties of life, demanded by a polite society, are what make for a more satisfactory personality. It pays to be socially acceptable.

—George W. Frasier, The Prairie, Canyon, Texas, March 14, 1939.

Self-consciousness and self-determination form the basis of personality. It is the realization of selfhood, the conviction that man stands for a new divine force in that world that no other created being can express. It is the conviction that he is not mere body or brain, but rather a personal power, a center of independent action, who uses brains and body and life at his will. ... The next grandest thing to the structure of manhood is self-control. This is the personality acting through the will and conscience, directing and controlling the powers and passions, the imagination and desires of man.

—Wilbur P. Thirkield, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 17, 1897.

Effective activity and intelligent enthusiasm are the key which, if used, release that great potential power which makes a quickened, godly, productive human personality.

—Sterling W. Sill, Thoughts and Essays, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1956.

Personality can be called the ability of the individual to adjust to the social situation, or the integration of the tendencies of the individual into one pattern.

—Franklin S. Harris, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 31, 1936.

Personality is the key to all philosophy.

—Borden Parker Bowne, The Personalist, Los Angeles, Calif., October 1920.

Some persons are so small they have no soul. They have only a gizzard.

—Borden Parker Bowne, The Personalist, Los Angeles, Calif., October 1920.

Personality is a wonderful bargain, but is never found on a bargain counter.

—Amos Clary, Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Aug. 4, 1938.

Personality may be described as the show window of your character.

Austin American, Austin, Texas, Oct. 24, 1924.

When you can impress others without even trying, that is personality.

Humboldt Star, Winnemucca, Nev., May 15, 1944.


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