110 Character Quotes About Building Great Character

Read these inspirational quotes about building great character, and in the comments below tell us which one of these character quotes is your favorite.

Character is a big idea that brings a lot of meanings to mind.

As humans, we spend a lot of time thinking about how character is built and measured.

Adversity is the greatest thing that can shape character.

Most people prize integrity, strength, and individuality as the greatest defining features of anyone’s character.

These traits also tell us whether someone is a good person and worth including in our lives.

How can you accurately judge someone’s character?

The character quotes below will help you gain perspective on the importance of human character and how you can evaluate someone’s personality.

Character can help guide you in difficult times, and judging it well can help you determine whether to trust someone.

It is also important to think critically and honestly about our own character and about how we can become better people.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

If you enjoy this collection, check out our inspirational quotes category page.

Quotes About Building Character

1.) “Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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2.) “Hard conditions of life are indispensable to bringing out the best in human personality.” – Alexis Carrel

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3.) “Our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our strength of character.” – Les Brown

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4.) “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” – Abraham Lincoln

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5.) “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.” – Winston Churchill

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6.) “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.” – Lao Tzu

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7.) “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – George S. Patton

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8.) “Sometimes I wonder if I’m a character being written, or if I’m writing myself.” – Marilyn Manson

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9.) “Character is simply habit long continued.” – Plutarch

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10.) “An individual step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual.” – Robert Baden-Powell

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11.) “Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you weren’t born with and must take responsibility for forming.” – Jim Rohn

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12.) “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

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13.) “We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.” – Albert Camus

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14.) “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

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15.) “In the progress of personality, first comes a declaration of independence, then a recognition of interdependence.” – Henry Van Dyke

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Character Quotes about Strength

16.) “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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17.) “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” – Stephen Covey

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18.) “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” – Henry Ford

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19.) “It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” – Zig Ziglar

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20.) “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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21.) “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built”. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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22.) “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle

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23.) “We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.” – John Locke

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24.) “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

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25.) “Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.” – Heraclitus

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26.) “Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

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27.) “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

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28.) “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” – Maya Angelou

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29.) “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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30.) “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Quotes About Character and Goodness

31.) “Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

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Quotes About Character and Goodness

32.) “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

33.) “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” – Albert Einstein

34.) “Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.” – Aristotle

35.) “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.” – Benjamin Franklin

36.) “Character, not circumstances, makes the man.” – Booker T. Washington

37.) “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

38.) “Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” – Anne Frank

39.) “When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.” – Confucius

40.) “Admitting one’s own faults is the first step to changing them, and it is a demonstration of true bravery and integrity.” –  Philip Johnson

41.) “To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.” – Katharine Hepburn

42.) “Develop your character so that you are a person of integrity.” – Peter Cain

43.) “Conduct reveals character, and we best understand integrity when we see it lived out in a person’s life.” – Charles H. Dyer

44.) “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” – Nelson Mandela

45.) “Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.” – Dr. William Menninger

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46.) “If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.” – Paul Newman

Character Quotes About Reputation

47.) “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

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48.) “You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.” – Ronald Reagan

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49.) “Character is what a man is in the dark.” – Dwight L. Moody

50.) “Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

51.) “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” – Charles Spurgeon

52.) “I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!” – Theodore Roosevelt

53.) “Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” – Albert Einstein

54.) “Action is character.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

55.) “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden

56.) “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

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57.) “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” – Albert Einstein

58.) “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey

59.) “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” – J. C. Watts

60.) “Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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61. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein

62. “In the end you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.” – Nicholas Sparks

63. “Character is doing what you don’t want to do but know you should do.” – Joyce Meyer

64. “Who we are in the present includes who we were in the past.” – Fred Rogers

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65. “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” – Bruce Lee

66. Character is much easier kept than recovered.” – Thomas Paine

67. “Character forms a life regardless of how obscurely that life is lived and how little light falls on it from the stars.” – James Hillman

68. “We are masters of our characters and in turn, slaves of their outgrowth.” – Mohammed Ali Bapir

69. “Character is the line in the sand between the worst of the good people and the best of the bad ones.” – Johnny Flora

70. “The ability to remain calm before, during, and after the storm reveals one’s true strength of character.” – Christine E. Szymanski

Motivational Character Quotes to Empower You

71. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

72. “What a man’s mind can create, man’s character should control.” – Thomas Edison

73. “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.” – Abigail van Buren

74. “Never does a man portray his character more vividly than when proclaiming the character of another.” – Winston Churchill

75. “Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted.” – Alfred Adler

76. “In the end, it is the person you become, not the things you achieve, that is most important.” – Les Brown

77. “Character is one of the greatest motive powers in the world. In its noblest embodiments, it exemplifies human nature in its highest forms, for it exhibits man at his best.” – Samuel Smiles

78. “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

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79. “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

80. Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.” – Jack London

Character Quotes To Help You Develop Strong Inner Personality

81. “Your character defines who you are by the actions you take.” ― Catherine Pulsifer

82. “Even water carves monuments of stone, so do our thoughts shape our character.” ― Hugh B. Brown

83. “If you pay too much attention to your reputation, you could lose your character.” ― Michael Josephson

84. “We are not just products of our past; people in our present also influence us and help mold our character.” ― David Packer

85. “Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness.” ― Faith Baldwin

86. “Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.” ― Henry Clay

87. “In order to persevere, a person often needs other character attributes such as open-mindedness.” ― Rohen Phoenix

88. “Parents can only give [their children] good advice or put them on the right path, but the final form of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” ― Anne Frank

89. “When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

90. “Maybe you have to live under cover for a while before you can find your true character.” ― Hugo Hamilton

Character Quotes to Build the Foundation Of Your Life

91. “His own character is the arbiter of every ones fortune.” ― Publilius Syrus

92. The beginning is the most important part…for that is the time character is being formed.” ― Plato

93. “Character is what you know you are, not what others think you have.” ― Marva Collins

94. “Good moral character is the first essential in a man.” ― George Washington

95. “Characters do not change. Opinions alter, but characters are only developed.” ― Benjamin Disraeli

96. “The farther behind I leave the past, the closer I am to forging my own character.” ― Isabelle Eberhardt

97. “Adversity often hatches out the true nobility of character.” ― George Ade

98. “A good character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness.” ― Seneca the Younger

99. “Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” ― Henry David Thoreau

100. “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.” ― John C. Maxwell

101. “Your character is so much more important than your looks.” ― Scott Sanford

102. “Take on God’s character of Love and learn to love and forgive ourselves.” ― Dawna Hetzler

103. “Having a happiness that is built into your character helps you to gain confidence.” ― Steven Spencer

104. “Power really is a test of character. In the hands of a person of integrity, it is of tremendous benefit; in the hands of a tyrant, it causes terrible destruction.” ― John Maxwell

105. “Our characters are refined and tried by fire and when we have gone through the furnace, we emerge as pure gold and silver.” ― Edward Dunedin

106. “Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what a reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.” ― Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

107. “Primary greatness is on the inside. It’s about character.” ― Stephen Covey

108. “Generosity of character is important. It builds confidence by reminding you that you are a decent human being, and that you deserve any good things which might come your way.” ― John Franz

109. “Profound sincerity is the only basis of talent as of character.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

110. “Our character is a composite of people we have watched, experiences we have had, but completely relies on the decisions that we make.” ―  Scott Schwab

How does your character impact the life you lead?

Character is the sum of all your choices, words, and actions.

When you look back on your life, consider whether you have created a character you are proud of.

All of us can benefit from appreciating our strengths and good choices, but we can also grow from examining the mistakes we have made in the past.

You will see a pattern where your character can bring good or bad things into your life.

In turn, you can use what you learn about character to help judge whether you can trust each person in your life.

Navigate carefully around those who don’t show good character.

Value those who have good character, treat them well, and keep them close.

Which of these great character quotes resonated with you best?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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