Character and the Conduct of Life: Practical Psychology for Everyman

By William McDougall | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
To all whom it may Concern.
Some Common Faults

IN the foregoing chapters we have dwelt at some length on the factors of personality and the cultivation of them. Understanding of these obscure matters is no doubt chiefly of value when we seek to guide the development of children and young persons. By the time we are disposed to make some study of such questions as we have dealt with, our disposition, temperament and temper have declared themselves, our character has already taken shape; we can do little for ourselves beyond some redressing of balance, some trimming of the rough edges, some pruning of excesses and some slight reinforcing of the weak places. Yet this is to be remembered: while the cultivation of intellectual power requires special opportunities and the devotion of much time and energy to specialized tastes, the growth of character goes on slowly perhaps, but inevitably; and it lies with ourselves to see that it shall follow the lines we choose. In everything we do, and in every abstention from doing, character is expressing itself and determining its own future course. We do well, therefore, to take note of our weaknesses and our excesses, in order that, like an artist giving the finishing

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