"Character development is about the values we hold and the roles we assume as we move through our lives. We move toward development when we are in touch with our authentic voice, our authentic self, and when we are living with integrity and honesty. When we hold opposing qualities within our nature in responsible and balanced ways, we develop personal character and increase our relationship skills. For example, if we can stay in a committed relationship without becoming excessively dependent and remain free without being irresponsible or negligent, we stretch our capacity for developing character; we become more effective in all four aspects of life. As James Hillman wrote in his book The Force of Character, 'Character begins to govern life's decisions ever more pertinently, and permanently. Values come under more scrutiny, and qualities such as decency and gratitude become more precious than accuracy and efficiency.'
"Spirituality gives meaning to life, and spiritual growth is about discovering meaning. Spirituality is often expressed in religious terms, but it is the experience of recognizing states of grace, the transcendent, synchronicity, and that which is sacred or holy; it can be found in nature, silence, art, music, family, and friendship. It can bring wholeness to the emotional, physical, and intellectual dimensions of life. The spirit, or life force, within us is the essence or center point of mystery and meaning that is present at the core of our essential nature. It is the force that allows us to integrate our internal and external experiences. The essence of spirituality provides a sense of intactness and wholeness in our nature. When we are in touch with this central core, we experience self-trust and unshakeable faith. Connecting to this core brings us into alignment with what has heart and meaning, and conveys what remains mysterious and transcendent for us all. It is that which makes us unique.
"When we are conscious of our character development and spiritual growth, we begin to shift to looking at what is working in our lives and in our own nature. We become happier, healthier, and more effective in our contributions. We begin to look for the goodness in ourselves and others, demonstrating more compassion and generosity."