As a professional baseball scout, one of the most important priorities I park on while meeting with young prospects is regarding Character. It is fascinating listening to these young high school and college prospects define the word Character and what it means to them.

In a sentence, here is a clear definition of the word Character: “The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”

I believe it is a normal human desire to be concerned about how we look on the outside. Truth is, there’s nothing wrong with that. However what can get us in trouble is worrying more about how we look on the outside more than how we really are on the inside.

Our reputation comes from what others believe about our outside. However our character represents who we really are on the inside. The good news is that if you focus on being better on the inside, than the outside, over time you will also become better on the outside.

Why do I say that? The Inside Influences the Outside. More than twenty-five hundred years ago, the writer of Proverbs noted that “As we think in our hearts, so we become.” That ancient idea has been both echoed by other wisdom writers and confirmed by modern science. Coaches teach the importance of visualization for winning. Psychologists point out the power of self-image on people’s actions. Doctors note the impact of positive attitude. What we believe really matters.

We reap what we sow, more than we sow and later than we sow. What we do or neglect to do in the privacy of our daily lives impacts who we are. If you neglect your heart, mind, and soul, it changes who you are on the outside as well as the inside.

Character is a personal quality that embodies many important traits such as integrity, courage, perseverance, confidence, and wisdom. Unlike your fingerprints that you were born with and can’t change, character is something that you create within yourself and must take responsibility for changing.

When we fail to make the right character choices within us, we give away ownership of ourselves. We belong to others or to whatever gains control of us. And that puts us in a bad place. How can you ever reach your full potential and become the person you can be if others are making your choices for you?

Winning in life is more than just money, it’s about winning on the inside and knowing that you have played the game of life with all you had and then some. If you want to be successful, you must prioritize building your inside ahead of your outside.

Helen Keller likely said it best; “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Be your best this week. Make character the crown jewel worth chasing.

Have a great week!