CHARACTER: Dayton Moore on what it means

This month’s “C” word has been CHARACTER. In the CYITML lexicon, traits of CHARACTER: Applies moral principles; Learns from mistakes; Accepts responsibility; and Respects individuals. Periodically throughout the year, we’ll get more in-depth with CYITML Founder and Executive Director Dayton Moore about that month’s word. Since CHARACTER is such a big part of how we approach our work with the foundation, and the way each of us should approach life, it seems to be a good topic to go more in-depth. Here is an edited version of what Dayton told the guys on “Fescoe In The Morning” on 610 Sports last week. 


If you are genetically gifted to play a sport, or to play an instrument, or you’re an exceptional student, the biggest thing that will derail you and drive a wedge between your gift, your skill, and your passion to do something are the choices you make. We emphasize making good choices and surrounding yourself with people who are adding to your life, are positive influences, and helping you to grow as a person. You also want to be around people who will hold you accountable.

It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s a great character trait to be accountable and to admit when you’ve made a mistake, and to learn from it. Mistakes are simply part of the growing process. Failure is a part of the learning process. Failure should be embraced as long as you’re learning from it and not staying wounded in your life. Learning from failure is when you’re getting back up and giving your best effort.

At the end of the day, the person who reaches his or her ceiling is the one who makes the best choices that help him or her to stay on track; choices that keep him or her in a position to passionately pursue what they want to do; and, ultimately, they develop that skill to give the best effort in everything they do. It’s hard to do that, so without making good character choices, it’s impossible to do and impossible to be successful over the long haul.

Look at our society today. How often do you see someone who’s successful, and has achieved at a high level, but then he falls because he made bad choices? When your talent and your giftedness take you further than your character can sustain you, there will be a setback. There will be a shipwreck. That’s why character is so important, and to have good influences in your life.


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