It's a complicated question with the possibility of even more complicated answers: What's a good marker for true character?
Some might say it's about having a generous personality. Others would point to the existence of a strong moral compass. But the bigger question is, is character is even really definable in the first place? According to New York Times columnist and best-selling author David Brooks, it is, and he shares a rather pointed definition of the word during an interview for "SuperSoul Sunday."
"To me, there's a central piece of us that makes decisions," Brooks begins. "Every time you make a decision or have an experience, you turn that core piece of yourself into something slightly more elevated or something more degraded."
These choices are reflections of what you stand for, and your character -- that core piece of you -- forms depending what type of choices you make, Brooks explains.
"If you make disciplined choices, you slowly engrave a certain set of habits and dispositions inside that core piece," he says. "If you make fragmented decisions, you make that core piece a little degraded."
In this respect, Brooks has noticed one major commonality in everyone with true character.
"When I look at people with character, what they have is consistency over time," he says. "The things that lead us astray are short-term, like lust or greed or hunger. But the things that are character are long-term, like honesty and courage.
"Those people [with character] are able to be consistent and can be counted on over time," he continues. "They have something solid engraved."
David Brooks' interview airs on this weekend's "SuperSoul Sunday," on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.
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