Character Quotes, Sayings

Guide your journey of self improvement and unleash your full potential with these wise character quotes and sayings!

Character is the cornerstone of who we are: an internalized moral code. But it’s more than simply being a good person. Character actively guides our choices and actions, building a reputation of dependability and trustworthiness.

    character quotes

    Best character quotes

    These famous character quotes from philosophers, authors, scientists, and politicians reveal some of what it means to live a life of integrity and compassion. We hope you find them inspirational to your life.

    1. Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.
    Abraham Lincoln

    2. Character is destiny.

    3. Character is doing what you don’t want to do but know you should do.
    Joyce Meyer

    4. The measure of a man is what he does with power.

    5. Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.
    Charles Dickens

    6. Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense.
    Marcus Aurelius

    7. Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures — character.
    Harry Truman

    Short character quotes

    8. Our characters are the result of our conduct.

    9. Great necessities call out great virtues.
    Abigail Adams

    10. We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.

    11. Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
    William Shakespeare

    Character quotes for students

    12. Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
    James A. Michener

    13. One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: ‘To rise above little things’.
    John Burroughs

    14. Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done.
    William Shakespeare

    15. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
    James Allen

    16. Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
    Lao Tzu

    Character quotes for kids

    17. In the end you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.
    Nicholas Sparks

    18. Parents can only give [their children] good advice or put them on the right path, but the final form of a person’s character lies in their own hands.
    Anne Frank

    19. When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.
    W. Somerset Maugham

    20. Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.
    Ann Landers

    21. Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.

    Character quotes for athletes

    22. A man’s character is not judged after he celebrates a victory, but by what he does when his back is against the wall.
    John Cena

    23. You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
    Maya Angelou

    24. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
    John Wooden

    Funny character quotes

    25. You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.
    Ronald Reagan

    26. What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
    A.A. Milne

    27. If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.
    Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Character quote by Abraham Lincoln

    Character quotes about life

    28. Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.
    Joan Didion

    29. The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.
    Abigail Van Buren

    30. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain — and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
    Dale Carnegie

    31. You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.
    Paul McCartney

    32. 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.
    Helen Keller

    About reputation

    33. I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.
    Abraham Lincoln

    34. If you pay too much attention to your reputation, you could lose your character.
    Michael Josephson

    35. Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness.
    Faith Baldwin

    36. The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.
    Japanese proverb

    37. A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.
    Charles Spurgeon

    Character quotes about power

    38. Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
    Bruce Lee

    39. Power really is a test of character. In the hands of a person of integrity, it is of tremendous benefit; in the hands of a tyrant, it causes terrible destruction.
    John Maxwell

    40. If you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power. Any man can stand adversity — only a great man can stand prosperity. It is the glory of Abraham Lincoln that he never abused power only on the side of mercy.
    Robert Ingersoll

    Famous character quotes

    41. This above all; to thine own self be true.
    William Shakespeare

    42. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    43. It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
    Mark Twain

    44. Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
    Albert Einstein

    45. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
    George Washington

    46. To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
    Theodore Roosevelt

    47. What a man’s mind can create, man’s character should control.
    Thomas Edison

    From famous authors

    48. I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
    Charlotte Brontë

    49. Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
    Harper Lee

    50. People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Inspirational character quotes

    51. Resilience matters in success. I don’t know how to teach it to you, except for: I hope suffering happens to you… (because) greatness comes from character. And character isn’t formed out of smart people. It’s formed out of people who suffered.
    Jensen Huang, Nvidia CEO

    52. Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.
    R.J. Palacio

    53. Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece — by thought, choice, courage and determination.

    About leadership

    54. Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.
    Dr. William Menninger

    55. Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.

    56. You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Motivational sayings

    57. Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    58. Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.
    Henry Clay

    Thank you for reading these famous character quotes. Looking for more inspirational quotes and sayings? Try these:

    Honesty Quotes for Kids

    Perseverance Quotes

    Achievement Quotes

    By Greg Johnson | Published 3/15/2024