The Official Blog of Mike Rayburn

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“The Content of His Character” What if it starts with me?

Dr. Martin Luther King has the solution we need, right now, but is anyone still listening? I believe his solution could change all race relations, reduce crime, and heal most of what’s broken in our society. Dr. King asked simply that a person not be judged by anything other than “the content of his character.” Not race, religion, gender, education, sexual preference, just who you are.

So, have you ever seriously – intentionally – considered the content of your character? I’m not trying to preach, here, I mean I have to do this regularly, first because we are all fallible, me as much or more than most. But also because this is the most important tenet of what I mean when I exhort people to “Become A Virtuoso,” to live for excellence.

The root word in “Virtuoso” is “virtue.” That’s a big deal. Extrapolating here, that means that personal growth and true success begin with building our character. So how do we do that?

The dictionary on my Mac defines character as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”

Did you know you can choose (and change) what mental and moral qualities you want to be distinctive to you?  While certain character points or values vary from person to person there are some I believe most of us would agree with, the ones I think of when I look at Dr. King as the example, (and he was modeling Jesus):

Loving. Honest. Forgiving. Trustworthy. Faithful. Passionate. Generous. Kind. Humble.

Michael Jackson  said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.” What if we all did? What if every one of us started each day by declaring, “Today, no matter what anyone else does, I’m going to be an excellent human being? I’m going to be Loving. Forgiving. Trustworthy. Totally honest. I’m going to help. I’m going to sacrifice for others. What would happen?

I believe we’d see one of the greatest human transformations ever. THIS is the way to transform a nation, or a city, or a company, or a relationship – or your life; by each one of us choosing to grow the content of his or her character. Become a Virtuoso.

I Have A Dream Speech



It’s been said that character is what you do when no one is looking. Character is how you treat people who can’t do anything for you. Character is doing what’s right, just because it’s right, no reward. With that in mind we could all stand to do some personal reckoning. Get out your Virtuoso Journal and answer, on paper or on your computer, the following questions.

1. Take honest stock of what your character is right now. Honestly, do you take responsibility or make excuses? Do you sacrifice to be honest, or do you cheat, shade the truth, or fudge a little on taxes, even a little?

2. What values or character traits do you admire in others? List them.

3. What traits do you know are right and you need to embrace, even if you don’t practice them or see them around you? What traits work? List them.

4. Now choose your character. List your values and begin implementing them. We’re all glorious, fallible works in progress, so be determined and intentional in your growth, and then as the Desiderata says, “…beyond a healthy discipline be gentle with yourself.”


Mike will begin offering free tools for Becoming a Virtuoso, living your highest vision of yourself in his Virtuoso Community in January. Join by signing up on his email list.

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