Rabbi Chaim Zwick
There are two schools of thought in the field of human development. They are called Personality Ethic and Character Ethic. Traditional coaching, self help and popular psychology focus on Personality Ethic. Success becomes a function of personality and public image, of attitudes and behaviors, and of skills and techniques; that lubricate the process of human interaction. This quick-fix, narrow, superficial approach to human development can be very destructive. Focusing on symptoms and not addressing the core issues, provides only temporary relief. It leaves the underlying chronic problems untouched to fester and resurface time and time again.
In stark contrast, the Torah approach focuses on Character Ethic – things like integrity, humility, courage, justice, patience, trust, truth, modesty and the golden rule. Character ethic teaches us that effective living is based on principles.
Does this mean that we ignore personality? Absolutely not. It just means that character must play a primary role, and personality, a secondary role in the success hierarchy. To experience true greatness and enduring happiness, a person must align his character (primary) and personality (secondary) with Torah principles.
Torah Principles are natural laws that govern effective living. They are universal, timeless and objective. They work and govern whether we understand them or not, or whether we believe in them or not. They apply universally to all people, and they are timeless, meaning that they are relevant in every generation. Just like gravity is a principle of the physical world, there are principles that govern effective living. Life is the process of discovering Torah principles and integrating them into our daily lives. To put it simply, we get superb results when we align our lives with principles of effective living.