Character Upgrade (add-on 1.0)


add-on (plural add-ons)

  1. Something which can be appended to something else.
  2. (computer) A software extension that provides additional functions or customization for a core application.

If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve been asked if you want an add-on for this or that.  I’m proposing a series of personal add-ons.

Nothing physical: no surgery, no expensive therapies; rather jigsaw pieces of the puzzle of life, allowing us to discover and become our best.  Character add-ons, just like software add-ons, require your permission.  (Ignoring is the same as not granting permission, right?)


Hmmm, is that bulb lit?

ADD-ON 1.0:

Have you ever had a friend or relative (our kids are usually the best source for revelation of unclaimed character flaws) tell you of a habit or tendency that they find unattractive or even down-right nauseating?

Did you feel offended?  Did you respond with rational reasons why they were wrong or exaggerating or just plain lying?  (I’ve been guilty of that reaction on many occasions.)

What if they’re telling the truth?  Ever consider they might be doing us a big favor?  If we will just listen…  Even better, what if we could figure these things out on our own?  Well, we can.

It requires being aware of ourselves; being aware of how we present ourselves to those around us.  That means backing away from the thinking, feeling, movement, intuition and instinct that consume our attention.  Step back from being entrenched in the turmoil that rages in our heads and is consequently spewed forth; step back and observe what is happening in our heads and hearts.  View these happenings as an outsider would – as our kids do.

Once you’ve tackled that – I should rephrase – once you are constantly diligent in your attempts to observe yourself, you need to use those observations to tackle what is unattractive in yourself.

But I’m saving that for another post.

“Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them as they are occurring.” – The Wisdom of the Enneagram

– debi

13 thoughts on “Character Upgrade (add-on 1.0)

  1. Wait a minute, are you tell me, if I was a good enough friend. I would start pointing out my friends faults?
    Shouldn’t you be working on Chapter 15 of Quiet Lost?

    1. Haha, Sue! I love you – you caught me.

      I’m taking a screenwriting class, and all my energies have been redirected temporarily, so
      Chapter 15 got delayed for a little while.

      I’ve been thinking about introducing the protagonist of “Teton Gauntlet” to the blog; she’s amazing. Even though Madeleine was born more than a century ago, I know she’d have no trouble holding her own today.

  2. I get them pointed out by loved ones and myself, but how to fix them? That is the tough part for me………. It is more shocking when a kid points it out, and maybe that helps. Shocked into change. Oh well, like the song said “I’m just an old lump of coal, but I’m gonna be a diamond someday”.

    1. Thank you for visiting, Randy!

      Shock is a good word to describe hearing our darlings point out our least appealing traits. It took a little while, but I finally figured out they aren’t just jabbering, they really have a point.

      Tune in again; hopefully I’ll have some pointers on the fixin’ part.


  3. Debi – what a tough topic you’re talking about here! But good one:)

    When my loved-ones tell me about my character flaw or something ugly they notice of me , often it requires me to dig through some internal issue or unpleasant past. The process can be painful if I intend to tackle it and to seek transformation. Then again no pain no gain right?

    Keep this coming!

    1. So right, Reese; it is painful.

      Before I started listening to the painful messages, I was very effective at brushing aside any efforts to change; it was all about pride for me – which I will always fight.

      Once I actually started trying to use the information that was being given to me, it created a snowball effect. It was so energizing to listen and then investigate in myself and then research how to enact a change.

      But the biggest reward was feeling myself grow and change. Now I want to hear where I can improve; I want to find the faults and tinker with the tools I have to fix them.

      We can never hope to reach perfection; we are human after all. But I’m so grateful for the journey.


  4. “….step back and observe what is happening in our heads and hearts. View these happenings as an outsider would – as our kids do….” – with love and compassion, another add-on, one I often forget is there… Thanks, Debi.

  5. New reader here.. but sounds familiar to my agonizing cognitive dissonance classes. “I did learn a lot though”.. “You big fibber”.. “shss.. she’ll hear you.. besides that was a different part of the therapy ” ah hmm “Nice to read you Debi” smiles..

    1. I had to look up the definition of cognitive dissonance and found that it is something I practice regularly:

      cognitive dissonance

      –noun Psychology .
      anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.

      Oh well… what did you expect from a site named “Excogitate!”

      Glad you visited,

  6. “Step back from being entrenched in the turmoil that rages in our heads and is consequently spewed forth….”
    Ok. I’ve stepped back…spewing has stopped.
    If the awareness of the flaw is there what does one do with the gratitude for making it known when there is no ear to accept?

    1. I’ve found that gratitude is a savory morsel that is just as fulfilling when consumed alone or in the presence of others.

      I’m listening. Thanks for sharing your morsel.

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