„Character is destiny.“
Character is fate.
Man's character is his fate.
A man's character is his fate.
A man's character is his guardian divinity.
One's bearing shapes one's fate.
Original: (el) ἦθος ἀνθρώπῳ δαίμων
„Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.“
— Charles Reade British writer 1814 - 1884
Possibly a misattribution, ascribed to Reade in Notes and Queries (9th Series) vol. 12, 17 October 1903. It appears (as an un-sourced quotation) in Life and Labor (1887) by Samuel Smiles and in the front of The Power of Womanhood by Ellice Hopkins (1899) htm http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13722/13722-h/13722-h..
Apparently a common saying in 19th century. It has been also attributed to an “old Chinese proverb”, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863), George Dana Boardman (1828-1903), Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard (1839-1898), James Allen (1864-1912), Marcus Fabius Quintilianus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintilian http://www.worldofquotes.com/author/Quintilian-(Marcus-Fabius-Quintilian)/1/index.html and William James.
No original source has ever been isolated. Its structure strongly reflects that of a ""classical Chinese"" set of aphorisms; and it may have been deliberately constructed in that form, by a non-Chinese, to imply an oriental (and, perhaps, far wiser) origin.
Finally, almost all of those who cite the complete piece:
::We sow a thought and reap an act;
::We sow an act and reap a habit;
::We sow a habit and reap a character;
::We sow a character and reap a destiny.
state that, in their view, it was written to expand an embellish the notion that was expressed at Proverbs XXIII:7 (""For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he"").
„Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.“
Source: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
„Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.“
— Samuel Smiles Scottish author 1812 - 1904
Saying published anonymously in The Dayspring, Vol. 10 (1881) by the Unitarian Sunday-School Society, and quoted in Life and Labor (1887) by Smiles; this is most often attributed to George Dana Boardman, at least as early as 1884, but also sometimes attributed to William Makepeace Thackeray as early as 1891, probably because in in Life and Labor Smiles adds a quote by Thackeray right after this one, to Charles Reade in 1903, and to William James as early as 1906, because it appears in his Principles of Psychology (1890).
Source: Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them
„Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.“
— Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882
„Thoughts lead on to purposes; puposes go forth in actions; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.“
— Tryon Edwards American theologian 1809 - 1894
Source: A Dictionary of Thoughts, 1891, pp. 114-115.
„For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. […] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.“
— Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973
1960s, Inaugural address (1965)
Context: For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. [... ] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.
„The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.“
— George Boardman the Younger American theologian 1828 - 1903
Reported in Phinneys' Calendar (1878), edited by Andrew Beers.
„Watch your thoughts; They become words. Watch your words; They become actions. Watch your actions; They become habits. Watch your habits; They become character. Watch your character; It becomes your destiny.“
— Laozi semi-legendary Chinese figure, attributed to the 6th century, regarded as the author of the Tao Te Ching and founder of… -604
„The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.“
— James Allen British philosophical writer 1864 - 1912
„If you don't enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won't be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel.“
Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003)
Context: A novel is not an allegory... It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don't enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won't be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing.
— Frederick Douglass American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman 1818 - 1895
Speech at the Emancipation League (12 February 1862), Boston
„Destiny is not only a dramatist, it is also its own stage manager. That is, it sets the entrances of the characters on scene, gives them letters and other objects, and produces the off-stage noises to go with the dialogue: thunder, a carriage, a shot.“
O destino não é só dramaturgo, é também o seu próprio contra-regra, isto é, designa a entrada dos personagens em cena, dá-lhes as cartas e outros objetos, e executa dentro os sinais correspondentes ao diálogo, uma trovoada, um carro, um tiro.
Source: Dom Casmurro (1899), Ch. 73, pp. 159-60.
„This is not a book. This is libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty … what you will.“
Source: Tropic of Cancer (1934), Chapter One
„The really great novel tends to be the exact negative of its author's life. "The characters crowd onto the page", writes Mauriac, "there to accomplish all those things which the personal destiny of the author has kept at bay.“
— André Maurois French writer 1885 - 1967
The Art of Writing
„Despite all the difficulties and severe trials being experienced by the people, the democratic process in the country is acquiring an increasingly broad sweep and an irreversible character. The peoples of Russia are becoming masters of their destiny.“
— Boris Yeltsin 1st President of Russia and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR 1931 - 2007
Appeal to citizens of Russia http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1991-2/the-august-coup/the-august-coup-texts/eltsins-defiance/ to oppose the 1991 coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev. (19 August 1991)
Book 3 “Visions and Revelations” Chapter 5 “The Waking of the Sword” (p. 421)
Phoenix in Obsidian (1970)
— Fidel Castro former First Secretary of the Communist Party and President of Cuba 1926 - 2016
I Won't Be a Dictator (1959)