Favorite Personality Traits: My Top 5

Most humans face a profound question: what should I value in life? Perhaps more pressing: why value human being? I give no certain answers, and your values are unique, yet below I share my favorite human characteristics and their paragons. 

Preface:

Finitude and mortality are man’s most reliable qualities. Specifically, you don’t determine your genetics, birth, environment, nor luck. As such, you do not control most factors influencing your life. You are not your own author, thus cannot reasonably claim responsibility for any of your traits. Luck determines everything about you; nobody is truly “self-made”. Your thoughts and actions influence your fate, however these materialize from interactions between your circumstances (environment) and disposition (biology) over time. 

That said, it’s still captivating to witness humanity’s (seeming) transcendence of its inherent limitation. While my favorite traits are merely products of my specific biology and experience, they may be useful benchmarks for others. I am inexplicably captivated in witnessing others exemplify the following characteristics (in order of importance from most->least valued): 

Disclaimer: There are similarities in characteristics among listed “trait exemplars”. These are just a few notable individuals that came to mind, but you may (reasonably) disagree with their categorizations.

Righteousness:

Reflective Questions:

Are you a thoughtful person? Do you care about others?

Notable Trait Exemplars:

Peter Singer, William MacAskill

Usefulness:

Reflective Questions:

Are you willing to sacrifice to improve the community (and ideally yourself)? Do you want to help humanity?

Notable Trait Exemplars:

Elon Musk, Bill Gates

Industriousness/Growth Mindset:

Reflective Questions:

Can you consistently progress towards achieving goals? Do you strive to surpass your current abilities?

Notable Trait Exemplars:

Nelson Mandela, Sergey Brin

Intelligence:

Reflective Questions:

Are you in some way brilliant? Do you contribute to humanity’s prevailing paradigms?

Notable Trait Exemplars:

Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Eloquence:

Reflective Questions:

Are you articulate? Does your prose induce awe?

Notable Trait Exemplars:

Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens