Our character shapes our individuality. The disposition which we mould is a composition from our minor traits. Cubic of knowledge, experiences and reflections make-up the foundation of absoluteness bolstering our core authentic nature.

One of the edifications which I never forget from my religious class during my teenage years is the formula ‘Building foundation.’ Our morals, knowledge and experiences that we build since we are at our early age is the foundation that leads every phases in of our life.
My lecturer asked one of my classmates who studied Architectural, “What is the most important phase to construct a building and will take the longest time to form?”  Silence.

He then continued, “Did you realised that the stage that is most time-consuming, costly and tedious in all buildings are the erection of the base and pillars?” … “And that is how human beings are. How metaphoric and logic is that? Forming a positive character begins from when we are young. That defines our moral and value which will act as the substance and guide whenever we stray from our path.”

Recently, after 20 years later, I had invited a motivational speaker to deliver a workshop for an organisation. The workshop’s purpose was to motivate employees, train them to understand their own personality and eliminate barriers that hinder them from achieving their personal goals.
One of the interactive activities was to build a tower as tall as possible from 2 packets of 100 straws using only a masking tape within 30 minutes. Then, we have to place a paper cup filled with water at the top of the tower. No one was informed of the motive of this activity.

Once we started, I asked my teammates who are both technicians on what are their plans since both of them had started inserting one straw into another. After repeated asking and bombarding them with ‘We need a plan!’, one of them said that we will insert many straws into one another, combine them and make it stand. And he showed me how to make it stand.  I told them that is ridiculous. I showed that that it will not stand, merely like that.

“What we need is a base, a strong foundation! A building should have a strong foundation!”  I showed them some ways which I am not impressed with my technical capabilities at all. After trying a few methods and they roughly understood what I meant, finally, one of the Technicians showed me his idea and I screamed ‘YES! This will definitely work! That is what I want. Smart!” And so we build this!


It took us less than 20mins to build ours, the shortest time taken and least artistic straw tower compared to the other teams. Nonetheless, till date I am still proud of our achievements. It is the only one survived as of to date with this yellow tower.

I was discussing with the speaker the metaphor of the activity from my personal understanding, explaining to him about building our characters as a foundation in our phases in life. He agreed with the perspectives I shared with him, even though the objective of the exercise is to explain that without an aim, purpose and objective, one will not be motivated to set in motion.

If we could embed constructive traits beginning at our early phase, we will be more capable to manage more effectively any challenging external influences which might affect the way we control our thoughts and emotion and eventually the decision-making. Our motivation to remain optimistic will stay with us forever.


Building our character in an appropriate way is a vital process in which we would not be able to understand its importance until we reflect it in the later stage in our life. At times, it is not merely about being the best person at the highest point. It comes with how you could withstand the challenges throughout the journey, sustaining and appreciating. I would like to add that sometimes we need not be with the most comfortable person to work well with. Partners that boast, brag, criticize and not thoughtful will not let your mind grow. And of course, it will be a star-point if you could have all the amazing things in life though. Value it!

“Personal thank you to my educators who had shared the importance of attitude, behaviour, characters, morals, education, ambitions, to be grateful and enjoying the moments in life”.

Disclaimer: Images above are outlines of the actual structures. Structural ideas and activity mentioned in article does not belong to Grapholistic or the writer. Special thanks to Mr AT and the individuals constructing the actual structures.