A few words about the human character...

What actually shapes a person's personality or character? Why do people differ so much in their "own self" and why do some personalities develop into world-changing and idealized people who are seen as role models?

In his book "Psychoanalysis and Ethics" (1947) Erich Fromm dealt extensively with the development of the character and based his views on the character theory of Sigmund Freud.

Freud was the first to show in scientific form that human character consists of a diverse structure of passions. This structure determines his actions - according to Freud, "...the way someone thinks, feels and acts is not only the result of reasoned answers to reality, but is largely determined by the nature of their character".

From Freud's view, Fromm came to the following conclusion: "The individual character trait is not what makes the character, but it is the entire character organization from which the individual character traits can be derived."

He concluded that this organization of characters is derived from various circumstances and situations in which man was related to the world.

As Fromm stipulates, the term character derives from this for psychological qualities that were acquired as a reaction to life experiences. And it is precisely these particular experiences that are important – as the gentleman who we talk about today shows. 


Niki Lauda

As the descendant of a wealthy industrial family that specialized in the mining of magnesite ore and paper production, Lauda, contrary to the express wish of his family, aspired to a career as a racing driver and was to achieve the highest honor in Formula 1.

His passion for vehicles, which characterizes his character, arose on the territory of the family business, because as a young kid he improved his pocket money with forklift trucks and snow plows and thus found a love for vehicles of all kinds. 

It is at this point that the first signs of his indomitable will and his penchant for merciless self-discipline can be seen. He had to prove to everyone that the classic way was not his ...

It was precisely here that character traits were formed that were the dominant features of his character throughout his life; This included an incomparable work ethic, the irrepressible will to achieve his goals and the constant critical questioning of oneself - because Niki was not only hard on others, but above also on himself.

The will is everything!

Some great athletes shaped their time - and they often remained role models for entire generations. Niki Lauda was a sports hero - not from the beginning, but a certain situation changed everything ...

This situation distinguishes Lauda from other athletes and important personalities of his era and is of central importance for his legacy.

In 1976, he was involved in a near-fatal crash on the infamous Nürburgring circuit in Germany as his Ferrari slid off the track and erupted into flames. Despite suffering irreversible physical injury and remaining in a coma, he returned to racing a mere six weeks later - much to the delight of racing enthusiasts around the globe.


It was not the first or only time that he asserted himself with irrepressible will, and it was precisely this incredible will that made Niki Lauda a legend during his lifetime.

In our third and last part, you will find out who, as another branch of a remarkable and wealthy family, has become Italy's best-known business leader in the world...

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