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REFINING THE INNER PERSON
All of us have a genetic makeup that, to some degree, determines the kind of person we are. Also, the environment and background influences one’s inner self to a large extent. Should one then, just shrug off the matter and adopt a defeatist attitude by saying, “I cannot help the way I am.” Conversely, we know some people who are very negative and critical about nearly everything. Are they really happy people? Much depends on one’s attitude and outlook. There are others who allow themselves to be overcome by an inferiority complex. With such feelings, they view themselves as worthless. Many feel weary due to excessive anxiety. Analysing oneself from time to time helps. Do I get upset over the habits or shortcomings of others? If so, it may be that the problem lies more with me than with the other person. Do I quickly get irritated or hurt? If so, could it be that I think too highly of myself or I’m overly sensitive? Often, when we do this introspection, we find that our “reasons” are quite petty. One may discover within, a motive that one did not realize it existed. Such self examination helps to see the weak spot and also recognize one’s own contribution to the problem, rather than becoming frustrated by focusing solely on the other person’s errors regarding which there is no control or one can do little about it. Taking an objective look at the other person helps in getting an overall view. Perhaps, the person is falling short in just one area. Would it be proper then to judge an individual on the basis of one or two irritating traits? Usually, one’s judgement is influenced by personal feelings of the moment.
Trying to see the other person’s point of view is not always easy, especially when their view points are diametrically opposed to ours. Yet the effort one makes in trying to see things differently serves to offset one’s own feelings and has a calming effect. It gives us insight on how others feel and act to some extent. A person with negative thinking is usually sluggish and tends to make excuses to justify his course. In any undertaking or job, satisfaction comes when one sees it through without quitting. Some jobs appeal, some do not. By looking not just at the surface or at the immediate benefits that comes in terms of pay, one can also think about the moulding effect it can have on one’s personality. Working effectively with people requires not to ‘give up’ on others. Initiating friendships and then dropping them at the first sign of disagreement or letting friction break up work arrangements leads to loss of respect and confidence.
The very act of working at the problem reduces the likelihood of losing control. It also keeps one conscious of the need to adjust one’s thinking, if there is constant irritation due to others’ failings. Challenges can make life interesting. Rather than running away, rising to meet them with extra effort, thought, energy and time makes one resourceful and prevents our life from becoming just a series of failures and unfinished projects. Much happiness is derived through accomplishment. Negative aspects of life fade into the background when positive thoughts fill our mind. Difficulties are easier to bear when there is no grumbling and brooding. This improves health as it keeps in check such emotions as anger, jealousy, hatred and revenge. The happy, contented, tolerant person cheers others. Positive persons give us vigour to persevere and withstand heavy storms in life. “Hitch your wagon to a star” advises an old saying. Goals of high purpose give meaningful direction and keeps one from floundering or stagnating. Any attempt to restore a man’s inner strength is in showing him future goals, says a psychiatrist. The consciousness of one’s inner value is anchored in higher things. There is nothing that would help one to survive even the worst conditions, as the knowledge that there is meaning in life. A long life without the feeling of fulfilment is very tedious. We feel useful when we help others. Useful lives become meaningful lives. Tiredness ceases the moment a meaning is found in life. Negative thinking gives negative results. Doubts are traitors that makes one lose what one may win if tried. As the person thinks, so is he! It is well worth the effort to cultivate and to maintain a cheerful, balanced disposition, for one’s own welfare and that of others.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
REKHA KUMAR The writer is a personal development skills facilitator. [email protected]