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“For things to change, you’ve got to change. For things to get better, you’ve got to get better.” ~Jeff Olson
As time passes and we grow from one stage to another we often make subtle changes to ourselves. We upgrade our wardrobe to the current trends, we upgrade our gadgets, car and several other things as we feel necessary. Similarly, we also grow into more mature and understanding beings. Our perceptions change and so does our demeanor. How we look at a particular situation changes over time. All such changes are made almost involuntarily. Many a times, we do not even realize these changes in ourselves. Perhaps, it is accepted as a natural progression of life. But seldom do we change ourselves voluntarily in an effort to become better. We take great comfort in being highly critical of others and the world around us. We also take great pride and pleasure in pointing out the mistakes in others and offer solicited or unsolicited advises to people on how to improve themselves and where they are going wrong. But never do we reflect upon our own actions and deeds. How often do we truly analyze our own character and personality in order to make ourselves a better person?
“Character is a quality that embodies many important traits, such as integrity, courage, perseverance, confidence and wisdom. Unlike your fingerprints that you are born with and can´t change, character is something that you create within yourself and must take responsibility for changing.” ~Jim Rohn
As human beings we need to make gains and progress towards positive changes, behaviour and attitude towards life, others and above all ourselves. When we truly indulge in developing ourselves to form good and positive personalities, we begin to feel different and see the world in a better light. This positive personality trait is as infectious as any virus can be and it only helps make our immediate surrounding and eventually the world we live in a much more positive and happier place to be and raise our children. As human being sharing this world of ours and resources there in and having been created alike, we cannot afford to shrug our responsibilities to the societies we live in and our fellow species. If not anything, we can at least make genuine efforts and help ourselves to become positive people and uphold good values and make positive contributions to our world. In order to do this we need to begin first with ourselves, then our immediate home and family, then our close friends and then the world, in this particular order.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ~Leo Tolstoy
Our individual characters and behaviours often influences our out look towards our world and surroundings. We are in a positive mood we feel that we can face any challenge in this world, when we are in love, we promise to move the mountains if need me to get our love. And when we are depressed, even the simplest of problems appears as a burden, and simple hardships makes us feel we are being victimized. We also take comfort in assuming that the hardships is life are unique to us. I myself have spent a lot of my time wondering “why me?”. As my older brother so eloquently puts it, “wallowing in my sorrow like a hippo in a swamp”. We easily pull out a list of reasons to not improve ourselves and become better people. I rather blame our surroundings, the world and the dog two doors down for our problem and misery. What we make this world out to be is from our mind. And how we choose to accept this world or change it is also by our own mind. But this begins with making ourselves better. If we look within ourselves and make the necessary positive changes, our outlook and attitude will change. It is all within. The wise men and women of the past have said it all. They have done and accomplished the impossible and left behind their legacy which speaks of their hardships, and challenges and how they conquered it all to change themselves and the world around them.
So how can be become a better person? Before I share some of my points which is not anything new though, I would firstly like to list a few well-known individuals who changed their world by changing themselves first. They too fought against their share of hardships and hurdles and changed their attitude and character to accomplish the impossible. This only goes to show us, that it is all within our will, determination and mind to self improve and change the world around us:
Abraham Lincoln – One of the most amazing and often referred to. Abraham Lincoln, lost his fiancé, had a nervous breakdown, first went into politics at the age of 23 when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly and failed. He was defeated in 8 elections. He once also opened a general store which failed after only a few months.
Robert M Pirsig – His well known book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was rejected by 121 publishers. Since finally being published in 1974 it has gone on to sell millions of copies in 27 languages.
Michael Jordan – A well publicized and well known fact about the most famous name in basketball was actually cut from his high school basketball team.
John Wayne – Before his successful acting career he was rejected from the United States Naval Academy.
Steven Spielberg – This household name dropped out of high school and applied to attend film school three times but was unsuccessful due to his C grade average.
Beethoven – His music teacher once told him that he was a hopeless composer.
Harry S. Truman – This former US President was rejected by the US Military & Naval Academies due to his poor eyesight. At one point he was a clerk in a newspaper mailroom, and also an usher in a movie theater.
Babe Ruth – This baseball legend struck out 1,330 times.
Henry Ford – The Ford Motor Co was Henry Ford’s third business, the first two didn’t work out.
Winston Churchill – This former British Prime Minister did poorly in school and had a speech impediment in his early years.
Marilyn Monroe – Marilyn Monroe spent much of her younger years in foster homes. One of her first jobs, during the Second World War, was inspecting parachutes. Producer told her she was “unattractive” and could not act.
Walt Disney – He was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking in ideas.
Soichiro Honda – The founder of Honda was turned down for an engineering job by Toyota after World War Two.
Charles Darwin – His father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.
Albert Einstein – He learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.
Thomas Edison – As a boy he was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.
Isaac Newton- He failed at running the family farm and did poorly in school.
The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business. The actor? – Harrison Ford
Turned down by a recording company saying “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out” They were talking about the Beatles
Were told by Publishers that “anthologies didn’t sell” and the book was “too positive” Rejected a total of 140 times. The book? Chicken Soup for the Soul. It now has 65 different titles and has sold over 80 million copies all over the world.
Was not allowed to wait on customers in the store he worked in because “he didn’t have enough sense” – F. W. Woolworth
Auditioned for All My Children and got rejected – Julia Roberts
Received 30 rejections and the author threw it in the trash. Luckily his wife fished it out again and encouraged him to resubmit it. The book was Carrie – the author Stephen King
Gandhi, gave up on this wealth, and many worldly things to first change his attitude and behaviour. Then he set on to change his fellow country men. And thus achieved the impossible and changed the world for ever.
“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” ~ James Gordon
There are a number of things we can do as individuals to develop a good positive personality that will attract others to us in a positive manner, help us achieve more, develop self-confidence and above all eventually inspire our immediate surroundings.
First, one has to be honest to self. They need to indulge in self-analysis and see for themselves how does their current personality compare. You have to take time to truly understand your rights, wrongs, character, strengths, weaknesses, and identify the need to make the necessary changes in a genuine effort to change yourself for the better and eventually become a successful, positive and greater person.
Next, be positive. Try to look at life in a lighter way. Smile and laugh at things, adopt a humorous perspective to things as and when you can. Laugh, be happy, share a joke or two, this helps you learn to take things positively and handles stress better. It is true when they say a laugher a day keeps the doctor away. It improves your health, good for your lungs, and heart. I still remember a comment on my end of school send off card, where one of the fellow students wrote that they liked me and I was their most favourite person in school they will always remember because I always had a smiley face and was spreading happiness around by being so. If you are a happy person wearing a smile always, your happy disposition usually will attract people to you, and you will always be perceived in a much better light and loved by all.
Then, show your positivity and expresses it positively as well by actions and behaviour. Be helpful and offer a helping hand to your fellow human beings. Like you and I each of us need some help or the other at times in life. Let your actions show the world of your mind and heart. Show it in actions by helping one and other. Be purposeful and useful to others. The gratitude and sense of purpose you feel by helping others is far greater. It in turn builds your own self-esteem and gains more respect and appreciation from others.
And last but certainly not least, learn to and strive to become a better human being. Let go of ego and pride. Be humble, be polite, be kind to others, express appreciation and appreciate any good you find in others. Become the change you like to see in the world you live, if you want to see better fellow human being first you become one yourself. Become positive, become happier, do greater things for greater cause, help others, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Be human.
“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.” ~Socrates
Realize your true, authentic self. Remember that your personality and character is nothing more than how you react, act and interact in this world. How people see you and identify you by your good attributes. And this personality stems from your innermost thoughts, perceptions, ideas, and eventual actions and expressions. Allow your character be developed, let it progress, let it be unique and make it great and make it yours.
Here are some ideas to help build a positive character and personality. Following these can and will help you become more popular, likeable, loveable, and impact your life positively:
Identify yourself first: Be reasonably self-analytical and critical. Compare yourself to an ideal personality you seek to become and ask yourself why that personality. Identify areas you need to develop or improve. Try to understand who you really are, where do you come from, and what are the good and bad morals and values of who you truly are.
Recognize the need for improvement and progress: Realize your pitfalls and mistakes. List areas of improvement and development needed. See where you what to be, how do you want to be, how do you want people to see you as. In doing so, ensure you are being realistic and are aiming for honest, moral and positive attributes.
Learn willingly and openly: Learn from others, pick their goodness and good wisdom, and reject their bad habits and beliefs. Search for good sources to learn from all and every experience from your life. Don’t reject anyone or any things you can learn from. Wise wisdom can be found in any place from anyone, so can immoral aspects. Choose the good and keep learning.
Take charge and responsibility: Know that you have the capability and courage to become who you want. Be determined and take charge of your own development. Not doing anything will not get you anywhere. So, become responsible and a confident individual.
Be genuine and honest: Be honest in your efforts. Be honest to self and be honest with others. Your honesty is clearly visible. Do not take others for fools and assume they can’t see your dishonesty. If people do not react it doesn’t mean they believe you. Your honest is very clearly visible in your actions, deeds, and words.
Be considerate and polite: Develop basic skills to behave, talk, act and think in a considerate and polite manner. By respectful of others before you expect them to show these attributes to you.
Follow through with your commitments: When you give your word or commit to something, be bold, courageous and honorable enough to follow through with your actions. Whether it is in a relationship or work, one has to learn the value of integrity and consequences of misleading someone and having them pin their hopes, desires, wishes and emotions to their commitment. A person, who doesn’t stand by their word and follow through in actions, will never be able to find true happiness or respect within or from others.
Be selective and aware of your choice of words: Use positive words always. Speak softly, yet clearly and firmly. Think of sentences and words before you speak to avoid misunderstandings. Use kind and eloquent words when and where possible. Control your voice when you speak. Be aware and respectful of your surroundings. Think how you are coming across to your audience.
Be sensible with criticism: Do not criticize. You may casually be critical amongst your close friends and family, but be aware there is a limit there too. If people laugh along with you it doesn’t mean they approve of your criticism. And remember that there is only a fine line between criticism, constructive criticism, condemnation and character assassination.
Be a good listener: One of the key factors is to be a good listener. Learn to be patient, show genuine interest, look them in the eye, and truly listen to what they are saying to you. Ask questions, don’t interrupt, and be considerate.
Motivate and Inspire: Speak words and act in a manner that inspires and motivates others to become positive and happier. I call these putting butterflies in their stomachs. Say things to help others that make sense and makes then smile and ticklish in their stomach. Recognize Good and appreciate it: If you recognize and appreciate a good behavior in a person, it makes the other person repeat this particular behavior more. When you see good, walk up to this person and express your appreciation. You thereby build their confidence and boost their positive behavior.
Be generous and helpful and expect nothing in return: Help others generously. Help by sharing knowledge, teach, share wealth with the poor, share your wisdom, your experiences, and share your goodness. Do it with humility by understanding you too take and need others help in life. Do it freely as a good human being and expect nothing in return.
Be humble and grateful: Thank people, give away your ego in exchange for gratefulness. Be nice, and do not show off. Let yourself be known by your character and elegance. Not as a shameless and cheap loud mouth.
Be honorable and loyal: Keep your, morals, values, principles and honor intact. People will learn to depend on you based on these virtues.
Carry a great sense of humor: This one attribute will help you sail through any problems, complexities, stress and relationships. Take a lighter look at situations and learn to see the funnier side of things. Laugh at them and share the laughter. Learn to laugh at yourself.
Don’t procrastinate: Make it a habit daily to list things, then prioritize them and aim to complete the top three at least in a given day always. This will eventually give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment and impact your attitude positively.
Take care of your appearance: Don’t become careless and disregard your appearance. Always aim to look good, maintain good hygiene, appear to be clean, smell good, and dress well. Take care of your health, weight, and appearance.
Earn respect: Don’t expect people to respect your title, age or gender. Earn their respect by behaving in a manner that contributes to your title, age and gender. Earn the right to give advice, comment, or speak. Give respect before you expect it from others. Command respect by your behavior; do not shamelessly demand it when you do not get any.