Change into greater beings


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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 some subtle and some major 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. 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 people.  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 mostly 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 evolve continuously by making progress by making positive changes to our  behaviour and attitude towards life and people 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. As intelligent human beings sharing this world and resources 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. And this change we intent to bring into others should not be forced, asked or told, but rather such changes should be inspired by our character, deeds, actions and behaviours.

“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. When 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 be 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 in 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. We would rather blame our surroundings, the world and the dog two doors down for our problem and misery but ourselves.  What we make this world out to be is from our very own mind and thinking. 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 overcame the unthinkable oppositions and hardships to change themselves and the world around them.

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~Harold Wilson

If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are.  For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained.  Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.  ~Saint Augustine

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. All of these individuals over came their hardships, rejections, stifling obstacles and yet persevered to over come them and achieve things that seems impossible once. This was perhaps accomplished due to their persistent drive to change themselves, their thinking and attitude towards their unwavering goal and belief in their own abilities and skills.  They did not give in to criticism or rejections, but took them in their stride, analyzed their mistakes and made the changes they needed to over come their faults and pave their own way to success. Their lives should stand as pillars of proof for every one of us that we are not unique in facing obstacles, hardships or rejections. Instead it is perhaps a very necessary process that we need to face to help us become better and enable us to achieve greater things in life. 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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 John Wayne – Before his successful acting career he was rejected from the United States Naval Academy.

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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.

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Beethoven – His music teacher once told him that he was a hopeless composer.

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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.

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Babe Ruth – This baseball legend struck out 1,330 times.

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Henry Ford – The Ford Motor Co was Henry Ford’s third business, the first two didn’t work out.

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Winston Churchill – This former British Prime Minister did poorly in school and had a speech impediment in his early years.

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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.

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Walt Disney – He was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking in ideas.

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Soichiro Honda – The founder of Honda was turned down for an engineering job by Toyota after World War Two.

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Charles Darwin – His father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.

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Albert Einstein – He learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.

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Thomas Edison – As a boy he was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.

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Isaac Newton- He failed at running the family farm and did poorly in school.

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The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business. The actor? – Harrison Ford

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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

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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.

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Was not allowed to wait on customers in the store he worked in because “he didn’t have enough sense” – F. W. Woolworth

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Auditioned for All My Children and got rejected – Julia Roberts

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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

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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 several 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 themself when it comes to analyzing their own life. They need to indulge in self-analysis and see for themselves how does their current personality compare. One has to take time to truly understand their rights, wrongs, character, strengths, weaknesses, and identify the need to make the necessary changes in a genuine effort to change.

Next, be positive. Try to look at life with some humor and dignity. 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 handle 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. 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 yourself 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 by the practice of balanced self-criticism in an honest effort to self improve. 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. 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 to be developed, let it progress, let it be unique and make it great and make it yours.

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