Life is an expedition on which we learn as we grow. It’s worthwhile to Question – Are we here just to raise families; make a living; self-enjoyment or to make some meaningful contribution to this world that could give us Long-Term Success and Holistic Contentment. Am bringing to you 4 Powerful requisites to help us attain this and guard ourselves against getting stagnant.
1 Character Ethics Centric living
Subconsciously we all fathom Character ethics, Yet we chase to acquire personality ethics, which are unconditionally superficial, while the Character ethics are deep-rooted and everlasting Principles.
My recent study echoed as a reminder for acknowledgment and affirmation of the Core Character Ethics.
Lately, a lot of new team members joined our office, I observed how they quickly made efforts to mix around in their new environment acquiring the personality traits of those around them. I say Personality traits as that is the Cursory layer that gets noticed first, as it does take a while to perceive the Character traits. And also giving in to our monkey genes we do instantly imagine our surroundings. After all, it is also vital to be befitting into our new haven. At the same time, it is crucial to remember to keep our character ethics strong, not to let them loose in trying to acquire the personality ethics which may seem simpler and glamorous.
That also reminds me of my many experiences when I enter a flight, check in to a hotel, or for that matter going to a shopping mall. I could strongly observe the Personality traits. The adapted mannerisms, so spectacular that it almost gets a common man cognizant and embarrassed. A gracious smile is eager to support you with even the smallest of your concerns.
Of course, I guess, it's all attired to make you comfortable; now you are getting conscious or comfortable is altogether another debate.
The point I am trying to make here is that Personality traits are like a flash in the pan… Loud noise, Whoosh and vanished ….The Character Ethics are like salt and the other ingredients, not visible but without which apparently, everything is bland.
Ironical fact: The world today is living, looking at things through an Ornate Mirage.
A couple of days back an old, Hindi speaking man entered our office, discriminatory as it may sound, he appeared less polished to our perceived eyes. The first observation for everyone was his Personality ethics, he seemed completely misfitting to the habitat. But as the discussion progressed.. the deeper convictions of the man started emerging. Shattering all our false perceptions or the so-called first impression. His calmness was intriguing. A thoroughbred.. life's experiences had strengthened his resolve. The final impression stayed longer. Nothing wrong with personality ethics... it also has its own importance in polishing our outer appearance. It is about attaching too much focus on it. What is of utmost importance is how deep-rooted our values are. Long-lasting relationships and trust are established based on the character ethics of any individual.
In the last fifty years, success literature has mainly focused on Personality Ethics – How to polish the outer skin to get your work done. Prior to that for almost 150 years success literature focused on Character Ethics – How to lead a Holistically Rich, contended Life and do the work in righteousness.
When we dive into our ancient Vedic scriptures, we would corroborate that the primary knowledge given at that time was majorly revolving around character building; the strong essential principles to lead life incorrectness -
Higher principles like:
Integrity | Courage | Justice | Responsibility | Fidelity | Faith | Compassion | Contribution |
Whereas in the modern education system, we are only being taught personality traits that are more of shortcut and quick-fix solutions.
That is why today we face so many complexities of life because most people are unaware and not living a life based on the stronger character principles. It is time we all deeply understand and value the character ethics over personality ethics for ourselves and work on passing it on to our next generations…
Character ethics are actually deeply embedded within every soul; we just need to develop the consciousness to actually start practicing and living them...Living life on Character ethics can seem like testing sometimes, but these are age-old principles, undeclared guidelines to live this life, that help attain long-run success, harmony, and wellness.
2 Power of Association
A common saying as it goes, lead by examples not by preaching. What can really elevate us from living an individualistic life to a life where we can make a contribution to someone else is when we can actually identify the value of every living soul. This feeling can get ignited in us only when we realize that every soul is part and parcel of the same source. It’s essential to start living a life based on these fundamental timeless principles and not just on superficial traits.
Of course, all these Modern age traits and techniques are important to learn to better deliver our ideas but first, it is more important is to actually derive the ideas which are deeper. Once we are able to believe and inculcate these ideas into everyone's lives around us including our own that is when we can actually start making a difference.
We can demonstrate these core principles only by living them because as a Learned Soul said, “ Your actions speak so loudly of what you are, that I am not able to hear what you say.”
It is critical to developing values such as Integrity, Justice, Compassion, Loyalty. When we follow these values automatically those around us catch them like magnets and start adapting them in their life. This transcendence for transfer of the value system is so strong yet subtle that even if you don't realize it, it gets transmitted in all those around you - that is what we call the Power of Association.
There is a family friend in Punjab, her 18-year-old son returned from a Boarding school, even after returning parents due to their busy professional lives were able to give little time to their son. He was down on self-esteem, got in the association with a group of friends, and started taking excessive drugs. By the time the family learned about his habits, it was really late and his chances of reversal became really bleak.
Another family I know, conducted kirtan in their home every morning. The atmosphere of the house was really pious, they had no television in the house and the entire family was well-read. The children incognizant to mention, were strong individuals, very well cultured, spiritually rich, ready to take on life challenges.
So what we understand here in these examples, is the Power of Association. The association we pick largely starts defining us, so it is really in our hands and very critical to pick our association correctly.
3 New level thinking
As Albert Einstein observed, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
So we got to internalize, expand our horizon and adapt to a New Level of Thinking. A new level of thinking can be developed with the right knowledge.
To develop a new level of thinking we must follow:
** The Golden Triangle Rule **
- -- LEARN – APPLY -- TEACH
When we learn and get an understanding of any new principle and apply it, it helps us internalize the facts. Teaching makes it embed deeper into our daily life.
Once we attain knowledge and apply one principle in our life, it becomes our habit, we then move on to learning new ones, likewise this Golden Triangle of Learning, Applying and Teaching goes on, helping us to keep evolving and entering into a New Level of Thinking.
Developing a new level of thinking is basically an inside-out process. We all are born with these age-old principles naturally embedded within us. Due to our experiences, circumstances we get conditioned differently. Like Lord Hanumana had all his powers within himself but was in forgetfulness, once reminded, was able to use all his majestic powers. Similarly, once we are able to remove our multiple dusty layers by taking the right knowledge and come in remembrance of our core values, we can enter the New Level Thinking.
I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderfully talented people who are seeking happiness and success in personal and professional life but honestly I have never come across lasting solutions that came from the outside-in approach. The outside-in approach is always more superficial and short-lived whereas the Inside out approach is everlasting.
4 Effective Self-Growth
Effective self-growth is changing yourself in small quantum every day for your better self, competing only against yourself.
In today's fast-changing times, we get obsolete very fast, if we do not continuously keep working on our self-growth. Very soon we realize how the young gens come and replace the more experienced professionals even though the experienced professionals have a lot more value to add, but just due to their stagnancy and rigidity in their self-growth they become irrelevant in the demanding times.
Steve Jobs said “Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry” – It simply meant to keep the child alive in you, stay hungry and innocent to be receptive to new learnings, doesn’t develop a know-it-all attitude. The know-it-all attitude kills our possibilities of Self-Growth.
For effective self-growth, I am sharing a simple Mental Conditioning Pie, which gives us the knowledge of:
- -- WHY TO / WHAT TO – HOW TO – WANT TO –
- (SOFT SKILLS) (TECHNICAL SKILLS) (DESIRE)
The WHY TO/ WHAT TO is developed by the soft skills that arise out of curiosity, knowledge. The knowledge was the Primary knowledge of Character building and was taught in all the scriptures and our ancient times. These are more deeply embedded principles that lay the foundation for why we must do anything so that we find the right purpose of doing whatever we are doing. Somehow this knowledge has gone missing in our Modern culture education system, thereby so many sufferings.
Then we need to focus on the technical skill that is HOW TO which are move modern and ever-changing techniques that can be acquired from time to time.
Then most important is the WANT TO, the Desire. Self-growth is possible when we develop and nurture the desire to move forward.
Stephen R Covey, a renowned author in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly effective people’ shared a powerful concept of the Glittering Golden Eggs which he defines as the P / PC balance (Product / Production Capability).
This can be easily understood by the fable of the Goose and the Golden Eggs. A fable about the poor farmer when he one day comes across one golden egg he thinks it is a trick. When he finds it the next day and the next day, he starts collecting the Golden Eggs and gets very rich. But soon his desires become bigger, then the production that he was getting of one Golden Egg every day seems less. He decides to cut the stomach of the Goose and get all the Golden Eggs in one day. Which meant that he destroyed his Production Capability – the PC, in his greed.
In the long term, we all need to understand how to maintain the balance of the P/ PC. If he had given love and care to the golden goose it would have produced Golden Eggs for him all his life.
Like when I bought my car, I kept using it for years without servicing it and the engine got choked. The car became a waste. If I had serviced my car from time to time and increased its Production Capability (PC) I could have enjoyed the Product (P) much longer.
Like-wise if we keep servicing our own Production Capability (PC) by upgrading our skills, we can be Productive (P) much longer.
In short, to attain mutually beneficial results, the correctness of attitude to derive at solutions apt for any problem-solving in our lives, sustain long-term Success and Holistic Contentment, we need to :
- Conceive the Character Ethics Centric living
- Recognize the Power of Association
- Develop New Level thinking
- Nurture our Effective Self Growth
Bhagwat Gita is one scripture, if we follow sincerely, can actually ignite and embed these qualities strongly within us.
The Supreme Divine Personality said: O scion of Bharat, these are the saintly virtues of those endowed with a divine nature—fearlessness, purity of mind, steadfastness in spiritual knowledge, charity, control of the senses, performance of sacrifice, study of the sacred books, austerity, and straightforwardness; non-violence, truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, restraint from fault-finding, compassion toward all living beings, absence of covetousness, gentleness, modesty, and lack of fickleness; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, bearing enmity toward none, and absence of vanity. – Bhagavad Gita 16.1 - 3