Moving on lets look at the next 13 principles which we need to carry with us.
Be someone with a character whom you would be proud of. Show respect for everyone and never do anything which would make your parents or your children ashamed of you. I was having an interesting conversation with a good friend the other day and we were discussing about how we tend to see everything as right or wrong. He said something very simple but powerful. He said that if at the end of the day you don’t feel good on the inside after doing something, it’s probably not something which you should have done. Only you can judge yourself. Be kind and polite to people and as they say at the organisation I work, “Do the Right Thing”
Let me tell you a secret to growth and success. Have an open mind to ideas, views, opinions and people in general. One of our biggest challenges in life is to be able to accept that there can be different flavours of reality. The reason for this is that each one of us has been brought up with our own version of reality and if we see or hear anything which does not confine to this sphere of understanding, our immediate reaction is to discard it. On the outside we might say that we are open to ideas and suggestions but internally we have more often made up our beliefs, opinions and views. We are so attached to our ideas, views and opinions that there have been wars fought to provide that we were right. One of things that I learnt early on in my life is to have an open mind to ideas, views and opinions. An open mind gives you a completely different perspective to things and helps us truly understand what the other person thinks. You don’t have to always agree to the person’s point of view but at least you will understand.
What is my purpose in Life? To be honest I’m still figuring it out. I know my purpose cannot be just to work for someone else for the rest of my life, bring up a family, give good schooling to my children, be a good father, husband, son, friend, manager, etc. There is definitely something beyond and much more meaningful than this. I don’t think that the purpose has to be this magnanimous thing which feels like a larger than life goal to achieve. On the contrary it is often something which is very simple yet grand in terms of what it does for you and the people around you. I do know that our larger purpose in life is to Experience and Express. There is really nothing beyond these two. Through this blog my purpose is to share my experiences with you and express my view and opinion about life. Find out what is your purpose in life. Look beyond your immediate material world and do some soul searching to find out what truly makes you happy. Listen to your heart. Your purpose could have nothing to do with your profession, but it will be something which carries a deeper meaning for you. It is usually something which you hear as a voice from the inside. Listen to that voice. Don’t ignore it or shut it up!
There is no one like you in this world! You know that. Right? Whether its biologically, mentally or spiritually, you are UNIQUE! Isn’t that marvellous? Why is it then, that we spend our lives trying to copy someone else and become someone who we are not? While it’s ok to learn from others, it should not be at the cost of losing your originality. As kids, we were often asked “Who do you want to be like when you grow up?” That’s such an ill placed question, because I want to be ME when I grow up and not someone else. Don’t be afraid to hold an opinion and stand up for it.
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything
If there is one thing all of us love giving to others it is responsibility! The moment we are asked to take responsibility for something, our immediate reaction is to come up with excuses on why it’s a bad idea to make us responsible for it. The word responsibility simply means our “ability” to “respond”. Most of the times we think we are responding to situations and circumstances in life, but what we are actually doing is “reacting”. The difference between reacting and responding is that reaction is spontaneous without much thought, while response is an action taken after having thought through it. We are where we are because of the choices we made along the path. In one of my favourite books, Man’s search for Meaning, Viktor Frankel talks about Man’s greatest freedom, the freedom to make a choice. Be bold enough to take responsibility of the choices you have made in your life.
We are all responsible for where we are in our lives, but only the successful will admit it!
A lot of people do charity. I respect these people for sharing what they have. Then there are the kinds who do propaganda on the charity that they do. True charity is doing something for someone who will never find out. True sincerity is doing something when none is watching. In my book My Work My Way, I talk about not being serious about your work, but being sincere. Whatever you do in your life, do it with all your sincerity and don’t take any shortcuts if you think it will compromise the quality of your output. When your actions originate from a place of sincerity, life becomes simpler and you have a clean conscience.
If there is one value that every parent teaches their kids, it is to be truthful. However it is a virtue we don’t practice ourselves. On a daily basis, take stock of the number of times you lie. The lie could be very small and harmless to anyone, but that does not change the fact that it is a lie. Children learn values from what they see and hear, not what we tell them. If a child tells his teacher that he failed to complete his homework because he chose to go out for a movie, we all know what response that would elicit from the teacher. On the other hand if he chose to lie and tell his teacher that he was sick, he would probably be sympathized and given love and affection. What do you think this teaches the child? It teaches him that lying helps him get love and affection and acceptance while speaking the truth gets him into trouble. As adults, this is also our belief system today. Our excuse today is that it’s an evil world out there and small lies don’t hurt anyone. If that’s the case then we either need to stop trying to teach our children to be truthful or change ourselves.
You don’t give values to your children. You have to live the values.
Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit was Seek first to Understand and then to be Understood. He sure knew what he was talking about. I’m amazed at how many people are breaking relationships on the simple pretext that the other person does not understand them. Unfortunately what they don’t realise is that what they are expecting is agreement rather than understanding. Understanding does not mean agreeing to the other person’s point of view. You can disagree with the person and yet understand their point of view. The key to understanding is acceptance. Acceptance is respecting the other persons view (even if you disagree) and refusing to force the person to change his opinion.
We have all probably heard about Vision boards. I have never used one, but I do understand and agree with the need to have a vision in your life. A vision is the final picture of how you see yourself in your mind. A vision is not always the “end” of something. Rather it’s a “state of being” of how you would like see yourself, your family or your business. A vision is driven by your “Why”. In other words it is driven by your Purpose. Without a vision you lack direction in your life and you are drifting in the river of life. A vision helps you define who you want to be. Not What but Who.
If Knowledge is potential power, then Wisdom is the use of that Power! In other words wisdom is the ability to be able to use your knowledge when necessary. You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you do not know how to use it, or worse if you use it for the wrong purposes, you lack the wisdom. Wisdom gives you the ability to make the right decisions, to make the right choices, the walk the right path and so on. It gives us the ability to bring the pieces of knowledge together almost like a jig saw puzzle and come up with the answer. It gives you the power of judgement which no school can teach you. Be prudent on how you use your knowledge. The right use will take you places and the wrong use will also take you places- the wrong ones! The concept of knowledge and wisdom is very nicely explained through the Wisdom Hierarchy or more popularly known as the DIKW pyramid
Ok I’m going to be honest here! I really could not find a word which starts with X and was a quality which I would prescribe for personal development. So I had to get a bit creative. We all know what Xcitement is. Right? But do you know that you can actually tune yourself into getting excited? The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published a study about how excitement is extremely effective in regards to performance anxiety. In one of the studies, a group of participants were instructed to prepare a speech in front of a committee. The researchers instructed some of the participants to say, “I am excited” before the speech, while other participants were told to say, “I am calm.” The researchers found in this, and many other experiments, that the participants who were told to be excited were more competent and persuasive.
They concluded that the difference between telling yourself to be calm and telling yourself to be excited comes down to how your brain responds to these statements. If you are aiming to be calm, you’re thinking about all of the things that could go wrong, but if you tell yourself to be excited, you’re thinking of everything that could go right, according to one of the researchers.
Be Xcited about everything that you do in life and you will suddenly see that the world becomes a better place.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change
Watch this Video : If he can get excited about his work so can you
You’ve got to be Hungry! Hungry for more learning & growing. Most of us are going through life instead of growing through life. You cannot help getting older, but you don’t have to be old. Work on self-mastery, keep pushing yourself and never be satisfied. Be thankful and grateful for what you receive, but keep yearning for more. I just finished reading Life is Tremendous by Charlie Jones and he says that the day you say you have learnt it all you are dead! Look around you. There is so much to know about, to learn, to share. You can NEVER stop learning if you continue Yearning!
He who learns the most, earns the most!
I walk into my office and when someone asks me how are you my answer is usually one of these three: Excellent, Great or Fantastic. It’s been interesting to see people’s responses and some have even asked me if everything was ok and if I was being sarcastic. Isn’t it strange that we all want to feel great everyday but when someone tells us they are feeling Great, we can’t believe it’s possible. Now, I don’t do this for the sake of it or I’m not trying to pretend to be unaffected by things happening around. Its just that I have truly come to appreciate life I truly and sincerely feel great every day I go to work. Yes even on a Monday! Now you are thinking there is something seriously wrong with this guy. The unfortunate thing is most people don’t understand the impact that the words have on our thoughts and emotions. Usually we will respond with “Not bad”, “Surviving”, “Couldn’t Complain” or “Could be better” or a plain “Good. Thanks”. Try and change these words to something more powerful and energetic and notice the difference. Initially you might think its stupid but after a few days you will start feeling great or excited or Fantastic or whatever you want to feel. Have excitement and energy about whatever you do in life. I don’t know of a better way to live Life!
Let me know what are your lifes golden principles? What qualities have made you successful? What has life taught you? Leave your comments below.