Life is not all smooth sailing. Some days it will be up and other days it will be down. That’s the Dichotomy of nature. Nothing is permanent on this Good God’s Green Earth. If today you are enjoying good times, it’s inevitable that someday in future the tables will turn and you will have to face the other side of the coin. Tough times, hardships, failures, these all are part and parcel of life. Only those who have the toughness, courage, mindset and right amount of spiritual strength to fight any kind of battle, may it be from the outer or the inner world, can survive and thrive these difficult times. Otherwise how often do we see a lot of people, just going through the motions. If you don’t believe me, next time whenever you are travelling in a metro, bus, an airport or just across the street while you are going for your work, try to identify the following characters:
– Someone who has his shoulders shrugged down, no enthusiasm and excitement for the day, as if they are cursing the world and asking for sympathy for their helplessness and lack of purpose.
– Someone who lies, cheats and steals from others because he thinks that if he doesn’t do so, other people will take advantage of him.
– Someone who is bipolar i.e. when he is around people he behaves and acts so nicely and warmly but as soon as they leave him alone, the bitching and planning starts.
– Someone who does not have own sense of worth and go about their life just to make others happy and in doing so he loses his own ‘self’ and feel lost and blue all the time.
– Someone who gives in to the pressure of work and relationships easily and because of the inability to face the tough moments, he projects his frustrations and failures on others.
We all know these people. Some of them exist in our neighbourhood, workplace, gyms or even our own home. When we give in to the unfavourable situations projected by the outer world, in the process we also create discomfort or harm for others that represents weakness in our Character. Rather than being pro-active, we become reactive. Rather than taking control of our own behaviour, we let others control it.
The major dysfunction is that most of our learning takes place during the formative years when we were weak and did not have a lot of control over our situations and behavior. Most of the qualities and characteristics that we have today are result of our past conditioning from our parents, our teachers and friends who themselves were never taught any ways to find their real ‘SELF’. Majority of our behaviour and internal misery is a result of the preconditioning of childhood. Of course we are not responsible but we must not use it an excuse to not take the responsibility now. I love the following expression
We have to take Responsibility in our own hand for something we were not Responsible of!
So let’s get rolling and Unravel the 5 Basic Principles for building a Strong Character:-
How many times have we gone to a store to buy something and found the salesperson likeable but somehow, not trustworthy? We come back without making the purchase. Same is the example with e-commerce business. Only those sites which have strong character traits like good customer care, good quality of products, fast shipping and fast refunds , can build a sense of trust in their customers. We may like or dislike the personality of other person but it’s their character that we trust.
The world is already an insecure place. People are already misusing their powers which have created an environment of insecurity and mistrust. The world need more people with strong character, in whom they can show their trust and make this world a much secure place to live.
2. Non-stop Learner
It’s inevitable that we are going to make mistakes at some point in our lives. Only God doesn’t make mistakes. In fact, if you do know someone who has never committed a mistake, then you know someone who has never done anything considerable anyways.
Making a mistake is not the end of the world but repeating, defending and lying about it can spell disaster. We need to be man enough to say, “ Yes, I committed that mistake and next time I am going to improve on that.” Only by accepting our mistakes and honing our character, we can be sure of better results. Otherwise we will keep living in the delusional world. Wise people learn from their mistakes, but the wisest learn from others’ mistakes. That’s what great leaders do.
A person with a strong character is responsible. Being Responsible means that the person relies on his integral value system to differentiate between the right and wrong. Responsibility creates self-respect which in turn leads to high Self-Esteem. He knows the difference between doing the right thing for the right reason vs. doing the right thing for the wrong reason. He projects a sense of true maturity. It is cultivated by good values and immense self discipline. The most endearing benefit of being Responsible is that it fosters harmony in ever are of one’s life.
4. Intuitive and Spiritual
A person with strong character is not just Head Smart. He is connected both to his Head and Heart. Both elements work in harmony and he achieves this feat by a strong sense of inner connection developed by strong spiritual habits like meditation and self-awareness. Life is a moral as well as a spiritual journey.
When we find ourselves on unfamiliar grounds, it is the Character that helps us identify ours and others strengths and weakness. It connects us with our inner self and to other people. It’s the intuition – our gut feeling which teaches us what to look for and what to overlook, when to fight and when to walk away, when to take advice and when to make one’s own decisions. Otherwise we are already living in the world of chaos.
We need to embrace our originality and our real ‘self’ to live honorably. Some people value respectability and status symbols more than who we actually are. Over a period of time they realize that just to make others happy or just to protect their reputation, they somewhere and somehow have lost themselves in the midst of all this chaos.
When they realize this, they start blaming their parents and anyone who ever had a bad influence on them. They behave like this just to hide their own weaknesses and sense of worthlessness. In the process they also harm and envy others who are living a happier and contented life. We care too much what other people think of us and a strong Character always makes sure that we know who we actually are!
Always remember “Houses that look alike from outside may not be similar within.” One may have a weak foundation and get blown away by the slightest of wind. The other may have an unshakable foundation, and withstand great adversity. It is the same with Character. Just like no long lasting structure is built on a weak foundation, a worthy and fulfilling life cannot be built on a weak character.