Dear Readers, I assume you would agree with the following statement from George Bernard Shaw: “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.” It taught me a lot about personality development, especially since my teen years. And, this happens to be yet another component of my continuing confessions, in the hope someone, somewhere may benefit from the same.
SEE PARTS III AND PRIOR BELOW ⤵︎
My first attempt highlighted how I managed to create and maintain a proper balance in mine and my family’s life. Part II unraveled the secrets to keeping failure away by seeking inspiration from some other well-known leaders in their individual fields. Part III touched upon the significance of relationships in general, but friendship in particular. We discussed the far-reaching value of real friends and how to identify them. As we move forward, focusing on the views, vision, and variety of high-achievers, we shall explore a vast treasure-trove of gems hidden within the messages. Not only that, but you will also find live examples that made a direct impact on my psyche through different stages of life.
Our analytical faculties need to absorb the available information first before giving their verdict. In the meantime, instinct comes into play, resulting in favorable treatment of the story, whether visual or auditory. Of course, our belief system acts as the precursor to such a momentary decision. At times, we could be manipulated by specific direct or even indirect influences. An example could be found in the origin of such an argument. Perhaps, it comes from a person of higher status or superior intellect. Naturally, we shall be more inclined to accept the given idea rather than contradict it, for fear of reprisal.
Lucky for me, the way I was brought up! My parents and maternal grandfather always insisted that all my siblings and I took a deep breath before responding to any query. Not only that, but they also helped form in all of us an intuitive habit of counting from 1-to-10 before making a statement. This allowed us to weigh our opinions, and of course, our immediate demands from the right perspective. It gave us time to craft our messages per the situation. The end-result always was a fair resolution.
My next choice of valuable learning comes from Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving First Lady of the United States of America. I always found her advice resonating with what I learned from my elders: “Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I took it as an awakening, an admonition, if you will, and reassured my strength as an individual, a thinker, an actor, a decision-maker. It infused within me the courage to stand my ground with dignity and not to succumb to any pressure under any circumstances. Her second piece of advice also significantly impacted my growth as an upright individual if that was not enough. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” It instilled in me a great deal of compassion and an urgent sense of respecting every living form. Above all else, I realized the pressing need to give the same respect to others as I would expect from them. I like to act as a magnet that draws people to a deep-rooted sense of self-respect, a higher level of productivity, and a greater faith in giving their best.
I never chased perfection, but it does not mean I was always happy with the mediocre. On the contrary, I was brought up with a belief-system more or less identical to the excellent advice of Vince Lombardi, the much-loved NFL Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 60s. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” I have formed a habit of religiously ensuring any or all assignments I undertake. I MUST REVISIT twice before the final submission. This way, I have ample opportunity to tie any loose ends, make last-minute adjustments, improve, and even eliminate any errors in hindsight. I know I cannot call it perfection, but would you consider such revision to achieve excellence? I am sure you will!
Let us consider the following confession from Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Proof of his greatness lies in the following statement on the official NBA website: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Can we take the lead from the astronomical success from the confines of repeat failures this persistent sportsman uncovered? Of course, we can, and we must!
Please stay tuned for more in Part V.