There is a huge gap between what you think you are and what you really are. Everyone has an idealistic image of themselves which they aspire to become and manifest one day. This is a slow process, requiring diligence, patience, virtue, understanding of oneself as well as others. The biggest challenge is to break the predominant patterns and rigid process laid out by society, the assemblage that has given up on themselves. Society focuses on reputation, not on character, but on what the world thinks and how you appear to them, not what you are from the inside.
As Robin Sharma, International Leadership Guru, would put it,
‘You are what you think about all day long. You are also what you say to yourself all day long. If you say that you are old and tired, this mantra will be manifested in your external reality. If you say that you are weak and lack enthusiasm, this too will be the nature of your world. But if you say that you are healthy, dynamic and fully alive, your life will be transformed. Words have remarkable power.’
In order to live a life full of meaning and be true to yourself you must first attain what matters most to you, what touches your heart. This is the toughest of tasks, as we are geared towards pleasing others, conditioned to live as per the expectations of others, worry more about how we appear, than about what we are becoming and how honest we are to ourselves.
It requires breaking the rigid, powerful, cyclical, monotonous rut you have put yourself into. You need to be aware, see clearly, take a pause and breathe in the realization of existing scenario.
A clearer approach as laid out by Robin Sharma, ‘You will never be able to eliminate a weakness you don’t even know about. The first step to eliminating a negative habit is to become aware of it. Once you develop an awareness about the behavior you are trying to change, you will be well on your way to replacing it with one that is more helpful. Just as shadows held into the light dissolve, weaknesses brought into the light of self-awareness begin to disappear.’
Pavlov, the great experimental psychologist once said, “Ability is the product of effort.” By repeatedly making efforts in a way that naturally accords with our personality and ability, we can foster and develop that ability even to the point where other consider it genius. We might compare using the aptitude or talent we are born with to digging a small hole in the ground – something that can be done with relatively little effort. Digging a deep hole, however, requires far more effort. With continued wholehearted effort, we can tap and cultivate magnificent power and capability. We need not worry then about our apparent level of intelligence or capability at the present. If we instead resolve to apply ourselves seriously, our ability will definitely blossom, and we will be able to accomplish great things.
‘Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.’ Albert Einstein’s words and his life’s work a testament of that. But this is not what happens at present, even with current advancements in the fields of education, technology and science. Though at some small level, it is taking place, but not a the scale that it should be happening and not at that primordial level of being it should begin at.
Another thought to inspire intellectual thinking, by John Wooden,
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.