05 Nine Pearls of Personality
by Dharmendra Sheth
We meet lots of people every day, don’t we? Some are tall, some are dark, some are handsome, some are kind, some are honest, some are lazy, so on and so forth. You like some people and you don’t like some others. Sometimes for a reason, sometimes without a reason. This is because every one of us has a unique blend of qualities, which we call ‘PERSONALITY’.
Many people think that those who are handsome or beautiful have a good personality. Maybe—but not always. ‘Appearance’, though important, is just one of the numerous factors that contribute to one’s personality. Then what are the other most important aspects of personality and how can we develop them?
Awareness and acceptance of our uniqueness is the first and foremost aspect of our personality. Many people compare themselves with others and may end up feeling inferior. When they look around and see others’ achievements, possessions and lifestyle, they feel disappointed. They underestimate their own accomplishments and possessions. This feeling diminishes their self-respect, which in turn diminishes their personality. To overcome this problem, accept yourself as you are—your physique, your complexion, your family, your surroundings, etc. Search for what gifts or talents you have. Experiment with yourself. Find out what you are good at. Are you a good singer? Do you have leadership qualities? Can you dance? Can you excel in a sport? Can you influence or convince others? Can you draw well? Are you creative? Try your hand at various activities. Everyone has some talent. You just need to bring it out and polish it.
Second important aspect we need to concentrate on is ‘Habits’. Habit is second nature, as they say. It is said that it takes three days to learn a habit and twenty one days to form a habit and make it a part of you. One can develop either good or bad habits. Man forms habits, and then habits form man; i.e., man is known by his habits. We can easily pick up habits from others—they maybe celebrities or ordinary people we meet in our daily life. We don’t really notice our bad habits, but people do. It takes a true well-wisher, a close friend, to bring it to our attention. Then it’s up to us to regularly assess and consciously improve our habits. Some examples of good habits one can form are reading good books, keeping good company, being positive, telling the truth, being patient and tolerant. Really, it may not be easy but it is important to form good habits.
Your language is an index of your personality. It is the third pearl. Language is an integral part of one’s personality. You communicate your thoughts, views, opinions, ideas, wishes, feelings, needs, plans, requests, etc. with language. It is a tool to project your personality. “Open your mouth and I will tell you who you are.” You must have noticed that most people are very careless about the way they speak and about their choice of words. They don’t know that they are actually creating a bad impression on the listeners. The worst part is that if your language is not good, people are not going to tell you. They will tell you only when it is difficult to comprehend or thoroughly unacceptable. People wrongly believe that one can’t change the way one speaks. Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible.
Many people underestimate the power of a spoken word. If you choose a wrong word or two for a person, s/he will never forget it. A few wrong words or expressions can spoil your career or even life. That’s why centuries ago Shakespeare advised people to improve their speech by saying: “Mend your speech a little, Lest you may mar your fortunes.” It is ok if you use your local dialect to talk to people in your family and circle of friends, but the moment you talk to people at your place of work or study, you should be careful about your language. Even the tone is very important. The sentence “I am sorry” spoken in a harsh way will convey the opposite.
When you talk on the phone, your personality is projected only through your speech, because you don’t have the support of your body language. It is very important that you project a confident and pleasant personality either on the phone or face-to-face.
Another important segment of your personality is your ‘character’—the fourth pearl. You cannot fake ‘personality’. Your ‘inner you’ will come out sooner or later. That is because your behavior is the result of your character—your values. Some of the qualities that can strengthen your personality are respect for others, honesty, politeness, assistance, gratitude, expressing apology, forgiveness, truthfulness, moral courage, and so on. Let’s discuss some of them.
If you respect others, others will respect you. As simple as that. But how many of us really put it into practice. Most people are like bundles of ego. They live in superiority complex. They don’t know what they are missing in life. Such people are never welcome wherever they go.
Another important value worth holding is ‘honesty’. If you are honest, you will have tremendous inner courage and power. You can face any challenge. You will not be afraid of anyone or anything. In the heart of hearts you will know that because you have not cheated anyone, you will not have to suffer the consequences. People will be able to see your honesty through their mind’s eye. You don’t have to shout and declare that you are honest. Another thing worth noting is that honesty is not just related to money. You are dishonest if you take advantage of any person or situation undeservedly. Remember, honesty is the best policy.
A very important and useful aspect of personality is gratitude. People are so busy these days that they do not even acknowledge others’ help. Saying ‘thank you’ will instantly build a bridge between you and your listener. Even if it is a small help and even if you have paid for something, you must acknowledge the help.
The fifth pearl, or aspect of your personality is your knowledge. Knowledge is power. When I say ‘knowledge’, I do not mean just the knowledge of your field of work. For a powerful personality, you should have different types of knowledge: knowledge of the world, how people behave and react, knowledge of society, culture, customs, etc. A knowledgeable person is always respected wherever he or she goes.
How to acquire knowledge? The most important thing is sharpening our input, i.e., our senses. We acquire knowledge through senses—see, smell, taste, hear and touch. Majority of people ‘see’ but very few ‘observe’, many ‘hear’ but few ‘listen’.
One of the biggest sources of knowledge is books. You can learn so much at your own pace. For a great personality, you must spend time reading good books on a regular basis. Another source of knowledge is television. Though it is called an ‘idiot box’, it is not so if you use it wisely. It is in fact a very great resource for up to date information. And what to say of the Internet? You can get information about almost anything at the touch of a button. It is a resource available anytime, anywhere.
Apart from your teachers, your friends and family can also help you to gain knowledge. Very often it is a source grossly neglected. It is wise to take advantage of their knowledge which is easily and freely available.
Another important aspect of your personality is networking skills—your contacts, circle of friends, etc. Do you know why we achieve more when we work in a team? Because ‘TEAM’ means ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’.
Do remember that the people you usually spend time with and communicate with influence you. It is said that you become like the six people with whom you spend the most time. Their personality will rub off on you; you cannot avoid it. That is why you need to be very careful in selecting your friends. It is obvious that your ideas, beliefs and opinions are conditioned by the people around you. And so is your personality.
It is obvious that a person with a large circle will see more of life than a person with a limited circle. If you have lots of contacts, you can get your work done easily. In addition, you can help others too. This will promote a lot of respect for you, which in turn will boost your self-esteem. You will feel like an achiever. People will consider you very resourceful. You will feel happy about it. This will have a positive influence on your personality.
How you present yourself is an important aspect of your personality—pearl seven. Often what you wear reflects who, what and how you are. Your appearance matters.
Many people are careless about their dressing or they do not have a sense of dressing. But remember, before you communicate with people verbally, your appearance tells them a lot about you. They form an opinion about you. Everyone knows how important this first impression is. And when it is easy to make a good impression, it is foolish to miss this chance. With a little care, one can improve one’s appearance.
Now let’s talk about another important pearl, the eighth one, that can improve your personality, and that is tenacity, i.e., the determination to continue doing what you need to do or want to do. Most people are passive dreamers. Dreams can be fulfilled only if you consistently work hard over a long period of time. There is no substitute for hard work.
The ninth pearl is your attitude. Your attitude is the way you behave with people and deal with situations. It is based on your outlook on life. It influences your overall personality to a great extent.
People generally unknowingly fall prey to a particular type of attitude and do not even bother about it. It is important to look back at regular intervals and analyse how you generally behave in different situations and with different people. Is there any dominant pattern? Are you generally critical of others? Do you always doubt others’ intentions? Do you always accept what others say? Do you always think negatively? Do you depend on others’ views before forming your own opinion? These and many other questions like these will tell you what type of attitude you have. After critically studying your own attitude, you can consciously adopt a particular attitude that you like.
So, friends, these are the nine pearls of personality that I wanted to share with you. I hope you like them and will use them judiciously to improve your personality. Wish you all the best. Have a great personality, have a great life.