Everyone knows that what we learn during our childhood becomes our character. To build a strong character we have been taught many things during our early years by our parents, teachers, and elders. We have been told numerous stories and sung poems to adapt moral and social qualities, which later becomes part of our personalities. Our elders try to inculcate these moral habits during the early life so that when we start dealing with real-world and real problems of life, the choices we make are based on our character.
We fundamentally learn how to live in society. But let us ponder on the simple question, as to how many of us have been taught the art of living? I agree we should learn the essentials to live in society. But how many of us are aware of the qualities which we should have learnt in the initial stage of life to live a happy, joyous and content life?
I believe my parents were so protective that they tried to keep the bitter realities of life away from me during my childhood. I wish they could have understood or remembered that whatever they are teaching me will, later on, become my character, and it will subsequently become a behavioral pattern.
I wish that I was taught these qualities and values at an early age which I could use later on to face the harsh realities of life. It could have developed the right way, creative way and positive thinking patterns in me. I would have dealt with many obstacles in my life with a different approach. I wish I was taught these:
The usual way of forgiving is not the correct way to deal with your emotional pain. It doesn’t bring any peace to your conscious rather it hurts you more at a much deeper level. When you think that those emotions disappeared, they actually are suppressed somewhere deeper where you won’t be able to look. So you end up with some deep layers of emotions without your knowledge.
How would you heal yourself unless you know that you have those wounds? These hidden emotions hurt you time and again by coming to the surface in another form but you don’t recognize them. Forgiveness is just a cover-up to your pain by blaming others and forgiving them later for your own ego satisfaction.
You must look at your own emotions rather blame others and filling yourself with utter pain, hatred, and resentment. (Read more about forgiveness in another article “Forgiveness – The Truth”)
2. Be Non-Judgmental
I remember during my childhood, my parents always taught me not to talk to strangers and little later how to judge people as to whether they are good or not. This was initially to know people around me and then understand them. If I didn’t feel good about them, then not to have them around or not to be around them.
There was also something I noticed in everyone’s / elder’s behavior as I have been very observant throughout my life. I observed that my elder would meet new people then will observe their clothes, jewelry and behavior and later everyone will exchange their observations with the rest of the family or friends; then they will decide whether they should have any further association with those new people.
I have observed a lot of things during these family and friends sessions which I will write later on. So here I learnt how to criticize others and how to judge them. But later on in real life situation, it becomes a problem when we start scanning others and make judgments inside us.
Many a time we misjudge people. Our behavior changes according to these thoughts and we are no more what we were. We start becoming someone what we are not. This happened to me too and I really started feeling bad inside because I have to be what I am not. I decided not to be judgmental, who I am not.
Thus I acquired knowledge of not being judgmental. It’s an ugly characteristic which really affects not our own lives badly but also the lives of people who are around us. We fill up our behavior with all nonsense which is not required at all.
3. Not to play Blame games
I believe many of us learn this very fast as to how to blame others for anything which went wrong. We repeatedly do this to protect ourselves instead of accepting our own fault. But we should promise ourselves not to do that again and improve ourselves. Our brains are trained in such a way as to think of our own survival first and find the easiest, risk-free ways to live.
While grasping on these survival strategies we subconsciously start reacting the way that every good happens in our life because of us and everything bad happens due to others. Amidst playing all these blame games we don’t realize that this constant habit of putting blame on others is keeping us behind on our own growth path.
We are at loss here and no one else. While focusing on how to blame others we forget to realize our own faults/weakness and thus don’t improve or learn from our mistakes. If you have not learnt this yet, then learn it fast as this can be the biggest barrier between you and your success.
So start accepting your imperfections, take responsibility for your own deeds and put efforts into the direction of improvisation. Blaming others can only bring bitterness into your relationships; no good will come out of this. Moreover, you will keep on wasting your valuable energy into stupid activities of finding faults in others, which is severely detrimental in any relationship.
4. Acceptance of others
Acceptance is a tiny yet powerful word. While being judgmental we also develop this habit of not accepting others as they are or who they are. That continuous desire to criticize others and finding faults in others makes it difficult for us to accept others with their totality. The habit of non-acceptance affects mostly our relationships.
Because even if we disagree with any of the concerned person’s qualities we get into a relationship by keeping a mindset of changing another person later on. But somewhere we are rejecting the other person’s persona or part of their persona. This habit of ours makes the relationship sour at the subconscious level.
As a result of this nagging nature, we make other people feel unacceptable. Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are including our own selves. Right? You might not like some of the habits of the people around us. But we should learn to appreciate other gifted qualities rather than rejecting unlikable qualities.
Once we start accepting others, our relationships become smoother and loving. Along with that, our own lives also become easier as we don’t fight inside our own brains and constantly think about how to change others.
5. Recognize my best and worst qualities
During my school life, I have been educated a lot of knowledge. Being a quick learner and a sharp-eyed I absorbed huge knowledge from my surroundings. I was expected to learn all the subjects in the school, but one thing I missed was to observe myself about my strength and weakness.
Every elder around me only concentrated to teach me that was available in the surrounding, outside me. No one ever told me that self-assessment and self-awareness are also needed to grow and become successful in life. After so many setbacks I learnt it and grew upward in life. As much as knowledge about surroundings is needed; our inner world understanding is as equally needed too.
6. Learn to make the best use of my strengths or get into a field where I could use my strengths
Everyone always told me to work on my weaknesses if wanted to be successful in my career. But no one explained to me that some weaknesses are inherent and part of my nature. These weaknesses cannot be overcome. Moreover, they can be weaknesses from their point of view but these are actually neither good or bad these are just there; inside me; as a part of me.
They are part of my nature. They were not aware that the best way to be successful in life is to use my strengths and work in a field which is favorable to my strengths. Instead of fighting with my weakness and struggling with an internal conflict, I could have used all my energy towards getting success by utilizing my very strengths.
7. Accepting my body and loving it
I am blessed that I was born in a family where I have been taught how to lead a healthy lifestyle. But one thing my elders failed to understand that I also need to be taught was to how to accept, respect and love my own body. They taught me well how to take care of it.
You might have noticed some people fail to accept their bodies as they are and start abusing it too. If we don’t have the desired body like someone else who has a perfect body as per our thoughts, we start disrespecting it. This abuse, internal negativity towards our own bodies make us ill and deteriorates our health.
We start losing confidence and try to ignore social gathering, which further leads us to an isolated lifestyle. We reach a stage where we start feeling lonely and become depressed. If we cannot accept our own bodies then how will we accept someone else; which happens in case of relationship.
We fall into the idea that if we don’t love our own body then how can someone else like our body and fall in love with us. My relationship improved once I started accepting, respecting and loving my body.
8. Be fearless
Even though I was rebellious since my childhood, I had no fear of darkness or strangers or isolated / abandoned places. But I remember my mother tried every possible way to fill fear inside me. She must have thought by doing this, she is protecting me. But all those fears affected my life very badly.
I could save myself due to my rebellious nature. Because I did not pay much heed to some of her instructions due to my curious nature. I accept she had good intentions. However, she lacked the vision of seeing it affecting my future. I learned to be fearless on my own. I obeyed her on most of the times.
But when it was necessary to take initiative in order to grow or to achieve something, I did many things by facing those fears. All of which of course took a lot of courage to face fears, to let them go and move forward.
Yet I wish everyone could have kept their own experiences to themselves or could have found another way to teach me something instead of filing those fears in me; the fear of the unknown. When you have no fear of the unknown, you become really successful by jumping into unknown and grabbing opportunities.
9. Don’t follow others blindly
I agree that if we have to learn something then we may have to follow someone who has done that before. However, following someone does not mean to believe in each and everything that others say. We should also try to find the facts and reason the same.
When we start believing others blindly, we stop using our own intelligence and can be made to work on the wrong path. Moreover, we stop growing. Following someone can add value to our lives like we should follow our teachers, mentors, and parents. But we should also use our own power of reasoning. So that we cannot be made fool easily.
We can find an appropriate path according to our own nature and own desires. Also, we don’t disrespect our intelligence by ignoring it every time. We should take own chances and try new things or choose different paths; if we don’t do so then we will never grow in life.
10. Don’t estimate your own powers on the basis of other’s words
We should believe in ourselves; our own intelligence. We should not rely on other’s perspective towards us. Like we become very happy when someone praises us and become very sad if someone criticizes us.
We should do our own work and should be content with that, should not wait for other people to notice it or praise it. This attitude makes us attention seeker. Also, our happiness becomes dependent on others. Others views start impacting our thoughts and behaviors. We start condemning ourselves as to what people will think and say. I wish I learnt this self-contentment when I was a child.
11. Don’t compare yourself with others
We must learn this that everyone is unique; so why everybody should be compared to others? Does it make any sense? No. Right? But yet it happens with every child that they are regularly compared to their peers. Be it the marks obtained by the child or the extracurricular activities, our parents always compare us to the neighborhood child.
This kind of behavior done by them start developing feelings such as inferiority, jealousy, and anger in us. These feelings get so deep in our inner-core that we carry these throughout our lives. We are unintentionally made to think of others and compare ourselves to others in every aspect of life. Always remember one thing No one was ever born like you, no one is and no one will ever be.
12. The myth about being obedient
Many people are told that kids should be obedient. But doesn’t it make a child dumb too? Because somehow they are not using their intelligence. They are not made to choose or decide. They are asked only to follow instructions.
They are hardly made to learn their own ways. Their innovative nature is being suppressed constantly. When I was a child, I was very obedient but on the other hand, I was rebellious too. If my intelligence didn’t agree to do something, I used to deny and consequently I got scolded frequently.
I also felt bad about it to hurt my parents and elders. I started getting the thoughts that I am not good enough. However, I understand it now that it was okay to be rebellious and disobedient at times. It made me grow in shape. So being obedient is good only to some extent. Kids should set free and be made more of innovators rather than following blindly on orders.
13. What others are doing is none of your business
Life is too short to waste your precious time on pondering on others’ business. Keep focusing on your own life. Watch out for what you are doing with your own life. What others are doing makes no difference in your life.
Put a full stop immediately the moment you feel the urge to interfere in other people’s lives; bring back your awareness to your own life. Find out what you want to do in your life and how you want to live it; how you want to shape it.
In gist, once I got aware and grew up and started looking around to find answers, I got to know many things which could have played a crucial role in my decisions.
Unfortunately, I have never been taught those in schools. I wish I could have known these things before I entered into the reality of life alone without my parents and teachers; where they were not present to show me the path. I wish to teach all this to children and young people while they are still taking shape; when they are still mouldable like clay.
I hope my experiences and my inner growth journey can help you in any manner. This is the major purpose of this article. So that you can get rid off the pain in your heart by mending your own thoughts rather depending on others. If you are still filled with guilt and grudges, these thoughts can help you to find peace as they did for me.