My Promise Of Becoming A Better Person…

Last year when I was intrinsically inspired by the resolutions of my blogger friends, I had made just one promise and that was ‘to become a better person.’

This one thought ushered in a host of memories, which revealed to me my true self and I felt the need to record some of my struggles with the enhancement of my personality.

It was not an easy endeavor as many of those memories were fraught with fears of facing monsters lurking around me but the way I have dealt with them single-handedly, removing all the cobwebs in which I was trapped has convinced me that there is always a light shimmering at the horizon.

As the curtain was coming down on another year, I got the opportunity to introspect… how much could I come up to my expectations?

The definition of being a ‘Better Person’ could be different for all of us but I had set 6 benchmarks, which I have been working on.

Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person
My New Book

I am delighted to tell you that a single resolution has helped me immensely in putting together my observations and experiences in the form of a book, which I am ready to release. Some of the chapters are the same that I have shared with you but this book is for all those readers who don’t come regularly to read my blog and even those who would like to ascend the steps of personality building, one by one.

My conviction is that self-help is the best kind of help as teachers and therapists can only show us the way. We have to move ahead with our own steps, if we stumble and stagger, we have to rise with our own efforts in whatever journey we undertake.

When I self-published my first book, I was not a blogger and was unaware of the challenges of wading into the realms of publication. Ignorance is bliss and so I didn’t even realize where I could have floundered!

Then I discovered blogging! The happiness of sharing my emotions and reflections was enough to keep me afloat! On the way I met some wonderful blogger friends who guided and supported me with their wisdom and expertise. Some even reviewed my books.

My thoughts go back to some of my oldest blogger friends Vishnu, Harleena Singh, Marie, Lisa and Somali, who stood by a newbie to offer valuable advice and reviews. Alka went a step further by uploading one of my books’ cover on her blog to help me in its promotion. Christy invited me to tea at her blog to talk about my poetry. Dear friends, I take this opportunity to express my gratitude once again and look forward to your support this time again.

I have many lovely author cum blogger friends whom I met recently and would request all of them to be a part of this endeavor.

Please spread the word. Share this post at your blogs and all the social networks please.

Give a shout out to your friends who would like to become a better person.

My book is now live at Amazon.com

You can click on the link to look inside or grab your copy.

Thank you for reading this. I look forward to your love and support.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.


 

How Good Teachers Can Get Inspired To Mold Personalities

Personality development

I didn’t realize the effects of a teacher on personalities till I stepped into this profession. Probably I didn’t have any such teacher around me whom I admired ardently or who could touch my heart but I do remember a few who emitted an unseen light, which could brighten the path of an average student.

When I stumbled upon the profession of a teacher, which I didn’t plan to follow, I was very keen to teach high school students. I thought it was easier!

I was told I needed a professional training.

Despite a teacher’s training degree in my hand, I hardly knew what makes a good teacher. I learnt it from my students, from my daily interaction with them and listening to their opinion and complaints.

Slowly it dawned upon me how much a teacher can give. I was amazed at the expectations of my students and I had to work very hard to come up to their beliefs.

I noted that a teacher is trusted more than a parent probably because a teacher really listens, is non-judgmental and supports the pupils who choose to confide in him/her.

Now I started grasping the real meaning of “Nation Builders.”

Now I knew that Good teachers are not born.

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” – Alexander the Great.

I was humbled by this profession, which I didn’t want to join because people looked down upon it, it was so lowly paid and only those “who couldn’t find a better job became a teacher,” was the perception!

I found it immensely satisfying. The dividends it paid could not be counted, could not be seen because they could only be felt.

They stand before me now in the form of most successful human beings who value the contribution of teachers. Their one word of gratitude is the biggest bank balance for me.

My pupils showed me what is patience and benevolence; they revealed the value of hard work; they taught me how emotions are knitted into the fabric of values to make them more effective.

Once I had been molded by my students, it was my turn and this is what I learnt:

Children are like clay in our hands. Like a sculptor we can chisel and carve their personalities with our behavior.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ― Henry Adams.

Teachers appreciation

Teachers inspire the desire for learning:

True learning is the one, which is self-accentuated. A good teacher understands this basic principle and lays bare all the possibilities before the students. Curriculum may be binding, it may limit the potential but a real teacher focuses on igniting the minds to go beyond those limitations. Carl Jung has rightly observed, “The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.“

Make them discerning individuals:

Students look up to their teachers for guidance and path-breaking initiatives. When they meet an inspired teacher, they start believing in their own dreams. It is only with the much-needed encouragement that their aspirations get a boost. Classroom discussions play an important role in giving confidence to new thoughts and developing their own perceptions.

Make them absorb the values of discipline:

A disciplined teacher can convey the need and significance of discipline to become self-disciplined. Children may take pleasure in breaking the rules, they may scoff at the reprimand and punitive actions but what they see in their teacher eventually gets absorbed. An upright teacher doesn’t have to organize discussions on this topic.

Inspire positive thoughts:

Little disappointments seem gigantic to children, especially teenagers. Teachers can convert those moments of disenchantment into stepping-stones by talking them out of negativity. A good teacher can also become a counselor, as she/he understands students better than parents. Teenagers feel more comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers or friends.

Values are learned effortlessly:

Good and conscientious teachers can touch the students with their kindness and patience. Little children learn more through observation and image. When their role model exemplifies the ethics enshrined in the rulebook, it is easier for them to imbibe them naturally. I have often heard my outspoken students complain about double standards, which confused them.

“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.” – Sidney Hook

They make an eternal impact on students:

I was surprised at the influence of my own child’s teacher on her when she refused to share the little secret of her school function with me saying, “it is a surprise for the parents and will be revealed only on the day the function will be presented!”

My own heart swells with delight when I meet my old students and can see a spark of brightness in their eyes while they talk about those ‘golden’ days.

Whether it is sharpening their speaking talent, acquainting them with their potential, or honing their social skills, a teacher can truly mold the personalities of students.

Did you meet any such teacher who made a difference in your life? I would love to hear about her/him.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Why is listening more important?

Listening

Listening is a basic skill, without which we cannot learn any language. Babies listen to human sounds and learn to say their first words. Yet we forget this when we have learnt to talk!

We interrupt, we disparage, we judge, we tune off, we argue, we shout when we don’t want to listen.

We can say a lot without actually uttering a word but listening is only possible if we pay attention.

Do you pay attention when you are listening? Just pause and think.

In today’s world, where multitasking is considered to be a superb skill, listening gets drowned in the maze of messaging, tweeting and checking updates on irresistible digital devices in our hands or the urge to catch up with our favorite shows.

A good communication can resolve all differences but both the sides have to listen. It is very easy to talk, talk and talk but when it comes to listening, often we presume what the other person has to say.

Just see how listening can do wonders:

  1. It facilitates effective communication:

When we are ready to listen we convey a calm message that we respect the other person, we are ready to dispel misunderstandings and arguments. As peter Drucker said, “the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” When we listen quietly and courteously, we may pick up those unsaid feelers. When we look into the eyes of the communicator, we may catch those vibes, which wont reach us if we are distracted.

  1. It improves relationships:

Listening ushers warmth into our bonds, it fosters care and trust. We know we can talk about any issue and we would be given the required attention. When we don’t listen to other person’s perspective, we tend to create our own images, which could be highly misleading. It is better to discuss your prejudices than harbor them and let them breed misinterpretations.

  1. It helps us understand people:Listening quote

There are many kinds of people and we can’t possibly know them without a bridge of communication between us. Those who pretend to be our friends at our workplace, those who may exploit us for their own professional strength and those who just create rifts by badmouthing. How do we know their true value? Only by listening to their side of the story and keeping our relationship networks open can we truly know their worth.

  1. It can calm emotions:

Good listening gives a natural boost to positive emotions but at the same time it rebuffs negative emotions like angst, anger, fear and stress. All clouds of doubt and discord disintegrate. We feel loved and relieved as our pent up thoughts get an outlet. A lot of burden gets offloaded and we can move ahead with new hopes.

  1. It leads us to profound lessons

Listening can make us better persons as it can motivate, inspire and encourage us to accomplish our goals. We can gather a lot of information, develop working relationships with those we may not like and work on social interactions, which can define our hidden potential. It can drive introverts out of their shell, promote acceptance as a way of life and understand that imperfections are normal.

Please remember! Listening doesn’t mean getting intimidated and bullied into whatever the other person says.

It means a healthy exchange of ideas and thoughts so that we can understand each other better.

It means erecting an edifice of empathetic approach and to be more positive.

It means learning analytical skills, which can foster healthy living.

It means we need to control our outbursts, be more considerate and forthcoming.

If listening has not been taught to you, it is never too late.

“There is as much wisdom in listening as there is in speaking–and that goes for all relationships, not just romantic ones.”- Daniel Dae Kim

Do you value listening? What has it taught you? I would love to hear your views.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

 

Are You Beautiful?

Are You Beautiful?

Some people just look beautiful while some are really so. But it took me almost half my life to discern this truth.

A poetry lover, I had always believed “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”…that the beholder has to be beautiful (to distinguish) never passed my mind or I couldn’t believe eyes are so different!

Who cares about inner beauty while growing up? A child doesn’t even know such a beauty exists and an adolescent would scoff at it!

Try telling a teenager to dress modestly and her dagger eyes would convey all! All cultural norms are thrown to the winds to acquire the so-called beauty.

Youthful attractiveness is a natural yearning and there should be no guilt about the desire to look beautiful.

The moment we become aware of physical charm and magnetism, we try our best to look good. The efforts never cease even if the awareness of ‘inner beauty’ dawns on us!

It is personal grooming, peer pressure to look beautiful and slim that molds our thoughts about beauty.

While youngsters feel that branded attire makes them look good, the latest beauty product makes their skin glow and the vogue of the day has to be followed, real beauty remains as elusive as getting nearer to your first crush!

It is the outer beauty that gets an immediate attention.Beauty quote

Inner beauty reveals itself slowly and only if you have the inclination to perceive it.

Eventually it is what kind of human being you are that matters but we come to know a person only after we remain in constant and consistent touch.

True beauty doesn’t radiate from the face, which has been daubed with cosmetics.

A gentle and a quiet spirit, the glow that you can feel within, the spark that brightens your smile, thoughts that guide you out of your own darkness…beauty is as simple as that!

One of our family friends’ beautiful daughter Sam visited me after a long time. She had this young, short and dark man by her side whom she introduced to us as her fiancé. I looked at him and my first thought was… ‘Is Sam going to marry this man!?’ Hardly a match for her!

During my conversation with this man I realized what a wonderful communicator he was, what a warm heart he possessed and with what ease he had endeared himself as a member of our family. ! I could catch the positive vibes that he emitted.

The same moment I felt guilty of judging him. Despite holding many workshops and discussions on topics of human interest and virtuous living, knowing very well that physical appearances are but a sham…how could I jump to such a conclusion!

We admire inner beauty yet get carried away by appearances.

“Outer beauty is like a decade; it doesn’t last forever. While inner beauty stays permanent like an ocean. By all means, hold strong to your inner beauty.” – Edmond Mbiaka

Societal pressures and touchstones define beauty for us till we learn we have been looking at superficial beauty, enhanced just to look appealing.

Even Google understands beauty in those terms, which have been set by people. Try to google the words ‘beauty images’ and see what you get!

Try looking up again with the words ‘images of beautiful men/women’ and the results would be almost the same.

I couldn’t find any suitable pictures of beauty that could resonate with this piece and therefore decided to create one with eyes!

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Why Is It Important To Have Opinions And Communicate Them?

Opinion

‘Don’t be judgmental’

Who, me?

The comment hit me like a hurricane!

I have been learning for almost 8 years not to be judgmental.

I have tried quite hard to restrict my opinions.

Do I have to make such an effort even in case of my own sister?

She is one of the few persons with whom I speak out my mind, without thinking. She too?

‘Well, where did you pick up this word?’ I tried to tease her. She didn’t like my question. She reacted sharply as if I had assaulted her intellect!

Why are people so obsessed with words of appreciation all the time? Even our own dear ones, the nearest ones dislike an honest opinion!

Isn’t it good to have your own opinion? Many people resent that!

They want to hear what they think is right, thereby trying to change your opinion. The meek ones accept and learn to subdue their voice.

They want you to be guided by their own choices, their own likes and dislikes and may even stall your growth by keeping you away from forming your own views.

Is ‘judgmental’ a synonym of opinion, another question that cropped up instantly in my mind.

I went to thesaurus (so easy when it is just under your fingers) to understand this word better and found 42 synonyms of opinion.

Then my fingers danced over to dictionary and I found:

Synonym Study

  1. Opinion, sentiment, view are terms for one’s conclusion about something. An opinion is a belief or judgment that falls short of absolute conviction, etc., are probably true or likely to prove so: political opinions; an opinion about art; In my opinion this is true.)

I have been trying to understand why an innocent and candid opinion is also construed as ‘judgment.’ Why are we so touchy about receiving opinions?

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” – Paulo Coelho

Opinion Molders:

An effort has always been made; in all ages by all societies to mold opinion yet there have been independent thinkers and revolutionaries who refused to be cowed down by fanatics, conformists and conservatives.

Social values, friends, communities and families control our thoughts.

While teaching students of an impressionable age, when they are struggling to break free from the unwritten decrees of society, I observed that 99% of them are guided by the opinion of their parents and cultural compulsions. They believe what is told to them.Opinion Quote

Only few dare to form their own opinion, which gets molded much later in life and that too if they are not prejudiced.

Pre-judged assumptions of political and religious leaders reach us through media and advertising and they feed on our emotions, which can be easily swayed.

In an era of digital world where advertising barons and group discussions shout at us, it is easier to get influenced by what people are saying.

Why is it essential to nurture our opinion?

  • It defines us and our personality
  • It makes us an independent individual
  • It sets us apart from others
  • Society evolves with opinions or new beliefs
  • Opinions have always ushered change

Many times we are encouraged to keep our opinions to ourselves. I could never be guided by such well-wishers!!

If you don’t have an opinion, you can be easily manipulated. Some people love to do that.

Have you met such people? How strong is your opinion about people and issues?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.