In today’s world of social media where personal information is shared with the entire world, and not just close circle of friends and family, do we place our value in the number of likes and comments? In other words is it others perception of us which adds value to us, or is it something else? Personal brand-building is enhancing the value of a person. It’s the value one has of oneself, or how much a person values himself/herself.
This value of oneself is a tricky thing. If you have too much of self-worth you might come across as an arrogant and narcissist person. You have too little of it, you acquire inferiority complex, zero confidence, and get treated like a doormat.
In a world of competitive culture our worth is always being measured against others. The comparison never ceases as it encroaches all spheres of life right from the time we get admitted to school, and may be for some from the day they are born. Marks, beauty, talents, careers, girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife and what not! The list of comparison is never ending. And amidst all this comparison we try to hang-on to our accomplishments dearly to feel worthwhile. And when some Sharmaji-ka-ladka/ladki surpasses it the feeling of worthlessness sets in. We are back to zero and the world seems against us. Somebody has rightly said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
So, where does one go from here? It takes all sorts to make this world go around and each one of us has been created uniquely. And the value we attach to ourselves is not something we should give control to others. It’s us that should have it under control. The following pointers will elucidate what I’m trying to say.
- Focus on being the best version of yourself:
In simpler terms it means maximizing the potential we have. For example in a game of football everybody dreams of becoming a striker and score amazing goals like Messi or Ronaldo, and be treated like a global superstar. But not all are cut out for it. Coaches help a young player identify his strongest attributes and help the budding- player mature into a position to which he is best suited. So the midfielder controls the flow of the game, the defender stops the opponent from scoring, and the striker has to score of course. It’s the sum total of all which makes a team strongest. And if one can maximize the talent at his disposal he will always add value not only to himself but to whichever team he belongs to.
- It’s ok to fail:
This is something which I feel is highly undervalued in this present day society. Failures are looked upon with such disdain. It’s an inevitable part of growing up. And the fear of failure prevents most of us to step out of our comfort zone and try for anything new. Thus, people opt for staying in the safe zone, not making any sort of attempt to do something different for fear of being branded a failure. Only if we fail we learn what does not work and hence we gain the knowledge of what can actually work. That’s why they say” failures are the pillars of success”. The first US President Abraham Lincoln is a prime example of this.
- Don’t aspire for perfection:
This point is an outset of the previous point. Perfection has the power to create inflated expectations and once we get that notion that someone’s life is perfect we always fall in the comparison trap that whatever we have is not enough. So many times we look at the FB profile of someone and see them in great jobs, travelling to exotic locations, married and honeymooning in Mauritius, and deduce that how perfect their life might be. This just creates negativity in us and makes us feel that our life is going nowhere. Our life may not be in the best of state, but we have to stay still, breathe in, and learn to enjoy the little blessings and bounties bestowed upon us by the almighty.
- Be gentle on our dear ones:
This is something which deals with adding value to the lives of our near and dear ones. Our friends and family are not perfect but they are the most important persons we have in our lives. There are times when we feel let down by them, be it cause of their behavior, their nature, or may be because they have stopped loving us for some reason. It’s our responsibility to try to understand them in a better way, listen to their side of the story, and help them wherever we can and be good to them. And if nothing works out we should have in our hearts to forgive them. It actually shows great strength on our behalf to forgive someone and makes us better persons, a person of value.
So let’s stay positive and keep believing in ourselves. Every cloud has a silver lining. Stay blessed and have a great week ahead.
Do animals reflect on who they are, and what they are doing here? Probably not. The question might arouse a mental image of a cow chewing grass obliviously. It’s not that animals, even the chimpanzee, the gorilla, orangutan, the dolphins and whales, but most especially your pet dog or cat aren’t extremely intelligent, because we know they are. But intelligence reaches a critical point, and, voila! We achieve self-awareness. We ask ourselves, whether we drop everything at the moment, or even continue with whatever it is we are doing at that moment (because we are driving in heavy traffic, or holding a baby or a hot pot of soup), “Who am I? What am I? How did I get here? If this world was made for me, if I am so special, then why haven’t I achieved greatness and the recognition I deserve?”
My answer is that, well, it all depends on who you are asking.
Identity crisis is merely the tip of an iceberg with foundations that reach deep in the misty darkness of time and consciousness. Even though our questions seem of the moment, really we all go through a lifelong struggle to reconcile social expectation with individual expression. The very signposts of personal growth must change from infancy to old age, or don’t bother asking at all. If you puzzle over your life’s meaning, then you’re probably accomplishing your purpose without even realizing it.
We want to be recognized by society, not for what it expects of us, but for what we believe to be our endearing attributes. On a sliding scale, perhaps on one end we think of ourselves as sexually exceptional specimens, with impeccable physical beauty, as I’m sure Kim Kardashian does. And on the other end we are selfless servants of society, with such a great connection to our spiritual foundation that poverty and obscurity pose no threat to our ego, like Mahatma Gandhi. It is natural to feel we have failed at life’s calling, whether our butt is still not as big as we had hoped (Kardashian), or not having yet liberated an entire country from colonial oppression (Gandhi). Expectations, they’re relative!
Speaking of relatives, some of us have experienced being infantilized by our family. That is, our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and the people we grew up around still and always will treat us like little children, just as if we had never aged past nine years old. Even though we each grow older and wiser, there’s something about gathering together on the holidays at the dinner table that brings out the infantilizing riposte in my family. I could be the first man to walk on Mars, and my mother wouldn’t take my word for what’s happening in outer space: “Is that right, Jim?” she might turn to the opinion of my brother-in-law, who for some inexplicable reason would be endowed with greater knowledge than I, the only person to have walked on Mars. It’s humiliating, a real whack to the ego. All that work of being an astronaut and Mom still has to verify my professional opinion by asking my brother-in-law (a successful business man)!
I digress, but not too much. You see, we define our worth on the basis of the opinions and judgments of the wrong people—we can actually make ourselves sad and insecure because we are infantilizing ourselves! Sure, we are supposed to love our family. We don’t throw them away just because we have grown (and they haven’t). Just as civilization accumulates and becomes increasingly sophisticated over the millennia, it is possible we have exceeded the boundaries of the understanding of our ancestors in matters of who and where we are in this jigsaw puzzle of society. Better to just pass the potatoes, and let brother-in-law Jim expound on the rarified atmosphere of Mars, a place he has never been. Trust that the right people will comprehend our significance at the right time and at the right place.
Author’s Bio: Gregory G Lewis, is a psychologist, a social scientist, and a web programmer. He has learned more by watching the waves than from any book.
Sometimes I love to publish these quotes only to get some insights and inspirations out of it.
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Few days ago I was listening to an audio clip of my favorite Christian Preacher Rev. Dr. Ravi Zacharias. There he shared a beautiful story, which goes like this –
Once a man was in the search of a job. He was walking by a zoo when he saw the advertisement of a job vacancy. He spoke to the zoo manager and was appointed as a monkey. His job was to reach the zoo before sunrise and to put on the costume of a monkey. He was to be fed peanuts & bananas the whole day by the people and his work would be to entertain the children. On the first day while the man in monkey’s costume was entertaining children by swinging from branch to branch, he fell down inside the cage of the lion. The man looked at the lion and screamed in fear & shouted “Help!! Help!!”… Immediately the lion started speaking, “Shut up! Don’t shout or else we both will lose our jobs.”
The greatest lesson I learned from this story is that like those two men every one of us in this earth is wearing a mask. We are exactly the opposite of our looks. What others see is just a mask, not the man behind the mask. When I looked for the reason of this act of pretence the Bible answered me that we are simply imitating the patterns of this world, rather than being transformed by the renewing of our minds. We think that to sustain and succeed in this fictitious world we need to wear the mask of pretence. We have failed to discover our real identity. Even though man has reached the peak of success and knowledge he is still struggling with the issue of “Identity Crisis”. This crisis has ultimately made ‘India’ the global capital of suicide cases.
The biggest question of this generation is, “WHO AM I?” All our worldly achievements have failed to answer us. Our true identity is that we are created in God’s IMAGE and God’s Spirit resides in us. So with an unveiled face before the mirror we ought to change into the godly image by accepting all our sins and seeking His godly power to live a life which can reflect God’s glory.
Our IDENTITY is that we are the IMAGE of God to reflect the exact proportion of His character.
Be blessed & stay tuned!
“Tell us about yourself” is one of the most common questions asked to an interviewee by an interview panel. Pat goes the well-prepared answer describing oneself, one’s strengths and weaknesses, educational qualifications, likes and dislikes and so on. The answer presented in a formal interview is one that would appeal to the interviewer panel. But when we ask ourselves the question ‘Who am I,’ how many of us find the answer appealing?
Pages and pages of credentials in the CV, the accolades earned from friends and family and the upward climb in the professional ladder may at times be just a facade that we have so successfully portrayed before the world that our real identity remains yet undiscovered.
Every individual’s identity is a combination of the following basic identities: identity by birth, gender identity, identity owing to marital status, religious identity, identity due to one’s achievements and professional identity. These identities pretty much define who we are with respect to the societal standards. Professional identity is significant in adulthood since it fulfills an individual’s need for recognition.
This cumulative identity declares before the world who each individual is. But, we are more than merely a sum total of our individual identities. We are spiritual beings encased in our earthly bodies. Whereas everyone does a lot to formulate their earthly identity, most people are unaware of their spiritual identity. Let me make it clear. Spiritual identity is not the same as religious identity. Religious identity has to do with identifying oneself as belonging to a particular religion based on societal standards. However, spiritual identity refers to one’s relationship with the Creator. It is this spiritual identity that defines our real selves.
Are you aware of your true identity?
In the mid-2000s, one Indi-pop chartbuster became one of my all time favourite songs.
The song is called “Bulla Ki Jana Main Kaun” – and it was by the Indian musician known as Rabbi Shergill. The song itself is based on the poetry of Muslim Sufi mystic called Baba Bulleh Shah.
If you listen to the words carefully, you will realize that the entire song talks about “who exactly IS Bullah?” Does Bullah know who he is? The stunning poetry is evident in the lyrics of the song, but the hidden pain, not so much.
In today’s fast-paced life, we all want to identify with something or someone. But how many of us really know who we are, and what are we called for? What is our purpose in this life? What is our identity?
Most people live their entire lives not knowing the answer to this question. I want to tell you, you were born for a purpose; your life is not in vain. Your identity is set. Let us all go on this journey of finding ourselves.
Just as Bulleh Shah asked in his poetry, ‘Who is Bullah?’, let us ask ourselves the question today.
Here is the beautiful song for you – listen to the words carefully.