Youth column: Refinement and Sharpening of the Personality

Mar - Apr 2005

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The present-day young generation is being increasingly attracted towards personality grooming programmes. Scores of young men and women, and even teenagers, are joining grooming institutes and spending hefty amounts with a view to improve and smarten their personalities. Many such places charge as much as ten to twenty thousand rupees for 5-7 day courses. Nevertheless, the youth are not getting the desired benefits. In spite of all the labor and expense, their personalities fail to develop the magnetic pull which they so cherish, or the character traits which could ensure their success in life. The famous maxim “All that glitters is not gold” is proving right in regard to these institutes.

There is, however, a positive aspect to this phenomenon. It signifies an increasingly strong desire in the youth to refine and reshape their personalities, their awakened awareness about themselves and their growing sense of responsibility towards life. This pleasant trend gives a sense of hope. Lucky indeed is the nation whose youth is alert about their overall personality development. They appear to have realized that now-a-days labor by itself is not sufficient for opening the doors to success. The psychological impact cast by the personality, too, is important.

If we want to make a mark in the world, we will have to cultivate some specific attributes in our personalities.

The first of these is effective witnessing: That is, objectively witnessing with deep understanding what occurs or exists before and around. Only those who have this penetrating understanding are able to utilize their strengths effectively. Witnessing requires a very keen and perceptive vision; a vision, which is free from the defects of prejudice and ego-sense and whose essence is what the scriptures call ‘nºr-kïºr-vivek, that is, the subtle discriminative power. We should be able to assess, in the very first meeting, the general temperament, firmness of character, grasp of the subject matter and foresight of the person whom we are meeting. It is this discerning ability, which will tell us how we can deal with the concerned person in the best possible way. If we are able to do this, every encounter will become an educative experience. This method is particularly effective in times of interviews, etc.

The second attribute required in this connection is far-sightedness. It has been a much talked-about quality for ages but very few actually know the art of its effective application. Those who do are able to ensure a bright future for themselves as well as their co-workers. What is required is to pick up clues and trends from the present and make a projection on this basis about what could possibly happen in the future. Chess players, successful businessmen and good administrators possess this quality of penetrating foresight.

The third characteristic feature of a magnetic personality is pragmatism. This quality is always beneficial, whether it be a matter of examination or carrier advancement. What is our correct position and situation vis-à-vis the circumstances? What are our strengths and weaknesses? We must have an objective and realistic assessment of all these factors.

The fourth attribute is thirst for knowledge. People acquire some degrees and think that the task is over and now the only thing they have to do is to earn a livelihood, somehow. This thinking is retrogressive. Personality acquires power of attraction only when it has a never-satisfying eagerness to acquire wider and deeper understanding and knowledge of itself and the world. In modern parlance it is called updating. All experts of career counseling advise that one should keep acquiring more and more knowledge, and learning newer and newer things in one’s field of work. They even recommend that, apart from inculcating a reading habit, one should try to develop the capacity for effective writing, too.

These are some of the salient guidelines for bringing about refinement of the personality. The questions like “Where are we?” “What are we doing?” etc have their importance but of the greatest importance is the luster personality. That is why Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya at Gayatri Teerth, Hardwar has compulsorily incorporated ‘The art of personality improvement and living’ in all its programmes. It is another matter that at this unique center of sacred and mundane learning, one has to repay for his or her education not in terms of money but altruist service; because selfless service of society through the talents and expertise is the only genuine certificate of success of any worthwhile personality grooming programme.


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