A couple of weeks back, I stumbled upon a game on my husband’s smart phone. It was a game related to farming, and ‘wow’ is the only word I have for it even today. Years of basic education, half a decade of specialized technical skills, sheer genius, passion, and creativity were all put to great use to create an extraordinary virtual experience for anyone who had some time to spare.
I managed to reach level 12 after 4 days and me virtually really had to slog it out on the farm to grow all those fruits and veggies and sell them. And I silently applauded all the dedicated efforts of all those game developers who had worked with passion and co-ordination to create something so unique. They continue to toil to give us all those lovely updates now and then.
The building adjacent to ours is going to be redeveloped and reconstructed in the next five years. Currently, myriad different kinds of skilled laborers flock there and work steadily to bring the old structure down.
The people who resided there till last month visit it every now and then and look at the now broken down building with a sad expression on their faces. These very same people will live in the new building after it is reconstructed. And I can sense and experience the happiness that they will experience when they finally shift into their brand-new homes one fine happy day in the near future.
The new building plan has probably already been drawn up and a host of skilled artisans will work on this construction site for a long time to give shape to the architect’s design on paper.
Did all these people learn all these skills overnight?
Wasn’t it a long drawn process? Can we apply the inferences from these two examples to our lives? The very word development means a process is going on. Redevelopment means, something had to be broken down and reconstructed again in a new manner. For unless we discard the old, how will we create the mind space for something new?
And yet, as sensible human beings, we fall prey to those umpteen classes that sprout at every street corner. We will find fancy names like image consultants and reputation management experts in the market. Perhaps they do serve a real purpose in marketing the products that they believe in. Celebrities may really need someone to take care of their publicity to remain in business.
But we are not discussing such people here. We are talking about ordinary people like you and me who fall prey to such personal development courses. We bear you no grudges for your inadvertent follies because we understand that youngsters are immature. They are full of zest and energy and waiting and yearning to create an identity for themselves in the real world.
They want to give shape to those burning desires and fresh ideas. They are willing to work round the clock to experience some form of success. They are open to suggestions and do not mind going the extra mile to do. What is at stake here – just a lot of time and maybe an equally big sum of money. We can brush aside even these because we may be able to afford both these commodities.
But if we enroll for such classes with the hope of emerging confident, smart, savvy youngsters overnight- then we are sadly and grossly mistaken. Personal development too is a long arduous process. Confidence cannot be found within the four walls of a classroom within three months. Neither will a physical makeover of your external appearance make a big difference in your life.
Personal development is a conscious intrinsic effort that we need to undertake to grow at a professional and personal level.
Most students make the gross mistake of enjoying and hanging out in the canteen all through their school and college days. All schools and colleges host plenty of events throughout the year to expose the students to other areas of life. Student magazines, voluntary blood donation camps, trekking expeditions, inter-college sports competitions, inter college food festivals and trade fairs. The onlookers can clearly segregate the student groups into two categories. The doers and the viewers.
I may not be passionate about fashion or drama, but I can help in organizing the events. I may not be a gourmet cook, but I could help in setting up the stalls and printing the entry tickets.
I may excel at writing, but should also be willing enough to spend the time to learn how to design and layout the articles on the publisher. There are opportunities galore that are thrown open to us at every turn of our lives.
Why a college even declared and dedicated an academic day as a ‘saree day’ and all the girls had a lovely day dressing up that day. For the international students studying in that college, it was a truly memorable day because they learned how to drape a saree for the first time that day!
Interact folks, use all those opportunities that are being given to you on a platter every day. Don’t ensconce yourself so tightly into your virtual worlds that you lose touch with the real world.
Only when you engage with life itself on a regular 24 x 7 basis will you learn a trait like confidence. Only when you make mistakes will you learn from them. And only if you really do something will you make any mistakes. And then instead of getting carried away by the headiness of success and your fragile egos – reflect on your mistakes and all the things that you are engaging in on a daily basis to understand yourself better.
You will not be a confident person one fine day after you make a stipulated number of mistakes. We will all make some mistakes at some points of our lives till we die. Only when we constantly learn how to deal with our mistakes and reflect on what we are learning from them – will we become more confident about ourselves and our approach.
Like that old building that is being brought down, we need to discard our outdated beliefs, notions, and perspectives in order to develop into better human beings. We cannot simply afford to rely on our values and sit back doing nothing during a crisis. Situations do not take care of themselves.
We need to make an effort to resolve all the crises we face – only then will we develop into better human beings. Yes, we may end up making mistakes, but we will also learn a lot from a real life experience than from a few pages of an academic textbook.
Personal development is a ‘work in progress’ – something that we constantly learn along the way while leading our real day to day lives. We continue to learn some value or the other daily without even realizing it because it happens at a subconscious level.
If we learn the right things and derive the right conclusions from all the experiences we face, we will have a positive outlook towards life. If we choose to be overwhelmed by our crises and blame fate and other people, we will take a longer time to learn the true meaning of life.
And yes –that is why we often find 25 years old with an admirable sense of maturity and responsibility and on the flip side find 80-year-olds behaving like immature children. Personal development truly has nothing to do with age. It depends entirely on how we want to create our own world with all the personal qualities that we consciously chose to learn in our lives.