Written by 10:13 am Learning Chronicle

Reflect

Make a difference in the world around you by being the change you wish to see. The world would be a better place if everyone worked on themselves and developed qualities such as consideration, helpfulness, honesty, etc. 

It is important not to be judgmental. Take the time to recognize and appreciate the good in yourself and in others. All of us have “good” and “bad” behaviors, and we all have “good” and “bad” days. It is wonderful that we are all unique in our appearances, thoughts, opinions, and likes and dislikes. There is nothing “bad” about being different, it is just “different”. Be thankful for the diversity and embrace the differences. Do not be influenced by concepts such as “right” and “wrong”. People are neither good nor bad nor right nor wrong; they are simply who they are. Maybe you would act differently if you were in their shoes, or maybe you would not. You waste your time and create barriers between you and opportunities and meaningful relationships if you are judgmental. This is because you are not perfect either, and your judgments might be more incorrect than the person you are judging. 
Respect others. You should not make the mistake of believing that your rights are the only ones that matter. It is important not to ignore the rights of the other party. Respect is one of our fundamental rights. Having a high-flying career and a fancy title does not make someone more deserving of respect. There is no connection between respect and material issues or social status. In order to respect another human being, one must acknowledge their dignity and treat them as one would want to be treated. All of us were born equal and we will all depart as equals. In between, there are a number of different experiences that we encounter in our lives. Living in a slum, caring for strangers, volunteering assistance without expecting anything in return, and living an honest life is more admirable than dressing in fine clothes, living in a huge mansion, cheating on his wife, swindling shareholders, and failing to tell the truth.

Listen carefully. When is the last time you really listened to someone else? While they are talking, do you tend to think about what you will say next, or do you allow your mind to drift to something else? When you are a good listener, you are showing respect and are in a position to better understand what is being said to you. By doing so, you avoid misunderstandings and missed instructions. In addition, the other person will appreciate your attention and will return the favor.

Be interested – not interesting. The ability to listen well goes hand in hand with this skill. Generally, people enjoy discussing themselves, so ensure you ask questions and take an interest in what they have to say. Don’t worry about them hogging the spotlight – you can have your turn as well. Did you ever meet someone who only talked about themselves? Take note of how many times you use the word “I” in your conversations. If you are judging, arguing points, interrupting the conversation, and using “I” frequently, then your communication skills need to be reviewed.

Respond – Don’t react. People tend to respond to each other primarily with their heads, rather than with their hearts. As humans, we tell stories about ourselves, defend our egos, and judge others. But responding from the heart allows us to respond with understanding and a sense of connection. Be positive about people and about yourself. Don’t knock people down – build them up. And never be afraid to follow your instincts.

Honesty is essential. Truth has always been the best policy, and there is a difference between being diplomatic and telling outright lies. A liar cannot be trusted. If you have made a mistake, well, you are part of the human race! It is not necessary to lie in order to conceal the truth. Telling the truth doesn’t have to be “brutally”, there are gentle and tactful ways to convey truths, and you should think carefully before speaking. You should avoid being dishonest because it has a tendency to come back to haunt you, and then you will be worse off than if you had come clean from the beginning, however uncomfortable it may seem.

Help others. Don’t you just love it when someone offers you a helping hand when you need one? Isn’t it wonderful to have the opportunity to repay them? One day, you may be able to repay that gesture by being the person others look to respectfully with gratitude in their hearts. As they say, what goes around comes around. You must be helpful to others in order to receive assistance from them. Whether you assist your boss with a project you know he needs help with, a coworker who is struggling with a heavy workload, or an elderly neighbor struggling up the stairs with her arms full, it does not matter. Kindness is remembered by people.

Keep your dignity and integrity intact. In both professional and personal situations, people who maintain their integrity are easier to deal with. It’s clear where they stand, and it’s clear where you stand too. By setting your standards and adhering to them, you will feel better about yourself and you will attract those who respect your standards as well as those who have their own. You do yourself a disservice by acting as a doormat and by allowing others to walk all over you. The situation prevents them from growing and learning how to take care of themselves. Be able to say no in a graceful manner. No one has the right to make you feel ‘bad’ because you think, feel, or dress differently than others. Do not forget to be true to yourself.

Make the extra effort. There are two ways to look at this. If something is worth doing, then it is worth doing well, whether you are asked to do it or you are offering to do it. In addition, what little improvements can you make while you are at it? If you were to ask who you would rather go to for shoe shine… Mr. A does a wonderful buff and polish, is timely, and isn’t too expensive. Also, Mr. B does a wonderful buff and polish. He is timely and is not expensive, but he is also cheerful and interested in you, so after your polish, you feel great! He did not just polish your shoes, but lifted your spirits and made you feel good. When you’re helping someone copy some documents, see if she needs some help collating them or stapling them. It’s not expensive to go the extra mile, but it’s worth a lot to the recipient, and one day, it’ll be reciprocated.
Don’t just say what you mean, but mean what you say as well. It is important not to be evasive or to make promises you cannot keep. However, if you promise to do something, do it. Establish a reputation as a reliable individual. Integrity requires you to honor your promises and agreements wherever possible. In the event that flexibility is required, remember that you do not have to bend over so far backward that your back is damaged. Assertiveness and aggression are two entirely different things, and assertiveness does not require aggression. As a matter of fact, you would be better off without the aggression. Whenever people or circumstances are unconcerned about the position you hold, you will develop a reputation as a wishy-washy individual. This does not demonstrate your value to anyone – it merely indicates that you are a pushover.

-Makarand Bhatt

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