TODAY -

Self-development

Oinam Nabakishore Singh *



Every living being including plants, animals and human being are required to change on account of various reasons-adaptation to the environment for survival. There is competition happening among all species to be better than the other in the constant battle for food, partner for mating and dominance. Because of the constant efforts of the species, the genes get changed to attain the desirable attributes over the years.

For instance, during the early part of industrialization in England, where a lot of coal was burnt to produce steam to operate machines, trees and their leaves in the nearby areas of factories got covered with black soot. White peppered moths and butterflies, which settle on the trees and leaves, changed their colour to black in order to make them invisible to the predators and increasing their chance of survival. Of late, with less black soot from coal burning, more white moths are said to be visible on the trees. This is an example of natural selection, put forward by Charles Darwin.

Just like peppered moth, all species are undergoing changes to improve themselves in many respect so as to survive and compete better with their competitors. We will focus on the scope and possibility of improvement by every individual human being. Our bodies which is made of cells, the building blocks of the body and nervous system, mind and consciousness can be trained to be better. There are several books on self-development written over the last many years, which may be read to pick up useful tips.

Books are the concentrated stores of knowledge. It is necessary to read good books every day in order to gain insights into several aspects. There are several great books read by leaders across the world. Spiritual books, Gita, Bible, Koran, etc. are frequently read by great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi. They are full of knowledge on many facets of life and society.

If you believe in what is written, they are like lighthouse to the sailors on the sea. In one of the many interactions of late Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India with school children, he mentioned the name of the book-Light from many Lamps, edited and commented by Lillian Eichler Watson, first published in 1951 to be an influential book for him. This book contains quotes and wisdoms of more than 2000 years starting with Greek knowledge and sayings.

Even today, the stories and quotes in this book are relevant to our life. Shiv Khera’s self-help book, “You can Win” has been translated into many languages and it is admired by many people. Robin Sharma, an NRI in USA has written many books on self-development- The Monk who sold his Ferrari, Who will cry when you die, etc.

Steven R. Covey’s book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” is used by many to develop themselves by following the prescribed 7 habits. There are many other self-help books, which may be procured and read. One must buy at least one or two books in a month as investment for own improvement. Nowadays, books are available at discounted prices on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc.

In several self-help books, importance of getting up early in the morning every day is emphasized. Benefits of early rise includes enjoying beautiful sights of sunrise, feeling and inhaling fresh air, having enough time to engage in exercises and games for healthy living, planning for the day and avoiding the rush to work or other engagements and resultant punctuality. Initially it may be difficult to rise early in the morning. However, once it becomes a habit, the body clock will make you rise at the same time daily.

It is not possible to perform any meaningful work without good health. There is inseparable relationship between body and mind. Good thoughts can emerge from good health. Many works including those requiring mental exertions can be doneonly by those in good health.

Everybody needs to inculcate the habit of engaging in one or other form of exercise-yoga, work-out in gymnasium, games and sports, jogging and brisk walk, etc. in order to keep body and mind in shape. Every successful person does not ignore daily exercise to be fresh and charged to perform several tasks in the day.

Any individual, family, society, firm, organization, state or nation is required to have a clear vision or dream if it has to develop and compete with others in future. In the video, “ The Power of Vision” by Joel Barker, real stories of survival of persons with strong will to live in the midst of imminent death of inmates in concentration camps of Jews by the Nazis during the second world war go to prove that the difference between death and life is made by the vision.

Academic achievement of students in future is decided by theirvision, not by the intellect. It is, therefore, imperative for the families and schools to discuss about the vision of every child. Vision will energize every individual tomobilize all resources including seeking help from others to attain the goals. A person determined to reach the peak of the Mt. Everest will take all steps leading towards the peak, and diversion in the steps will lead to failure.

It is also a good idea to have role models before each individual. Since the life and values of iconic role models are to be fully understood, it will be necessary to have access to information on them. It is also good to follow the life of inspiring leaders. I use the video of Nick Vujicic on YouTube, a motivational speaker born without any limbs to demonstrate the achievements of someone considered to be worth written off. With proper motivation and challenges from peers and others, it is possible to improve further.

With the widespread use of smartphone, access to information and knowledge in text, audio and video formats is available anytime anywhere. It is possible to continuously improve in several areas including learning any subject. Most of the people in Manipur have poor English pronunciation and diction as the way of speaking Meiteilon and English is different. Now, it is easy to imitate native English speakers so as to come closer to their pronunciation.

Every individual or firm requires training to acquire and update new skills to be competitive. Attending seminars and workshops help in knowing new ideas and information, which may be relevant to the business and life of individuals. A culture of excellence should permeate every conceivable stratum of society as seen in advanced countries.

It is high time to give up the habit of complacency and acceptance of mediocrity. Rather, a culture of making an effort to do the best in any activity will lead to development in everybody.


Views expressed here are personal.


* Oinam Nabakishore Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 29, 2019.



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