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E-Pao! Essay - Many Good People everywhere, But Why only few Great People?

Many Good People everywhere, But Why only few Great People?

Shanjoy Mairembam *



We, humans, have something called Mind i.e. thinking capability, which makes us different from the whole living beings in the Universe. We learn from the past incidents and develop our knowledge for the future. As ‘Mind’ is the most dangerous and also the most fabulous abstract, we humans are different in approach and life-styles as the individual thinking varies. This article is all about what makes we humans, think and act; why is there many good people and why only a few Great people; what makes people good; and what are the habits & abstracts that make up a human to think and act.

Well, first of all, let’s try to understand what makes up a full human being in thinking and acting. We can consider four abstracts namely; Mind (Talent), Heart (Passion), Body (Need), & Spirit (Conscience) from which an individual derives its individuality & personality. ‘Mind’ is something through which we humans think practically and analyse using our acquired knowledge & experience in life; so it is nothing but our talent i.e. our expertise learnt from life. This is what we call as ‘IQ (Intelligent Quotient)’. ‘Heart’ is something through which we humans emotionally think and take a decision in our lives, i.e. the thinking is out of our desire and wishes which may be in or out of profile of the natural principles. This is what we call as ‘EQ (Emotional Quotient)’. ‘Body’ is something through which we humans feel the thinking & needs physically, i.e. we show our likes or dislikes based on our physical desires. This is what we call ‘Attitude’. And lastly, ‘Spirit’ is something unknown that we humans always feel inside our mind & body like another individual answering to our queries & doubts in life, i.e. our conscience. This helps us humans to decide & think, and every time giving it’s own version of decision like the God’s advice directly. This is what we call as the ‘Sixth Sense’.

Thus, the final outcome and action of an individual is based on the combined effect on the above four abstracts. An individual’s behaviour, habit, likes, dislikes, personality, and so on… everything depends on how far the individual capitalise his/her effort to understand the above four abstracts. This combined effort will give the individual an image of own in the society, where we live. We will come back to discussion on how these four abstracts make a difference between good people and great people. For now, we will first try to analyse what makes people good, i.e. what makes someone efficient & successful in life or career.

There are many habits that we humans use to develop from being born till the last breath. We do have these habits, but those who understand these habits in-depth and those who try to match the same on self… always gets the success stamped in their life and career, someday or the other day. So, what are these habits? –

Habit No 1: - Be Proactive
This means – one should be responsible for the thinking, or the idea being developed & being decided to go ahead in life or the career. The opposite of this word is ‘Reactive”. If someone does a work or an idea or a duty; just because he/she has to do, or someone/something is compelling to do, then, that is nothing but just reacting to the responses from the environment. But, the saying here is that the individual has to take some moral responsibility like ‘Indeed this idea or job is mine, and the responsibility to give success is own; and the reward/medal out of the idea is for self’. If so, there is maximum efficiency out of the capability one has on self.

Habit No 2: - Begin with the End in Mind
This means – every idea or thinking should be all completed with proper justification & reasoning in mind before final practical implementation. The person has to have a clear idea of what to do, how to do, where to do. In short, the individual should have a clear final goal and clear blue-print in his/her mind; and then, the individual has to start executing the idea with the goal in mind

Habit No 3: - Put First Thing First
This means – to organise the thinking and steps chosen as per the thinking and analysis for executing an idea into action, as first, second, third … in an order. Every idea has its way of implementation based on the strategy chosen by the individual’s expertise and desire. So, the final result may be the same, but the approach may be drastically different at times too. And hence, the individual has to chart out the various steps and process identified related to the idea to be implemented; and then, focus on the first step/process first and the rest on the order of the reality

Habit No 4: - Think Win-Win
This means – one should always keep in mind the confidence that he/she is going to win if the strategy so chosen is executed which has been developed taking into consideration of all the impacts from the surroundings and uneven situations; and so there is no way the individual is going to lose. In short, the idea is one should feel he/she is going to win and just win, as he/she is on track as per the self planning. When the mind is set, nothing on earth can stop the individual from executing the task, unless there is another miracle to stop the same

Habit No 5: - Seek First to Understand, then, Understood to seek
This means – before really trying to gather the info about the idea to implement, it is necessary to understand how to gather the info. One may have some ideas to implement and also knows what things to gather to execute the same. But, if the means and method of gathering the info are not relevant to the situation, he/she may get into trouble and; instead prove the individual to be something totally different from what he/she is trying to prove via the own idea. In short, it is ‘understanding the means of expression and means of interaction so that the current situation is also not disturbed; and at the same time, the requirements of the idea are made and gathered’

Habit No 6: - Synergise
This means – to understand all the qualities and strengths an individual has on self, and then capitalising on the combined strength or idea of the individual. Everyone has some higher capability or strength compared to others, as God had created every human being differently with some extra quality on self. So, it is the responsibility of the individual to find out what is there on self that people don’t have; and how he/she can prove the in-born instinct to all thus getting success and fame in life time

Habit No 7: - Sharpen the saw continuously
This means – to develop the ideas and fine tune the same rigorously, as there is only one constant in this whole universe, which is none other than “CHANGE”. In order to make sure the steps/processes being followed to execute the idea into reality, to be able to work or compatible with some magic, irrespective of time and moment; one should always update the knowledge and skills by putting life & colour into the old processes/steps so chosen long time before, via understanding the changes and the need for adaptability

These habits are all there in every individual and the only difference among us is that how far an individual realises them collectively and capitalises the self thinking on them. If one is well aware on these habits after being compared to self ideas, then, for sure, the individual will become efficient in life and get success in life or the career chosen. In short, the individual will be good; but not great. Then, what makes someone great and what are those habits differentiating Great People from Good People.

We, humans can be efficient in our daily works and career being chosen, by following the check-lists being prepared for the same to follow punctually and effectively. It is like being having a checklist of things to do to the manufacturing workers, to make sure the product to be developed is shifted out with the quality & the standard being promised to the customer and which is being thought to realise at the first instance. Thus, to become good is pretty simple and idealistic to realise if one is not lazy and if one is enthusiastic in life on what he/she has chosen to go ahead.

But, Good people are not always good in all the fields of life. Being becoming more & more ‘Good’, will not make the individual ‘Great’, but instead it will pull down the ‘Good’ to ‘Bad’ and ‘out of time & condition’. So, there is another constant that we can feel which doesn’t change at all i.e. “CHOICE”. Choice is something that we humans will have at every instant of time and life on whatever we do and think. Even not having a choice to do something is indeed a choice, i.e. to choose the same or leave the same. The thinking mentioned here, is to capitalise and focus on the four abstracts explained above to make the difference.

Life is not one-dimensional, but multi-dimensional. This means that getting success in one field of life is not the real success in life. We are living in the society and so we are not just living on our ideas, but in the mixture of the ideas of every other individual. So, it is not enough just to understand self; but it is still more valuable to understand others too. One needs to be careful of success in life; i.e. whether one is really on the right ladder or the wrong ladder. We may get medals of success in life for executing some ideas into actions, but if that success is not going to count in my real life and real goal in life, then, what is the use of the success. One may seems to be happy getting so many success in life in the career or the field one is preceding, but, whether the individual is sure the success medals are leading him/her to the right path of life. Thus, in order to be to among the ‘Great People’, one has to change the strategy/career path based on the combined impact of the above four abstracts in life. Or, the individual will be just a ‘Good Person’. One needs not just to realise own voice but one needs to inspire others to realise their voice; so that the other people can understand that the individual is indeed GREAT & not just Good.


Shanjoy Mairembam , a Software Engineer from Bangalore writes for regularly to e-pao.net
In this piece he shares his learnings from Franklin R. Covey's "THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE" and his own interpretation of it.
You can email the writer at shan_mairembam@yahoo.co.in
This article was webcasted on 07th March 2005.


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