In the process of self-development, university education is an absolutely necessary tool, but to survive in the practical university of life, the further requirement is to continuously seek enrichment of simple virtues. In view of their simplicity, these unfortunately get obscured and fazed by the glitter and glory we often unnecessarily seek; despite full knowledge that these adornments have limited life.
Our environment is our best teacher. Without much knowledge to us, we create our own environment. Since cognisance of self-creation of environment is not there, we instead spend time cribbing about circumstances being not in accord, with our desires and wishes. The ability to create your own circumstances must be discovered. We pay so very little attention to self-development through the mechanism of how we choose and manage relationships.
Select, at work place and on the social circuit of yours, the company you desire, with extreme care and caution. Associate yourself with individuals who are blessed with positive thought and energy. Attempt to make an entry by befriending people of high intellect and informed intelligence. In finding the right group of persons look out for cheerful people to be part of your immediate company. Depressive attitude breeds incompetence. Sulking behaviour leads you on a journey of finding faults and shuts your eyes on opportunities that stare at you.
Some remark, ‘the woods are dark and lovely’ others with a negative bent of mind may look at the same scene and say, ‘the woods are dark and uninviting.’ Remember it is the perspective that matters most in choosing your company. The ability to surmount the terrain of negative thought is ultimately true success, both in professional and personal life.
Man is known by the company he keeps. So isn’t it important for us to be selective, because based on whom we interact and socialise with, we directly build our personal reputation. Imperatively, therefore seek out colleagues at your work place who possess strong character that glistens with the purity of internal mental make-up. The unseen by Nature’s design gets exhibited through the features and expression on the face -- if the internal person is ugly, then it is just not possible to have a smiling face -- the inner dirt will someday begin to reflect and show in action; the manifestations can be in many formats. By deduction, find ways to discover the inner persona of persons you wish to be associated with. ‘Better fare hard with good men than feast it with bad’. (Dr Thomas Fuller).
In the company of fools, even a wise man looks a greater fool. A lion that keeps company with the sheep would end up being docile and scared. Never venture to take refuge with the evil or the scoundrel for if you do regret will be your reward.
They say never judge a book by its cover. Therefore, diligently search for people who possess sincerity in character because, it is just as apparent as the genuine ring of a properly minted coin. It is that quality within a person’s character that lends to him, ‘that something’- that differentiates him from the low, the sordid, the counterfeit’ (OP Ghai). When you are in such company, success by whatever personal definition you may have will never elude you. For the good of yourself learn to sacrifice yourself. No greatness is ever achieved without sacrifice. Kill temptation to go astray in bad company at the altar of inspired choice.
As a man is, so is his company. “Tell me with whom thou goest, and I will tell thee what thou doest” was one of the oft repeated, favourite quote of my English literature teacher, Brother Roberts. He and fellow Brothers, Father’s and Mother Superior and Sister’s, ingrained on our young minds at school of how keeping good company is critical to being a good human-being, with great human virtues and characteristics. In fact, the motto of my school was, ‘virtuous sola nobiltat’, in Latin or when loosely translated into English it meant, ‘virtuous alone are noble’. I owe it to my teachers for creating such deep sense of awareness on the importance of being in ‘good company’ in the earliest and formative years of life. Virtuous company is the foundation towards building a life of solid nobility.
It is said, that there are two methods towards establishing a good reputation - firstly get to be praised by good men and secondly get yourself abused by the rogues and dirty.
Once having found the right company within your organisation, try and adopt the Benjamin Franklin methodology of cultivating virtue; that you get exposed to, on every day basis. Franklin Had committed his life’s work to acquire virtue; he used to write in a journal, his progress or regress, in regard to the virtue he was working to acquire…. His list had 13 virtues of which some were as simple as silence, order, sincerity, frugality, cleanliness and so on...! Can you draw your laundry list of virtues that you would want to work upon that you notice in your circle of friends and acquaintances?
Reputation is the general opinion held about you, generally. A corporate entity’s reputation is the sum total of the reputation of its constituents ie all of its human resources. Upon reputation, I like the following words of George Washington, most apt and formidable, “…..without it (reputation) gold has no value, birth no distinction, station no dignity, beauty no charm, age no reverence, or should I not rather say, without it every treasure impoverishes, every grace deforms, every dignity degrades, and all the arts, the decorations and accomplishments of life stand like the beacon - blaze upon a rock, warning the world that its approach is danger- that its contact is death.”
For your company choose those who are endowed with natural charisma, based on traits like godliness, sincerity and love. Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for its better to be alone than be in bad company. (Washington)
A good name never loses its lustre even in pitch darkness- it glitters. Jettison from your life, those who influence upon you negatively and bring on-board those, who rejoice their active sense of positivism.
The writer is a senior banker and freelance columnist