As I have discussed in my previous articles, personality is only an outward appearance of an individual and as such it is changeable. In the words of Rosemary Dennis, "The person you were last year does not exist. Personality is a flowing, changing complex of interrelated factors. You are not the same person you were yesterday."
In order to be successful in this world we have to cultivate a desirable personality. We don’t have to live with the one we have now, if it is not very pleasant. We can make it as attractive as we desire. I am not talking about attractiveness in terms of physical appearance but what I am referring to is the charm of personality. You may have met people who are not very good looking but they have this charisma about them. You can’t help but like them. On the other hand some people have beautiful faces but they are not very likeable. Though a person’s physical appearance does help in some ways, but if you cultivate an attractive personality then you will attract success no matter what you look like.
William Walker Atkinson explains the meaning of the word personality in the following way, “Personality as such is false. The word "personality" has to be understood. It comes from persona; persona means mask. In ancient drama the actors used to wear masks. Those masks were called personae - personae because the sound was coming from behind the mask. Sona means sound. The masks were apparent to the audience and from behind the mask the sound was coming. From that word persona has come the word personality”. So if we have to wear this mask of personality as we go about in life we might as well make it an attractive one. It is not that we are trying to be someone we are not. This is not deception because your personality is not the real you to begin with. Your individuality is your real self. Just as an actor can change his costume so can you develop desirable personality traits in the place of undesirable ones. The closer you will get to your higher self or the individual within you, the easier it will become.
Most people cannot see the individual behind the mask of personality. No matter how clever and intelligent you are if you have an unattractive personality you will not make much of an impact on your audience. On the contrary you will repel them. Developing good relationships though for your business or on a personal level is important for a successful life. You personality should be pleasant for people in your life. If it isn’t then instead of thinking that this is who you are, you can do something about it. You should know that it is not the real you. M. Scott Peck said “The giving up of personality traits, well-established patterns of behavior, ideologies, and even whole life styles...these are major forms of giving up that are required if one is to travel very far on the journey of life”.
According to David Viscott “If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed”. Courage is the most important ingredient of a strong and confident personality. Courage is the person’s backbone. A courageous person states what he wants to do and the goes ahead and does it. It takes no more effort to be courageous then it takes to be cowardly.
If you want your life to amount to something then you must have definite clear cut goals. You must know what you want to accomplish or what you want to be. The person who never wants anything gets very little. You must first have the courage to strongly and earnestly desire something. If you want a great deal then you must demand a great deal. A strong desire force is a wonderful power. It will draw to you every thing you need to accomplish your goals. A person with courage has persistence. He doesn’t give up until his desire have manifested. A person without courage faces moral, mental and financial difficulties. When a problem arises in his life instead of facing it with strength of character he tries to find ways to avoid it or wishes that it goes away. He seeks help from every one except for one person that he should be asking for help and that is his own self. As Miguel de Unamuno said “In life, we all get scored on every day. The wonderful thing is, if we do our best with courage and tenacity, we might be outscored but we can never be beaten”.
You should look at every problematic situation in your life as a possibility and then you can grow mentally with any hardship in your life. If you think of something as impossible then you draw to yourself every thing that contributes to failure. All the wonderful inventions that we enjoy today like electricity, computers, mobile phones and so on were once considered impossibilities. You have to understand and believe that all things are possible. You will loose self confidence if you are lacking courage. The person of courage is confident. He attracts mental forces and all the moral qualities which make him a man of strong character. A man without courage on the other hand draws to himself all the qualities of a weak man like doubt and fear. He is then unable to believe in himself.
Fear thought is the root of most failures in life. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it... You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do". If you ever feel afraid and have thoughts of such negative nature, cast them off as if they are poison.
You should not let anyone else’s opinion bother you; how someone else can know what your abilities are or what you can or cannot do. You don’t even know it yourself until you put yourself to test so how you can expect some one to tell you that what you should do with your forces. When you are doing something which you believe is right and you let someone influence you against it you loose self confidence. You take away focus from your own plan and begin to carry out another person’s thoughts. You loose all the attractive power of courage which was to bring you all that you need to succeed. You become timid instead of being self-reliant. This is your invitation to failure. To be successful you have to count upon and believe in yourself. You should be aware of great possibilities within you. When you believe that you can do something with all your heart you develop courage and persistence to live up to that belief. Courage will melt away all the obstacles in your way. You will be able to overcome trials and temptations which you will face in life. Courage is within you. All you have to do is to believe in it, claim it and use it.
Another important trait of personality is self respect. If you have it then it will manifest itself in your personality. If you don’t have it then you should immediately start to work on it. Dr. Joyce Brothers had well said, “An individual's self-concept is the core of his personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life”.
Be firm and fearless when you face the world. Keep your posture straight and hold up your head. If you have been following my articles you know by now that thoughts take form in action. This works both ways. Action develops mental states. Aristotle said “Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. You become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions”. When you will act self respect, you will think self respect and your higher self will manifest itself in your personality. Don’t try to collect sympathies from others and never feel sorry for yourself. Be a man or a woman as the case might be.
SHOW CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS
Don’t be so wrapped up in your own world that you convey the impression of being cold or aloof to others. You will never become popular if you are regarded as selfish. Take an interest in others and be a good listener. However don’t become a dumping ground for all the talk of all the people you meet. Don’t waste a lot of your time in idle talk as you have your own things to do. Use your own judgment to control the time you give to others. It depends on the particular circumstances of the case and person you are talking to. Make sure not to bore people with your personal experiences. Make an exception when you feel that it is necessary to bring yourself in the conversation. Don’t discuss your failures or your many achievements. People don’t want to hear how clever you are but they want to tell you that how wonderful they are. This is much more fun for them.
Maintaining your self poise is another important aspect of personality. You must have complete control of your mind and emotions. Don’t let your temper be the boss of you. I have already written about this subject in the article "Control your temper" so I will not go in to details about this matter. A quote from Buddha sums it all, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”.
Same goes for other negative emotions like jealousy, envy and superiority. If you want an attractive and strong personality you must replace all these negative states of mind with positive ones like compassion, forgiveness and reverence.
In the words of Albert Schweitzer, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success”. You should cultivate a mental attitude of cheerfulness and happiness. A person with a sunny and happy go lucky exterior is always preferred over a pessimistic and gloomy person. A cheerful person spreads joy wherever he goes and thus people are attracted to him. Don’t constantly talk about your worries when you are in the presence of others. If you are feeling sad don’t let others see it. Always put a brave front for the people. You will benefit by this in three ways. Firstly, as mentioned before action take form in thoughts so if you will act happy after a while you will began to feel happy. Secondly, when your thoughts will become cheerful, you may attract cheerful persons and things to you by the law of attraction. Thirdly you will present to others an attractive personality. So smile and the world will smile with you as the saying goes.
Successful personality makes a successful life. However some importance should be given to the physical bearing of the person. Your clothes need not to be expensive but you should cultivate a quite and refined taste. Most importantly you should be neat and clean. I am not preaching simplicity. Wear what you feel comfortable in and what you can afford. Do your best by means you have.
In the words of William Shakespeare,
“All the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players;They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts”.
While personality is not your real self but it does plays an important part in the drama of life. As the audience pay more attention to the personality then to the individual who is behind the mask. This mask may be changed by the effort of your will. Firstly you must decide that what kind of personality is most suitable for you and which traits you must develop. Form a mental image of your ideal self. Desire it strongly and believe that you will have it. Act it out until you manifest your ideal in to reality. Always remember When you desire something earnestly you generate enough attractive force to get it. If you wish for something in a half hearted way you probably won’t get it. Always expect the best with a firm resolve. When this happens your will power is automatically activated and this will lead you to accomplishment.