At an early stage of life, if you could choose five traits that could shape your destiny, what would they be?
Have you ever thought about it?
Choices are a way of life. We develop our instincts and start making choices based on circumstances and needs.
When I aired this thought with my wife, I got a ‘Don’t-waste-my-time’ glare. She suggested that ‘How best to annoy your partner’ may make a better subject.
I had better success with my teenage daughter.
Her immediate response was “What are your picks?”
Not wanting to influence her, I asked her to think it over and let me know. I was impressed when she came back with her choices. One stood out, “eliminate procrastination.”
I could use that!
That got me thinking.
What are the five traits that I believe are worthy of yearning and earning?
So, here they are:
Perhaps the most important quality for me.
Courage makes us take that leap of faith, helps us bounce back, make us realise our shortcomings, enable us to form opinions and speak up during difficult times. Courage just cuts through the fear of the unknown and makes it an exciting path to explore.
Funnily enough, courage is not always born with you. A combination of life experiences, and most importantly the support of friends and family (in my case) play vital roles in developing that courage and ingraining it as a part of one’s character.
One of the boldest decisions we made in our life was to move countries with a 90-day-old infant. Being first-time parents with little knowledge of parenting, it was daunting. We set off to Botswana in Southern Africa, and to date remember with gratitude all the help we received from the people there. We settled so quickly that we ended up owning a house in a span of two years.
It was time for us to make another one. A major one.
Leaving aside an established way of life, we migrated to Australia, lock, stock and barrel. No friends, no relatives, no job, and a two-year-old girl who did not understand or speak English, in tow.
In hindsight, one of the best moves in our life!
Check out my previous blog post ‘A True Blue Aussie.’
- Clear Thinking
Undoubtedly one of the best facets of the human mind – to create thoughts.
Often, we are presented with things and situations that are ambiguous and complex. The ability to think clearly in such times stands us apart.
Again, I draw from personal experience.
My wife, a Chartered Accountant, was into her sixth year of employment at a small company. She was well settled and had grown with the company. The crazy hours were tolerable, but the boss who would call at 6.30 am on a Sunday morning asking her to book flight tickets was not.
Life, once again, needed a reset.
The next offer was a step-down both in terms of career and earnings. She set her priorities, conceptualised the next couple of years until she caught up with the earnings and did not turn back. She now works for a former Australian Olympian athlete, enjoys her role and the non-existence of bullshit and earns heaps more than what she used to.
- Artistic Mind
As kids, colours attracted us. Sound, smell, and taste followed. It is safe to say that everybody is born with an artistic bent of mind. How well do we nurture it? Each to their own.
I have never ring-fenced artistic virtues into music, photography, painting etc. There is a broader horizon – ‘appreciation’. This triggers us to step out of the box, perceptualize, and weigh in.
Did you know that Jeffery Katzenberg of Walt Disney came up with the idea of Lion King based on happenings in his life? An artistic mind to an epic musical! ‘Lion King’ and ‘Simba’ the lion connect with us instantly for the morals.
Imagine Charlie Chaplin’s ability to make people laugh in the era of silent movies!
I believe this is an acquired personality trait and one that evolves continuously. It is unique, easily identified, appreciated, highly inspirational, and influential.
Each one of us would have had role models at different stages. I have had my fair share. In my early years, I was fascinated by the soft-spoken, diplomatic types. Then came the suave and the smooth talkers, followed by the assertive, and commanding personalities.
My ‘chain of charms’ is a combination of reality, facts, empathy and genuineness. Identifying interesting traits and their impact on others has always been intriguing for me. Using your charms can be likened to playing poker. Only the beholder knows their possession and when to flash the right charm at the right time.
Something we all practise day in day out – Right?
- Sense of Humour
Don’t we all know that one person who thinks he/she has the best sense of humour, but is truly a pain for others? Multiplier effect, if it’s your boss at work.
Sense of humour is pretty similar to comebacks. Not everyone has that timing and if we let the moment go, it’s hard to recreate one. The best sense of humour emanates when you are being true to yourself. Our ability to empathise, self-deprecate, and intelligently conceptualise, intertwined with natural instinct and delivery can leave a mark.
With a comeback queen in my wife, and a daughter with a sense of humour, most disagreements at home seem to finally end up in a big hearty laugh.
The list above is not a stocktake of my haves or have nots. They are rather qualities that could have made me a better-rounded person at a very early stage of my life.
Remember the quote “Sow as you Reap?” Exactly!
So, what is that one trait that you wish you had?
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