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Understanding "I"

Stepping into a new place, be it an institution, a workplace, or just another group of people, we all are very receptive about the perceptions that we create in the minds of people. Most often, the perceptions that people have about us are based on what they feel when they’re around us.

Through my school life, I never noticed anything awkward or different about people’s perception towards me. In college, things were different.

I still remember the moments when I walked into a class, and introduced myself to everyone, and then slowly got around to knowing people and then becoming close friends with a group of them. After the initial months had passed, when we embarked on a casual conversation about what we all had thought of each other at first, I was surprised to hear, that everyone had perceived that I had lots of “attitude.”

Back then, having “attitude” was misconstrued by me as being “bad”. I’m sure many still make that mistake.

Let’s define what we mean by attitude first, attitude is the way I deal with people, with things and with life. It’s conveyed in the forms of my communication, my posture, my ideas and my words. Attitude is about being me. Now who is this me? That is the core to our thought process. Attitude is used most often as a synonym of arrogance, which is a logical and expressional fallacy.

The journey of beginning to define the “I” in my life is probably one of the most interesting and challenging journeys that I’ve had, answering questions which form the base to my actions, thoughts and emotions. One may ask, “Why do I want to do this?” “What do I want to do?” “Who am I?” and I speak from experience when I say that the joy of the realization that your life is yours to decide and that the choices are yours to make and that you will face the consequences of your own actions! Ah! It’s magic!

Maslow had a theory called the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’; He said that each of us have different stages of needs: Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Self-Esteem and Self-Actualization. The fifth stage of self-actualization which people compare to being spiritually inclined is what I’m talking about. Parallel with the Buddhist way of thought, it’s a feeling of enlightenment from within, of realizing your own true skills and utilizing them to achieve your every step.

Remember the time in your childhood when you thought you could fly? I remember the time I actually tried and fell, today I know, it wasn’t a fruitless attempt, because I have flown into the skies and had some falls, but kept going on, for no other reason other than the burning desire to go on.

So what is self-development? I’d say, Self Development is about understanding yourself, by prioritizing your passions, building up the skills which will take you there, and then, just go! Let go of the inhibitions. Don’t try to control, just let go of yourself completely and pursue your dreams with your passion!

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