GOB!G Quote of the Day

Friday, June 29, 2007

Adopt and model your best character

Been doing some serious thinking lately about character and traits. I'm sure you would be in concert with me that most successes in life and true joy is a by-product of character and and its traits. The reason many of us (me too) keep going round and round in circles regarding our personal growth and goals is that we're doing it with all the wrong character. The attitude isn't firing up the engine hot enough to last us even two days. We make a personal commitments today to make some life improvements, oopsy, they're gone tomorrow just as fast as they came. My recent battle with my habitual devils has revealed in me default-failure character traits.

To kill the habitual devils I kind of went on in silence in my head. I gathered the peace and quite in my mind and the best solution I could find in my deepest silence to date, was that I need to invent the ideal me. Character, traits, attitude, behaviour, habits and beliefs that are strictly aligned to consistent personal growth and a success lifestyle. Call it using the right gear to climb a high altitude mountain than going only with guinea mouse faith - running on the same marry-go-round hoping to get somewhere (Hah, what insanity in sane man!).

Adopting or even inventing a character that one really wants to emulate is the sure way to get it right. To get the marry-go-forward results. I decided to take the traits of a few successful people and implant them inside and adopt them as daily habits. This comes in the wake of my missing on some of my goals that I recently set. So most important things are going right since the clean sweep, but it's the significant moves that are not happening yet. The moves that could see my life witness a leap to what I've always desired to live. And I believe that could come only with shedding the sheep skin and wearing the lion hide.

I bet you could also try and create, invent, adopt or emulate a character that you believe most demonstrates what you truly want to stand for. This whole character invention thing came to my mind whilst paging through a recent Men's Health magazine: "After all, his success as an actor depends on his ability to inhabit the mind of another person and then stay in character for months," it goes. That piece was about Gerard Butler who played Leonardis in the epic movie 300. And that's what I admire about actors like Butler and Whitaker's character in The Last King of Scotland - they can stay in character for months. They eat, talk, breath and fart like the character they're emulating - they become that person.

If they stay in character for months and their lives don't depend on it, how about you stay in character for years? I know my life depends on it. I bet you'll have become that person you truly want to be - that characters habits, traits, attitude and beliefs will be deeply implanted in you within a year that you become that person. "Man's mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions, said Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Well, I'm going to give it a try and also live like that character - daily, until I become that character. It's bonding with the ideal me. After all, no tax to be paid in trying and I stand a damned good chance of stopping the marry-go-nowhere.

"Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire


Anonymous said...

You can do it sweetie! It is not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. I stayed in character for over 20 years! It started the day that I brought my first child home from the hospital and ended the day that my youngest one graduated from high school. The character that I wrote was one of a mother that my children could always trust, look up to and be proud of. I did not win any awards for that performance, but my children turned out great and that was worth more than all the trophies in the world. I broke the Merry-go-nowhere!

Now, I have the rest of my life to be a weirdo again! :)

Best wishes always, Connie

Ishtar said...

This is one of the rare moments when you have me confused. Perhaps I need to hear you elaborate some more on what exactly it is that you're thinking about. You write "the best solution I could find [...] was that I need to invent the ideal me" and my first though is: "Oh dear", followed by "How fast does Western Mindset Actually Travel???"

In my world, we're all different inviduals with different strenghts and different weaknesses. The funny thing however is that what stands out as our greatest asset is also our greatest mean of doing harm - hence the importance of choosing what we want to do with our lives.

Of course you can mold yourself into whatever character you like - it only takes a strong character or some sort of desperation that you'll in dire need to escape. But that doesn't classify as healthy living in my book. What is it exactly you don't like about yourself? Who are you comparing yourself with when you look at your shortcomings? When you look at the traits that you despise about yourself (and in this case, it seems to me to be an issue about not getting things done although you have decided to do it, right?) and make up your mind to fix that through reinvention, have you thought about all your strong traits and the things that you actually DO contribute with??? We often take those things for granted, because in our own world, they're so natural. It doesn't cost us anything to perform in the way that stands out as most natural to us - in fact, they're so natural that they're hardly worth anything!

You know it took me quite a few years before I realised that the things I take for granted about myself actually are not to be taken for granted with other people. Instead, they have OTHER strenghts that I lack!

I used to look down on weakness because I was such a strong person myself, and it took a very strong malaria that set me off for six months to realise that what it's like to want to do something, and not be able to do it. I had such fixed goals and was sure that my confidence (which had brought me so far already) would keep turning the impossible into reality; but my body was broken and my mind did not have enough strenght to dance to my cue. I really tormented myself about it at first, until I realised that there are in fact other values in life and that there is an amazing strenght in weakness as well.

Although I'm all for setting goals and doing what you can to achieve them, I really don't think you'll be happy trying to comform into some ideal. First of all, I don't think we're all capable of achieving such an ideal (sure, some people have more realisti ideals then others, but still!) and secondly, even if we do, I think it comes at a very high price. And you'll lose all those strenghts and assets that you actually have, but have been taken for granted and don't see the value of.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Don't be so quick to reinvent. I've seen a lot of my friends do it and it comes at a very high price. Instead, look at the assets that you really DO have. Although we all have different assets, they all contribute equally, believe me. Some characters just take up more space(and therefore can look greater in people's eyes), but there is something amazing about the subtle, loyal and supportive people - people who are so different from myself.

I could make up my mind to become a subtle, controlled, unpassionate and ambitious person, and the funny thing is that I am confident enough to know that I would succeed. But what would I gain from it, really? Better use my passion and try to focus on the right things. Better use my hot temper and fight for the unfortunate. Better use my enthusiasm to make people happy. I might to be respected for it, and I certainly won't get that PHD that my sister has. But I will not be a poorer person by living out who I was meant to be. Instead, I get to use my talents and enjoy every day of my life.

Cheers, Ishtar

Izz said...

Wow Ishtar. Wow! I like your thinking and challenging thoughts too. I guess, in a way that may be unbeknownst to the both of us, we are agreeing on one thing, but the expression of such unity is failed by words. As in I said what you're saying (you may not agree with this statement) in a way that was in my words and imagery.

Basically, I attempt to fight for being what I most desire. Not to invent in me other people, but at the same time, to take a leaf out of humanitarian characters that could add value in my life - I wouldn't mind having the traits of Nelson Mandela in me or of my grandmother. That would do me a lot of good, and in turn, I'd share that good with many people - ripple effect.

By stay in character, in short, I'm trying to say that for me, such a character is of a man who doesn't procrastinate, who remembers to say thank you, who see the best in himself and others, who is content with what he has, but is equally not afraid to ask more of the abundance of life (in many forms than simply material).

But I get your view on it. And am thankful that it did re-open my eyes that we can start at the same point, divert in our paths to a destination (and such gives better diversity), and we eventually arrive at the same point (and if not, I'm sure the isn't pity in diverse destinationations and achievements).

But at the most, my cry here is that of being what I always wanted to be, and I try different and varying solutions to getting there. Staying in character sounds just fine to me - as long as I take the Israel inside me, with me and keep his values.

Thank you Ishtar, and I intent to do a lot of thinking around your thoughts and tips.