The angel’s council is in session. They are dispatching the next set of babies to earth. The giant mixing pot is out. There is a lot of talk about the babies being produced. Finally they break up and assemble round the pot. One angel throws in a pinch of kindness. While another dumps the formula for doe-eyes. They go on like this. In goes a whole bunch of aspirations, a set of principles, physical indicators with due consideration of genes, a little good and bad of everything, so on and so forth.
The above narrative may be a figment of my imagination but when you look around and consider the diversity amongst the people in our world, we can’t help but wonder what is it that makes a person unique. Here are 10 things that set a person apart.
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’
Results follow from actions. Actions follow from habits. Do you arrive on time? Or are you a late comer? Do you brush your teeth twice a day or repeat a mantra in your head every day? Are you an early riser or a late sleeper? Do you maintain a diary? Or read a book before nodding off to sleep every night? These are all your habits. And they needn’t necessarily be good ones either. But I think you can now visualize more clearly how these habits affect you, don’t you? Being on time paints a positive picture in, say, your boss’ mind. Reading a book every night introduces you to the treasure chest of knowledge in this world. So, habits are a huge part of who we are. And it’s up to us to carefully decide whether to make or break them.
Relationships forged through the course of your lives distinguish you in ways that you probably don’t appreciate. Do you remember doing something some way because that’s how your father always did it. Or learning something new you probably would have gone all your life without if it hadn’t been for that friend. Relationships bring out the real you. Who you are with your family and friends is probably the version of you closest to your heart. And in some cases the relationships that define you aren’t limited to humans but to some of God’s most captivating creatures like your pets even.
Our background is probably the sturdy foundation on which we built our lives. Be it Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Tamilian, Telugu, Sindhi, Malayali, Rajasthani, or Gujarati; may you be rich, poor or middle-class; may your family be farmers, actors, doctors, engineers or politicians, it’s your background that ultimately molds you into the person you are. The skills you possess, your tastes in clothes, the flavors that appeal to you, the colors that call out to you, why even your accent, it comes down to the environment of your bringing up.
The food that makes you drool, music that makes you sway, clothes that befit us, the fragrance that we choose to use, all this is your taste functioning to determine your choice. Your tastes reveal your personality. In many cases tastes determine your relationships. Do you recollect that time you met someone and you fell into conversation and to your delight you realized this person shared your love for the same books, watched the same shows and even listened to the same music. Remember how that practically sealed your friendship then and there. I think you can now appreciate the integral role tastes play in your life. And what’s more, these tastes can be influenced by the very relationships they helped forge.
An experience especially in our childhood can heavily influence our behavior. Experiences could range from traumatic to joyful ones. The information we absorb from our environment strongly influences us in ways imperceptible to us. For example study shows that a child from an abusive household tends to have low self-esteem while someone from a loving family tends to be confident and outgoing and many a times even mischievous.
How you view anything differs from person to person. The view is never the same, probably why we are constantly asked to observe things from the other person’s shoes. Our perspective determines everything in life. It determines our relationships, determines our goals, our thoughts, our actions, why it determines the very person we become. It determines the world as we know it!
‘Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.’
– Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
You are among strangers. You are feeling alone, even a little bored. Then in an instant there you are lost in your thoughts, mentally occupied in this beautiful place painted by your imagination. That’s the magic of your thoughts. They preoccupy you and shield you from your harsh reality at times. They are also your best source of counsel. What would you do without your thoughts? Your actions wouldn’t be influenced by them and mankind would probably have never evolved into this civilized tribe. You would be driven crazy. Not being able to keep something to yourself can be maddening. It can drive you crazy. There are times you like to converse with yourself. How do you do it if not through your thoughts? Infinitely many times your thoughts have come to your rescue, be it how you proceed in a difficult situation, boredom, or just by being a friend when a friend be needed.
Goals keep us focused on the object of our desire. And life at large is an odyssey marked with many diversions, adventures and obstacles but at the end of the day its purpose is to work steadily at your objective. It lends a drive, motivates us and warrants our commitment. Some stick to one goal at a time, others have many, while there are a handful who live their goal every day. Goals could range from a promotion at work to something as straightforward as living a full and happy life. Everyone should have a goal, a dream, because you can’t start living unless you start dreaming.
You know how we keep hearing the phrase ‘out of the box’? Everywhere you go you are recognized for what makes you exceptional, for not conforming to what’s customary. It’s what’s unique and the unusual that an individual brings to the table that sets him apart. Creativity is in simple terms what makes you interesting and vibrant and makes life for you as well as those surrounding you a fulfilling experience. Expression defines us and expression with a pinch of originality is a sure sign of embracing life to the fullest.
A popular adage goes, ‘Attitude determines your altitude’ and no truer words can be uttered. Imagine meeting two people, one a glass is half full kind and the other the half empty kind. Who would you like more? See, that was attitude influencing your preference. A good attitude can take you places, while a poor one will weigh you down in life. Attitude isn’t something congenital, it’s an acquired attribute that everyone can and must work on for a better life.
Life as we know it would be a boring exercise if it wasn’t for the variety of people filling it. Every person we meet knows or has experienced something we haven’t, probably what sets them apart. Remembering that no person is the same while going about our lives is imperative.