Principles important to well-rounded personality

When we speak of a healthy body, we have chiefly two things in mind – one that relates to what it is and the other, to what it is not.

In the first instance, we mean that the person is active and is able to move about comfortably, doing things for himself. Secondly we take it that the individual does not suffer from any disease and is not a burden on others.

Give this matter a further thought and it will be seen that these factors are applicable not to the physical body alone but the mind and spirit as well. A healthy personality is that of one who is independent yet maintains a balanced outlook on life.

He is well integrated into society and succeeds in contributing to its welfare. Feelings of isolation do not trouble him, for he does not provoke the dislike or the ill will of others. Of course it is not something easily maintained, for it requires a person to act unfailingly on certain principles. Fortunately they can be summarized, kept in mind and practiced, so that the task becomes easier.

There is no one who can escape difficulties and conflicts. In these moments of stress, few things provide as much support and inspiration as having one ideal, one purpose guiding the whole personality and directing all powers, mental and emotional. In brief, this consists of doing the best that one can in all that one undertakes or faces. What better testimony to this than the words of Viktor Frankl, the intrepid survivor of the dreaded Auschwitz concentration camp?

In his book, Man’s search for Meaning, he writes,  “The persons who survived were not the fittest or the most intelligent. They were the ones who had an overpowering reason to keep going, a distinct goal in mind.”

In Frankl’s case it was a burning desire to see his wife’s face again. It helped him survive the unspeakable horrors inflicted on him and his companions.

Having a goal also means having to work. Often work is looked upon as a necessary evil and its real value understood only during enforced idleness. It is through work that we realize our full potential, our ability to achieve more and more. Little wonder then that even leisure time activities entail hard work. The great athletes of the world are some of its hardest workers.

In order to get a wider and truer perspective of life, we need to mingle with others. Whoever reaches out to others does a great service to his own self. While keeping to yourself may teach you all about yourself, it is reaching out to others that teaches about being human. It is by living together that we become familiar with life in all its dimensions – the good, the bad and the ugly. We develop team- spirit and learn to lend a helping hand.

Last but not least, we need to have faith in a Supreme Force or God. The rationalist may call it the ethical principle, the agnostic, a higher power and the believer, God Almighty. However one may look at it, faith has immense powers. It engenders positive forces, a happier flow of events and, most of all, peace of mind.

The life of man, it is said, is like a poem. It possesses all its cadences, its profundity and its beauty. What goes into its making is the well-integrated personality.

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