Friday, September 9, 2011

"I wish I was better than I am"

"I wish I was better than I am"

How many of you have wished the above at least once?

I am guessing – All of you or at least most of you. (And of course, that includes me too). In this article, I have attempted to try and find out what all contributes to the above oft thought/expressed wish of being better than we already are.

- A Sense of Importance or self worth
William James, the American psychologist and philosopher has famously said: “The deepest principle in human nature is the ‘craving’ to be appreciated.”

I second him. We don’t merely like compliments. We go out of our way to earn them. We want others to come and shower it on us. And this is a common urge across the board. No one is untouched by this sense of feeling important, howsoever humble that person might be. Even God loves to be praised. We are but mere mortals. 
So from the moment we are born we look for appreciation for our actions- Be it taking our first awkward baby steps, learning our alphabets haphazardly or even giving a stage performance that simply includes waving at the audience. The “Wows” “Bravo” and “Wonderful” goes a long way in building up our self esteem.
On the other hand, if we are out rightly admonished we feel extremely hurt. Thus, parents always encourage their children by praising them no matter what. It is the sincere effort of the child that counts.
So basically, we, humans, inherently like to feel Important. And there is nothing wrong in that. Each one of us is important. In our own way we have our parts to play. We must develop this attitude of sincerely encouraging others. It makes the world so much more happier place to live when we encourage others and are encouraged in return. 

But the question is what keeps us from not exploring our great untapped potential?

 Fear of being ridiculed/criticized –
An extremely vital factor that contributes to the feeling of – ‘I wish….,’syndrome is that we are all scared of becoming a laughing stock in front of others. We like to come across as suave, sophisticated, cultured and wise people. Committing mistakes is a big no - no. What will others think? The fear of being looked down upon by others for our behavior, action or thoughts restrain us from trying out anything openly. And so we either do not make an attempt or make a feeble one.  But when we see other friends and fellow members of Society overcoming the same obstacle easily we are in awe of them and switch into the ‘I wish’ mode. But friends we forget, we got too busy thinking what the others might think or say. Be foolish. Let them laugh. In fact, if it would even better if we can laugh at ourselves. And what if we feel bad about the whole thing? Why not? Let the emotions flow. It is quite normal to feel bad. But the important point to remember is  to -never give up. Getting over our apprehensions is important. Committing mistakes is important. They are our lessons. There will be a point when the mistakes will either completely vanish or will be well under control.   But the best of all we will come out of our ‘I wish…,’ mode.

Lack of proper knowledge –
Knowledge is important. For anything we want to achieve, we must know as much as possible about it. Learning is an ongoing process. So the more we learn the better. Maybe we cannot grasp as much as the other who is studying the same subject as us. But each of us has our own way of understanding things. We should not try and compete, (though the urge is strong). Just being ourselves and picking up things that we think are relevant for us is enough to move on. It will curb our urge to say I wish….’coz we are fulfilling our wish when we are learning about it.   

Lack of courage –
Just like swimming against the stream requires immense mental strength and perseverance (besides of course knowing, how to swim), to be able to achieve what we want requires inner strength. A little self doubt here or a pint of distraction there may cause us to be forever hanging in the ‘wishing mode’ and never actually attempting to do something about it as many of us remain in self doubt or are not confident enough about ourselves. In such cases again a supportive environment helps tremendously in overcoming our doubts on our abilities.
So come, let’s make a wish and then work for it! :-)

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