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5 Baneful Blessings that are Real Life Mentors

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5 Baneful Blessings that are Real Life Mentors

No matter how much you are being plunged into all those earnest advises about life by the so-called experts, nothing can rescue you than Life itself. You must have cursed Life several times; when things have gone wrong, when you were not happy, or even you may have cursed someone just a second before he did something you never expected of him. Think for a moment and you will realize that all these real life baneful things changed you from what you were in the past.

Don’t react to my advise, but contemplate it, and see if you agree with the five baneful blessings of life that Life throws our way but become real life mentors.

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1. Rejection

There are moments in life when you, your work or even your thoughts have been rejected by someone. You very well know the pain you might have gone through because of rejection. And yet, there was a lesson in that rejection: self-belief. It was what you did after the hopeless moment of rejection that matters most in life. Many famous people, like Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Paulo Coelho, have outgrown these baneful rejections. If the thoughts of previous rejection reflects a more strong individual in you now, Life has mentored you well.

2. Solitude

The state of living alone or feeling lonely is considered the worst condition in life. The fear of seclusion makes you go awry. In your upright busy schedule you try not to be left alone. Even the small time that is available during weekends is spent socializing with others, or watching TV, in spite of knowing the fact that all the best things available in the world had been conceptualized in a moment of solitude. Think of a time when life must have thrown you in seclusion, when you met your fear. You might be alone, all scared and afraid to do a certain thing by yourself. For example, when you entered a new college and had to leave all your school friends behind, or when you started a new job where there were no familiar faces. And yet you did your best and learned important lessons of life. Nothing can take the place of what solitude can teach you in life.

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3. Inferiority complex

The lack of self-worth or doubt in your abilities is the worst kind of situation you might go through in life. This inferiority complex might have crept in each of us at several points in life. The earliest sign of it in your life could have been when your parents criticized you for not living up to their expectations in school, in any competitive exam, or in your social circle. This baneful thing has taught you several lessons which are otherwise elusive. You learned the way to dress, the way to express yourself, even your updated knowledge about current affairs is a way to come out of this dogma of inferiority. This feeling of uncertainty about your weaknesses makes you focus more on your strong points. Self-confidence was the thing Life trained you in.

4. Altercations

We all try to dodge angry or heated arguments with our near and dear ones. You don’t wish to get hurt by others, and you don’t want to hurt them in return. But no matter how careful you are, altercations happen. And the worst thing is that you don’t feel as dreadful during an altercation as after it’s over. These altercations are a way of purging your sulking heart. They bring out all the pent up emotions that must have been stored in the past. And most will agree that an altercation reveals the true identity of the people involved. That is why lovers are brought closer and enemies become more distant after confrontations.

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5. An insidious clique

This is the most common way in which life teaches us a lot. You must have been surrounded by certain insidious or cunning people who depict themselves as your well-wishers. Initially they even might have convinced you to think so. But gradually you were able to see their true colors. Those that belong to this insidious clique will try to use you in the best of their opportunity until you realize they are just here to bring more harm to your life. Such a kind of group of people exist in your life to enlighten you more about Life; it helps to ensure you enter the outside world less gullible.

Having read the five baneful things, do you feel that any one of them acted as your life mentor or changed you from what you were in the past? If the answer is yes, and if the change was positive, you could very well rejoice for being a good learner and can say aloud the beautiful lines of a poem by H W Longfellow:

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Let Us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Featured photo credit: Seascape/Marie Lespecier via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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