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7 Profound Truths From “The Prophet” That’ll Help You Grow Remarkably

7 Profound Truths From “The Prophet” That’ll Help You Grow Remarkably

Kahlil Gibran is a Lebanese poet and philosopher; his predominant work “The Prophet,” has profound influence and made a terrific impact on mankind since its inception.

I’ve found few answers to the predicaments of life in “The Prophet” that has enormous potential to change you. I’ve been in a maze drifting away until “The Prophet” tapped my unconscious and showed me the path out of the maze towards enlightenment.

Here we go:

On Joy and Sorrow

The Prophet says, “Joy is your sorrow unmasked.”

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Any adversity in your life is a blessing in disguise that makes you a better person. So whenever you are in a deep melancholy, just stay calm; the joy has yet to come because both joy and sorrow are inseparable.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart; you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

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On Pain 

The Prophet says, “Much of your pain is self chosen.”

We inflict pain upon ourselves knowingly; obviously we can’t avoid it, however, we can deal with it. Try to avoid the trap of being the victim and search for ways to handle your pain.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. So accept pain and get to know you better. Pain is a chance to grow personally.

On Reason and Passion

The Prophet says, “Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.”

Having a reason and passion in life cuts off the unnecessary melodrama and leads you to the desired goal.

Reason and Passion gives a purpose to life; we aimlessly loiter and succumb to the paradoxes of life if we don’t have reason and passion that leads to the eternity.

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So when you are lost and depressed, find your reason and passion. They truly help you.

On Good and Evil

The Prophet says, “Evil is nothing but good tortured by his own hunger and thirst.”

Life is full of choices, we have to choose carefully; let us not allow good be tortured by the hunger. If so, good provokes evil.

So have restraint and practice self-control to surely prevents all the mishaps of evil. Longing for goodness is in all of us. Nurture it, protect it and practice it. When good is hungry, it seeks food even in dark caves; when it is thirsty it drinks even from dead waters.

Beware, after all choice is yours.

On Work

The Prophet says, “Work is love made visible.”

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If we do so, we consciously avoid all our career depressions.

And what is working with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, as if your beloved were to wear the cloth.

You work that you may keep peace with the soul of the earth. And to love life through labor is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

No matter what, do what you love; you’ll never regret, for in it is hidden the gate to eternity.

On Giving

The Prophet says, “Those who believe in life, their coffer is never empty.”

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Holding on to everything you own is the source for all troubles and worries. Life is short, give unconditionally. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

To simply put, “To withhold is to perish and to give is to receive”

On Choice

The Prophet says, “Let not the sprit go wandering upon the wind.”

Control your thoughts. There is no good and bad separately; both lie within us. It’s ultimately the choice we consciously opt for.

Hold up the spirit and guide your soul to eternal bliss.

Our depressions are mostly self-inflicted; the problems in life are the choices we made. Before laying axe unto the evil, let us examine the roots first. Once it is done our predicaments obviously fly away.

To end this article, “It is life in quest of life in bodies that fear the grave.” Let us aim for the eternity and make our lives beautiful and purposeful.

Thanks to Kahlil Gibran.

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KAMAL SUCHARAN BURRI

Founding Director, Newlight Cinemas

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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