Life has many facets: habits, aspirations, goals, significance etc. It is rare that there has been an artist who was also a good householder and a progressive human being. When I say a good householder, I mean one who facilitates the family in all respects. He not only provides for them materially but also emotionally. This is so, typical for a family man. But when we talk of an individual who doesn’t have a family, they too will have to find out their goals; what they want to do in life by controlling or changing their habits. In these circumstances it is difficult to imagine an artist who is totally devoted to his/her passion for art putting similar emphasis/importance on all the other aspects of life, as said above.
Therefore I think we must understand and practice the ‘Secrets of Happy Living’.
- The first secret, according to me, would be ‘Self Awareness’. An individual needs to be conscious of his own body, state of mind including thoughts, actions, ideas, feeling and interaction with others. Besides, self awareness has to be a continuous process. It’s only then that you can mould your thoughts, actions and relationship with others. Without doubt, this requires a constant review. The process teaches you how to go about finding solutions to the problems.
- The second secret is setting priorities. It is not only fixing the priorities but also scheduling them according to their relative importance. We must remember that when we schedule a task and provide a time slot, it is not necessary that time allocated will always be found sufficient. Time management is another important aspect to be reviewed from time to time. The discipline that you require for constant follow up requires a logical approach. It should have nothing to do with the moods of the person. When a particular task is not finished as per schedule you need to provide the next slot and abide by it. This protocol alone can bring about the desired results.
- The third secret is necessary to develop a keen sense of focus. To my mind doing only one thing at a time is the best approach. As far as possible there should be no interruption. Equally important is your total mind and soul into what you are doing. One has to start living in the present, moment to moment. Deliberate effort may be required for some time but then it becomes your habit and you start navigating you life as if you are flying an airplane.
- Lastly, the fourth secret is your speech. It is critically important. Because we have to interact with colleagues, family members and the society at large, we must choose our words and use them effectively. Any wrong choice or casual approach towards this very important aspect of human personality can be disastrous. Speech must always be clear; words should be chosen with discretion and spoken effectively. Speech helps to maintain and improve our relations in any environment.
To conclude I would like to say that a successful life in modern times requires us to know and practice these and any other secret that works for us.
Thanks for reading.
Speech is, perhaps, one of the most important aspects of communication, today. Speech comprises the words that you speak and more importantly how you speak these words. Speech is not taught in schools and colleges. We just pick it up – from our parents, teachers, friends and others in the society with whom we interact. Some of the mistakes that people make in our circle are also adopted by us, though unknowingly. When we set out to improve, we have to unlearn many things. Just because we have been committing these mistakes again and again these form a part of our speech habits. Speech blemishes can be corrected with knowledgeable guidance and a lot of practice. In this regard let’s deal with the following six items:
- Knowledge of language grammar.
- Your vocabulary in that language.
- How you construct your sentences.
- Clarity in your voice.
- Your knowledge and ability to pronounce the words correctly and clearly.
- Pace, pause and tone of your speech.
Knowledge of grammar Normally, it is assumed that knowledge of grammar is only bookish ability and it’s useful only for written communications. This is a fallacy and totally incorrect. You can make nice sentences easy to understand only if you are adequately comfortable in the grammar of the language.
Learning or building of vocabulary is a lifelong process. It should never cease. Difficult, fancy or fashionable words need not be a part of your vocabulary. In fact, simple is beautiful.
Your construction of sentences, in a way, defines your speech. The efficacy of your speech depends on it. Short sentences of varying length may be intertwined to bring out a beautiful style.
Voice plays a major role in your speech. Voice need to be pleasing to the ears of your listeners. Voice can be made very attractive by proper breathing and desirable use of the speech organs.
Pronouncing the words correctly and clearly shows your style. Importance of clear and correct pronunciation should never be undermined.
How you speak is as important in conversation and speech as the content and language, if not more. Power of your speech depends on the judicious use of changing pace, pause and tone etc.
Thanks of Reading.
I did my masters in English Literature long ago from Government College, Ludhiana. My friend Ajit Prasad Jain and I shared the same bench in the class – in the last row. One of our lecturers who taught us kept us engaged in a rather unusual manner. He had a habit of repeating two words – ‘well’ and ‘you know’, almost in every sentence.
We did not have a counter at that time. Nor did we have a stop watch. But we gave ourselves a task of keeping track of how many times the lecturer would repeat the word ‘well’ and ‘you know’ during the period of 45 minutes. The wager was simple. If the professor repeated ‘well’ more than ‘you know’ Ajit would pay for our tea and samosa in the tuck-shop (college canteen) and in case ‘well’ left ‘you know’ behind, I would have to foot the bill.
It appeared to be a never ending game; and it kept our interest high in the prose lecture of our dear Professor. None of us or any other student in the class had the guts to point out and say to him, “Sir, 15-20 % of what you speak in class comprises just of two words – ‘well’ and ‘you know’.
These days too I find that a lot of professionals who come to me for improving their communication skills have similar habits. Filler words, are intruders who reduce the efficacy of speech. I still encounter, ‘You know’, though ‘well’ is not commonly used these days. But the most repetitively used words these days are – ‘like’, ‘basically’, ‘actually’ etc. Besides, other common intruders are – and, eh, uh, etc. In the first session itself I ask my students to remove these intruders (filler words and sounds) from their speech.