15 March, 2010


Few family issues have led me to start thinking about what makes ‘good’ people good and ‘bad’ people bad.

I love the personal development movement and after having read so many books and heard so many audio books, I am convinced there is some truth to it. However, as its past my second anniversary of joining this movement, I also have developed some qualms.

First of all, there are far too many of these self called ‘personal development’ gurus. There is something to be said about the character of ‘Stephen Covey’ and ‘Dale Carnegie’, when you read there stuff, they look like people who follow/followed what they preach, its quite obvious, there are no shortcuts and the road ahead is a bit rough but definitely worth getting on to.

As I've mentioned ‘Jonathan Haidt’ so many times already on this blog, and considering ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ is the first book I've read from him, I am absolutely bewitched.

Jonathan doesn't exactly join the personality development movement, this book is more a psychological overview than an advice and follow steps’ book and the deep insight is more geared in neutral than following any one course, yet its so wonderfully written and entertaining, I am already looking forward to reading it the second time to understand it better.

Coming back to the topic from the start, I read about Ben Franklin (a man in 1700s who set out to improve himself by focusing on virtues important to him) and have decided to set out my own charter and gauge my performance and improvement over time.

So here is the game, I will choose a number of virtues I think are most important and focus my adherence to them on daily basis, with the hope of sharing my results at the end of the week or mayhaps fortnightly, whichever is more convenient. Anyone wishing to join me is more than welcome. For reference, here are the 24 virtues as identified by Peterson & Seligman.

    • Curiosity
    • Love of learning
    • Judgement
    • Ingenuity
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Perspective

    • Valour
    • Perseverance
    • Integrity

    • Kindness
    • Loving

    • Citizenship
    • Fairness
    • Leadership

    • Self-Control
    • Prudence
    • Humility

    • Appreciation of beauty & excellence
    • Gratitude
    • Hope
    • Spirituality
    • Forgiveness
    • Humour
    • Zest

1 comment:

A Afzal K said...

Count me in!
I recently attended a doctors career's day for junior doctors were the junior doctors are advised regarding choosing a career and starting on the journey towards that particular career.
Suprisingly, one of the activities in the booklet that we received included a list of the above mentioned virtues (in a different order) and each one of us was asked to list their top 5 crucial and top 5 important virtues.
Interestingly the "future" surgeons in the group rated recognition as one of the top 5 crucial elements...