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How to get a dynamic personality?
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
10 min
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Q: How can I get a dynamic personality?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Is there anybody here who is not all, not at all concerned with the word ‘personality’? I don’t suppose there is anybody here, so just again, as I said, it is not only his question. This is not only his (questioner) question, this question is for all of us. Because there is hardly anybody here who is not bothered about personality.

We have to understand the word ‘person’ first. Person, personal, and personality are three very interrelated words, of course, you see that the root is the same. And they keep popping in front of us in the course of our daily life. We have to understand them, they are worthy of being understood.

What do we call as the person?

What do we call as our personality?

What is it that we call as the person or the personality?

What do you mean when you say, “Somebody has a personality”?

What do you mean when you say, “My personality is of this nature”?

Now, is not personality the sum total of all your identities? The moment you say, “I am like this. I am smart.” Right? And that you will say is an aspect of your personality, am I right? Stay with me, keep responding so that I know that we are together.

Audience: Yes sir.

AP: Is that not an aspect of your personality? “I am smart.”

Q: Yes.

AP: Now, you also see that this is a statement of identity. Any statement that says, “I am x, y, z” is a statement of identity. Right? Now, where does this come from?

You are born in India and you happen to be of an extremely dark complexion. And because this is a land which unfortunately is obsessed with white skin, it is probable that right since your childhood you are repeatedly told that your complexion is not what it could have been. And what do you grow up with? You grow up with a statement saying that “You know, in my personality, my complexion is one of the weak points, the hindrances.”

We have seen ample cases around us, right? Have we or have we not? In fact, I have seen often, I mean, your seniors, as well as all around, in their CV when they have to write about their strengths or weaknesses, or when they have to answer a question like that in the course of an interview, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” they always, in fact, invariably come up with statements relating to their personality. I have seen often, and girls especially, if it happens to be something to do with their complexion, they may or they may not state it but they often take it as an aspect of their personality and as an undesirable aspect of their personality.

They will say, in fact, they will come to a point when they will say, “Well, this is my weakness. It is my weakness.” Now is it really your weakness, or the mindset of the people around you?

Audience: : Mindset of people around us.

AP: Had you been born in say, Nigeria, would still dark complexion have been a problem? But then you integrate the opinions of others around you and you start to believe that, “This is what my personality is.”

People would come up in the course of discussions with us and they will say, “I am a very forceful speaker.” Well now, how do you really know that you are a forceful speaker? “Well, sir everybody tells me so.” Now, upon whom is the force being applied? Upon others, right? And who are those others? Those others are the ones that you have chosen to be around you.

Now, if I have a certain mindset, am I likely to choose such people around me upon whom I cannot apply any force? Think of this. I myself have gathered such people around me who will be easily enforced. And what do they tell me? “Boss, you speak with such tremendous force.” And the fellow comes and says, “I am a forceful speaker.” Now, is he a forceful speaker, or are the others being subdued, others that he himself had chosen?

Whatever we call as our personality is always a thought inserted in us from the outside. Always, and always without an exception.

Now, if I am the subject and everything outside is the object. Then what is happening? What is happening is that the right way of things is being inverted. The object is dominating the subject. I am being made to believe in things, I am being made subservient to things that should have been ideally subservient to me.

Do you know where does the word 'personality' comes from? It comes from the Greek word ‘persona’. And persona means a mask. ‘Sona’ means sound. Sona is sound. And persona means a mask so that only the sound of the actor on the stage can be heard. The actors in the ancient Greek theatre, they used to wear masks which were called persona.

The very origin of the word tells us, what does personality means. It is a mask being worn from the outside. It is not you. It is not at all you. Personality, the word itself is fake.

And what do we mean by having a dynamic personality? Personality, the word itself denotes that it is fake. It is something that I am wearing. And that ‘I’ that is wearing is the real one. But we have worn not one mask but masks upon masks. So many masks that we have lost all sense of whether we really exist. We know ourselves only as the sum total of all these masks. All these masks coming from outside. “I am a Hindu, I am a son or a daughter, I am a student of technology, I am a budding engineer, I am an Indian.”

How many of you chose to be born in India? Anybody who gave an application, “I must be born in this Punya Bhumi (Holi land)”? Anybody who decided his religion here? Anybody who decided his or her gender over here?

But then you cannot speak without identifying yourselves with a name, with a country, with a gender, with a place, with an occupation, with a society. Don’t we see that all of them are coming from outside? These are just personas, masks that we are wearing upon ourselves. Are we together till this point? That what we call as personality is nothing but the masks that come from outside. That cannot be the real me.

Then the question arises that why does one want a dynamic personality? Why do all of us want a dynamic personality? And what do we mean by dynamic personality?

Well, go into your mind, see where does the notion of a dynamic personality comes from. See where the notion of dynamism comes from. What is dynamism? What do you mean by, “You know, he is very dynamic”? What do you mean by ‘very dynamic’?

In our mind dynamic is related to something — you know, heard of the word dynamite, you know what a dynamite is? — in our mind dynamic means somebody who can change the order of things, who can move around, do this and do that. Deep within we have a desire to change, and because we have a desire to change, we want dynamism. But can an unreal thing really change something? Answer this. Can an unreal thing bring real change? Is it possible to have a personality that is dynamic? Or will the personality-less entity be dynamic? Look at my question and answer this. If it is a mask, is it alive or is it dead?

Q: Dead.

AP: What is alive? The face behind the mask, right?

Q: Yes sir.

AP: What is likely to be dynamic? The mask of the real face?

Audience: Real face.

AP: If dynamism means the ability to change, when we say ‘dynamic forces’, we mean things that have the potential to bring about change. Right? What can really be an agent of change, the mask or the real face?

Audience: Real face.

AP: So, if I really want change, if I really want dynamism, will I strengthen my personality, or rather get rid of it?

Audience: Get rid of it.

AP: To strengthen my personality means to wear all the more masks. One more mask, one more mask. Now, it is a mask of dynamism.

If I really want change should I accumulate more masks, or should I rather get rid of masks?

Audience: Get rid of masks.

AP: So, there can never be really anything like a dynamic personality. But I understand your dilemma because all along in magazines, newspapers, the internet, from your friends, society, family you have heard phrases like these. “Oh, he is such a dynamic personality.” People do not understand what they are talking. And hence we are not to be blamed, in fact, nobody is to blamed. Because we are all taught by each other all these things. One ignorant man, what else can the poor do? He can only spread more and more ignorance around him. He is not to be blamed. And we are surrounded by such men around us, who keep on passing over their ignorance to others as well.

And this is what is called conditioning. Have you heard of this term, conditioning?

Q: Yes sir.

AP: Conditioning means to insert a concept inside somebody’s head, without the other person understanding it. Conditioning means to be affected, to allow ourselves to be affected by something without understanding it. That is what is called conditioning.

I understand what I am saying may sound a little weird to you initially. But let it just stay. When I started, I said, “I am not an authority, nobody can be an authority.” So, you don’t need to agree with what is being said. Right? You really do not need to agree with what is being said. But you also don’t need to disagree with it. Just try to understand. Bring yourselves fully to it. Don’t try to agree, don’t try to disagree.

Don’t compare that “We have been told such and such thing in the past, so now….” Alright.

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