Inculcating personality traits

Overview

While there are plenty of exercises you can do to increase your technical acumen in pretty much any domain, there are none to inculcate traits like resilience, patience, decision-making, etc. For instance, if I want to become a doctor, I can simply join a medical school, follow their courses properly and in a few years time, I’d be ready to practice medicine. If I want to become better at programming (in general), I can start doing coding problems/exercises at hacker rank everyday to train my mind.

Problem

Now, what do I do if I want to, say, become more resilient? Do I have exercises that I can do everyday, or a degree/certification that I can do, after doing which I would be ‘certified’ in resilience? No! It is judged subjectively (rightfully so, there is no quantitative measure for it) and is gained through experience. But you can always create your own exercises for inculcating these qualities over time.

First thing that needs to be understood is that qualities like these help you in the long run, and in every aspect of life. Your schools and colleges will neither train, nor test you on them. Fair enough – they are “academic institutions”, they’re there to help you with your academic pursuits. So, inherently, you would never be “forced” to work on these qualities – that responsibility falls completely on you.

How to improve on/gain a quality?

While there might be “standard/common” exercises that you can do for different qualities, I think a tailored-solution would work much better in this case. For instance, lets assume you are extremely impatient. What exercises can you do regularly to curb that gradually?

  • If you drive a lot, you could limit the speed at which you drive, let the prick cutting the lane cross you- call it an exercise. **Note: **[Assumption] Since you’re impatient, you most likely drive fast and try to overspeed near traffic lights to avoid standing on the signal.
  • Intentionally delay things you want to do/acquire. For instance, lets say you want to buy a new phone and you’ve got spare money at hand, so if you wanted to, you could go to the shop and get it today. Delay it! Buy it a week or two later. Add a buffer. The time in between would likely be a good exercise of patience. **Note: **If this example seems stupid, replace “mobile phone” with something that is important to you that you can afford, and re-read it. If it still sounds stupid, then it probably is. Like I said, these exercises require that you design them for yourself – it would take some thinking at your end.

Conclusion

Patience, hard work, resilience, etc. are hard to come by, some have one or many of these by “nature” and you see them benefitting a lot from them. But that most certainly does not mean you cannot attain these over time. It’s never too late to start.

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