Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER XX:
"THE DISCIPLINE OF PERSONALITY"

"Four things a man must learn to do
If he would make his record true:
To think without confusion clearly;
To love his fellow-men sincerely;
To act from honest motives purely;
To trust in God and Heaven securely."

-- HENRY VAN DYKE

Let me ask you, what exists inside of you? Besides the chimerical dreams born during moments of illusion? Whenever a great event occurs brilliant and unknown forces can be attracted revealing our inner truth. However, if life passes you by without great events occurring, you will never know your inner talents. Great individuals, who created great events, first created themselves. I ask you again, are you aware of the treasure buried inside of you? Those who have learned to know themselves risk the impossible because they know that their inner strength will help them triumph and this is how they become leaders. On the other hand, there are so many who do not accomplish anything, do not expect anything at all, and consequently do not achieve anything. Are you one of them?

Stop for a moment and study someone who has influenced your soul with their success and actions. Meditate about this person's cleverness, presence and happiness. This person owns a predominantly optimistic personality because they have objectives.

There are a few people who have either completely negative or positive personalities. Most of us have traits of both and in some cases one is dominant. In the old days, it was common belief that our personality was a product of inherited conditions, something innate, already predetermined. Today, we know that personality is a result of social and cultural influences which surround us from the day we arrived in this world. Therefore, personality is something we can shape and mold.

If you study the faces of the people who you know and observe, their actions, reactions, questions and answers, soon you will learn to read their personalities. These days, we also know that a personality can be changed regardless of the age of the individual, although the younger the person, the easier it is to change personality.

The important thing is that we are able to change it if we desire to do so, especially if these changes are for the good. Have you ever experienced a pleasant sensation when you heard "YES" as an answer even when everything around you said "NO." This is the same effect produced when the positive personality (YES) conquers the negative personality (NO). Let's analyze the differences between the two personalities, having in mind that we all have traits of both personalities. You will probably recognize many of them in your personality. However, you must nourish your positive with continuous practice since we are convinced this is the right thing to do.

First, let's review the negative characteristics. People with this personality consider themselves inferior physically and mentally. These people are tormented by feelings of envy towards those considered superior and with positive characteristics. On the outside, negative personality people pretend to serve others, but internally hold resentment. This type of individual will never become a leader because of the lack of self-confidence. As long as this person continues to be negative, he is condemned to be just a follower, and this will make him unhappy and resentful. Also, these individuals complain about everything and accuse their superiors of not giving them enough opportunities. This person is so occupied rationalizing his own faults that he does not find enough time to discover and develop the positive aspects of his own personality. These pessimistic people always find something wrong with everything. They are miserable beings avoided by other people. Furthermore, these people have a lot of fears and worry about everything and never take any action because of the fear that things might go wrong. These people are a bundle of nerves and generally suffer from some form of melancholy. In their negative minds, these people react to small things and exaggerate them into distorted and grotesque images. These people are such cowards that instead of facing life's difficulties, it is easy for them to run away, hide and cry, or even turn to alcohol trying to escape from their troubles. Also, these people live in the past, suspicious of the future. Is this the description of a person who you would like to have for a friend? Nobody likes to be associated with someone who is a failure; a successful person captivates his fellow human beings with a powerful and magnetic force. Perhaps this is how the term "magnetic personality" originated.

Now let's continue with the positive optimistic personality. If the positive person is inferior to others in some respect, nobody will notice. Positive people do not reveal their inferiorities because they have accepted their defects. Also, they try to build a positive foundation with the already possessed good qualities. Positive personality individuals do not have time for complaints and worries because they concentrate on their goals and objectives. These optimistic individuals search and find the good in everything and they are not hindered by fear nor overwhelmed by anxieties because they know that the past is something past and gone forever. Additionally, optimistic individuals live the present, planning for the future, enthusiastically and confidently turning their ideas into actions. These positive individuals do not enjoy to be told what to do nor like to follow others because they have clear established objectives and goals. But they do cooperate with others.

In the same manner, these individuals strive to maintain good health, increase their intelligence and respect other people's ambitions and desires. They avoid those who try to distract them from their goals and objectives, and they do not have time for arguments and conflicts which can cause irreparable delays in their progress. Perhaps the best way to describe positive personality of these individuals pertains to the perspective of someone who practices the art of "live and let live". Thus, it is pleasant and joyful to be near these individuals because they respect other people's lives and demand that their private life is also respected. Few people reach this high degree of perfection and it is not easy since it requires constant dedication and practice of self-understanding.

Most of the time, one fails to become a positive person due to shortcomings in two areas: 1. One easily falls prey to fear and worries. 2. One tries to control and dictate other people's lives. This attitude demonstrates that the person does not live his life and does not let others live their lives either.

Very often we mistake a positive personality for a vain person. Vanity is a negative trait which is projected externally as positive and this is what causes confusion. The vain person learned how to feel extremely sure of himself. This gives the impression that he knows exactly where he is going. However, his vanity is nothing but conceit, which has been fabricated to compensate for his hidden inferiority complex. These vain people easily mislead others in believing in their false positive personality. However, one can discover their true personality by the fact that all their actions are carried out with the purpose of self-service. When someone with a true positive personality searches for self-improvement, society as a whole benefits from this self-improvement.

Alfred Adler, a famous contemporary psychologist, in his book titled Understanding Human Nature describes the vain person in the following manner, "Vanity is the human defect which will hinder personal development like no other. Vanity forces individuals to approach each event asking themselves, 'What can I get from this?'" Adler goes on to say, "Whenever vain people make a mistake, they twist the facts so the blame can be put on somebody else. Thus, vain people think they are always right and everybody else is wrong."

There is no doubt this attitude is disturbing and these vain people can mislead and seduce us for a long time before we discover their true personality. One way to discover their real personality and unmask these vain people is to put them to a test. See if they are able to "live and let live." Soon we will discover that they can not let others live their lives, especially if they disagree with them.

As I mentioned before we all have characteristics of both personalities.And in your personality what are the dominant traits? I hope they are the positive ones. But if this is not the case, make an effort to acquire and incorporate the positive ones. If you make a self-analysis, you will discover that one spontaneously searches for the company of those people in whom the positive ones predominate. On the other hand, it is very depressing to listen to a person with a negative personality who is always complaining and criticizing. We should try to know ourselves better, even though, it is difficult to objectively scrutinize ourselves. We should be honest and sincere in this self-evaluation.

We will not be able to increase positive traits until we desire to do so, and we will not have this desire until we honestly recognize the need to make changes in our personality. Do not forget to give yourself a pat on the back for the positive achievements.

Don't be satisfied with modest victories. Don't remain a little person for the rest of your life. Search for great responsibilities. Take big risks. Do not give up in the face of defeat. On the contrary, see it as a challenge to reach new heights. The key to opening up the door towards a diverse and rich life is a positive and optimistic personality.

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS HONESTLY:

Which traits predominate in your personality, positive or negative?

THE MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVE FOR A HUMAN BEING:

Undoubtedly the main objective is self-improvement by becoming a better person. What are you doing to attain this?

THE ACTIVITIES YOU ARE PRESENTLY ACCOMPLISHING:

Are these activities geared toward building a positive personality and expanding your horizons?

WHAT OLD HABITS WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET RID OF?

What new habits would you like to adopt to become an efficient person who is pleasant to all?

CHAPTER XXI