Right since we were children, we have been taught by our parents, teachers, and elders around us to be good. They taught us not to lie, to study hard, to be respectful towards others, not to fight, etc. Some of us practiced these words, and some of us ignored. In India, Lord Rama is considered the epitome of virtues because he practiced virtues to the highest degree, even in difficult situations of his personal life. We come across examples of many people who practiced various virtues in epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
In modern times too, we come across people who practice virtues like honesty, kindness, generosity, patience, etc. in life and lead inspiring lives. So, what are the virtues recommended by Scriptures, Yoga Sutras, and Saints? Why should a person practice the virtues in life? What are the benefits? Let us see the answers to these questions.
Below is the list of virtues recommended.
The list of virtues is quite big, and it takes time and effort to develop these virtues in life. In fact, it may even take a lifetime to master these virtues. Some virtues come naturally to us without much effort, and for some virtues, we need to work hard to build them. Is it worth to build virtues in life? What are the benefits of practicing virtues in life?
10 benefits of practicing virtues:
1. Success: The foremost benefit of practicing virtues is success. All the successful people of various walks of life like sports, music, movies, business, etc. are people who practice some or all the above virtues to a great degree. Their outstanding success is not due to luck or some coincidence. It is not due to their talent alone. The practice of these virtues is what made them successful. Even the most talented person needs industriousness, non-laziness, humility, discipline to become successful in life. Without these virtues, talent does not take a person anywhere. A person with average talent and a high degree of virtues can become more successful in life than a person with extraordinary talent and a lack of virtues. Virtues are the foundation of success in life.
2. Ability to face challenges: challenges like sickness, relationship issues, job losses, rejections are part of one’s life. The practice of virtues helps a person stay strong and rise above these challenges quickly. Virtues like gratitude, patience, discipline, courage give inner strength and support during tough times of life.
3. Improved relationships: Virtues play an important role in interpersonal relationships. For relationships to thrive and blossom, the practice of virtues like love, forgiveness, gratitude, patience is important. The practice of virtues makes a home into heaven of love and joy.
4. Financial wellbeing: Virtues are important for a person’s financial wellbeing. Without moderation, non-excessiveness, and discipline, it is challenging to be financially secured in spite of receiving fortune from parents and grandparents or earning big salaries. Because of the lack of these virtues, many high earning people go into debt and losses.
5. Good health: Practice of virtues results in having a healthy, strong and fit body. It takes a certain amount of discipline and self-love to have good health. Body and mind are closely related. What affects the mind also affects the body. When the mind is filled with anger, hatred, resentment, and lack of forgiveness, perfect health is not possible.
6. Inner peace: Practice of virtues brings inner peace and joy. At the end of the day, we all look forward to living life with peace, and peace is the outcome of a virtuous life. Peace cannot come from lies, cheating, injuring others, being unkind.
7. Leadership: Virtues help in becoming great leaders. A great leader is disciplined, generous, kind, punctual, and inspires others through his presence. Such a magnetic persona is an outcome of leading a virtuous life.
8. Purpose and satisfaction: Leading a virtuous life gives an inner satisfaction of living life with purpose. Every day feels worthwhile. Virtues give a deep sense of purpose in life.
9. Improved confidence: Practicing virtues brings great confidence to a person. Virtues help in building good self-esteem and proper self-image.
10. Achieving goals: When a person has virtues like discipline, industriousness, and patience, no goal is too big to achieve. Any goal can be accomplished in life.
These are some benefits of developing virtues. All the saints and scriptures have urged humanity to practice virtues. Be good and do good is their main teaching. So, how to build virtues in life? Below are some pointers.
7 ways to build virtues:
1. Form the list of virtues, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on different virtues, one being lowest and ten being highest.
2. Choose one virtue for three months and try incorporating it in daily life. Don’t choose all the virtues at one go as developing multiple virtues at one time is not possible. Start with the virtue, which has very less rating.
3. Try incorporating the virtue in daily life through small action steps. For example, if discipline is the virtue you have chosen for three months, start building it with small steps like making your bed after you wake up, waking up at the same time every day, sleeping at the same time every day, etc. Small successes give you confidence on the journey,
4. At the start of the day, pray to God to help you build the virtue you have chosen. Prayer brings in divine power, which helps you walk the path.
5. Whenever you practice the virtue, appreciate yourself. Your self-appreciation gives you encouragement to achieve more.
6. Every day, at the end of the day, reflect about your day and think about how you practiced the virtue. Appreciate yourself for all the instances you practiced virtue, and for the instances where you could not practice the virtue, practice this duster technique. Visualize the scenario in which you could not practice the virtue on a board and mentally erase it with a duster three times. After this, visualize yourself practicing virtue in the same scenario. Visualize how you will ideally behave, talk, and feel in the same scenario. When you do this every day, your positive visualization helps you build the virtue.
7. Don’t feel guilty when failed to practice a virtue in a situation. Guilt is a negative emotion which drains your energies. Instead of feeling guilty, practice duster technique in such situations.
These are some steps that can help you incorporate virtues in your life. It’s a great blessing to lead a life filled with virtues. You will become an inspiration to your family members and people around you. When you live life with virtues, you realize the infinite potential and grandeur of your own self.
Build virtues and build your success.