51 Shades of Green

A man’s life curriculum can be broadly divided into four compartments – physical, societal, psychological and spiritual. Life is considered to be fulfilling when all four are being addressed.

Following are the attributes and beliefs that identify fulfilled and serene individuals in each of the four compartments. What is most noticeable is that they are eternally optimistic, free of debilitating stress and anxiety, poised to take bold actions with aplomb, knowing that all works out in the end, simplistic in their approach to life, not besieged by the need to subjugate others but devoted to crafting harmony, always learning, creating goodwill and giving; thus flourishing holistically on the roller coaster of life.


This compartment addresses the primal human need which compels individuals to instinctively negotiate all the tight corners and steep slopes of life; to put food in the belly, have shelter overhead, to be gainfully employed and secure all the basic economic necessities for comfortable and independent living.

These individuals are consummate creators and have a crystal clear purpose and end in mind. This is where they begin with a steely resolve. When the agenda has clarity and verve, the journey on the success path is bound to bear fruit.

  1. Being self-reliant they live by the adage that no one owes them a living. They take total responsibility for their daily living. It is this self-empowering attitude that puts the wind in their sails.
  2. They cultivate a habit of saving from their earnings, so in their old age they have dividends to lean back on.
  3. They invest prudently without falling into the temptation to make quick gains. Their savings are precious and only meant to make a home in stable and established financial institutions.
  4. They give to worthy charitable causes, for to them part of their savings put back in the society is a way of thanking the world that has given them their livelihood.
  5. Their monthly ration includes nutritional items such as fresh vegetables & fruit, health supplements and raw ingredients for home cooking. Most of their diet is home-cooked. They prefer tap water to fruit juices and fizzy drinks. Eating out in restaurants and at parties is not their daily habit.
  6. Whilst extravagant they may not be, they enjoy all the basic comforts of good home, wear respectable clothing and preferably have their own reliable means of transport.
  7. Their livelihood matters to them. They do regular exercise and belong to a social or sports club and enjoy regular outings. They do not hesitate to take private medical consultation when necessary.
  8. They live in a state of gratitude and fundamentally identify with simple living and high thinking.


Physical or economic needs are only a part of living. Man needs to love and like, and be loved and liked. He needs to have a family and live in a society where there is a healthy interaction with others for harmony and security.

  1. Their primary focus is on their family, its wellbeing and shared values.
  2. Their children are given education at home as well as at school.
  3. They practise and instil good civic sense in their children.
  4. Love, forgiveness and sacrifice are their primary values.
  5. They are not ashamed to say ‘sorry’ when necessary and are quick to forgive.
  6. Relationships are paramount to them.
  7. They create goodwill through kindness.
  8. They have a cultivated sense of good neighbourliness.
  9. They express no need to be right all the time, but boldly express their opinion without causing offence.
  10. They accommodate contrasting views although they may not agree with them.
  11. They do not engage in malicious gossip and are quick to defend those being maligned behind their back.
  12. They participate in local politics, social bodies and local media to improve life in their locality.
  13. They respect laws, customs and traditions of the society in which they live.
  14. They are quick to offer voluntary service to charitable causes. Whilst maintaining a low profile, they perform spontaneous acts of kindness.
  15. They strive to keep small and big promises made to others.
  16. They have a clear sense of self- respect and personal dignity.
  17. They distinguish between the person and his behaviour. They do not see a person’s intrinsic worth as diminished just because his behaviour is not tolerable.


Whilst the physical and social segments of life are commonly met, ultimately there can be no sense of personal achievement unless the mind is nourished with noble ideals and creative thoughts. This aspect of life curriculum addresses the need for freedom to think independently and reflect on life events to realise that man’s growth and happiness ultimately depend on how he perceives and responds to his environment.

  1. These individuals have a realisation that thoughts make a man and his circumstances. They do not hold their destiny in stars, but in themselves. They are adept at exercising free will.
  2. Taking time to think is their most important habit for they know that life is the result of thinking. Every desire for an end result is preceded by a clear vision.
  3. Such individuals learn constructive lessons from harsh experiences of life. They make their past hardships a reason, not an excuse, for their present life.
  4. Keeping an open mind they see positivity in all circumstances. They live as if there is something wonderful around the corner waiting to happen.
  5. They make hope their most precious possession, and false pride their worst weakness.
  6. They constantly practise and sharpen their skills in pursuit of worthy goals.
  7. They have no fear of failing for they have a strong sense of personal wellbeing.
  8. They stand tall and do not see themselves beneath anyone.
  9. They are independent of the good and bad opinions of others.
  10. They influence others by patiently listening and understanding.
  11. They see no need to compete or keep up with others. They strive to be better today than they were yesterday, and better tomorrow than they are today.
  12. They see no need to conform out of fear. Their own truth and beliefs are their guideposts.
  13. They see no virtue in indulgences such as smoking and excessive drinking.
  14. They are masterly at recognising and keeping destructive influences at bay.
  15. They have control over anger and generally cultivate habits that keep their mind clear.
  16. Time is precious to them. They do not engage their mind in frivolous timewaster activities.


This is the phase of going into a state of spirituality, or sainthood for some. The purpose of living becomes a paramount question to them. They let their mind go in search of answers to inner conflicts. They begin to think deeply about life – where they have come from and where they are heading. Everything else, like power, fame and wealth, becomes trivial as they aspire to reach that level where we all come together.

  1. Seeking inner purity and peace, they abstain from thoughts of harm toward others. They become merciful and give unreserved love.
  2. Prejudice and tendency to judge others cynically is eradicated as they embrace diversity as a gift of Nature.
  3. Lust, anger, greed, attachment and vanity are recognised as the real enemy within. To conquer self is the greatest challenge to them.
  4. They meditate daily and contemplate a harmonious existence with their environment.
  5. They see magnificence and true joy in being used for a monumental purpose.
  6. Putting self before others is not in their nature. Enriching lives of others and championing their cause is their motto.
  7. They become free of dogma, indoctrination and stereotypical attitudes and allow the spirit within to soar.
  8. They are supremely self-aware, self-realised and know that fate and free will are the inter-twined twin pillars of life for us to shape life as we choose.
  9. They do not live in fear of death for it is a natural aftermath of life. They want to know what happens to them in the after- life.
  10. Thus a successful and fulfilled person evolves from the state of an athlete to being a warrior, then a statesperson and finally a saint.