Find the root cause of our personality flaws for the purpose of self-improvement and self-perfecting.
One of the common flaws is lack of taking responsibility, no one wants to take responsibility for their mistakes and actions.
We must think of why we are this way, if we make mistakes no one will like you, you lose your job, you lose your friends etc. so it is ultimately selfish, you are thinking of your self.
Actually everything that a human being does wrong, be that a thief, liar, selfish, greedy, or just a normal person and the many simple things we all do wrong, is only because we are thinking ultimately only of ourself, which is also arrogance.
If you could become truly selfless, would you still refuse responsibility for your actions? Would you steal, cheat or lie, be arrogant, demanding of attention, close one eye not to see the things you do which are really wrong, use people, etc. etc.
If you were selfless and really considered other people you would be so concerned with not doing the wrong thing, you would always do the right thing. You would consider what is best for the other person, and if you did something wrong and you hurt someone, the best thing for them is to admit what you have done without trying to defend or divert attention or attack them to avoid accepting responsibility for what you did.
Ultimately of all the flaws in the human character, like everything, if you do not fix the cause, the problem will never be cured. It may be altered or mitigated but will always be there. The ultimate cause of all problems is being self-centred.
This is not new, any therapist will tell you we are ego centred and always focused on our self. If you work on one thing only, which is the hub of the wheel of all our flaws, this will make a big difference in your life.
Let that be to be selfless. With every word thought and deed, consider how will this effect the other person. If you are going to say something to someone, for example in a personal relationship, consider; ‘If I say this or write this email, how will that person feel?’
If this becomes the way you live with every thought, it may slow you down for a while until it becomes habit, but soon it becomes automatically the way your mind works. It is not every thought, most of our life can be done robotically without thought so do not make any excuses of it slows you down.
It is really a practice to employ when you are speaking to anyone, even the waiter at the restaurant, you can consider what you say and how you say it, the tone of voice, putting in some effort and attention, how is this person going to feel and control your words and actions such that you never harm anyone as much as possible obviously. Of course it is most important and hardest with ones you love.
This in itself, if no other practices are done, will be the one practice which will totally alter your personality in such a profound way that there is no other or better thing that a human being could do with their life.
Everyone agrees how important it is and that being selfless is better. The next question is why don’t we do it? Even though you want to, you cannot and you do not know why.
Lonely and in pain, the natural needs of the human being are not met. We can say it is a desire for food, clothing, a house, car, security, money, but that is not enough to be called the real need. The real need of the human condition is love and companionship both physically and emotionally. Without it we are driven by that need, and as long as there is a need and desire, as Buddha said, life is suffering, suffering is caused by desires.
As long as the need of companionship and love is not satisfied and fulfilled, we will be acting selfishly because we will be driven by that need. Sadly the more selfish you are the less you will deserve or attract the perfect one. Of course we all have the image of the perfect person we are waiting for, and we are never worthy of that perfect person, if that perfect one even exists.
If we can find and identify this need that drives us to be selfish, and accept it is a mechanical function, instinctual, part of the human animal nature, perhaps it is deeper and spiritual, but let’s deal with the first step which is the human side, the need of love and affection and sex and cuddles and hugs, and if we know that is driving us to be selfish and our selfishness is pushing away the object of our desire and deepest need, maybe accepting and understanding that can actually help with being less selfish and more selfless.
It is a long process to change, but that is no excuse not to get started on the most important quality a human being can ever develop.