The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Q: How can I get a dynamic personality?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Is there anybody here who is not all, not at all concerned with the word ‘personality’? I don’t suppose there is anybody here, so just again, as I said, it is not only his question. This is not only his (questioner) question, this question is for all of us. Because there is hardly anybody here who is not bothered about personality.
We have to understand the word ‘person’ first. Person, personal, and personality are three very interrelated words, of course, you see that the root is the same. And they keep popping in front of us in the course of our daily life. We have to understand them, they are worthy of being understood.
What do we call as the person?
What do we call as our personality?
What is it that we call as the person or the personality?
What do you mean when you say, “Somebody has a personality”?
What do you mean when you say, “My personality is of this nature”?
Now, is not personality the sum total of all your identities? The moment you say, “I am like this. I am smart.” Right? And that you will say is an aspect of your personality, am I right? Stay with me, keep responding so that I know that we are together.
Audience: Yes sir.
AP: Is that not an aspect of your personality? “I am smart.”
AP: Now, you also see that this is a statement of identity. Any statement that says, “I am x, y, z” is a statement of identity. Right? Now, where does this come from?
You are born in India and you happen to be of an extremely dark complexion. And because this is a land which unfortunately is obsessed with white skin, it is probable that right since your childhood you are repeatedly told that your complexion is not what it could have been. And what do you grow up with? You grow up with a statement saying that “You know, in my personality, my complexion is one of the weak points, the hindrances.”