I and my friends would have attended many personality development programs, motivational sessions, etc. But the spark that we get during some of them is momentary and it vanishes in the same week. I wanted something more efficient. Activities tend to inspire young minds than lectures. So I and my friend who works in an IT company came up with this module for self development. This can be done by two individuals or a group. It is more effective when it is done by two individuals.
We call it “Optimization”
Before starting, the individuals are to find out about each other’s area of interest, the kind of reinforcement preferred and also decide the schedule for each activity.
The various activities are
Knowledge Transfer (KT) : The two individuals share their knowledge on a day to day basis. Based upon the area of interest, any one topic or a concept is discussed, taught to the other individual through the preferred medium (mail or calls). This is done everyday or once in 2 days. This activity ensures that the knowledge of the individuals keeps on increasing.
Friendly letter: Weekly once, the individuals write a letter to each other about what happened during the week, if they felt low or inspired or about anything. No grammatical errors in the letter. Atleast one new word per letter. (This is to ensure we keep using language abilities. The letters also give the individuals a much needed platform to share their feelings in the right way.)
Art review: Once a month, a work of art that affected an individual is reviewed. There view is sent to the other individual. Anything we consider art can be reviewed. Music, Book, Painting, etc (I consider even nature to be a work of art)
SWOT analysis: Once in a month, an individual is to do a swot analysis about himself/herself and send it to his/her partner. The partner will add changes if any and also make suggestions.
A habit a month: Based upon the SWOT analysis, an individual is encouraged by the partner to form a healthy habit to improve his/her strength or reduce the effect of his/her weakness. Reinforcement is provided by the partner on the successful adaptation of a habit. (Eg : My friend wanted to change his sleep cycle. So i woke him up through phone calls for a month. Now his sleep cycle is in order.)
Here Together: Monthly or once in two months, the two individuals meet up and take part in a relaxing fun activity. Individuals in two different places should use their creativity. ( I am in Coimbatore. My friend is in Bangalore. So the first time, we found a star finder online. We stargazed in our homes. Through a phone call, we were looking at the same star or planet from different places. But we felt like we are all connected since we are under the same sky.) (The next time we went to a hotel in our respective cities suggested by the other person. The meal was also decided by the other person.)
Quarterly or half yearly review of progress made. It is checked whether our activities are directed towards our goals.
The module brings together individuals from different fields. I was able to help my friend with his mental health whereas he was able to help me with my computer and other electronic gadgets. If both the individuals are in the same field, we revise, clarify concepts already known and keep ourselves updated about the recent advancements in our field.
A lot of teenagers and young adults feel lonely despite the facilities available and their friends. This module paves way for a nurturing friendship.
I have around ten people doing this in pairs. It has been very useful for all of us. We have learnt so much in the past few months.
Once school reopens, we are going to implement this in primary school and see where it goes.
Priya Muralidharan, B.Sc., Psychology,
PSG College of Arts & Science (waiting for degree certificate)
A passionate researcher now preparing for civil service exams.
Laxman Venkatesh, B.Tech IT, Working as Associate Software Engineer in Accenture