Calm against the chaos: Mahanama College | Daily News

Calm against the chaos: Mahanama College

A leader himself, Head Prefect of Mahanama Shehan Dhananjaya is the man any leader wanted in his team. He is the kind of man any general would want in his battalion. Dhananajaya possesses certain qualities that are needed for a man or a team to succeed. Perfect Prefects features Dhananjaya who aims to be an officer and gentlemen.

His dream is to become a senior officer in the Sri Lankan Navy and start an orphanage and an elders’ home. Dhananjaya is inspired by the former American President Abraham Lincoln with whom he has much in common. According to Dhananjaya, Lincoln had that all important quality - to control one’s emotions. He listened to everyone and had the ability to communicate his goals and visions. A man whose principals were like a rock, Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest Presidents not only in America but in the world.

Openness and Conscientiousness

Dhananjaya is the kind of man who has admired whether his team is successful or has been defeated.

“The personality traits in me are Openness and Conscientiousness. I feel that I am open to change. I am a creative thinker and always looking to innovate. I am conscientious. I am also a person who is able to form warm and productive relationships in life,” said Dhananjaya.

In life sometimes we fear things when there is no reason to fear. We create imaginary problems. Dhananjaya has his own scheme. The question that is foremost on his mind is - is there really a problem here? How many of us worry endlessly? How many of us struggle with non -existent problems? Often we create problems in our own heads, that aren’t really out there in reality. So you need to relax a bit. And then you need to question yourself as to whether this is a really big problem. Life becomes so less stressful when you stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

“When you accept that the problem already exists, and stop resisting, then you also stop putting more energy into the problem and stop “feeding it”. Now it just exists (well, more or less, you might still feel a bit down about it). You can use the energy you previously used to feed the problem with – the energy that probably made the problem look bigger than it was to find creative solutions to the problem,” said Dhananjaya.

Positive mindset

You don’t need to be alone in life. Others have faced similar problems to yours. Sometimes having someone to talk to does wonders. There is an old saying – ‘There will always be help for those who ask for it’. Dhananjaya also believes that a positive mindset is a key to overcoming a problem.

“Use 80 percent of your time to find solutions. And only 20 percent to complain, worry and whine. It might not always be easy but focusing your energy, time and thoughts in this way is much more beneficial for you and others than doing the opposite,” pointed out Dhananjaya

Dhananjaya would certainly make a fine officer. He has such an organized mind. A mind that has been trained to address all forms of problems and how to solve them. It is actually the trait of a very competent leader.

“When you encounter a problem, break the problem down into smaller pieces. Solving a problem can sometimes seem overwhelming and impossible. To decrease anxiety and think more clearly, break the problem down. Identify the different parts it consists of. Then figure out one practical solution that you can take for each of those parts. Use those solutions. They may not solve the whole problem immediately. But those solutions can get you started and might solve a few pieces of it,” explained Dhananjaya

Emotional impact

Every cloud has a silver lining is what they say. There is something positive that you can take out of every challenge or problem. It makes you more empathetic. It gives you the ability to relate to others and form relationships.

“I have found that there is almost always a positive side to a problem. Perhaps it alerts us of a great way to improve our business or relationships. Or teaches us how our lives perhaps aren’t as bad as we thought. Finding this more positive part of the problem reduces its negative emotional impact. You may even start to see the situation as a great opportunity for you,” said Dhananjaya

Dhananjaya has been inculcated with proper values in life. Proper ethics. He looks inward and outwards.

“I want to engage in Social Service like helping the poor people and developing the public utility services. My aim in my spiritual life is defeating the three main poisons in the world - greed, anger, and ignorance. I focus my emotions and consciousness on one thing only. And that is why the Buddha was so calm,” explained Dhananjaya

Saying that all human beings are equal and everybody have same rights, Dhananjaya pointed out that considering the situation in India and around the rest of the world, there are certain natural rights which women are deprived of.

“All women and even men need not conform to the stereotypical thinking of society. However, when it comes to women they have the right to go out and come safely home at any time. This is a burning issue these days because of violence and sexual abuse against women. You cannot pin the blame on her modesty. She also has the right to choose her life partner on her own and marry at the age she wants to. Still, the barriers of caste and age restriction prevail. Another issue is having true economic independence. Even though there are increasing trends in the number of women working, their financial independence is still not fulfilled because of patriarchy,” added Dhananjaya

Dhananjaya’s message to the youth is to learn to give up trying to control everything. Being a great leader is about influence and listening to those around you. These are attributes rarely taught in school.

“Bad things do happen to me and how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself,” said Dhananjaya.



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