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30-the-meaning-of-lifeAt some point in time, if not most of the time, each of us grapples with the question ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ Our problem is often the result of our inability to cope with either abundance of riches, ideas, options or because all these are in terrible short supply in our life.  Some of us struggle with the chaos in our life brought about by our fear of the future, the ghost of the past and the challenges of the present. Each of us also suffer, in varying degrees, from the seven deadly vices of sloth, gluttony, pride, envy, wrath, lust and greed which makes our life miserable and reignites the question ‘What is the meaning of our life?

The answer to this philosophical question actually lies in answering another more meaningful question ‘How do I give meaning to my life?’  The key word is the emphasis on the word MY LIFE! Yes I am sure my of existing life; the previous life is immaterial now and the afterlife, if such a thing exists, is a long way away. Once you decide that you and only you can lead your life, giving meaning to it becomes relatively simple. You choose, you live, you make life happen!

To give meaning to your life focus on the following:

Your thoughts – Everything you do starts in your mind. You need to train your mind to think with purpose, think rationally, be imaginative and to think positive. Since our thoughts determine our words and actions, pay attention to those triggers that make us emotional, get us worked up, make us irrational and those that plant a seed of doubt in our mind. Once you become aware of such negative thoughts, it becomes possible albeit difficult to rein in such thoughts and counter them with more positive and energizing thoughts. Every day will bring with it, its share of joys, concerns, opportunities and challenges. We often tend to discount or ignore the joys and opportunities and instead focus on the concerns and challenges that we face. Slowly our mind begins to wither away since it is now trained only to look out for trouble. Instead, if you count your blessings each day, the wonders that you have been gifted with and the chances that you get to move ahead in life all other troubles will seem to be insignificant in comparison. Start each day with a grateful heart; end each day with thanks for another good day. Whatever happens in between will then be something you can cope with, for by overcoming it is what makes your day, something to cherish and feel happy about.

Your words – Your thoughts have a large influence in how your thoughts, feelings and emotions are articulated and expressed. If you see challenges as opportunities to prove your mettle, you will look forward to it and express yourself with confidence, eagerness and excitement. On the other hand if you view it as an unavoidable task, you will start expressing your doubts, your concerns, find excuses for failure that you anticipate. Ask yourself what type of person you would like to deal with. The tone, tenor, style and choice of words would also reflect your mindset and attitude towards a task and your belief system. Be aware that sarcasm, insinuations, blame game and negativity in your communication often indicate your insecurity, your weakness and your inability to cope with stress. Practice the art of expressing yourself in a positive way; consider the recipient of your communication as a partner in your work, an ally who wants you to succeed and someone who believes in your abilities. The same feelings will percolate into your mindset and before long you would succeed in seeing positive life changing meaning in your daily life.

Your deeds – It is said that the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’. Ultimately your thoughts and words must be reflected in the actions you perform. Giving platitudes and sermons is relatively easy; traversing that path is definitely much more difficult. A simple act of listening carefully could sometimes be extremely difficult because you have strong negative emotions about the other party and / or the situation. Your deeds are not merely what you do, but how you do it. Do you bang the door when you leaving your bosses cabin after a stormy meeting? Do you do an unpleasant task with grace? How do you deal with a cranky elder at home? Do you constantly nag your spouse and/ or children? Can you maintain a cheerful countenance even during a very stressful situation? Remember that Actions speak louder than words!

Try these:

  1. Volunteer to baby sit a child who is between the ages of 3-5. If the child is hyperactive or challenged, you would learn a lot more from the experience about your own temperament, patience, creativity, attitude and self belief.
  2. Spend one evening every month in an orphanage / old age home / hospice / home for the challenged. What feelings did you experience? Ask yourself what can you do on your own to make life more comfortable there.
  3. List out the names of 5 people with whom you have difficulty in getting along. Now choose one of them and make a determined effort to be genuinely nice to them for an extended period of time. Did it bring about a positive change in you and the other person? Do you think you were being unfair to judge the other person wrongly? Do you think you can try this experiment with other people on your list?
  4. Make a list of all the negative words / phrases / excuses / tone / foul language that you often resort to, especially when annoyed/ irritated / confused/ frustrated. Can you make a determined effort to eliminate these and substitute them with some positive reinforcements?  Can you feel a change in yourself after adopting a positive approach?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

29-four-point-transformationEach of us is seeking ways and means of transforming our life into something more glorious. We try to change our personalities, we seek good counsel, we attempt to add more formal and informal education to our CV . We even attempt to convolute our entire being into an artificial person that we cannot identify with. The efforts are laudable; the outcome may often fall short of our expectations. A simpler way would be, to attempt and imbibe the following four points in our daily life and that could be the beginning, of an entirely new chapter in your life.

Attract what you expect – No matter what the situation, it pays to be optimistic, positive and motivated for they tend to attract success. It is good to visualize vividly your goals, your plans, your future for that is when you begin to identify happenings and situations that will set you on the path that you want to go. E.g. assume you want to own a car. Think of the make and color of the car. Soon you will begin to notice that, you tend to be spotting exactly the same type of car more often on the roads. It is just that you are goal focused and hence tend to overlook all other vehicles that you are not interested in.

Reflect what you desire So what is it that you passionately desire? How can you achieve those desires? Nothing comes easy, but every small step you take, will take you closer to realizing your dreams and desires. You can seek status/ wealth / academic excellence/  a successful career / a perfect spouse or a wonderful parent. No matter what you desire, your actions / your attitude / your behavior/ your ethics and your passion need to reflect your desires. E.g. You have to display leadership skills if you want to be taken seriously as a potential leader or you cannot become a wonderful parent unless you spend ample time with your children.

Become what you respect – Who are the people you respect? What is it about them that you admire and acknowledge? Their personal values, their communication style, their ability to put people at ease, their discipline, their attention to details etc. could be some of traits that make them well respected and admired by society. It is upto you, to work hard and change yourself, by imbibing some of these well respected qualities and traits. You will soon evolve to become an individual whose traits, values and style get approval of others and you start gaining their confidence and respect. E.g. Once you let it be known that you respect time and are a stickler for time by attending meetings or keeping appointments, people will begin to respect you for your commitment and  your value of time.

Mirror what you admire – It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Most times though we tend to imitate or mirror the style statement of celebrities, ape the playing style of our sporting heroes or tend to be part of the current trends. While some of these could be useful, what we must never ignore is to identify the traits, the values and the spirit that many of our heroes and favorite celebrities posses. Their work ethics, for example, could be the key to their success. Possibly their discipline and their ability to evolve with the times give them that extra edge to succeed. Identify these wholesome qualities that you admire and make that part of your style too.

Try these:

Be honest to yourself and answer how you would react in the following situations:

  • You have studied hard for an exam but unfortunately the paper is very tough. Unless you pass the paper you may lose a year. You notice that the student in front of you seems to be answering well and you can copy from his/ her paper. What will you do?
  • You find a lost wallet containing a large sum of money in it. There is no identification of the owner of the wallet. What would you do?
  • You have to tell your principal which of the two people has committed some terrible mischief. The person who has done the deed is your closest buddy but the other accused is the class bully and you dislike him immensely and have some scores to settle with him. What response would you give your principal?
  • You have entrusted some valuables including a family heirloom with a friend’s friend, when you and your friend had to suddenly go out of town. On coming back the person with whom you had kept the valuables says that he/she is unable to locate the same despite trying their best to locate it. You are distraught and want to file a police complaint. Your friend is adamant that you should not file that police complaint since it would tarnish the other friends’ reputation. What would you do?

List out some of the traits / values you respect in the following persons:

  • Your favorite teacher
  • Your dad or mum or sibling
  • Your favorite uncle/ aunt /neighbor
  • Your colleague / friend
  • A celebrity you admire
  • A well known character from history.

So which of these traits / values do you share or would like to imbibe?

 This post is courtesy http://www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

28 -Three P formula for the selfThe challenge for each of us, is in enjoying our own company. True there would be family, friends, colleagues and strangers around us for large periods of time but definitely not all the time. We also may like some, dislike others, ignore a few, enjoy the company of quite a few and yet the one person we cannot keep at bay is our own self. Therefore it stands to reason that we better make friends with our own self and keep ourselves happy. We need to accept our successes and failures, our joys and sorrows, our pleasure and pain with equanimity so that we remain in perpetual bliss. This can be best achieved by adhering to 3 principles.

Be pleasant – Nothing like starting the day with a smile and smiling as often as possible during the course of the day to feel happy and to remain pleasant.  Of course there could be unexpected crisis, some arguments and disagreements, irritation and frustration, raised voices and some sarcastic comments to deal with in everyday life. Yet, once a person has learned to find something pleasant to focus on no matter how grave the situation, that individual would always be comfortable with his/ her own self. By remaining pleasant, one also influences the surroundings and the people just like a flower that emits its fragrance at all times. The bees may take away the nectar, the human race may pluck it, the harsh weather may destroy it but it continues to share its fragrance till it gets destroyed.

Be positive – Hope is the beacon that beckons us to attempt the impossible, dare to be different and persist till we succeed. Hope is nothing but a positive outlook no matter what the situation. The fears may not completely vanish; the pain may not subside easily; there could be tears and confusion but you would always quickly regain your composure and deal with issues with poise, calmness and confidence once you master the art of finding something positive in every moment.

Be peaceful – A good sailor never fears the sea but always respects its power. No matter how rough the sea, how forceful the wind, however terrible the weather, the captain and crew know that they have the power to overcome the adversity. They don’t panic, they act decisively, they take precautions and they prepare for all eventualities. This comes from their training, their preparations and their self belief; all of which are directed towards making them master their emotions and remain calm and peaceful even when they face their greatest challenge. Each of us is the captain our ship and the master of our fate. Let us like a good sailor, imbibe the art of remaining peaceful at all times, so that we can steer our life to all the right ports, through the turbulence and challenges of life.

Try these:

  1. Think of the 3 most stressful moments of your life. What caused it? How did you overcome it? Did you get worked up, annoyed and vent your feelings on others? Were you a victim of someone else’s anger and frustration when they were under tremendous stress?
  2. How do you deal with the following types of individual’s?
  • Some who you dislike immensely
  • Someone who is a terrible bore
  • A person who you know will always be having woes and complaints
  • An introvert with whom you have to interact often
  • A person with wild mood swings who is a genius at work.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

26- do more with lessOne of the problems facing the world is the indiscriminate use of limited resources. As individuals, each of us must examine how individually each of us can limit our own use of the resources available to us so that we can make our own little contribution to saving our resources. That apart, we must also be aware, of how we are influenced by advertisements, social pressure and our own ego, in consuming more than what we need to. Once we become aware of our blissful ignorance, we will be more vigilant and possibly more conscious about doing more with less.

Reuse & Recycle – Most people in developing nations have mastered this art but as the economic well being goes up, we indulge freely because we can now afford to. So convenience becomes the new mantra and reuse & recycling remain footnotes in the daily grind. Think before you dispose; can you find alternative uses for what you want to dispose? Don’t worry about being called a cheapskate; your objective is to do more with less.

Utilize recyclable stuff – Primarily this means minimize your use of plastics and instead utilize reusable options like paper / cloth bags.  Can you have your own minimal crockery at your work place so that you can wash and reuse your coffee mug / spoon/ fork and plate? Do not be overly worried about what people will think about you. You will be setting an example and perhaps influence others to imitate you.

Limit our usage – It is an extension of the above; wherein you go prepared so that you avoid the use of stuff (like plastic bags )/ do not print flex boards indiscriminately simply because it is cheap / buy stuff simply because it looks nice/ cute  or is on discount but which you may never use after buying. How about working on not wasting electricity and switching off all the unnecessary lights and power supply switches? Ask yourself if you are wasting running water and how you can limit the use of it. Notice how tooth paste advertisements always show the paste being spread on the entire bristles.  Do we really have to use so much of toothpaste or is it a psychological ploy to ensure you consume more? Notice also that the large toothpaste packs have a much wider mouth so that you tend to squeeze out a much larger volume; a good marketing method to increase consumption and sales; do you need to fall prey to it?

Do not overstock – Overstocking would only lead to possibilities of having expired stuff that you have to trash. Particularly true of medicines and edible stuff. So you pay good money (even if there are bargain offers) only to end up losing all that money to trash.

Find alternatives – How about buying refill packs instead of a bottled / fully packaged stuff where the packing becomes thrash no sooner you bring it home. How about having a sturdy bag that accompanies you whenever you go shopping so that you eliminate all the plastic bags that your stuff is put into?

Say No where possible – Even if the shopkeeper offers you a plastic buy and you just have a couple of items to take away can you avoid taking that plastic bag? Can you resist the temptation to buy stuff just because of a discount / sale offer if you do not think you are going to use the stuff in the near future? Can you say no to ordering food online simply because you are too lazy?

Be creative – When going window shopping don’t carry money/ wallet. This will ensure that you don’t indulge in impulsive buying. Sure, if there is something you really want, you will take that effort of going again and buying it. Remove all the shopping apps on your electronic devises. Retain only the essential ones. Can you limit home delivery so that the amount of plastics and cartons can be done away with? Can you shop from those outlets which you know are eco friendly?

Spread the word – Your actions speak louder than your words. So let others notice your pro environment behavior.  You can also share with others your concerns and suggestions on how they too can become environmentally conscious and take practical steps.

Notice that in the above process, you are actually ending up doing a lot more by using less. When action speaks louder than words; that too is actually getting a lot more done by less pontification.

Apologies for using more words and sentences than needed for getting the message across.

Try these:

  • Make a list of environmental friendly initiatives that you will immediately implement.
  • What are steps you will take to ensure you get more money’s worth from all what you have?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

25-A new definition of ACTIONWith the Rio Olympics just around the corner, this quote is an apt reminder of the struggles, the hard work, the challenges and the passion that has driven the numerous sports persons representing their respective countries at the Olympics. For sure each of them started off with a Dream. When they march in the contingent representing their country they would have realized their dreams and the reality of the achievement will sink in when they participate in their respective event. As you read this, you too would be reflecting on various dreams that you have had and possibly wondering how you too can realize those dreams. As is obvious from the quote, all you need to do is to act on it… ACTION !

Accept the opportunity – If you know what you want, see yourself making the best use of the opportunity to attain it. For many, we have dreams but decide that the dreams are too unrealistic and so we let our dreams die without even attempting to give it a chance. If you can be genuinely passionate about your dreams, then you will make every effort to chase the dream.

Cling tenaciously to your dream. – There will be many who would chide you for your audacity to chase your dreams. There will be many who will try to dishearten you and create self doubt within you. You have to believe in your dream and cling tenaciously to it no matter what the price you have to pay. Yes, everything comes for a price and you have to be prepared to pay the price but what you get in return will be priceless.

Trust yourself – There will be times when you began with gusto and suddenly you were overwhelmed by problems and possibly you surrendered to them and gave up. Let that set back deter you from attempting again. Believe in your dreams, trust your abilities to be resilient and daring enough to pursue relentlessly. No one but you can lead your life; no one but you can realize your dream!

Innovate along the way – The dream always looks distant and the road to it long and winding. You would need to innovate and utilize all available legitimate means to be ahead of the crowd. You would need to take advice from the experts, rework your strategies, learn from competitors but all times be ethical and true to your conscience. Notice that many an athlete who used unfair means to improve their performance has come to grief. There must be both dignity and pride in realizing your dreams.

Overcome negativity – fear of failure is the biggest obstacle that prevents many a talent to blossom and showcase their talent. Criticism is another major negative emotion that can drive you to despair. Both failure and criticism are demotivators but they should not chain you to the belief that things cannot be overcome. When challenged you, you must rise above the negativity that it invariably injects in you. Falling down is not failure, failing to get up and go on is!

Next challenge – Action is not just single piece of activity. It is a continuous quest for improvement, for progress and for success. So once you surmount the initial hurdle, the next challenge must be embraced with equal enthusiasm. Those who manage to turn their dreams into reality have chased the next challenge and successfully conquered it.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of excuses you have made for not attaining something that you desperately hope to. Analyze it and work out a plan to eliminate every single excuse and give yourself another shot at realizing your dream.
  2. Make study of how you spend the 24 hours each day that you are blessed with. Can you eliminate some unnecessary waste of time, can you make some of your time even more productive, can you organize yourself better to ensure you group your activities to minimize time wastage?
  3. What is the next big fun activity that you are planning? What is the next major task that you have which you have been postponing for a while. Put a deadline on both and get cracking on achieving both within the deadline set. No excuses please!

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

24-The grass is green whenSo what stopping you from having a wonderful life? Ah we can list out a number of problems, obstacles, difficulties, circumstances to justify our quarrel with the life we lead. The real problem, alas, is that we focus on what others have instead of valuing and nurturing the life we are blessed with. Everyone has some issues, some challenges and certainly some complaints with their own life but notice the people who are contented, happy and carefree and you will realize that they are no different from the rest of us. However, they have made a small adjustment in their life; they have decided to make the best of what they have. They simply water the patch they have and make it greener after preparing the field for a bumper crop.

Till the soil – The ground needs to be tilled well. This will help remove the weeds. It will aerate the soil. Do this to your mind. Remove the negativity, the guilt, the fears that you have. Fill the mind with positive images of what you want, how you will design it, the little actions you need to take to achieve your dreams and experience the positive energy that seeps in through the kind into your whole being. Just focus on what you want. E.g. Think of the next holiday. Do you want to to go abroad or to a destination within the country? Would you like it to be the countryside, the beach front, mountain terrain etc. Now work out a plan and get working on it by putting it down on paper and start looking up/ reading up about the place, the travel routes, the fares, the cost of accommodation etc.

Plant the seeds – Now that you have tilled the soil it is time for you to plant the right seeds. Decide on what you want to grow. It must be suitable to the soil, the weather and your abilities to cultivate it.  E.g. Decide on a specific destination for the holiday. What makes the destination so appealing? Think of an occasion (anniversary) or time (holiday that you and your family can take) to go there.  How will you mange the budget for the holiday?

Add fertilizers and pesticides – This is critical, for it is the step that ensures you get a good bumper crop.  With fertilizers you nourish the soil and with pesticides you protect the crop. E.g. You choose the right hotels to stay; ensure you have clearly outlined your travel plans in each destination, you earmark the tourist spots to visit and also what you would want to avoid. You ensure you pack the right clothes for the season and also ensure you don’t carry an overload which would be too heavy to carry or which can be fined for excess baggage.

Water regularly – While you may have done the hard work, the produce is still a long way off from being harvested. In the interim one must regularly water the soil. This would also include pruning if required, transplanting where applicable and weeding too if there are too many weeds. E.g. Till the date of the trip you will fine tune your plans. Perhaps you may decide to skip a destination and spend more time in one of the destinations you budgeted less time for. More importantly you keep regularly saving to ensure you have the means to make the trip a memorable one.

Enjoy the labor and the produce – You harvest your bumper crop and realize that all the cynicism that you had earlier was misplaced. Your worries and doubts limited you earlier but with those impediments removed upfront, you actually have accomplished much more than what you imagined. E.g. You trip is memorable not just because it worked clockwork but also because you did what you just envied others do. When you kept working on your patch and watering it regularly your patch became greener too. The pictures and videos you bring back refresh your memory and help you relive the holidays again. Maybe you also make your neighbors and friends wee bit envious too!

Try these:

  1. If you had 10 minutes to do things before you die, what are the 5 things you will do? Can you utilize some points from the above reading to water those 5 patches you just listed.
  2. How would you utilize the inputs from the above to
  • Add value to your current work profile
  • Make your personal and family life even more fulfilling
  • Plan your retirement
  • Chase a dream
  • Expand your personal growth
  • Positively influence your family members, colleagues at work and your friends.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com