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Archive for February, 2010

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger

Like marriages, life may be made in heaven but has to be lived on earth; this poses a dilemma for many; for we are forever oscillating between heavenly bliss and earthly reality. The wonder of living is that every moment brings about surprises, pains, hurt and hope. While one moment we maybe up in the skies the next moment we could be down in the dumps; ruing missed opportunities, cursing fate or wistfully longing for the good old days. The key to happiness therefore lies in our ability to react to our circumstances in the same manner as Rudyard Kipling says in his poem IF  ‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two imposters just the same’   Click here to read the poem  If_by Rudyard Kipling.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of us we are swept away by the momentum of triumph and then when disaster rears its ugly head, it pulls us down to the depths of misery. It is our ability to squarely meet our challenges, the difficulties and the ill luck that is the reality of life that will determine our strength of character and steely resolve. Levinger has wonderfully juxtaposed the learning through the example of how one deals with married life, He cleverly underscored the point that when there is compatibility and things go right, everyone is perched on the tall branches of comfort, peace and happiness; it is when we are not compatible, when there are differences, when we have to cross the bumpy roads on the highway of marriage that the true test of understanding, trust and belief in the other is put to the test.  It is that point which charts out the course for two lives to meet in unity, two hearts to beat as one and one life to reflect the light from two souls as a lighthouse would in the midst of thunderous storms and rough seas.

Sometimes we are caught up in a battle of wits when faced with the awkwardness of differences of opinion. Often it is selfishness and our personal ego that blinds us to our folly of reacting impudently. Most times it is our inability to discern and listen to the voice of reason that brings about our downfall.  Reactions are by and large spurred on by impulsive thought and compulsive action, a potent and dangerous mix if any, for the effects are no less toxic than if one were to consume poison or be bitten by a rattle snake. Alas ill timed, ill conceived and foolhardy reactions are worse than poison, for when we consume poison there is only one fatality but here the consequences are deadly; it might involve more than two lives and affect many more and the repercussions could be felt for a lifetime nay possible for generations.

Remember: “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” Bertrand Russell

Try these:

  1. The next time you go to a dentist or have to take an injection be aware of your reaction to the process. Do you dread it? Are you terrified? Do you look away from the needle? Do you sweat long before the syringe is even unpacked? Do you put up a brave front and smile nervously while the doctor banters with you? There are no right or wrong reactions; just be aware that your reactions are unique to you and could wildly differ from another close relative or family member.
  2. Look back at the times you have panicked; perhaps before a major examination paper or on hearing news about the sudden accident or death of a close relative or loved one.  Clinically examine your actions and reactions. Did you go blank? Were you hysterical? Were you too emotionally drained to react? Were you composed and be able to comfort others in distress?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Strong people are made by opposition, like kites that go up against the wind. Frank Harris

It is said that if you want to know the character of a person, see his/ her behavior when they face adversity. Just like iron can be molded when put into fire, we individuals are molded by the fire of adversity that tempers us. How is it that adversity actually proves beneficial to us? The answer lies in the fact that when we are put to the test, with no back up or escape route, that is when we actually use all our strengths, particularly our inner strength to face the difficulties that confront us. It is also the time when those with a weak heart might fail the test and throw in the towel, either by meek surrender or they take the extreme step of suicide.

The most common adversary is competition. Competition is a dreaded word for it means we have to fight for a share of the pie; be it market share, job opportunities or the basic amenities of life. Competition is dreaded because it is nothing but another adversary that one has to fight. Yet, it must be noted that competition is the reason we have variety, improved quality and alternates in the market place. We can be inspired by the new ideas and possibilities that are introduced by the adversary and we can then adopt and adapt them to make our space in the market place. Look at the technological revolution. It has changed the rules of the game.

Adversity also provides us the standards to benchmark ourselves. A strong adversary would force us to pull up our socks be it terms of learning, quality improvement, better customer relations or new product offerings. The same yardstick applied in our personal lives when faced with adversity, would reflect in better interpersonal relations, inspired creative thinking and better work ethics. Adversity provides us the added impetus to push our limits. It is this healthy competition that helps top notch athletes create new world records. In our lives, we may not be recognized by the world for the improvements we make but there is the great thrill of achievement that you can experience yourself, when you see the improvements, changes and achievements that you attain.

It is not just iron that uses the heat of the fire to be molded, but on the other extreme even GOLD is purified in fire and intricate designs, patterns and shapes that adorn and enhance our beauty.

Think Adversity – Think Iron – Think Gold – Be Tough- Grow Strong – Get Rich

Remember: Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Arthur Golden

Try these:

  1. Recollect the low points in your life. How did you meet the challenges posed by these low and depressing times? Were most of the fears and challenges that you visualized at that point, hyped by your wild imagination?
  2. Visit a palliative care center / an old age home/ a mental asylum or a hospital. Spend a day trying to cheer up the inmates. Perhaps you will come back with a feeling that you are actually blessed. Now look at your personal worries and put them in the right perspective.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good. Bertolt Brecht

No one can go through life without stumbling or falling down. Mistakes are but a stumble in judgment and must be viewed as glitches that have to be set right. Very often, when we stumble or slip and fall down, we get up looking around with a foolish grin, to see if anybody noticed us fall and we try to make light of the incident. Alas, when we make mistakes we are often beset by the fact that they are pointed out to us by someone else, usually a person in authority, who will then proceed to chasten you and then rave and rant about your inefficiency and casualness.

While the superiors retain the prerogative of pointing out our mistakes, apportioning blame and suggesting corrective action, you must correct the same if you are responsible for it or have the ability to rectify it. Prudence demands that we have the heart to accept a mistake, feel remorse for it and then have the courage of conviction to burn the midnight oil and be able to rectify the error. Quick corrective action has two advantages; the mistake is rectified and the damage minimized and it also limits your own feeling of guilt and remorse, thereby enabling you to chanelize your energies into more productive tasks.

What if you are not responsible for the mistake and yet you are caught in the crossfire? Your feelings will range from dismay to annoyance and then move on to defiance and aggression. If you persist with these feelings, there is a remote possibility that  you may win the battle, but there is every possibility that you will lose the war. The best way forward, therefore,  is to do your best to correct the mistake. Once that is done, perhaps others will see your point of view; some might even feel guilty enough to own up. Thereafter, if things go on smoothly, who knows, you might even become a hero for initiating the corrective measures.

There are times when a mistake cannot be rectified. In such cases, the only possibility is damage control and salvaging what ever is possible. These are short term, possibly face saving remedies. The real learning comes from analyzing the causes for the mistake and focusing on putting in place a system that can flag of anomalies, trigger alarms to alert those in charge of the system and in extreme cases have a self correcting solution like shutting of the entire system like an automatic aborting of a space missionwhen the computer detects an anomaly or flaw. Intelligence is therefore not just new creation, fresh perspectives and thoughts and / or leveraging of brilliance for wealth creation, but it includes putting in place checks and balances to minimize mistakes,  shock absorbers to cushion the impact of mistakes and alternatives to salvage and rectify mistakes in the quickest possible time.

Remember: Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” -Swami Sivananda

Try these:

  1. What are the mistakes that you still regret? Do you think you can do anything to minimize your regret or let bygones be bygones? Do you think that you need to say sorry and or apologize to someone for a mistake that you did but refused to take blame for or your ego did not permit you to say sorry?
  2. Do you still hold a grudge that you were unfairly blamed for a mistake that you did not commit? Are you harboring ill feelings and feelings of revenge for those responsible for putting you in a spot? Can you forgive all those who knowingly or unknowingly have accused you of mistakes and tarnished your name / image? (See the post here on Forgiveness dated 4th Jan 2010)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog   www.poweract.blogspot.com 

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Any concern, too small to be turned into a prayer, is too small to be made into a burden. Corrie ten Bloom

There is no single day in our life when we are not beset by concerns; small or big , rational or irrational, manageable or unmanageable. Corrie ten Bloom, has succinctly put across this point that, while every one has concerns, if we do not pray for deliverance from that concern, then it is never a burden but just an irritant. For example, one key concern that distinguishes human being from the animals is our constant concern about managing our time. Yet how often do we pray that we must be given the wisdom to utilize our time effectively?

If your concerns are very serious, then you constantly worry about it and seek help from specialists, experts, family and friends and of course from the almighty. While the PUSH formula Pray Until Something Happens (see the PUSH post dated 23rd Dec.2009 in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com to know more about it) is a great comforter and tranquilizer for the soul, it has to be supplemented by our personal belief and a healthy rational for it to be effective. Far too often, we in our anxiety and desperation, tend to visualize our problems as fatal, unfair and unbearable, psyching ourselves into experiencing phantom pains and frightening visualizations.

Paradoxically, a more common practice amongst the large majority, is our habit of blaming, what in our opinion are trivial demeanors and indiscretions, for our transgressions like being late, coming ill prepared, doing a tardy job or not doing a job at all. Worse still is our feeling that we are absolved of the transgressions once we have apportioned blame. We view these indiscretions and transgressions as minor concerns but if it repeatedly and routinely becomes part of your personality, it is no longer a minor matter but something snowballing into perhaps a cancerous personality disorder. When we do not pray for deliverance from such weakness, does it mean that they are not major concerns? Certainly not; in fact not praying for deliverance is a sure sign that, what in reality is turning into a major problem is seen by us as plain hiccups of daily life and just minor concerns. Alas the reality is that we are blissfully ignoring the symptoms while the disease is gnawing us bit by bit.

Remember: “What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Try these:

  1. There are many social issues that concern each one of us. It could be environmental pollution, garbage disposal, rising trend of accidents, blood donation, education for the poor, economically weaker, child labor etc. Choose one or two of these and make it you personal social concern. Outline ways and means you will get involved in these concerns so that is it not just a concern but a social evil that is challenge close to your heart.
  2. From the numerous resolutions you have made, select one or two that you think need immediate attention. It could be undergoing a personality development course, or learning a new computer language or working towards owning your own house etc. The scope of your resolution or the magnitude is not important, but the focus should be on the urgency of it. Preparer an action plan and start implementation immediately. Share your plans with a close friend who you can request to monitor your progress and give your feedback, encouragement and also reminders when you are slipping.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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They who are the most persistent, and work in the true spirit, will invariably be the most successful.  Samuel Smiles

For many people starting a task is tough, but for most people, the real difficulty is to persist and complete a task. The problem starts when our initial enthusiasm is dampened by obstacles in the process of accomplishing the task, the negative feedback we get while doing the task and the lack of motivation that often accompanies a long drawn out project. There are  also times when failures pin prick our confidence, a perceptible lack of clarity ahead acts as a stumbling block and the lure of giving up to ensure peace of mind seems an easy option. Unfortunately, the world recognizance’s only the accomplishments and rarely gives credit to the efforts.

How do successful people accomplish their tasks? Hard work is one quality that is essential but it is their self belief and persistence which hold the secrets of accomplishment. Self belief gives them thrust to plan, start and follow up on the assignments and persistence comes from their visualization of their goal, ability to build up on the stones of criticism, their ability to adapt and adopt new learning’s even when they go counter to their own original hypothesis and their attitude towards Life in general and Work in particular.

Persistence is not dogmatism. When you are dogmatic, you tend to ignore the facts and lay emphasis on only your personal belief. When one is dogmatic, you will never know when to change tracks, explore new hypothesis and discover new avenues to reach your goal. There are times, when we by error of judgment or lack of data or knowledge get blinkered into bulldozing our way trying to badger our way into realizing success, but alas that is dogmatism personified not persistence. Persistence on the other hand means not giving up, but doesn’t mean not changing tracks when the obvious way forward is to dig a new tunnel, chart a new course or re look the original hypothesis. There is a very thin line between persistence and dogmatism and when that line blur’s, many people on the cusp of a great success, fail inches short of their target and live an inglorious life of regret. It is the person who has a steely resolve, an open mind and a creative leaning who can harness hard work, knowledge and abilities to succeed.

Remember: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” – Calvin Coolidge

Try these:

  1. What are your passions / hobbies? Were they the same in your childhood? Are you pursuing it with the dedication and persistence that you would really love to? If not, is it lack of time or lack of financial resources or is it simply your lack of persistence that is responsible for your failure to pursue it?
  2. Think of 2 bad habits that you would like to get rid of. Now outline an action plan to eliminate it and put a time line to it. Start your attempt to overcome the bad habit and examine how your resilience will help you overcome it. If you are unable to overcome, are you willing to take blame for it but be aware that it dosen’t absolve you of not overcoming the problem.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves. Lord Chesterfield

Look around and you will find that people are scurrying around, frantically trying to meet some deadline; be it catching the pubic transport or finishing an assignment or speeding up their physical exercise routine because they have another social/ personal commitment to meet. Observe carefully your own life and calculate the amount of free time you have in it. Simultaneously also look at the amount of productive work you do and the amount of time you are guilty of wasting. Many times we are actually duplicating tasks because we didn’t do it right the first time or we are duplicating the effort because we didn’t plan properly. What does it all lead to? You labor in vain; every minute of the hours spent has gone wasted; if only you paid attention to every minute you spent working.

If you make your time count, only then can you make your life count. Don’t do things in a hurry because there is so much more to do; rather do things because you want to get the work done well and over with once and for all. No doubt you may have to do the same job again next day but then it is a new day , a new effort and a new result; not a repeat of a failed attempt or a patch up of a tardy attempt. The key is to focus on the small tasks that collectively help us achieve a big goal. In our anxiety to attain the big goals, we are tempted to rush in headlong into the job without much planning, preparation and performance standards. The net result would be  sloppy work, disappointing feedback and quite often re-work.

We have the onus not just to live but make our lives better each day. This means that we need to realize that meeting a deadline or completing a task is not an isolated activity but an integral part of our happiness, which can happen only if we have put mind, heart and soul into it. Every moment of your life is therefore an opportunity to progress further, spread cheer and win applause. Don’t waste the moment, the minutes in the hour hand and the seconds ticking away in your life in a frivolous, casual and indifferent manner. Be aware that the seconds and minutes add up to hours which when we look back and connect the dots, throw up a brilliant pattern of lovely hues and shades radiating your life or else it will just be a black and white picture of a gloomy, despondent and wasted life.

Remember: This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Try this:

  1. Can you jot down how much time you spent reading this post? Was it worth the time spent? How did you benefit from reading this post? Can you implement anything you learn from this post?
  2. If you were not reading this post what would you have been doing? Is that job you postponed in order to read this post having a deadline or a priority in your life? Would it have been better for you to do that job and then focused on reading this post? Do you have clear priorities for the day? Is there clarity in your step by step plan of action for major tasks on hand?
  3. If you have time for prayer, do you end up speeding up your prayers because there is something more interesting on TV or you have a more entertaining activity line up? Do you have a time slot for reflection? Do you spend sufficient time communicating with your family, your parents and siblings?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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God tests His real friends more severely than the lukewarm ones. Katheryn Hulme

More often than not, we remember God when we are in trouble and our constant plea then is Oh God Why did this happen? Troubles make us realize how helpless we are, how dependent we are on God and humbles us into accepting his will. Very often, we are left perplexed when we see bad tings happening to God fearing, warm and loving people. Take the case of innocent victims of terrorist attacks, accidents, heart attacks or someone suddenly diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimer’s or numerous youngsters resorting to suicide; our hearts go out to them but the mouth painfully articulates the real feeling in our heart – Oh Go Why them?

Look at it differently. The more prestigious academic institutions have more rigorous entrance tests and selection criteria, which can be matched by just the top students. Similarly, while we all love our creator, many of us being overtly religious and ritualistic, some of us fully devoted to the almighty service, God has his own plans for each one of us. He tests us in so many ways, through challenges of inflicting pain on us or our loved ones, through the freedom of choice given to us to choose to turn away from temptation or to fall prey to it and by withholding from us many of things we crave for. For those being tested, it is not just our faith that is being put to test but also our ability to endure, and our capacity to love him even when the road ahead seems endless and pave with thorns.

It is but human to also feel jealous, that those whom we see with our jaundiced eyes as weak in faith, having fragile morals, leading carefree lives and being showered with blessings denied to us. We are tempted to questions God’s wisdom; wonder about his impartial ways and get a feeling of being under his foster care. We then let our hearts harden, our minds dulled and our actions leaden with the weight of both envy for the fortunate and grief for our own plight. If we only stopped to seek answers in his challenges rather than search for loopholes in the questions God asks of us; if we let our faith be unwavering and our love for him endless; if we accept his wisdom without question, and let our hearts answer it rather than our minds; we will see that God is putting you to the test because you have committed to him that you are his faithful, obedient and loyal follower. Ask any coach and he/ she will tell you that the toughest, most competitive and the mentally tough players are the ones who deliver when the chips are down, the ones whose presence uplifts the team and the one who strikes fear in the hearts of the opponents. You must be that player, hence you are being sought by God to stand up and be counted!

Remember: God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them” Stanley Lindquist

Try these:

  1. Out line the worst experience of your life from age 7 -15 and from 15- to date. What was the feeling you got. Who was to blame or that experience? How did that experience impact your life? Did it make you more resilient or more cynical?
  2. If God were to give you a choice between the following pains which one would you choose and why? Death of a very close loved one? or You going blind?
  3. When in pain; physical or otherwise what would be a religious text you would turn to find comfort, hope and faith in God? It doesn’t matter which religion you belong to or which texts you use; just choose the words that will give you courage. Copy it and put it in your wallet.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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