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Archive for May, 2011

“I must do something” always solves more problems than “Something must be done.”  Author Unknown

How often do we find ourselves wringing our hands in frustration and loudly proclaiming that something must be done. It could be some trivial issue at work or home or it could be something that evokes nationalistic pride but far too often we end up wistfully thinking that if someone else did something the problem could be solved and we would all live happily ever after. Invariably we make the painfully realization that almost everyone seems to be thinking on the same lines and as a result nothing gets done except maybe for the reality that we get more and more frustrated. The irony of the whole situation is that each one of us has noble intent, a fair degree of ability to tackle the problem and a whole range of fanciful ideas on how to tackle the issue on hand, yet we are overwhelmed by inertia, skepticism and a lackadaisical attitude.

Here are three essentials to ensure we Walk the Talk.

A sense of ownership is essential if we as individuals are ever intending to tackle issues and solve a problem. Most times while we are keen to benefit from the solution of a problem, we pretend that the problem does not impact us majority and so someone else has to bell the cat. Social problems invariably remain a matter of concern for a long time because all the concerned people are side stepping the issue and hoping that in time a good Samaritan would do the needful. The squalor and garbage around our colonies for example are regular topics for running down the administration but do we as responsible citizens make a concrete effort to take some proactive steps. It could be simple things like writing to the newspapers, sharing the telephone numbers of the concerned departments with neighboring society members and requesting them to call up and put pressure or perhaps visiting the concerned officials and lodging a complaint.  All these are possible provided we believe that the matter on hand is MY problem too.

Self belief  that every individual including ME can make a difference. The most frivolous argument given for inaction is that ‘poor me is an insignificant person’ and so my role is very limited in influencing matters. Assume for a moment that the power supply to your house has failed and worse still all the neighbors seem to have regular power. Would you sit back and hope the power comes back on its own or would you take some proactive steps? Now assume that the power in your locality keeps going of intermittently and the entire neighborhood is inconvenienced.   Would you take some initiative to find out the problem and initiate some corrective action? In the latter case a distancing of a sense of ownership steers you to believe that you cannot do much and that there are others who are better equipped to tackle the situation.

Achievement orientation is one of the earliest drivers of human progress. Irrespective of how good or bad a student you were, there was a sense of achievement in scoring more than your expectations, even more joy in scoring more than a close competitor and maximum joy if miraculously you passed despite your wayward approach to academics or your topped due to your sincere and dedicated efforts. The reality is that a sense of achievement is a great motivator. If we can orient our thinking into making all challenges and problems faced b y us as an opportunity to achieve success, our mindset to tacking the issues on hand would be very progressive and result oriented. When we can visualize ourselves as orchestrating change, achieving our goals and making a big positive difference around us we would be taking on the responsibility of Walking the Talk.

Remember: Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Try this:

  1. Identify a social cause that is close to your heart. Now work out an action plan to be involved in it and spending at least 2 hours a week on it on the field ( that is actively being engaged in it)
  2. As a responsible citizen how will you proactively get involved in the following situations?
  • A cat is trapped in the 10th floor of an apartment sill and is mewing piteously for help
  • The street lights have not been switched off even at 8 am in the morning when it is bright and sunny
  • An acquaintance calls you up to help him/ her urgently source blood for an operation. The bigger problem is that fresh blood is needed and the blood group type is rather rare.
  • You notice that the lift in your apartment block has been making some rather odd and unusual noise when it is in motion. You have already complained to the society office but no concrete action seems to have been taken because the noise continues. The second time you complaint you are treated with indifference and told that you are making a mountain of a mole hill. What will you do next?

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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A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. George Bernard Shaw

For those who are wondering why this blog has not been updated, let me clarify that I was on a holiday in Mysore and Waynad (Kerala). While it was a  well planned and refreshing break, I did occasionally feel guilty that I was not updating the blogs and in rare moments of boredom, did miss the fast pace of professional life. I thought it appropriate therefore to share my views on the above quote on holidays and put matters in perspective.

With very rare exceptions, almost every human being has at some point in time yearned to take a long holiday, preferably a perennial one. The idea of a holiday is often too simplistic and is often simply interpreted as ‘doing nothing’, ‘lazing around’ just relaxing’ or ‘doing just what I want’. Some of us could possibly have undergone a forced holiday due to a job loss or having to quit a job for reasons beyond ones control or forced into taking sick leave to recoup from some major illness but the stress that accompanies such holidays makes it a psychological torture. There could also be a miniscule lot who have taken voluntary retirement with no clear plans as to what to do next. The common thread in all these holidays is that ‘Time suddenly seems to weigh heavily’ on us and the uncertainty of how to while away ones time suddenly becomes an ominous dilemma.

A good holiday therefore should be one that is discerned, earned and planned. While some holidays could be thoroughly enjoyed when they are spontaneous and sudden, the real fun of a holiday is in selecting the right time of the holiday, the type of holiday sought and in ensuring that it is something that will bring pleasure, relaxation and a lingering pleasure. This is tricky especially if it is a family holiday for each member would have different expectations and ideas about the holiday. Discernment then is all about finding the right balance and consensus. Anyone with money can afford to simply splurge on holidays and possibly have a lifelong holiday. The reality is that hardly anyone does it because the real fun of a holiday is when we are convince we truly deserve a break, a change of scene and e do not feel guilty of taking off without having complete the expected chores expected of us. Holidays should elp one unwind, enable all who are holidaying to experience a different high and most of all help one soak in the moment, the pleasure and the leisure.

The kicker in any holiday is the fun of planning it out; the thrill of exploring possibilities, fitting it all in within a time and budget constraints and ensuring that we do not miss out on anything. While the intent is right, the reality is that the planning involves a lot of stress, fortunately most of it is positive stress, and it helps us connect with our human self through varied emotions of hope, frustration, joy, regret, confusion, frustration, and ecstasy when one puts it all together. More than anything else planning provides purpose and goals which keep us focused and provides us the carrot of motivation, the pleasure of anticipation, the wonder of experience and the thrill of achievement all of which adds up to make an enjoyable holiday.

If you just take of on a holiday and if that is a long drawn one, then after the initial euphoria of being a free bird is over, the lack of goals, the absence of a sense of purpose, the monotony of trying to battle with time and frustration of not achieving anything worthwhile will make life painful, boring and tortuous; something akin to hell on earth.

Remember: Every man who possibly can, should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not. William James

Try this:

  1. Make a list of the various types of holidays you would like to ideal take. A couple of ideas are given below for your ready reference
  • Visit the wildlife
  • Explore the mountain side/ valleys
  • Go trekking
  • Explore the wonders overseas
  • Go back packing/ cycling
  • Make a religious tour
  • Spend time with tribals
  1.  Analyze the last holiday you had and list our 3 good things and 3 things that you could have planned better. Now work on a 2 week holiday plan to be executed before the end of  May 2012.

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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Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.
Saadi

Ask yourself if there are habits, mannerisms, techniques or behavioral traits that you are keen on changing for the better but cannot overcome yet. Perhaps you have attempted to change but gave it up or you have not even started the process of change because you imagine it being a tough task. The fact is that unlearning is as tough as learning a new task and picking up something new is also a challenge for we have to first go about it slowly, steadily and steadfastly. Bad habits are a prime example of how difficult it is to get over it, be it biting nails, being disorganized, not being punctual etc. Similarly acquiring a new skill be it driving, swimming or playing a new sport is challenging and often exasperating for our initial attempts are woefully inadequate and embarrassing to say the least. Yet, with a firm resolve and adequate motivation and loads of patience we can look back and admire the way we have conquered many a challenge.

A bigger challenge is putting up with situations and/ or people that you are not comfortable with. We may unwittingly find ourselves in situations not of our own making but something that we desperately wished we could ignore/ avoid or get over with. Since we cannot wish the reality away, the one virtue that we can fall back on to face the reality with calmness and hope is patience. The never ending wait at checkout counters or at the doctors clinic, the unavoidable visit to the dentist, the dreaded feedback from teachers, the annual appraisal exercise etc are but shades of the varied situations where patience is the only virtue that will help us face it square on. On the other end of the spectrum are people who really test our patience. Diffident children, nagging spouse, tyrannical bosses, irresponsible subordinates, irritating colleagues are just a few of those people who end up testing our patience.

Patience is a function of self control, hope, adaptability and tolerance. Unless we can restrain our natural urge to rebel against happenings that we dislike we would never get anywhere close to practicing patience. With self control we allow time to be the catalyst of change that we hope will be more to our level of acceptance and liking. It naturally follows that when we give sufficient time we have a hope that matters will proceed in a manner that we pine for. At times we add up the small changes that we see and make adjustments ourselves and try to adapt to the glimmer of hope that is provided by our self control. Tolerance is the glue that uniformly binds ones self control, hope and adaptability to manifest itself as a virtue we call patience.

Patience nearly always rewards us amply. Nature provides us wonderful examples of it. See the patience with which a spider spins its web and patiently waits for a prey to be snared in it. Look the wild animals in the jungle who stalk they prey patiently. Ever notice the patience of an angler baiting a fish? Has it ever occurred to you that the jugglers who display their skill with such dexterity spend hours patiently practicing their craft till they master it  and even then constantly keep honing their skill with practice? Perhaps you can recollect how you learnt cycling and later perhaps swimming or driving a four wheeler.

Remember: Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.  Saint Francis de Sales

Try this:

  1. Take 3 balls and try to juggle it. If you can master that attempt the same with 4 balls. Alternatively try to master some card tricks that require a sleigh of hand.
  2. On your computer check out the games section and play the card game FREECELL. Technically every game can be solved. Go on test your own patience trying to solve each game.

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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Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about.Solomon Short

In our own way, each of us would have some competencies that give us the edge over others but that does not necessarily mean that we are smart. When we can recognize our competencies and simultaneously be aware of our deficiencies and work around leveraging the first and plugging the loopholes in our deficiencies, which is when we slowly become smart.

The three rules to be smart are as under:

When in doubt find it out. It is obvious that each of us will have limitations in grasping everything that we try to learn or attempt. Being ignorant is not the problem the problem is remaining ignorant. Hence it is imperative that we first realize our ignorance, find the right way to eliminate that ignorance and then systematically go about erasing that ignorance by learning and implementing the learning. A simple example is our visit to a doctor when we are ill. While we are aware of the symptoms and perhaps have an inkling of the real problem it is the expert in the form of the doctor who will diagnose it correctly and prescribe the right medication. Similarly coaches focus more on ironing out the mistakes made by players both as individuals and as a team. The net result is improved performance all thanks to learning more from those who are entrusted with helping us out.

Talk less listen more. The more we listen the more we can assimilate. This means we are taking in more knowledge and we can then utilize the learning to conceptualize, strategize and execute better. Often in the process of merely talking we give out more than what is needed, do not address the real issue since we haven’t paid attention to the receivers needs and our verbosity can confuse, conflict and camouflage the solutions. Listening also helps build rapport with the speaker, allows us time and inputs to maneuver and offers new avenues and opportunities to explore. When we leverage all this inputs we offer smart solutions.

Learn the trade and only then focus on the tricks of the trade. We are often in a hurry and that means we attempt to execute the tricks of the trade and hope that we can attain our objectives quickly. We also believe that by doing this we come across as smart individuals. With experience and foresight one can take the liberty of trying a few tricks of the trade .However it is always safe to understand the trade in depth before we even attempt a few tricks because if we execute half baked ideas the end result could be catastrophic and could lead to unmitigated losses and even loss of face. E.g Even the most experienced cricket batsman will think twice before attempting the reverse sweep so for a rookie to attempt it could be suicidal.

 Remember: Be smart, but never show it. Louis B. Mayer

 Try these:

  1. Learn a couple of card tricks. Then attempt them on your family and friends and see if you can do the tricks smoothly. You will realize initially you may foul up but that the more your practice the better you get and soon you can do those tricks like a pro.
  2. Try and solve the following if you think you are smart. ( The first question is solved for you to get a feel of how you need to come to the solutions)
  •  7 D in a W = 7 Days in a Week
  •  1,000 Y makes a M =
  • 52 C in a P of C =
  • 10 T on your F =
  • 5 W & 1 H =
  • 3 W on a T =

(Answers will be given in the next post)

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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“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”   Eliza Tabor

None of us want to face disappointments in any form but we try to be ready to face it when it comes, for the one reality we all agree upon, is that disappointments are an inevitable part of life. While not getting a ticket for a big game could be a small disappointment, missing a connecting flight could be a bigger disappointment and for a start player missing out on playing a big game because of a freak injury could be a devastating disappointment. Funnily enough disappointments could also take on varied hues depending on one’s perspective. A student hell bent on standing first could be bitterly disappointed if he/she misses goal that mark by a single mark but it is also possible that the person standing first is more devastated that despite standing first he/she could not get admission to a college of his/her choice. Disappointments are therefore all a matter of perspective.

The real challenge, irrespective of how terrible the disappointment is, hinges on coping with it. There are 3 ways of doing this and the three ways can be used individually or in consonance with one another which will actually turn the disappointment into affirmative success.

Accepting the reality.  When faced with a disappointment, we console ourselves that perhaps it was inevitable and thereafter we attempt to ignore it. While this is a good strategy when  no other strategy works (as is the case where we miss a connecting flight because of a delay in our original flight or when an unexpected injury denies us the opportunity to play in a big final game) it leaves us feeling a wee bit sorry for ourselves. However when we face a disappointment as a reality that cannot be wished away we come to terms with it and see it as an inevitable part of growing up and a slice of life. (The penalty shooting expert who misses his shot in the shootout could be so overcome with remorse that he may lose all confidence in his/ her own ability unless they accept the fact that 100% success is never guaranteed )

Seeing the positives. This is tough because we need to make that extra effort to overcome our disappointment and actually try to connect dots to visualize the learning and the positives. Here the battle between our emotional self and our rational self is inevitable and the latter takes much more time to embed itself in our psyche. However with a healthy dose of self esteem,  a sense of proportion and the tenacity of purpose one can train the mind to be more stable, visualize more pragmatically and creatively assimilate the facts to draw up a blueprint of success and overwriting the script of temporary setbacks and disappointments. Edison exemplified it when he attempted as is said more than a 1,000 different items in his quest for the filament for the electric bulb and with each failure is remarked to have said ‘ now I know that this too will not work’.

Moving beyond the past. Most of us are guilty of either gloating on our past success or more frequently ruing the past disappointments. While me must soak in the success that come our way and reflect on the disappointments so as to learn from it, it would be foolhardy to be caught in a time wrap and remain in the past. Particularly when it comes to disappointments, we must take up the challenge of recouping, reinforcing and redeeming ourselves by displaying our resolve, learning and performance in overcoming our disappointments.  It is when we succeed that we really put behind our past failures and recognize the core of our spirit and ability.

Remember: “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”  Robert Kiyosaki

Try this:

  1. Think of the 3 big disappointments and how you coped with it
  • In your school days
  • In your teenage days
  • In your professional / personal life
  1.  How will you cope with the following disappointments?
  • Your favorite sports team loses at the last moment in the finals to a much less fancied opponent.
  • You misplace your free VIP ticket to your favorite singers live concert
  • Your prized mobile gifted by your spouse /girlfriend/ boyfriend/ parent slips and is crushed to bits by a passing car
  • You have presented a well researched and well drafted report but you are humiliated in front of an outside audience by your boss for a typographical error that you believe is relatively insignificant to the overall contents of the report .

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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