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Archive for October, 2011

In time of difficulties, we must not lose sight of our achievements. Mao Tse-Tung

Difficulties are found in every walk of life be it in personal life, in the work environment, in the family, in business, in sports, in social communications etc. Obviously in an ideal world, we would hate to be faced with difficulties because it impedes our progress, causes disruption and challenges us to overcome it with a real risk of failure looming large. Yet with resourcefulness, ingenuity, grit and persistence more often than not we have overcome many a difficulty and perhaps occasionally also experienced a few bruises in the process. We would also have painful recollections of failures, discouragement, frustration, shame and pain when the difficulties could not be overcome. Yet if you are still reading this, it clearly means that no obstacle or difficulty could defeat you permanently and that is a very encouraging thought.

Despite this realization, we tend to get dispirited, frustrated and are often tempted to throw in the towel when some difficulties seem unreasonable, grossly unjust and we lack the temperament to fight our way through. Here are three facts about difficulties that we must bear in mind at all times.

  • We cannot avoid difficulties
  • We can plan to mitigate the possible difficulties that we can visualize
  • Every difficulty that comes our way can be dealt with; however success is not guaranteed but if we do nothing failure is certain.

With the above reality kept in mind we can tackle every difficulty that comes our way with equanimity and hope. Since we are sure that we cannot avoid difficulties, the first thing we need to do is accept the difficulties when it comes with faith in ourselves and hope in finding a solution. The numerous successes that we have had in tackling past difficulties will give us both the faith and hope needed to sustain when things look bleak and one is desperately searching for the silver lining in the dark clouds.

We walk into a large number of difficulties simply because we do not anticipate them. The major reason for this is a lackadaisical attitude, inept planning and false bravado. Casualness in handling a task means we are leaving too many loose ends that could bring about a variety of difficulties. Inept planning can be overcome by brain storming, ideating, imagination and a structured approach to any task on hand. This involves not merely thinking about an issue but enumerating the solution in writing and then assigning responsibilities with clear directions, deadlines and goals. Such planning must also make allowances for changes and alternatives must be kept ready for implementation. The reality is that even the best of plans can be devastated by the unexpected, unforeseen and unimaginable difficulties. A sense of false bravado often results in one plunging headlong into finding solutions when the reality is that one needs expert advice, the help of experienced personnel and perhaps the courage of conviction to change the course of action when the progress is certainly doomed in the original direction planned.

Many a failure experienced when confronted with difficulties, is merely because a lack of self belief or the exact opposite a stubborn mule like tendency to chase the impossible. Lack of self belief comes from lack of adequate knowledge, poor self esteem, an exaggerated fear of failure and stunted thinking that limits self belief. The stubbornness that each of us has in varying degrees is primarily the result of EGO and partly the outcome of ignorance, foolhardiness and the mistaken notion that giving up is equivalent to failure. The challenge then is to master the difficulty of accepting the reality that whispers aloud to us and says go on you can do it or when it says stop killing yourself pursuing the impossible. When the former whispers loudly then take a good look at the quote below and when the latter whispers louder than ponder on the quote at the very top.

Remember:  Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. Winston Churchill

Try this:

  1. How will you tackle the following difficulties?
  • You have borrowed your friend’s costly new mobile handset and have misplaced it.
  • You have studied hard for your exams. When the question paper is handed over to you, you are shocked to see the question paper of the subject that you had not anticipated. You then realize that unfortunately due to an error in jotting down the exam schedule, you studied the subject for the examination to be held a day later.
  • You are in a new city and suddenly realize that you have been robbed of your purse and mobile. With no know person in the city and no money you are badly stuck.
  1. The challenge / difficulty in this puzzle is to link all 9 dots (shown below) using four straight lines or fewer, without lifting the pen and without tracing the same line more than once.

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift, so too can the holidays. John Clayton

With the Divali season around the corner, a sizeable section of the people in India are already in a holiday frenzy. Soon thereafter Christmas would be around the corner and practically three fourths of the rest of the world would be experiencing the same holiday frenzy.  While everyone eagerly looks forward to the holidays, the overwhelming majority of people are confused, apprehensive and hesitant about how to make best use of the holidays. Worse still is the fact that most people are completely unprepared to welcome the holidays. As a result the holiday season can often be a stressful period unless one makes adequate preparations to make the best use of the gift of holidays.

For those wedded to customs, traditions and rituals, the initial part of the holidays are well laid out in as much as they follow the accepted customs and norms. The real challenge is thereafter. Travel is the most preferred option for many but the destination poses problems as much as the means of travel and the duration. Of course the biggest headache still remains the finances. What is not really noticed is that the real problem is ‘not paying attention to planning and preparing’ for the holidays. Any form of travel involves reasonable planning right from destination to dates and mode of travel and stay and how best to utilize the time at the chosen destination. If for whatever reason travel is ruled out then making the best use of holidays requires even more thought and deliberation for the options are rarely crystal clear mainly because we don’t pay much attention to it and prefer to work out on the spur of the moment. Net result is that we end the holidays with a sense of regret of having wasted it.

So the question that begs attention is ‘what else can one do with the holidays’?  Here are some alternatives for reflection and perusal especially for those not traveling during the holidays.

  • Catch up on reading / movies / hobbies/ some quirks that were left on the back burner (eg. Experimenting with or understanding alternate therapy’s, learning magic / card tricks, go bird watching with a professional)
  • Reorganizing the house and bring about some much needed change including rummaging through piled up / hoarded knick knacks and disposing of the unwanted stuff.
  • Entertaining people who you could not otherwise invite due to, either their preoccupation or your own hectic life style.
  • Detailed planning, (especially if a surprise party is planned) for some important events coming up like the golden jubilee of your parents wedding anniversary or a milestone birthday of a close relative.
  • You can indulge the spouse / children/ family members with some surprises like a swim and dinner or day long picnic to a completely new locale.
  • Use the holidays to sensitize the family to the needs of others and the reality of life by visiting an orphanage/ old age home/ shelter for challenged children or invite a couple of challenged children home to spend a day.

Many of you reading this post would suddenly get wary and wonder if the alternatives listed are practical and more importantly would the end result be a real holiday. It is all a matter of attitude. If you can plan and prepare, the efforts will never be wasted even if the end result is not what is hoped for.  Unless you try you never know. In any case by experimenting it will just be one holiday season that could be wasted but by never planning most holidays would end up being a challenge rather than a pleasure.

Remember: Holidays in general breed unrealistic expectations. The minute you start wondering, ‘is it going to be wonderful enough?, it never will be.  Pepper Schwartz

Try this:

  1. Assuming that finance is not a constraint make a list of alternates that you will have lined up if you get a 4 day holiday suddenly.
  2. Recollect the best holiday you ever had. Now also recount the  worst holiday season that you went through when you felt your holidays were wasted ( if you fell sick or a tragedy occurred then do not count them as worst holidays). Can you identify the reasons that made the first holiday so much fun and the other one a rather indifferent or miserable one?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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“One of the most important lessons that experience teaches is that, on the whole, success depends more upon character than upon either intellect or fortune”  William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Many a time, we tend to focus more on those events that have left a scar on our psyche, have given us a bitter pill to swallow or that which has hurt us immensely. Often our immediate reaction to this is to be fearful, become risk averse and make efforts to avoid the path that lead to the unfortunate experience. While the protective mechanism that we have honed comes in handy and saves us from catastrophes, far too often we miss out on grasping opportunities for we let our bitter experiences overwhelm our pragmatism and passion. Our experiences should not deter us from pursuing a path that we have chalked out for ourselves merely because we stumbled and grazed ourselves or in extreme cases it badly scarred us.

Experiences both good and bad are the pivots around which the future is built. The good experiences reinforce our beliefs and light up our path, where as the bad experiences alert us to the pitfalls ahead, allowing us time to relook, reassess and reorganize ourselves. The important learning got from our experiences is that our attitude and reactions at every stage determine how we will traverse the journey and attain success. In effect experiences are a test of our character and our ability to deal with the situations as they unfold.

Our character evolves through our formative years and continues to transform, albeit slowly, with every passing year. It is made of a combination of factors including our hereditary traits, the childhood scripting, the experiences and interactions that have percolated deep into our psyche and our own independent thinking and attitude. A happy and disciplined upbringing often has a deep and lasting influence on character building. The role of parents, teachers, classmates and neighbors is very critical in influencing the character that a person develops.  Motivation, encouragement, appreciation, acceptance, laugher, kindness, positive reinforcements are inputs that ensure a fragrance that remains always in a person’s character. On the other hand a gentle rebuke when needed, reasonable punishment if required, firm ground rules to enforce discipline  and impeccable grooming and manners ,   ensure that there is a sparkling diamond like luster in a person’s character.

Apart from analyzing our experiences ourselves, it also helps if we find the right mentor to guide, have a healthy dose of self confidence, develop our ability to be hardworking, look forward with optimism, hone our analytical and creative skills, work around our core competence and develop the art of learning something new and invaluable from every experience. We should also be able to develop the fine art of discernment to appreciate the learning from our experiences. Then every experience will become a successful test of character that becomes a new step in the ladder of success.

Remember: “There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.” Tom Krause

Try this

  1. Read the well-known poem IF by Rudyard Kipling by clicking on this link http://tinyurl.com/ne7rbv.  This poem in many ways tells us how to manage our good and bad experiences and become a success.
  2. Try to list out at least one personal experience each under each of the following categories. If possible also elaborate the learning got from that experience.
  • Happy experience
  • Painful experience
  • Hurtful experience
  • Surprising experience
  • Emotional experience
  • Disgusting experience
  • Exhilarating experience
  • Embarrassing experience

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Life is like a coin.  You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.  ~Lillian Dickson

For many, life is like a coin that we can toss and then tell ourselves Heads you win, Tails I lose. With an attitude like that, whatever the outcome thereafter, life will be a burden for one has reconciled to a fate of misery. Pause for a moment and see each day as a gift of a coin given by fate with no strings attached and we are free to use it any which way we want; suddenly life becomes more meaningful and delightful. Just as we can use the coin to buy an ice-cream, put it in a mite box, get a gift for a friend or family member or simply save it, life too offers us ample choices and it for us to make the best use of it.

For the average person, the 24 hours that we are gifted each day, can be broadly utilized in 3 different ways, each of approximately 8 hours each; sleep, work, personal time. It is not just we utilize the time that matters but also how and why we chose to utilize our time that has  major bearing on making that ONE precious coin we have called LIFE,  count. Just to explain further, at this point I have a choice to enjoy a favorite TV show or choose to write this blog. While I have chosen to write the blog, I am sure I would have no regrets about watching my favorite TV show, but then my blog would not get updated and that is something I may regret.

Managing our life has always posed a problem for 3 reasons. We do not know what we want from it, we are not prepared to pay a price for the things we sometimes know we want and there are too many distractions that compel us to abandon our well planned intentions. Obviously if we can try and come to grips with these 3 problems, there is a very high probability that we would find life exciting and exhilarating.

To understand what we want from life, click on this following link to a post that I have recently uploaded.  https://actspot.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/discovering-the-real-you

To tackle the problem of minimizing the distractions and taking decisions that can help us make our life more meaningful click on the following link that again I have uploaded recently https://actspot.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/decisions-shape-destiny-go-on-make-up-your-mind

The bigger problem still remains, that of reconciling to paying a price for whatever we want from life. It is essential to remember that barring some really blessed people, the overwhelming majority of people have to always choose between two equally pleasurable alternatives or equally damning alternatives and the moment they choose they have paid a price of wondering if they have let go of the better alternative. Many a student can identify with this when an exciting live match clashes with the study time for an important exam. There is a simple rule to decide on what is the price one pays and that is choose the alternative that in the long run you will never regret. Failing an exam for example, could set you back by a year and that is something that you may regret lifelong but missing out on the match of a century would be a regret that you can overcome partly by seeing replays and partly by the realization that the price you paid was worth it when you do well in the exams. Remember that was the rule that I applied when writing this blog and each of the blogs during 2010 when I wrote almost every day. Yes I sacrificed a lot of my time that I could have enjoyed but then I would not have had so many posts uploaded.

If you re-read the first line of the first para, you would notice that there is a also a significant factor that influences how we lead our life and that is our attitude. If we can simply rewrite the first line to read ‘For many, life is like a coin that we can toss and then tell ourselves Heads I win, Tails I don’t  lose’ every day will be a series of small and big victories, victories nevertheless.

Remember: I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.  ~Elwyn Brooks White

Try this:

  1. Make a list of the 5 things you have done that you regret the most. If you can, also analyze why you regret those actions and how you would have handled the situation differently.
  2. Outline 2 social service causes that you are very interested in. How have you got involved in it? What more can you do to contribute to that cause? Do you think you are giving enough of your time and talent to the cause?
  3. How would you decide on and what alternative would you choose, in the following situations.
  • You have not prepared too well for your exam. However you are confident of getting reasonable marks in the exam. On attempting the paper you realize that there is a very real possibility of failing unless you can answer at least one of the mathematical questions correctly. The person sitting near you is a good friend and a class topper and there is a good chance of copying from his paper. What will you do?
  • You are invited by your best friend for his bachelor’s party. You realize that on the same date and time, you have to attend your boss’s sons wedding in another city. What will you do?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

 www.poweract.blogspot.com

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