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Archive for March, 2012

Telling the truth may have often resulted in embarrassing situations, perhaps have left painful memories too and may have even triggered anger and fury completely disproportionate to the facts as revealed. Perhaps we may also sly grin at the escapades that we managed by suppressing the truth or outrightly lying. Look back dispassionately and perhaps you may also recall a number of times when the truth was guessed by others who because of their maturity, goodwill and / or need to protect you played along and kept things under wraps. On hindsight more often than not, every time you hid the truth you were left restless, burdened by guilt and with the Damocles sword of being found out looming over your head.

Even today if one were to tell the truth and it is an inconvenient truth, our body language would betray our fear, our quivering voice expose our vulnerability and our feeble attempts at justification would add to our misery. The good part though is that when we speak the truth, our heart is unburdened, the mind is at peace and the consequences seem bearable. Telling the truth is not simply a matter of articulating the reality but it also involves standing up for rights, standing by those wronged, refusing to toe the wrong line and standing up to a brute majority who may intimidate or attempt to cow you down.

The truth is that ‘fear’ is an overwhelming emotion that threatens to derail us telling the truth.  The best antidote for this malaise is the realization that the truth needs no ‘alibi’, it is all pervasive and when shared it shields the reality from being pricked and punctured in any form.  Yes, it is true that it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth and often our quivering voice will expose our human frailty; but the truth when spoken ‘shouts out aloud’ unshackled, unburdened and ubiquitously.

Action Points:

  1. Try playing the card game ‘ Bluff’. Notice how you can catch frequently catch another’s bluff and also how tough it is for you to bluff.
  2. Ask a close family member and an intimate friend to separately list out 5 aspects of your personality that they believe you need to improve upon. When reading the list be aware of the emotions that run through your mind on reading each criticism jotted down by them. How many of the points they mentioned are absolutely true? What and how do you propose to make use of this truth to improve yourself?

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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Ask a person for an opinion on another person and his / her response will give you an immediate idea about the person speaking. Being critical is not a vice but taking an unbiased and balanced view based on facts is difficult. This is because, most times we have incorrect, incomplete or second hand information about others and far too often our judgment is clouded by our personal bias, emotions and feelings.

On the other hand if we are naturally inclined to be positive, have developed the ability to see the not so visible strengths of others and give benefit of doubt to others, we would be favorable disposed to others and form an appreciative opinion about others. In the long run, not only our attitude but our expectations from others will become more encouraging, others would seek both friendship and counsel from us and we would automatically widen our circle of influence and friendship.

A good rule to follow would be to find 3 good virtues in another for every one vice/ complain that we may have about the other. If we can consciously practice this, we will find a substantive collateral benefit for ourselves beginning with stretching our imagination to seek the good in others and ending up with feeling nice about others as well as tranquility within us. Look around and observe your circle of friends; there won’t be even one who is your vehement critic but everyone will uniformly be someone who appreciates you for what you are; your strengths as well as your deficiencies are accepted by them.

Be like the mirror who does not judge you, nor does it lie to you but it allows you the luxury of presenting both your worst self as well as best self without fear or favor.

Judge others as you would have others judge you.

Action Points:

  1. Pick up a deck of cards and examine the kings, queens and jacks in it. Choose any one of these 12 characters as your favorite. Give 3 reasons for choosing that card.
  2. Find at least 3 points to admire in the following personalities

–          Genghis khan

–          Hitler

–          Aurangzeb

–          The teacher you disliked the most

–          The classmate you disliked the most

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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At the outset let me thank each one of my readers and blog followers for having supported this blog and crossing 1,00,000 views. A special word of thanks to the 661 followers of the blog. For those who do not know, I started this blog on 1st Jan 2010 and kept a target of writing one post a day. I did manage around 340 posts in 2010, but cut down drastically thereafter. I am just delighted that so many of you send in your feedback or write in to me with their comments. Thank you friends!

Obviously, I was keen to mark this historic moment with something special but was not getting a lucky break or a fabulous idea. However a couple of days back a close friend sent me an email containing quotes in the form of posters and immediately I knew that this was the answer to my prayers. So starting today for the next 40 odd posts I would be using the contents of these posters as the central theme. I would also try to be more brief as regards the post contents. This is in deference to the wishes of a handful of good friends whose feedback I value. Your feedback would be most appreciated.

Rule 1. – If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it.

  1. To get what you want you must know what you want.
  2. Write down your passions, whittle it down to your goals.
  3. Ensure you have a time frame to achieve the goals.
  4. Have a detailed action plan with indicators to ensure that your are on track.
  5. If you have read so far, start implementing what you have read. GO !!

Rule 2. If you do not ASK the answer will always be NO

  1. Following Rule 1 and implementing is a good beginning to follow Rule 2.
  2. Remember you cannot do it all on your own- so might as well ask others to help out
  3. While you might occasionally get NO as an answer, to get that YES you must ask.

Rule 3. If you do not step forward you will always be in the same place.

  1. Begin by having a firm point of view on issues.
  2. Try and express yourself so that you are heard and noticed.
  3. As you progress be more decisive and stand up to be counted.

 Try this:

  • Have you tried a different cuisine?
  • Ever made friends with a foreigner ?
  • Ever tried fund raising for a worthy cause by seeking out sponsors?
  • Visit an orphanages/ home for the aged/ prison / mental hospital/ hospice

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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I take a lot of pride in being myself. I’m comfortable with who I am. James McAvoy

At various points in time, it is quite possible that an individual would have wished to be someone else, ideally his/ her role model or latest super actor or sports personality. Typically our daydreams of being some else begins in childhood with us taking a great liking to some hero / heroine of our favorite comics/ books. At adolescence one graduates to dreaming of being a hero/ heroine of movies and before long one is besotted by images of being the current celebrity. Typically, it is the fame, the adulation; the celebrity status and power that we imagine others to be having that makes us pine to don their avatar.

Yet when we cut back to reality, we find that we do appreciate our personal self, albeit with hope that we can make some key changes that will make us special. It is this pride that we take in our being what we are that spurs us on live life with hope, faith and determination. No one is perfect but that may not be a consolation for someone keen to overcome a perceived personal limitation. Someone short may pine to be taller; people who are lean would love to have a better physique; those who are intelligent may crave to be more outgoing and those who are extroverts may be hoping that their deeper insecurities are never revealed. While our perceived limitations could be a reality using it as an excuse not to fulfill our potential would be hari-kari.

To accept one’s self in totality one must learn to appreciate the blessings we are fortunate to have, make sincere efforts to overcome our inadequacies and limitations while simultaneously taking pride in the individual that we are. Here are 4 tips to help you take pride in the individual that you are:

Be positive – Try and see the silver lining. No matter what the situation change is a constant and it is in change that fresh hopes, new beginnings and greater opportunities abound. Your individuality will always have a chance to be showcased, appreciated and recognized. Making affirmative suggestions is another way to be positive. This can be done by positive self talk, positive visualization and keeping in the company of those who encourage, motivate and inspire you. E.g. You are to make your first major presentation and you are nervous. You can tell yourself that you have prepared well and visualize the confident manner you will make the presentation and even imagine the applause you will get. You can be sure that you will soon be oozing with confidence.

Leverage strengths – Give up the tendency to brood over what you hate, dislike or cannot change. Instead focus on your strengths and utilize it to the best of your abilities. One way to identify your strengths is to listen to the positive feedback and appreciation that you receive.  E.g. If diligence is your strength be diligent in whatever you do and don’t bother if you are not too creative or flamboyant.

Work on personal change –Many a time there could be limitations that can be rectified with a little help from others or by making some concentrated effort. Identify these areas of concern that needs a makeover and proactively go about making those personal improvements. E.g. you are shy and afraid of public speaking. If you are in a job that requires you to be more bold and visible it is obvious that you have to attend some public speaking classes at the earliest.

Don’t get bogged down by criticism – Criticism often deflates us, irritates us and demotivates us. Succumbing to criticism erodes our confidence, triggers negative emotions and punctures our ego. Our pride takes a tremendous beating then. If on the other hand, one can see criticism as helpful hints to guide us to the path of success, we would learn from it, ignore it if untrue and climb up the ladder of success by overcoming each criticism directed us it. E.g. You are a passionate sports person but are told that you have the tactical acumen but not the physical ability to become an extraordinary sports person. Use the criticism to change tracks from being a sports man to becoming a coach or sports administrator and still be actively involved in your passion.

Remember: Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. Paul Bryant

Try this:

  1. Write down your average monthly budget for expenses. Ensure your write down that figure now. Read further only if you have written down that figure. Are sure it is a realistic estimate? Recalculate that figure if you have to but write down that figure now. Now divide the figure by 2. The resultant figure should now be your monthly budget for the next 3 months. Try living on that budget for the next 3 months and then answer the following questions
  • Did you think it was acceptable challenge when you began the task?
  • Was it easy to live on that budget?
  • What was most difficult to manage on that budget?
  • What was easiest to give up in order to live on that budget?
  • Did you get frustrated attempting the challenge?
  • How did you motivate yourself to meet the challenge? 
  1. Choose one activity that you have never tried before and try to do it within a week
  • Make a couple of origami items
  • Learn 5 different types of knots that can be tied
  • Rustle up a dessert that involves baking and decorating
  • Physically handle an animal other than a cat or dog

 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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Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.  Napoleon Hill

Each and every one who is reading this post is bombarded with a million thoughts every single day. We dismiss most thoughts as irrational, impossible, incongruent and impractical to deal with. The stray thoughts that remain after our initial filtration can be broadly classified as positive thoughts or negative thoughts. We sometimes proactively work on some of those thoughts or let circumstances force us into acting on a few other thoughts. What we fail to appreciate is that we as human beings have the rare privilege of being blessed with thoughts that act as stimulus to achieve extraordinary success if we simply engage more of these thoughts with self belief, purpose and positivity.

To reign in our thoughts so as to leverage its potent possibilities to our advantage we need to focus on the following

Listen proactively: Since we are deluged with innumerable thoughts, we are never short of possibilities. However, we are often inattentive, prone to be dismissive of many ideas and nip them in the bud or we fall in love with a thought only to forget it shortly thereafter. The trick is to listen to ideas proactively; believe that each thought has a valuable insight, juggle various thoughts consciously, look at problems as opportunities to exercise the grey cells and always carry pen and paper in the fond hope of getting a great idea. Do try to jot of some of the new thoughts so that when you read them again, they will trigger multiple ideas.

Explore creatively: All progress is the result of a ‘creative exploration’ done by individuals with the zeal, passion and self belief that they can leverage their ideas. The trick is to juggle various possibilities and select one that suits ones personal likings has a good fit with one’s personal, business or social objectives and surmount the obstacles that loom in front when the idea dice is rolled. Fear of failure is often the most common reason why people give up on ideas without much thought. To be creative one has to occasionally connect the dots, at other times fill in the gaps and far too often come up with out of the box solutions. The best of creativity comes when a person is passionate and he/ she is desperate. The urge to succeed must overcome the fear of failure if one has to become successful and creative.

Plan purposefully: Many an idea never sees the light of day simply because one is lazy, indifferent, casual, fearful, lacks self belief etc. but most of the time it is because one does not plan with a purpose. A plan starts with a clear goal and road map chalked out. This is not the result of a sudden flash in the pan event but the outcome of study, research, analysis and determination. A good plan must incorporate time frames, have inbuilt flexibility, have a proper resource allocation strategy and must be capable of being revised smoothly should the need arise.

Act decisively: A plan on paper is simply a redundant document. The plan comes alive when one begins by committing to the plan and decisively acting on the course of action outlined. Being bold and being committed are the two pillars on which decisive action rests. Acting decisively should not be mistaken to mean that one has to prod on even if the writing on the wall is clearly not in favor of it. There are times when being decisive means cutting one’s losses and quitting. Being decisive is like driving a car, merely sitting on the driver’s seat and turning the steering is not enough; one has to start the engine, engage the gears and move ahead balancing the accelerator and the brake pedal.

Remember: First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. Napoleon Hill

Action Points:

  1. Assume you want to start your own business venture. What are the three possible options you would consider and why. List out three impediments to your business plan.
  2. If you win a lottery of US1,000 what would you do with it?
  3. What are the possible themes you will explore for your next birthday party?

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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