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Archive for September, 2013

13-22-5 W's of life

Rudyard Kipling made the 5W’s and 1H famous through is immortal poem I Keep Six honest Serving men (http://allpoetry.com/poem/8444911-I-Keep-Six-Honest-Serving-Men-by-Rudyard_Kipling ) and today’s post is an interesting perspective on HOW our response to the 5W’s  holds the key to making our life unique, interesting, and fulfilling. The interpretation of the 5W’s from the perspective of our life is also very intriguing and thought provoking.

Who you are is what makes you special. Do not change for anyone.

Even identical twins have unique personality traits. It is the I in the individual that makes the individual unique, different and special. Of course our hereditary, the growing up environment, our elders, teachers, friends, experiences do influence and mould our individuality. There will be pressures from all around us, that would overtly and covertly influence us to adjust, make changes, confirm to and/ or  display our individuality differently from the real person we are.  Ultimately though, it is our thoughts, our beliefs, our values and our self esteem that will determine our individuality. How we cope with the influences  and pressures of the world around us will determine how true we remain to the unique individual that we are born as.  

What lies ahead will always be a mystery. Do not be afraid to explore.

Each day will bring both surprises and occasionally challenges. However, most days will be routine, staid and boring. While surprises would be a pleasant diversion, challenges can bring quite a bit of stress and yet provide motivation to find solutions. It is the daily grind of the routine, the staid fare called work and monotony that is almost omnipresent that is a huge challenge for the vast majority. Breaking this viciously cycle would be possible only if one is prepared to explore alternatives and create, discover, invent options. It could be as simple as changing the routine style of work, the work place, the approach to work etc. It could be made more exciting and challenging by finding new methods, adopting new styles and reorganizing the existing paradigm. E.g. Compared to the gym routine adopted and followed a few years ago, modern gyms have varied equipment, a variety of exercises, different styles of exercising, have introduced and stressed on diet routines and diet supplements all of these focused on getting more people to get interested and involved.  How do you plan to explore the opportunities around you to make what lies ahead exciting.

When life pushes you over, you push it back.

Have you ever experienced a phase in your life when nothing seems to be going right? Perhaps you have had to endure the pain of facing sudden calamity just when everything seemed so perfect. These are times when life mimics a game of passing the parcel, where you cannot avoid the parcel but don’t know when the music will stop and worse still what forfeit is hidden. The best thing to do is to enjoy the game and play it in the true spirit of the game. Remember the saying then going gets tough the tough get going! How do you plan to get tough, more daring and more resilient coping with and overcoming the vagaries of life?

When there are choices to make, make the one you won’t regret.

When there are choices aplenty, exercising a choice is a challenge especially when the alternatives are equally attractive. Many a time choices are made based on perceived pay offs and unfortunately many a payoff has a subtle hint of either a crooked way or a selfish intent or border on the illegitimate, indecent, illegal or irresponsible. The focus of the payoff should be the long term good that is aligned with the values and beliefs we hold dear to us. The payoff should also not compromise on our self respect, our long term vision and never ever for paltry short term gains. How you analyze, evaluate and decide would help make the choice but what really holds the key to making choices is your upbringing, values system and self belief.

Why things happen will never be certain. Take it in your stride and move forward.

Every action in our life is largely directed at being happy. However most times we realize that despite our best efforts the results are far from happy. There are times when things seem to slip from our grasp at the last moment; other times we don’t seem to see any tangible evidence of happiness even remotely in the distant horizon and then when we get a whiff of happiness it is never ever enough or long lasting. Our patience is tested, our frustrations cold turn to despair, platitudes and endearments no longer hold out hope and yet that is when we must regroup our thoughts, recharge our energies and resolve to begin afresh with faith, hope and anticipation. How quickly you put the past behind, plan for the future ahead and take those strides forward will determine how far we attain our life purpose and self fulfillment.

Try this:

  • Jot down 5- 10 qualities/ attributes / traits/ talents / characteristics that make you a very special person.  Identify also 2-5 personality/ behavioral traits that others find annoying/ irritating in you.
  • Jot down 5 activities/ places/ experiences that you would like to explore over the next 3 months.
  • What are the two decisions that you are still dithering over? Identify reasons for you not being able to make the decision and work on overcoming them.
  • If you were given1 minute to write down your will, would you be able to do it? If your answer is YES write it down now. If your answer is NO, then why are you wasting time – go and prepare your will. Are you sure you will be alive the next minute?

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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13-22-Happiness is an inside job

The secret to happiness is YOU. Sounds rather philosophical but when you reflect on what your definition of happiness is, you realize that only you can outline it and for sure only you can embrace that happiness wholeheartedly. Next time notice the dazzling smile of a baby or the gurgling sounds made by a babe in a cradle. The happiness they exude is pure magic and is proof that we were all born with the capacity to be happy at all times. Yet, as we grow, we are often tested by pain, rejection, inequality and ill health which robs us of our child like happiness which is then replaced by our own self defined concept of happiness. We now no longer allow happiness from within to overwhelm us but seek to find happiness in people, places, events and things, most of which elude us.

Here are 5 most common reasons why we are not as happy as we yearn to be.

  1. For almost all of us defining what brings us happiness is a near impossible task for there are too many equally mesmerizing alternatives.
  2. Similarly, it is equally true that all happiness is momentary for no sooner we experience it, we are craving for the next thing that would give us a similar high.
  3. Craving and envy are two vices that often act as dampeners to our happiness.
  4. Far too often what we perceive brings us happiness are forbidden and/ or sinful
  5. We seek happiness in the external world, in the materialistic things, in fame and adulation whilst being oblivious of the reality that our happiness lies within us, in our perspective, our attitude and our ability to enjoy each moment.

We have broadly identified the reasons why we do not experience happiness as often and for as long as we want. Our focus must now be on finding out how we can seek the source of the fount of happiness and drink from it for long and forever. Here are 5 ways to remain happy for the rest of our life.

Love yourself. This goes beyond the physical self and percolates deep into other aspects like self belief, confidence, aspirations, resilience and motivation. It is when we love what we are as we are that we begin to see all that we are blessed with and happiness is a natural corollary.

See the positives Since each day is both a blessing and a challenge, there are many times when we succumb to the pressure of the challenges and feel defeated and despondent. Pause for a moment and think back to one of the worst days of your life; isn’t it wonderful to note that despite the frustrations and fears of that day, you have left those bitter moments far behind and have much to enjoy now and look forward to in the future?

Realign your attitude A few missteps, a couple of hard knocks, an odd failure or two or moments of boredom or frustration are potential minefields that we must navigate with care. The best mine detector we have, to safely navigate these tough times is our attitude to the challenges that we come across. It can’t get worse or I can overcome or this is not too tough are emotional triggers that work wonders to realign your attitude and help you be balanced and happy.

Spread happiness This is sure shot way to be happy all the time. To begin with, smile. It is infectious and this is one infection that does a world of good for all.  Converse with people, interact, tell a joke, poke fun at your expense, offer encouragement, give a pat on the back, be a little goofy if required, appreciate others, help another, surprise people with gifts… there are a zillion little things one can do to spread happiness… and to remain happy.

When at your wits end- remember ‘this too shall pass No matter what you do, you cannot escape those moments of pain, failure, betrayal, anger, frustration and the numerous other negative emotions lurking in the background. Many of these can momentarily overwhelm us and at times completely break us down as would be the case when we lose a loved one to death. In these bleak moments, don’t forget that ‘this too shall pass’ and that there is a new dawn and a new day waiting to give us fresh opportunities and immense happiness.

Try this:

Identify 12 people, each of who has his/ her birthday in a different month from the others. Thus you have one person’s birthday coming up each month. Ensure that out of these people 3 are colleagues, 3 are distant relatives, 3 are complete strangers and the balance 3 are family/ friends. Your task is to arrange for gifts to be given to them on their birthdays without them knowing who has sent them the gift.

List out 3 of your strengths that are appreciated by others. Now outline 2 different ways in which you can try and use these strengths to spread happiness and experience it yourself.

Here is a PPT which gives another perspective to life in general, and some critical inputs that could help you find even more happiness.  guide_to_life_lo

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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13-21-in the midst of storms

The universal truth is that life will always have up’s and downs. It is our ability to be grounded when we experience highs and cope with the frustrations of the lows in our life that plays a significant part in the success we achieve and more importantly the happiness we experience. Managing to be grounded when lady luck and success embrace us is relatively much more easier than battling the frustrations, the self doubts and the anger that follows failures, ill luck and negativity. The post today gives you insights into coping with those terrible moments that shake our belief in our own self, makes us feel victimized and sometimes push us to the brink of a chasm called depression, with suicidal thoughts not too far behind.

Be objective. Perhaps the most important cause of our frustrations is our inability to be objective about events/ happenings/ situations which we perceive to be detrimental to our interest or one that is a failure or something that we would desperately want to avoid. Objectivity comes out of being balanced, not being impulsive, avoiding panic and accepting the reality. E.g. You have carefully planned a holiday and everything is in place but alas on the day of travel the flight is cancelled. It is only objectivity that can bring sanity and some realistic solution.

See Positives When things don’t go as per our plans our disgust, annoyance and frustration see only the consequences never the possible positives. It is essential to be objective if one has to see the positives for often our judgment is clouded by our negative emotions. It is also possible that you have to think beyond the normal to connect the dots and see the positives. E.g. recently my flight was cancelled and while it did upset and annoy me, I knew I was short of time to take control of the situation. After prolonged discussions with the airline staff, they agreed to fly to me to an alternate destination and give me a connecting flight next morning. I did lose a day in the process but soon realized that the overnight stop over at the alternate destination gave me an opportunity to visit a friend and his family and offer my condolences in person on the loss of their son in a tragic accident.

Seek help. When flustered and irritated it often helps if one can vent it out or better still share it with a close friend or family. In the first place they help us let out steam and their words of comfort have a calming effect on us. Often they are much more objective in their responses and they would be able to suggest alternatives that would often escape us. E.g. When my flight was cancelled the airlines did not offer an accommodation and it was up to me to make my own arrangements. While I did try to evaluate options, I also rang up a close friend who often traveled to that city. In a jiffy he gave me the contact details of an excellent place close to the airport which was known only to a select few.

Don’t freeze. While meditation and slow breathing are the most popular ways to calm one’s self, the process particularly the former requires some skill set/ technique whilst the latter demands a fair bit of patience. Both techniques are effective but when pushed to the edge, the most effective technique in my view is action. Movement and activity will ensure your mind is distracted from the problem, if done with a purpose the activity will be focused on positive outcomes and for sure you will get an alternative solution. In some corporate offices there are punch me bags kept specifically to allow employees vent their frustrations by punching the bags. Even a walk in the park can be exceedingly helpful to calm nerves and maintain equilibrium. Ideally though diverting the mind to finding solutions and acting on the responses would give one a sense of purpose and bring one a step closer to finding a solution thus liberating the mind and body from the tensions they were subject to. E.g. When my flight was cancelled the airlines offered a full refund but by being calm I realized that it was perhaps the worst option for my objective was to reach the destination. Last minute tickets would cost me an arm and a leg and so I continued to engage the airlines to offer alternatives. Persistence and conscious engagement helped find a more acceptable solution as opposed to taking up their initial offer of full refund, which would neither solve my problem nor let me have peace of mind for quite a while.

I have deliberately used the same situation of  a missed flight  in each of the examples given above, so that readers can be sure that by and large the technique works in all crisis and chaotic situations.

Try this:

Apply the above 4 points to the following situations and find your own responses

  1. Your exam results have been announced and you are shocked to note that you have been declared  failed.
  2. You are all set to travel with your family and just 2 days before you are diagnosed with typhoid and strictly prohibited from travelling by your doctor.
  3. You are on a holiday and suddenly discover that your wallet is lost.
  4. You have had a serious showdown with your best friend and he/she has stopped all communication with you despite your best efforts to have a reconciliation.

How will you respond to the following crisis in your life.

  • You are to meet a very important client and the meeting has been scheduled after a lot of persistent effort on your part. Whilst on your way, you receive and urgent call from your close friend who requests you to rush to the hospital where your friends nephew has been admitted following an accident. Your friend is out of town and hence the request.
  • You have done excellent work during the year and each quarter you have been commended by the management during the quarterly reviews. You are sure you are in line for a promotion and a handsome increase in salary. You are shocked and confused when the management offers you a more than expected increment but declines you a justly deserved promotion. More shockingly you find out that a colleague has been give a promotion and you are convinced that you deserved the promotion more than the other person who was promoted.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »