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Archive for August, 2015

24- 21 Aug 15 -Have you learned your lessonAs children, we were largely dependent on our parents, elders and teachers to help us find our way in life especially learning life skills. Formal education, manners and etiquettes, independent and creative thinking, our morals and values, our attitudes and beliefs etc. were all strongly influenced by our elders and those whom we have come in contact with. However, with the passage of time, each individual matures and slowly weans away from this support system as a natural progression of life. The take away’s that remain with us and which we display in latter years are the lessons we have learned and imbibed through our interactions, formal study and independent thinking. Hopefully each one of us largely grasped and imbibed the right lessons and display this learning in our interactions.

Some universal lessons that every individual must learn include the following

Success is never final nor failure ever fatal: Every achievement that we are proud of has to be celebrated for it is the testimony to hard work and diligent effort. Success is also a great morale booster but should you let success go into your head, we would be blinded to better opportunities, fail to recognize competition and even loose the zeal for further achievement. At the same time, for the vast majority, success is largely elusive; yet the disappointment of failing must be viewed as a blip in the continum called life. There would be new opportunities, fresh challenges and renewed vigor to aspire and perspire for our goals. Failure is often, just a reality check that indicates we have to still prepare better and attempt again. Failure helps one value discipline, hard work and success. Use failure as a spring board for a giant leap not as a dead weight to drown in self pity. Failure is just one step backward while success is just one step forward; the gap to be filled is never too wide.

You cannot cross a chasm in two steps: Decision making is perhaps the one life skill that distinguishes the leaders from the followers. It is a skill that comes from a mix of learning, understanding and daring. Every individual has to, at some time or the other, face the reality of having to make decisions. That is when an individual has to take that leap of faith and make those big decisions that have major ramifications. The consequences of the decision could be either ecstatic, indifferent or devastating. What is important to learn is that we cannot run away from making those decisions. At times we have to take calculated risks. You cannot reach different shores unless you are willing to set sail and lose sight of the familiar shoreline.

When faced with a mountain you climb it, go around or dig through it: Problems are those imaginary mountains that we encounter daily. Most of them are minor hiccups, some inevitable irritants and a few major challenges. We often end up making a mountain out of a molehill and then endlessly worry about getting around the problem rather than trying to tackle the problem intelligently. Merely worrying about a problem is like sitting on a rocking chair; there is a lot of movement but you aren’t going anywhere. Translate your worry into tangible course of action to solve the problem. Sometimes the solutions seem more cruel than the problem, as in the case of choosing to ampute a gangrene threatened limb or going through a course of chemotherapy with all the allied side effects. However most problems, fortunately, are relatively minor and not life altering. There is a solution for every problem; the challenge is to calm the mind and explore alternatives and be decisive and bold enough to choose and execute one of the alternatives.

Know the difference between persistence and obstinacy: Try until one succeeds is a good maxim to adopt in life. Where we fail the first time, we must not give up on our dreams and with better preparation and a good plan of action try again and again. However, one needs to be both practical and realistic and if the goal set is beyond one’s rational ability and the proof is constant failure, it is vital that one learns to realize the difference between being persistent and being pig headed and obstinate. Many success stories were not written, because the authors failed to leverage their strengths and instead chose to bull doze their way, rather than change the script. Seek advice, pay attention to feedback, think rationally, minimize emotional indulgence and chase the dream that you can wake up to and live.

It is never too late to learn: Hopefully this post would have engaged your mind and made you think again. It is never too late to learn and put that learning into practice. Perhaps some new thoughts have emerged; maybe a latent dream has awakened, possibly you are already putting the lessons learnt into practice. You can learn from the most unusual people / circumstance. So be open to all sources of learning; open your heart mind and body so that no prejudice, irrationality or fear would filter your learning. Your learning stops only with your last breath. Till then keep an open mind, a grateful heart and a lively spirit. Today is yours to explore, enrich and empower through the lessons each moment offers.

Try these:

  1. Think of the 3 most valuable lessons you learnt in life. Who was responsible for helping you learn. Did you ever acknowledge / appreciate their efforts?
  2. Identify the 3 major failures in your life. What was the learning from each of these failures? Did you give up because of a failure? Were you bitter and agnostic because of a failure?
  3. Do you have any regrets in your life? Are any regrets linked to your failure to be decisive and take action? Were any failures a result of being impulsive and taking emotional decisions?
  4. Can you learn something new in the coming week? You can choose from any of the following or set your own goal for a new learning.
  • A new magic/ card trick
  • Play a new sport
  • Attempt to write a poem/ essay/ short story/ film review
  • Visit a prison / hospice / mental asylum
  • Adopt a pet dog/ fish / turtle /cat etc.
  • Get involved in an artistic venture like a play/ a band/ an art or photographic exhibition

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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23- Your Response to change determines makes the differenceIt is well known that change is the only constant in life and that it is imperative to adapt to change. However today we view change from a different perspective, of how it is vital for us to understand and appreciate how we respond to the challenge of change, which is forever inundating us. To begin with we need to be aware that change is a process and our response is a compulsion, a reaction or an initiative. Our response will often determine the outcome of the effect that change has on us; change either imposes itself on us or we accept it with grace or we nurture it affectionately.

When change is a compulsion it indicates that we did not anticipate it or we ignored it or that we were too stubborn to accept it. If one is able to make peace with the reality that change brings about and even reluctantly accept the change it is possible that one can survive the effects of change. The biggest change is being brought about by the technological revolution. The older generation would psyche themselves into believing that they are not capable of adapting to the technological changes and as a result often feel lonely and isolated. Similarly organizations that did not feel the winds of change often got blown away when the technology revolution gathered momentum. In a fast paced world where the pace of change is in geometric proportions, it is only the people who change at least after the change who can survive. It is imposed and is then the compulsion of the times

When change is a reaction it implies that we are attuned to the happenings around and that one is open to understand, appreciate and gracefully accept the change. The numerous initiatives of NGO’s and governmental agencies to health concerns, ecological concerns, natural disasters, child labor, educational imperatives etc are in many ways changes that a more aware society is keen to highlight. Technology be it in the form of harnessing solar and wind energy or waste disposal or harnessing nuclear power are also changes that nudges us to become more aware and encourages us to quickly adapt and adopt the inevitable. People who change with change will succeed because they quickly reacted to the change they noticed and accepted.

When change is an initiative it is a proactive response to a concern, an opportunity or the creation of something absolutely new. Look around and there are ample problems all crying out for solutions. Those who can visualize these concerns as a possible problem to be solved would take the initiative to find solutions that would ultimately lead to a change. Similarly those who can creatively scan the environment to add value by shaking up the status quo are leveraging the opportunities around. The numerous apps that are mushrooming are a clear sign of how change is becoming an initiative that unlocks value for those who respond proactively. Then there are those who disrupt the existing order with revolutionary ideas and creations. The ATM machines, the credit card revolution, the online payment gateways have turned banking and finance on its head. Similarly the concepts of laser surgery, pain management drugs, robotic manufacturing etc. are initiatives that have redefined the existing world order. Notice that all these people cause the change bringing about a revolution; the Windows, Google, Facebook , Whatsapp are leading the world because they took the initiative to change.

Try these:

  1. Look around and identify at least 5 possible areas of improvement in the world around you. It is not necessary that you have the skill or competence to proactively make those changes but idea generation itself is a proactive initiative.
  2. Scan the news papers and websites to identify opportunities for you to take some initiative and give expression to your ideas/ creativity. E.g. Currently there is a short story writing opportunity for aspiring writers being run by a leading newspaper. Similarly there is one leading airline seeking ideas to incorporate in their app.
  3. Do you have any fresh / new ideas to address the following concerns
  • Make citizens avoid the use of plastic bags
  • Encourage citizens to segregate waste into wet and dry waste
  • Ensure that electricity is not wasted because street lights are not switched off in the day time or water is not wasted because a public tap is leaking or a pipeline has burst.
  • Make citizens aware of the status of public interest projects like road widening, building over overbridges, setting up of garbage / sewage disposal plants etc.

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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22 - 6Aug15-channelise your angerAll our negative qualities have possibilities of being harnessed and channelized into productive action. Negative qualities are akin to nuclear power, which is largely understood as being a destructive force because of the Atom Bomb and is unfortunately not well known for being a rich source of productive energy, used widely for generating electricity. Anger is a common enough human impulse and largely manifests itself in sudden and provocative outbursts often laced with violence and expletives. The consequences are fear, equally reactive anger, mistrust, bad blood and a breakdown of meaningful communication. Anger converts itself in disruptive, unproductive, wasted energy.

Since anger is a natural response that we are all born with, we cannot eliminate that emotion. However, it is possible for each of us to harness its power by our own proactive initiative and channelize it into a utilitarian energy that will bring us peace, happiness and results. Here are ways to channelize anger into productive energy:

Release it gently – When angry, most people react aggressively with a raised voice, a string of expletives, level unsubstantiated allegations, cast aspersions on others and vitiate the environment. At times, an expression of anger is justified in order to grab attention, emphasize authority, highlight the importance of an issue or merely to get rid of pent up emotion. However bursts of anger must be well controlled, appropriately directed and sparingly resorted to, so as to be effective. Ideally one must be able to channelize anger like a laser beam to pinpoint the problem and cull it before it spreads. Anger must not be expressive; it must not be demonstrative; it must only be sharp, incisive and administered in the right dosage and focused on resolving an issue without destroying the relationship.

Channelize it appropriately – When anger is expressed, it often transpires that there is more collateral damage done than intended. Often the anger is directed at the wrong person or issue, the expression of anger is completely disproportionate to the problem being tackled, it creates more psychological trauma than effective problem resolution and often on hindsight one would realize that it was both futile and stupid to have let off so much steam and become emotionally drained. To channelize anger appropriately the trick is to distinguish between a problem and a person. Never end up shooting the messenger. Do a root cause analysis and then focus on the real problem without flying off the handle impulsively.

Burn it up productively – President Abraham Lincoln once famously remarked that ‘Write a letter when angry and you would have written the best letter you ever regretted’. The beauty of the wisdom in that observation lies not in what is apparent but in the immense possibility it holds to productively burn up our anger. Express your anger in private; shout, scream, rave, rant, write down all your feelings, fling things around but do so when alone and then tear off what your wrote, clean up the mess you created and by then you would have regained your equilibrium and expended your pent up emotions. When angry take deep breathes and count to 10 if still angry count another 10 and so on till your breathing stabilizes and your anger subsidies. Don’t forget that anger is just one alphabet short of danger.

Make anger your anchor. – When there is a tempest in your life, frustration and anger coupled with self pity aggravate your plight. The anger that wells up within could turn into a poisonous gas that can explode; but you can, with a strong will and determination, rationalize and convert it into a strong anchor that will steady your thoughts and enable you to weather the storm. The satygraha movement that Gandhiji resorted to, is one of history’s best examples of how anger was anchored to help a nation win freedom from its foreign rulers. In daily life, if one is unfairly criticized and anger wells up within, use that energy to perform efficiently with vengeance and then prove your worth to those who criticized and tormented you. They will view you in a new light; with a wee bit of remorse and a large dose of admiration at your efficiency and equanimity that you displayed despite the provocation. Try not to react to anger but absorb the energy that anger generates and direct it towards a productive goal. Imagine yourself to be a batsmen using the pace of the ball to skillfully direct it between the fielders to score runs.

Try these:

  1. Recollect the times when you got really angry and how did you react to the provocation for that anger. On hindsight was you anger justified? Would you have reacted differently today?
  2. Which of the following styles do you adopt when angry? Now that you realize it, how would you try to avoid that approach?
  • Be sarcastic
  • Be explosive
  • Blame / criticize others
  • Keep your anger pent up
  • Be constantly irritated and complaining
  • Express self pity
  • Shun people and go into a shell

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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