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Archive for June, 2016

20-The child in you

As we grow up there is a tendency to think more rationally, behave more maturely and respond more circumspectly. The fact is that with age comes responsibility, pragmaticism and the need for socially acceptable interaction. However, in the process we often end being artificial, contrived and awkward for we have lost our natural grace, spontaneity and exuberance. We curb our enthusiasm, react with restrain and seek to fit in. The adult in us desperately tries to hide the child in us, fetters us with chains of social norms and nearly suffocates us as we behave artificially to meet social norms. Apparently life is fun but it is a put on, we project it as fulfilling whilst in reality it is suffocating and beneath the surface we crave to express ourselves unfettered, carefree and joyously.

Ask yourself when are you most happy. The weekends for sure especially when there is a policy to drop the veneer of power dressing. Picnics and outings come a close second for there are no shackles of do’s and dont’s. Informal social gatherings, where you are at  liberty to be your own person. Holidays, when you fully control your life and do pretty much as you please. When you are enjoying a social event be it a musical program, a theater event or a party with friends. Don’t forget the treks, the boys/ girls day out and the ever favorite class mates meets. Pause and ask yourself what makes these events special moments for me. The answer is obvious, you drop your mask of being someone you really are not and become the real you.

The challenge is to seamlessly integrate that child like enthusiasm, spontaneity and exuberance into daily life and balance it with the social norms and pressures imposed on you as a professional, an executive and an adult. It may look a tad difficult but in reality it is the child in us that we often curb that allows us to retain our sanity, allow us to cope with stress and most of all make life fun. We discuss the latest headlines with colleagues giving it our own touch of interpretation, we argue and differ with others, we plan a meal out with colleagues spontaneously and we get all agog when we talk about something passionately. We can do more; we can personalize our workstation to reflect our individuality, we can surprise others with a gift or a treat most unexpectedly, genuinely appreciate something about another person, personalize a sharing with individuals (example you know a person is an avid gardener and you come across an excellent article/ book / clipping on gardening and you make it a point to share that with the individual concerned).

One danger though, of bringing out the child in us, is our over enthusiasm that results us in misusing social media and irritating others. Mindlessly posting, forwarding and liking just to garner attention to ourselves, simply because of the ease of doing it, is a very real issue for then we are childish not childlike. There is definitely a need to balance our adult like maturity with our child like enthusiasm. Life out there is fun because the adult in us takes care of our future needs and the child in us allows us to experience the wonders around us that makes life colorful, magical and enjoyable.

Try these:

Revisit old photo albums and make a collage of the pictures that bring out the special moments from your life. Share it with family and friends at a special occasion like a milestone birthday or anniversary.

A week or two prior to your birthday, review and list out all the fun times, high points, special moments, awkward moments and people who made the year gone by special for you. If inclined to, share them with your friends and family.

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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19-  Be Good Better BestAre you one of those people who is frustrated that things are not going your way?  Are you getting impatient and desperate? Are you on the verge of giving up your dreams because life seems to be going nowhere? The good news is you are not alone. There are plenty of people, including highly successful people, who on the outside are an epitome of perfection but on the inside are bitter, broken and busted. However though misery loves company, that is no consolation. The reality is that you want to change your life around and do it soon. So here is how to go about visualizing, living and enjoying your future.

Believe – To begin with there must be something clearly outlined in your mind that you believe you passionately want. This is the key to solving the majority of our problems regarding our future. Most of us have a very sketchy idea of what we want to do, achieve and appropriate to feel satisfied and happy. The problem is we use sweet and nice sounding words, most of which are intangible and difficulty to identify when describing what we want from life and our future. Using words like wanting to be happy, successful, appreciated, recognized, rich etc. are adjectives that merely describe but do not clearly point out the destination. On the other hand outline what you want to achieve and then you have a tangible goal, you can outline the way to achieve it, you can put milestones to measure your progress and most importantly you can start believing in a tangible future. Your actions will then always be aligned to moving forward towards the direction of your belief which is the tangible goal you have set for yourself. Every little progress made in that direction will motivate, inspire and reinforce your confidence. You will also see and be able to measure the progress and if you falter or stagnate you will find alternatives to re-chart your course without giving up on your goal. Even changing your goal is a way forward since you have accepted the reality and are willing to change. Good things happen when you believe and work towards your goal for you will always make progress, perhaps slowly but surely.

Be patient: Patience is a virtue that one must develop for we often tend to give up quickly in frustration. Yet patience must not be mistaken as an everlasting wait; nor must an individual mistake patience to mean doing nothing and hoping things fall in place. Patience is like the farmer tilling the land, sowing the seeds, watering it and then believing he will have a good crop if the conditions are right. As he waits the farmer inspects his crop adds fertilizers, sprays insecticides, continues to water it if required or works on draining the excess water  and also plans out the steps to take care of the bumper harvest he expects. While he/ she patiently waits for the effort to bear fruit they also work towards ensuring a conducive environment to ensure the harvest is good and the fruits of the harvest are efficiently and effectively utilized. Better things will definitely happen when one is patient and works towards facilitating the attainment of the goal.

Don’t give up: This is tough because there will be numerous occasions when we realize that progress is almost at a standstill, doubts creep up and we start questioning our judgment, when critics begin to needle us with their own gloomy predictions and when we are tethering on the brink of confusion. No doubt we have to be pragmatic but that must be tempered with rational thinking, sound logic and an inbuilt self confidence. Many times we give up because we are not clear headed and we tend to exaggerate our doubts and fears; other times we give up because we cannot see ways to overcome obstacles; occasionally we give up because we succumb to criticism and barbs from others whose opinion we respect but possible they do not have the same vision as us. Find motivation to persist, seek out companions who encourage, view criticism dispassionately, learn from mistakes, keep the goal in mind and the progress attained; most of all believe, be patient and then keep persisting.  Learn from couples who want a child but are unable to conceive one of their own; they don’t give up but adopt. They believe they can be a complete family, they believe in their ability to make it a loving family and they don’t give up because they cannot have their own child but adopt one to make their belief come true. The best things surely come to those who do not give up.

Try these:

  • Revisit your childhood dreams/ fantasies. List out 3-5 dreams that you haven’t realized yet but are keen to make it happen. Map out a plan to attain that within a reasonable time span.
  • Outline a plan to attain any two or more of the following
  1. To increase your income by 10 %
  2. To increase your savings by 10%
  3. To be engaged in a social service activity
  4. To improve your own health/ quality of your life
  5. To make family time more meaningful and fulfilling
  6. To learn a new skill or trade or expand on your hobby or change your life style.

 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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18- Grow like a wildflowerAs individuals, we often believe that we are not distinguished by any great characteristic or ability and that we are therefore consigned to be just a part of the crowd. Yet secretly we do nurture dreams, desires, hopes and fantasies most of it largely centered around success and achievement. Occasionally we may also venture and try to attain some of our ideals but it is with trepidation and half heartedness that we dare to attempt. We are cagey about the reactions of others to our attempt to dare, we fear criticism, we fear failure and we are aghast the thought that we may look like a fool if we don’t succeed. The sum total of these thoughts is that we either don’t dare or we make an attempt with no conviction and therefore the venture is doomed to fail.

On the other hand we are envious of numerous people around us who apparently did not have it in them to succeed (in our view) and yet have carved a niche for themselves defying all odds and predictions. We are perplexed and cannot phantom how they have succeeded. More importantly we lament our inability to leverage our talents and potential to attain something more significant in our life. What one needs to realize is that we are limited just by our own thinking, attitude and actions.  Success can be achieved by anyone who plans to succeed, dares to succeed and persists to succeed. No criticism is a dampener, no goal impossible if set right and no effort wasted, even if success seems distant when the journey begins.

So what makes ordinary people become successful?They just make the best of the opportunities available.

How do they do it?They go about their business with intensity, passion and purpose.

Can I replicate this? Of course every individual no matter what their limitation can fulfill their potential?

How can I fulfill my potential? This requires a little more detailing. Try and adopt the following:

Enjoy your work by making the work fun – Look at the wildflowers dancing in the wind. They know their job is to grow, bloom and beautify the environment. They do it with a joy that is visible in the way they brighten up the environment around. No matter what your task seek out the wonder that the job entails and make every effort to cherish both the job as well as the process and the outcome. This would require a wee bit of imaginative thinking, especially since, over a period of time, all jobs are routine, boring and repetitive in nature. Yet as human beings we have the good fortune to grow in our jobs and take on greater responsibilities, vary our jobs by changing it and also improve the quality of our jobs through automation, job rotation, work engagement etc.

Visualize yourself and your job as a blessing to be cherished not merely a duty to be done – Again the wild flower does not question what type of a flower it is or its color nor its location. It simply grows with intensity. If you have a job cherish it; look around and see the numerous jobless who are frustrated and angry. Look at your job as a privileged opportunity to be engaged and gainfully rewarded. While the job itself entitles you to be compensated for the duties you discharge, you must see it as an opportunity and blessing to fulfill your potential and being rewarded for the same.

Enliven the environment with your individuality your personality and your strength’s. – From a distance all the flowers that grow wild look alike. Yet go closer and examine and you would notice the subtle differences. Together they add color, brighten the space, make the soil come alive and yet individually they retain their differences, love themselves, flutter and sway in their own individualistic style. We humans have much more opportunity to retain our individuality and yet collective make a huge difference. Our strengths of intelligence, physically strength, inner strength, our feelings, attitudes, approach all contribute in varied ways to leave our individuality in the environment around us. All we need to do is recognize these strengths and leverage it and be aware of our limitations and acknowledge it and work around it.

Go that extra mile to make a difference – No matter what the terrain, the soil, the climatic condition and the physical risks like animals eating it up or insects destroying it, wild flowers sprout, grow and enliven the environment. What we can see and appreciate are the wild flowers that outgrew their adversity to make a difference.  As individuals each of us would have personal problems, individual limitations, doubts, fears and apprehensions. Yet we need to believe in ourselves, focus on what we can do and when needed make that extra effort to fulfill our potential. There would be setbacks, there would be criticism, there could be huge risks but like the wild flower, cling to our self belief and bloom wherever you are.

Cooperate without compromising – remain dignified – Look carefully at the wildflowers and you would see that some of them have malformed petals or partially eaten petals or a rotting stem. Yet from a distance they still sway in the wind, their colors brighten the dull foliage. They cooperate with the environment, are aware of the harsh realities but they don’t stoop and prostrate to the vagaries of nature. They retain their dignity inspite of the adversity. This is one lesson that we human beings must imbibe. Don’t succumb to temptations, pressures, criticism and threats. Cooperate with the environment around but never compromise. Be dignified; be true to your conscience, your values, your ethics and your principles. Bloom with head held high, shoulders erect and pride intact.

Enjoy life; brighten the world; make a difference to yourself and to the world around.

Try these:

  1. Identify the special characteristics / qualities that make you unique and different from your siblings/ cousins / classmates / friends. List out 3 of your strengths and identify 1 major weakness.
  2. What frustrates you the most? Do you think you can do something to alleviate your frustration? How will you go about implementing your plan to alleviate your frustration?
  3. Recollect an incident/ incidents in your life that you feel embarrassed about. Do you think you would have handled the situation differently today?

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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17- BCD of lifeLife is often over simplified as being a journey from birth to death. What this does not consider, is the enormous opportunity / potential / alternatives that life freely bestows on us, to make that life a voyage of adventure, thrill and fulfillment. Each of us has the choice to pick from the alternatives, explore and select the opportunities around and utilize our potential the way we want. Our individuality is expressed through the choices we make. Our choices determine our future, our progress and ultimately lead us to despair, indifference or fulfillment. So the quality of our life, the way we go about living and the impact we have on the world around us and vice versa is all linked to the choices we make every moment. Choices are boon for those determined to use it wisely and it is a bane for those who get overwhelmed by the alternatives.

Making the right choice is again dependent on the individuality of the person making that choice. Yet there are some pointers to enable one to make the right choices.

Align choices with your values – Our values or principles that we imbibe and choose to follow would have an overbearing role to play in the choices we make. It is essential therefore that we are aware of those values we cherish and ensure our choices align with it. If these are not aligned, the choices may yield expected results but it will taunt your conscience, negate your happiness and depreciate yourself worth. E.g. You appear for an exam which is tough. You have a choice to copy from another and possibly get more marks but for the rest of your life you will find it hard to shake of the feeling of having been a cheater provided you value fair play and honesty as critical uncompromisable virtues.

A choice is your commitment- fulfill it – A choice is a commitment you willingly make.  Once you make that choice, it is essential that one make the best effort to fulfill that commitment. Self doubt, rethinking, confusion could possibly occasionally peek in and sabotage your commitment. Unless there is absolute clarity in your mind that you made a poor choice, the way forward is to fulfill the commitment you made when you chose a course of action. E.g. You chose a branch of study for your future. Somewhere along the way you begin to realize that the choice is not aligned to your passion. If you are convinced that a change is warranted immediately make an informed choice to deviate else fulfill the first choice you made before you rethink the alternatives.

Consider the risk reward payoff when making choices –Many a choice is placed before us by circumstances. There are shades of choices that come before us. Some are tempting but unethical, sometimes the choices are unpleasant because the alternatives are less than palatable but frequently the choices we have to make are thrust upon us with a deadline that forces us to choose. Ironically not making a choice, which is letting the status quo remain, is also a choice. Subconsciously we are always making a risk reward payoff analysis when making a choice. What is important is to view reward as the cumulative long term effect of our choice rather than immediate short term gains which could cost us dearly in the long term. e.g. watching an exciting final match of a game could be a costly price to pay if a critical exam in a paper in which you are not too strong is due the next day.

Make your own choices – don’t follow the pack – Most erroneous choices are made because we are impulsive, we are influenced by those around us and because we don’t think through with calmness and intensity. Branding is one of the marketing strategies to which many of us unconsciously fall prey too. We are tempted by the hullabaloo about a product / style and often are under peer pressure to follow the trend that others follow.  Your choice must be based on your own personal understanding, your evaluation and your need. Your individuality in many ways is reflected in your choices.

Take responsibility for your choices – No matter what method you choose to make your choices, the most important aspect of the choice is to take responsibility for that choice. Owning the choice empowers the individuality to face the consequences of the choice. It also makes the individual more confident, competent and clear headed all of which are vital traits of successful people. Ultimately our successes and failures are largely influenced by the choices we make.  If our choices go wrong and we take responsibility for our choices, we would examine the reasons for our mistakes and take corrective measures not to repeat our mistakes.  If our choices are right we can take pride in our abilities to choose wisely.

Ultimately, the quality of our life from birth to death are the outcome of the choices we make every day of our mature life.

Try these:

Rank these choices in the order of what you think is the worst choice, terrible choice and bad choice

  • Good outcome ethically wrong choice. e.g. Getting good marks by copying in an exam
  • Bad outcome lazy choice made e.g. Failing in an exam because you didn’t choose to study
  • Ugly outcome silly choice made. E.g.  Not appearing for an exam for fear of failing.

You win a lottery of Rs.10,00,000. Unfortunately you will not get a single rupee from it. However you must nominate 5 people to get the winnings in any proportion you deem fit.  The only condition is that the 5 people must include just one family member, one friend, one junior work colleague, one senior work colleague and one absolute stranger. Who would you choose to receive the amount and how much would each be entitled too. You would be telling each of the 5 people about the total prize money and how much each member is getting.

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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