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Archive for the ‘Ability’ Category

37- Reading is...

Reading is perhaps one of the most enjoyable leisure activities. It certainly is an unavoidable compulsion for students and teachers alike. The ability to read and write is also the yardstick used to distinguish the literate from the illiterate. What makes reading so unique is that it has the ability to evoke emotions, feelings, thrills and fears, laughter and sadness, pain and pleasure apart from allowing the reader to vividly visualize, leisurely contemplate and at times act decisively. It is breathing for the mind because it keeps our mind active, vibrant and alive to possibilities.

To get the best out of reading and to cultivate the art and enjoy the experience focus on the following:

Variety in reading – If you can bring yourself to read a variety of genres, styles, topics, authors and have different reasons for reading you will never tire of reading. Reading the newspaper is perhaps one of the most common reading activity indulged in by the overwhelming majority. This is because in a dynamically changing world, each one of us wants to know what is going on. The newspaper also offers variety in terms of current affairs, sports, leisure, and politics being major areas covered. However a visit to the library or a book shops opens up a enormous possibilities to explore and there is limitless variety in reading material.

Purposeful reading – If there is focus on why you want to read you will ensure that you read just what you want to read without feeling that you have wasted your time. Students largely have focus on their reading because the objective is appear for exams and score well. This enables them to cope with the reading that they may not necessarily like but which is unavoidable. Similarly, having focus helps you identify what interests you, the styles of writing and genres that engage you. You may even switch genres which are completely different but it ensures that you are never bored or that the content is monotonous. It also allows you the freedom to stop reading what does not appeal to you without feeling guilty.

Enjoy what you read While reading as part of learning can at times get exhausting, it is your attitude that will determine how tedious the reading is. Obviously given a choice, you will read just what you fancy and hopefully you enjoy what you read. At times, you pick up a book either because it is a best seller or because it is highly recommended but if you are plodding through it, it is best you switch to what interest. The pleasure of reading comes from how easy it feels to ones senses in terms of style, content, appeal and pleasure it brings to the reader.

Share your learning – By sharing the key concepts or the salient features with others, you actually relive the book and the pleasure it gave you. It is also indicative of how it has impacted you and how eager you are to ensure others too get a pleasure out of it.

Cultivate it as habit – The more you read, greater the pleasure and the learning. Cultivate reading as a habit. It refreshes the mind, enhances your knowledge, gives you stimulus and is a wonderful companion especially when you are alone.

Try these

  1. List out 5 of your favorite books and authors. Identify one reason why each book appeals to you.
  2. What types of books appeal to you? What genres of writing do you like?
  3. Which characters in the books you have read endear themselves to you and why?
  4. Which well known book did not appeal to you? Can you identify the reasons you did not like the book?
  5. Name one incident from any of your reading that you still recall vividly or with nostalgia.

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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36- I am rare

One reason many of us undervalue ourselves is because we focus largely on our commonality with others around and do little to discover what is unique about us. The fact is that each individual is unique not just physically but in thought, emotion, action and expression. The sooner we try to discover our uniqueness, the faster we will begin to value it and leverage it to carve a niche for ourselves. Equally importantly our sense of pride, worth and value will get magnified in our own eyes and it will reflect in our actions and thereby get noticed by those around us. What is important is to become aware that I am rare; none like someone before and none who will ever be a carbon of me.

So how does one discover one’s uniqueness; one’s specialty and one’s rarity?  The answer lies in looking inward to search for meaning in what one does, how one feels, the positive emotions that trigger enthusiasm, the unmitigated joys that one enjoys and the appreciation that an individual is showered with.

Your actions – So what is it that you enjoy doing? What is it that you do really well? What is that you abhor doing? In real life we have to do what has to be done whether we like it or not. By trying to be involved in activities that you enjoy, reduce/ avoid what you abhor and by doing whatever has to be done very well, you are simply uplifting the quality of your work, your life and your own worth. Introspect on this and you will begin to value the unique contribution you make in making the world around you a much better and enjoyable place. Do this and you become the rare individual who can make transformation happen.

Your emotions – So what emotions dominate your life? Joy, trust, surprise or are you prone to anger, disgust and sadness most times? If your life is largely filled with positive emotions, the chances of you being enthusiastic, popular and effective are very high. If negative emotions tend to overshadow your positive emotions, there is a probability that you are more demanding, more critical and more circumspect in your dealings. Your emotions help you become more responsive, more empathetic and more understanding thus making you an unique influencer for those who come in your circle of influence.

Your thoughts – Your emotions have a large influence on your thoughts. Your actions in turn are shaped by your thoughts. Hence it is vital that analyze your thoughts for they trigger the course of action you take. Do you feel confident, have self belief and have the daring to take on challenges. Are you also prudent in how you choose your options? Do you take reasonable risks or are you reckless? Do you see opportunities in problems or problems in various opportunities?  What is essential to note is how your thoughts shape you and help you decide on your course of action, thereby shaping your own independent proactive or responsive action that would have an impact on the environment around you.

Try these

  1. With which animal do you identify with and why? What are the unique features of that animal that you admire and/ or share in common with?
  2. Name 3 people, who in your personal experience, are unique in their own way. Can you write a short note to each of them appreciating that uniqueness in them which you appreciate.
  3. List out three adjectives that you believe best describe you. Outline a special moment in your life in which each of those adjectives came true/ was demonstrated.

This post is courtesy http://www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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17- 14 May 17-Discover yourselfThe first step is to believe you are unique… different from your siblings, your twin and from every other human being ever created or to be created. Once you realize this, it should be a strong motivator for you to leverage your uniqueness and showcase your identity to the world. Far too often we associate academic or sporting brilliance at an early age as a sure sign of future success. The reality is that with few exceptions, most of those who showed early promise could not cope with the pressures of the world or did not have the nerve to move out of their comfort zone and make a unique mark. Of course the word successful is relative. As long as you use your talents, promise and abilities to become someone better than anyone hoped you would, it could be a fair indicator of talent. A better measure would be if you are happy with what you have achieved and do not have any regrets about not fulfilling your promise, that would be real success.

To become what you are capable of, focus on these:

Believe in yourself – Have the confidence that you have it in you to do something special. While academic excellence could boost your chances of doing well, it is actually the self belief, the discipline and the passion that one brings in, that opens the doors to achievement and success. Self belief also fortifies you against nay-sayers, the critics, those who discourage you and those who constantly belittle your progress. Self belief gives you the energy to carry on when progress seems slow or non-existent and when obstacles and failures occasionally threaten to derail your plans.

Be prepared to learn – Every type of formal learning as well the experiences of each passing day, gives invaluable practical learning. The challenge is to be open minded and willing to soak in the learning. Occasionally the learning can be tough and painful; other times it can be easy and simple. The key is to seek out the learning each day and put it into practice by adopting / adapting good practices and giving a wide berth / avoiding the bad practices.

Be prepared to fail – Failure is an essential requirement for success, for it is the true measure that explains life’s uncertainties and challenges.  It also prepares one to anticipate troubles, teaches one to think creatively, toughens one to face adversities and most of all it helps one to realize one’s own potential, passion and purpose. Failure is also a sure sign that one is trying and doing something and not merely day dreaming.

Be prepared to take risks –Although one is prepared to fail, there is always the psychological barrier that often limits us from daring, moving out of our comfort zone and taking the big leap. Many a time it is the outcome of ‘paralysis by analysis’. Other times it is simply because the going is good and so why test one’s potential attitude. Unless one thirsts for success, enhances one’s benchmark, craves to make a mark, the risk taking ability remains dormant. Visualizing the big picture, focusing on the ultimate goal and challenging yourself are the best ways to take risks and realize one’s latent potential.

Keep going – There could be setbacks, you could get tired and discouraged and occasionally the mind would waver and set in motion negative thoughts. Pause but do not stop. Catch your breath, reinforce your zeal, get inspired by your vision, be motivated by the challenge you have taken up and keep going.

You have a point to prove to yourself; to be somebody nobody thought you could be !

Try these:

  1. List out the 5 – 10 things you were keen on doing but which others discouraged you from doing or that which people said was beyond your capability. Now choose one which you are still passionate about and set yourself a deadline and a plan of action to achieve it. Begin now.
  2. If you have an audience, what is the one ability that you can showcase and grab their attention? It could be a magic/ card trick, an exquisite piece of musical talent, it could be mimicry, cartooning or painting or sketching, telling your favorite joke in your own unique style, creating your own limerick instantaneously 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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15-11 Apr 17-Steps to takeThe lessons of life are not learned by reading text books or self help books or by observation alone. The real learning happens when we apply the knowledge and get a firsthand experience. Imagining the outcomes won’t help. It is in doing that we appreciate the nuances of the learning, the pitfalls that we never visualized, discover our own strengths and resilience and occasionally realize our own inadequacies. The best part of applying our learning is that we know instantly how capable we are of fulfilling our potential and how much more capable we are of doing a task even better. There is of course the risk of failure, of the realization that perhaps we are not cut out for something or painfully discovering that our potential is not good enough to be the best. However, there is also the possibility of discovering some unknown strengths, talents and potential that come to the fore only when we apply our knowledge. The Try This activities listed in the end of each post are a simple method for each reader to apply the learning from each post and get to appreciate your own strengths and potential.

The best way to get yourself going is by getting started by following the steps listed:

Have a personal vision – This is the key to every activity a person undertakes. Without a vision there is no goal, no motivation and no sense of accomplishment. Never do anything to fulfill an obligation. Instead do it because it challenges you, it motivates you, it interests you and because you want to do it. See yourself playing a vital role in huge process and suddenly you realize your own worth and contribution to the larger goal. This will stimulate and motivate you not just to begin the task but also to do an excellent job of whatever you undertake.

Barricade yourself from negativity – There would be well meaning critics who often would not be able to see your vision in the same light as you do. Listen to them but let not their criticism be a dampener to your vision. Failure could be another de-motivator but the challenge for you is to overcome it. The slow pace of progress, unexpected obstacles, the pressure to deliver results, self doubts etc. are all negative forces that could distract and distress you occasionally. Keep your eyes on your vision and proceed with faith.

View every experience as learning – Once you master the art of treating every experience as a step forward towards learning, you will treat success and failure with equanimity. Your motivator is the learning that you gain. Success and failure are simply milestones along the way of progress that indicates to you how far you have come and how far more you have to go.

Embrace success – While humility is an essential requirement to remain grounded, it is equally important that one learns to embrace and enjoy success. Enjoy the accolades, the recognition, the applause, the thrill of achievement. It is in embracing success that you fulfill your vision. For sure you can set up a new vision after that and proceed ahead. Occasionally there would be times when success comes at a price. At other times success is elusive despite your best efforts. Be realistic and focus on the progress made; that is success. Discovering your own inadequacies reflected in not being successful is also a learning and in a convoluted way, a learning success.

Try these:

  • Make a list of unfulfilled potential that people have often spoken to you about. Alternatively, list out some of your childhood dreams that you never pursued. Prepare a plan of action to get going on realizing at least one of those dreams.
  • From a personal growth / learning point of view, list out the activities that you do daily. Is there something more you can do to keep you physically and mentally upbeat.
  • Take the daily newspaper and go the leisure page and attempt some of those activities listed. E.g. Sudoku, cross words, wordplay, spot the difference 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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02-07-01-17strength-comesWhen a baby learns to take his/ her first step, it is always tentative and for the first few times it will fall down. Yet, it continues to trust its instincts and when he/ she has mastered the art, there is a perceptible sense of achievement and happiness on the child’s face as well as on the faces of the onlookers. We as adults have lost that sense of adventure, we do not trust our instincts and more than anything, we fear failure and so prefer not to attempt something new, different and exciting. Our strengths remain out of sight, undiscovered and we go to our grave clutching our potential.  Perhaps that also explains why we fear death; because suddenly there is so much more to achieve.

Obviously then, the challenge for us is to dare, do and win. Yes you can, if align the following within yourself and begin:

Self belief: Unless you believe you can do something, chances are that you won’t attempt it. Wish self belief comes the thrill of the challenge.  If you do not have self belief you would end to find excuses not to dare. Questions like why should I? What is in it for me? How will it benefit me? May be it is not my cup of tea etc. would constantly keep niggling you.  You would then prefer to ignore the challenge than confront it.

Planning: While self belief will give you an impetus, a motivation to begin, never attempt a challenge like a casual dare. Outlining a plan to succeed is the key to every challenge. It is also the way to ensure that you have clarity about your objective, a clear road map forward and the required resources to achieve success. E.g. If Public Speaking is your fear, simply getting up and blabbering when forced to, may not give you the desired result. You must plan your topic, prepare for it, practice it and then create the opportunity to demonstrate your ability.

Daring: Self belief will give you the motivation, planning will largely insure your success but without daring, you may falter and fail to start. Daring comes from visualizing success, from having confidence that you have planned and prepared well and from the self belief that you will succeed. Sometimes, daring comes from having no alternative. This is typically what happens in a class room presentation, when every student has to overcome his/ her fear of public speaking for there is no alternative. Remember it is the first time that is the hardest.

Focus: Our limitations are accentuated when we lose focus while attempting the challenge. If we let ourselves be distracted by some blips or glitches that we encounter despite the best of planning the chances are we let our confidence slip. Focus on the resources available, delve into your creative inner self and calm your pounding heart to regain your focus. E.g. when learning to drive initially we grip the steering wheel too hard, we tend to view the accelerator, brake and clutch separately thereby stalling the car more often. It is only with some practice that we tend to see that the three have to work in tandem and that we need to relax a bit more when steering. The focus must be even and that happens when one has sufficient practice and then expertise takes over.

Persistence: Remember the time you learned to cycle or swim. Chances are that you fell, scraped yourself when attempting to cycle or when in the pool drank a lot of water or felt yourself drowning. You mastered the art only because a scraped knee or the fear of sinking did not kill your self belief. The same resilience is called into action whenever you dare to do something different, something challenging, something you have never attempted. There is always the possibility that you may not succeed in your first attempt but persistence is what ensures you succeed.

Look back on the thrill of having overcome many a challenge when you followed your creed to dare, do and win.   It is the same thrill that now beckons you; you suddenly discover both your potential and your strength; the happiness that you get is a huge bonus.

Try these:

Make a list of dares / challenges that you would like to attempt. It could be as dramatic as parachuting or conquering a fear of holding a reptile (like a snake) in your hands. Dare, do and win is next.

List out some of your latent desires e.g. writing poetry, having an exhibition of your art work, singing on stage etc. Assuming you have a decent talent in the respective field, take up the challenge to do this year.

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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34-finding-your-passion

One question that often baffles an individual is how one finds his / her passion. It is largely by a trial and error method in most cases. Some lucky individuals do get to know their passion from early childhood; others discover it in teenage and some stumble upon it much later. For the overwhelming majority though, finding one’s passion is almost as elusive as trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. We would focus on what is common to every individual’s passion and what is the ideal passion to pursue.

What you love – The primary test of what one finds passionate is how much we love it. Passion comes from having a deep, abiding interest and obsession with something. Now most times our passions, especially in our growing up years keep changing. Similarly we discover new and fascinating things that grab our attention and make us pine to for it. Varied dimensions of technology in particular fascinates us as do creative pursuits and self driven concerns like environmental pollution, garbage recycling, health etc. What compounds our choices is the combination of passions that we seem to revel in. Let us say writing or art or cinema is our primary interest and now technology offers us blogs /video platforms to express ourselves and reach worldwide audiences. Pursuing new applications to leverage our expertise combined with the power of technology available on with smart phones and computers opens up new frontiers to explore. With wider choices, we have more opportunities to explore; we must experiment and discover what we truly find fascinating.

What you are good at:  While it is difficult to zoom in on to a couple of things that fascinate us, what is more important and more challenging is finding out if we have the skills, the aptitude and the ability to pursue and make those passions an extension of ourselves. Having a fascination and obsession is relatively passive, the true test is if we can translate what we love into a profession that makes us happy, allows us to use all our abilities and makes us happy each single day. One critical test to know if our passion is real, is to test if we have the intrinsic motivation to pursue it every single day. Do we keep thinking about our work and how we can improve it, make it more fascinating, keep ourselves updated about it and get a thrill out of sharing about it. Once you know what you love and what you are good at, you can feel a sense of happiness every single day.

What pays you well : While you can be happy pursuing your passion, the reality is that we live in a world that requires us to fend for ourselves and our families. This is reality that we cannot escape from and we must be alive to this facet of living. The ideal passion would be one, where you can follow your heart, use your head and turn it into a profitable venture. This means that we make use of our talents, our obsessions to ensure a good living. There are times when we realize our strengths and leverage it to make a good living but our heart and mind are into something else. That is when you are financially well off but bored because you are not fully engaged in what you do   E.g. We are academically brilliant and hence you get a good degree and pursue a job that pays well.  Perhaps your first love is to spread your knowledge and become a teacher but that profession is relatively less acceptable socially and financially relatively less rewarding than your current profession. It is then a compromise passion not the ideal passion that your pursuing.

For many people, once they have met their financial goals, they find it simpler to follow their ideal passion. They would take risks to pursue eco farming, teach the economically weaker, be involved in social activities where their skills sets are fully used etc. Till one reaches that stage, the ideal passion is one where your love for something, your skill set /aptitude/ expertise in that area and your returns/ benefits from pursuing that combine, to provide you happiness and bliss every single moment.

Try these:

  1. So what would your dream job/ profession be? What is stopping you from realizing that dream job/ profession?
  2. Make a list of the following:
  • Appreciation received from parents / teachers / classmates/ colleagues
  • Encouragement received from all of the above
  • Advice/ suggestions on what you must pursue as a profession
  • The events/ occasions when you felt elated and valued
  • The activities that make you delighted/ thrilled / blissful
  • The above will give you pointers on where you can find your ideal passion

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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31-are-you-a-liarTime and time again, despite our best efforts, we are overcome with a feeling of helplessness and frustration. At such times we conclude that we are worthless and that it is best we give up. Fortunately for many of us, this depressing feeling is largely temporary and we soon find the will and strength to continue with renewed vigor. However, if one continues to lapse into this self talk of worthlessness with increasing frequency, it is a sign of defeatism, a sign of weakness but most of it is a lie that we tell ourselves; no one to blame but our self!

So how does one become aware, daily, that his/ her life has a purpose, a meaning and a goal? That one’s life is a gift to be cherished; that its beauty lies in how well we can harness the potential in it and that, it is the quality of the life we lead, that is more important than the length of the lifespan.  Look at your life from the perspective of an individual who has been blessed with the power to make his/ her own choice and suddenly life takes on a new meaning. To quote Justice M.C. Chagla who in his book Roses in December concluded it with these words ‘“Life is many-sided; it has many facets; it has many moods; it is rich with memories, sad and gay. Ultimately it depends upon each one, whether life has been an adventure or just a short and painful interlude between one sleep and another.” 

To stop lying to yourself and instead make your life an adventure, you can attempt the following:

Dare to expand your horizons – We often hold ourselves back from exploring, experimenting and expanding our horizons because of our fear of failure, fear of the repercussions and fear of moving away from our comfort zone. There is always a first time for everything; so unless you try you will never know if you like it, love it or hate it. Many a time you will discover facets of yourself that are  your blind to, by merely widening your horizons and experimenting with new ideas/ thoughts / activities.

Challenge yourself daily – Never do a task in a routine manner; it gets boring, repetitive and definitely torturous after some time. While you cannot avoid the routine, you can try to add some color to the routine by finding something challenging in it; doing it differently; adding color to it. E.g. Although telephone operators are a dying breed now in the old days they used to hold a key role. Their job could get boring and routine. However I have come across telephone operators who kept themselves motivated by trying to identify the caller by their voice and style and politely greeting them when they called. I have heard of another person who was a talented artist. This person often drew a caricature of the persons who frequently called based purely on the voice of the person. If and when that person visited that office, the drawing would be gifted to the person and it had a remarkable accuracy.

Keep trying – You grow when you work smarter, do better and grow faster. The challenge is to be better than what you were yesterday. Life is not a race with others; it must be an adventure to attempt new things, dare to push your boundaries and to make things happen. So reset your goals, attempt it. If you succeed repeat the process of resetting your goals.  If you fail, try again till your attain what you set out to do.  Read the heroics of Károly Takács by clicking on the following link to know more about trying http://tinyurl.com/zgtqfx3 or  http://tinyurl.com/zbp8hry

Discover your worth – Each of us is blessed with some fine qualities, good virtues and multiple talents; discovering them may pose a challenge. While some of these blessings are easily identifiable, it is discovering the hidden blessings that become challenging. There is also a grave danger that we take for granted the blessings that are very visible and hence, when faced with an impediment or difficulty that is tricky, we lie to ourselves that we are worthless. Instead if probe a little and relook our abilities and talents we would suddenly realize that we have a lot of options still to be explored. Discover your worth and you won’t have to lie to yourself ever.

Try these:

  1. An exotic destination you would like to visit
  2. A social service activity that your keen on doing
  3. A fun activity that you would love to indulge in
  4. A new investment you would like to make
  5. A bad habit you would like to give up.

Your challenge is to put a time line on each one. Now begin with the chit with the shortest timeline and ensure you complete it before you begin the next one. It will be worth your while to seriously do it.

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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