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38- Faliure is not the opposite of successOnce we can orient our thinking to appreciate the tremendous insight provided by the above quote, chances are, we will never be apprehensive or fearful of failure. Failure has been stigmatized, it has been projected as the antonym of success and it has been the one word that every individual has been cautioned to keep away from. The reality is that failure has merits but unfortunately the word failure has been demonized and the merits cast away.  A glimpse of how failure is an essential part of success is shared below.

Provides painful lessons grasped quickly – While success is craved by everyone, the lessons from success are not as strongly ingrained in the mind as much as lessons learned from failure. Failure could be a painful outcome despite a good effort so it hurts more. However, it is the lessons learnt  from failure that enables one to reorient ones thinking, enables one to be creative, helps change ones approach to a problem and remains a constant reminder on how to avoid previous mistakes so as to achieve success. E.g. if one was tardy in studies the fail result in the report card and its consequences would be a good reminder to be more diligent in studies.

It is a hard rock on which one can built something strong – Failure provides one a strong rock like foundation to build on simply because one has to start again but this time one would be more alert, agile and astute. The pain and shame of failure is always a bitter pill to swallow.  Hence next time around one would invest time, energy and effort very cautiously and prudently so as to ensure one does not fitter away one’s resources.  At the same time failure highlights the chinks in one’s armor, helps one realize the importance of going back to the drawing board to work on a more robust plan that can succeed.  E.g. Steve Jobs life provides you a perfect script of success being tempered by failure and subsequent bigger success.

It acts as speed breakers on the high way of success – Success is often very heady and that can lead to reckless behavior. A failure is a wonderful speed breaker that tempers one’s exuberance, helps slow down ones pace to suit our temperament and above all ensures that we pause to refresh, recharge and resist the temptation to be over ambitious and take reckless risks. E.g. look at the monumental failures of once billionaires who took dubious means to multiply their wealth till their failures were exposed

It sensitizes one to be more humane and pragmatic The true measure of success is how one can have a positive influence on the environment around. Yet many equate success with wealth, influence and power alone.  Failure helps one realize his / her human failings, makes one look around in a more humane way and then channelizes success for the larger good of society. E.g. The spurt in voluntary CSR initiatives of corporates or the philanthropic initiatives of the rich are an acknowledgement of their belief that they have failed to use their wealth for the larger good of mankind and they are now making efforts to correct that.

It is just one extreme end of the continuum called life– Success is one end of a continuum called life. At the other end is failure. Seen differently they are two sides of a coin. You cannot relish success with out a taste of failure. One can better appreciate the joys of success only when one has tasted the bitterness of failure. Winning a game with no opponents will never give you an euphoria as much as winning games beating tough opponents. It is because failure exits that quest for success becomes more challenging and enjoyable. E.g. Ask Usain Bolt how much more valuable his gold medals from previous Olympics are, especially after his relative failure in his last races.

Try these

  • List out three of your major failure and the lessons each failure taught you.
  • List out your three major successes   and identify any failure that had a part to play in each of those successes.
  • What is the best compliment you ever got? Can you identify 3 reasons that made the compliment really worthwhile?
  • What are the areas of concern for you where you fear failure? What steps are you taking to ensure success in those areas?

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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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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34- 26 Sept17-Your thoughts define you

You are defined by your thoughts. Your thoughts in turn are influenced by your attitude. Each of us has a different set of upbringing, education and experiences. The environment in which we grew up could have instilled in us the values we hold dear, the fears and hopes we carry within and helps us visualize opportunities and widens our horizons. All these factors contribute to the type of attitude we embrace which in turn fortifies us to meet the challenges of life and grasp the opportunities that come our way. We can take credit for the successes we attain and by the same yardstick take responsibility for not realizing our full potential. Far too often, we limit ourselves because we limit our thinking. Either we fear the worst or we doubt our own abilities.

To explore our potential and to leverage it one needs to focus on the following:

Clean up the cobwebs in the mind – Our mind is cluttered with thoughts that largely center around self preservation, safety, risk avoidance and following the set path. Occasionally we indulge in the luxury of visualizing something different, more outlandish, something that seems to be closer to our heart. Those who dare to explore that whole heartedly often do succeed because they have clarity and focus on what to do rather than what to avoid. Do not let the mind be filled with confusion, anxiety and be overwhelmed. Instead separate and segregate our numerous thoughts and arrange them in an orderly manner so that one begins to get clarity.

Rearrange the muddled up plans in the mind – Many of us suffer from wanting to do too many things. As a result we set ourselves multiple goals but lack the personal bandwidth to manage all the goals. We need to prioritize our goals and map out the specific action to be taken for each goal. This will help one focus better and avoid negative inputs like fear, depression and worry sabotaging our efforts.

Stop thinking and begin to act on our thoughts – Perhaps the one thing almost all of us are guilty of, is thinking too much and not taking enough decisive action. If we let our mind imagine the worst case scenario and blow it out of proportion then we will spend more time trying to ring fence the imaginary problems. Consequentially we delay taking action thereby derailing the original plans. While planning is essential one must put the plans in action if one has to make tangible progress. So keep at bay the self doubt, the feeling of inadequacy and the anxiousness and apprehensions and replace it with confidence, hope and faith in your abilities.

Review and caliber our action as required – Even the best laid plans may not factor in circumstances beyond our control or imagination. Reviewing the progress of plans and recalibrating the action required is critical to getting the project implemented. If we do not pause to review there is every possibility that you continue to progress in the wrong direction or that we take a circuitous route that is time consuming and costly. Never hesitate to admit you made a mistake or that you need to be realistic and cut your losses. Do not become dogmatic or egoistic lest they cloud your judgment. Try and be open to feedback, be open to correction and be ready to change.

Try these

  1. List out some goals that you have set for yourself but which have not yet taken off. Identify the reasons for the lack of progress on your part.
  2. Identify two initiatives that you started off earnestly but which failed/ disappointed you. Can you put your finger on the specific mistakes you made which you did not correct on time and led to the failure/ disappointment?
  3. Write down the 3 negative emotions you are guilty of harboring in your mind far too often. Now ask a few family members, friends and colleagues to share the one negative quality you display the most. Their responses could be an eye opener for you.

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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29- 12 Aug 17- Get goingBeginning a quest is always challenging because one is filled with doubts, concerns, worries and fear of failure. Perhaps, that explains why many of us have never got any of our grandiose plans even started. It also explains why the vast majority continue to walk down the ‘oft trod path’; lamenting or ruing their destiny. Each of us is given the freedom to explore options but we are often tethered by our dogmas and beliefs, our prejudices and our fears, our self limiting thinking and our inaction. As a result we continue to walk the beaten path lamenting our fate without daring to indulge in a latent passion or pursue a deep desire. The net result is that we just do not start; the dreams we have remain just pipe dreams; the future remains predictable and largely futile as compared to our hopes, aspirations and ambitions.

If you are someone with a burning desire to explore opportunities beyond the mundane and predictable, the starting point must be planning. The planning process begins with the setting up of a goal/ objective. This is then fleshed out in the form of details being added, so as to ensure as many variables as possible are identified and a plan to manage it, spelled out. It is important to bear in mind that no plan is fool proof and that a start date must be identified so that the plan is put into action. The way forward is in starting the implementation of your plan.

It is possible that a plan set in motion would face challenges. Despite the best of preparations, unforeseen and unpredictable hurdles could derail the plans. Many of these hurdles are self inflicted and often the result of tardy planning or self doubt or overconfidence. You may falter, you may have setbacks, you could begin to doubt yourself along the way but the goal must be to keep going. Of course there could come a time when either because you are prudent or because circumstances are beyond your control, that you will be forced to stop and give up. Take this setback in your stride. Having begun with confidence and hope is in itself a victory over your inhibitions and a testimony to your determination.

You will, if you move ahead as per plans, make progress. This will embolden you and be a great motivator to push ahead even if you progress is slow and even if the goal seems distant. Eventually you may reach the goal but perhaps not as planned and there could be a feeling of dejection. Yet, it is in reaching the goal, finishing the race and stretching your limits, that you realize how strong a person you are. If you did not start or if you gave up midway, you will never experience the thrill of realizing your potential, knowing your strengths and stretching yourself to attain new limits.

Your victory is in getting over your doubts, your inertia, yourself limiting beliefs and instead becoming proactive, resolute and focused on bringing about a change in your mind, body and spirit.

Start now, push ahead and realize your dreams.

Try these

  1. If you had just a week to live, how would you prioritize your life so that you have no regrets on the last day?
  2. What steps can you take immediately, to do the following:
  • Raise a significant sum of money for a charity of your choice
  • Give a suggestion to your local corporator / MP / Union minister in connection with an idea you have to improve the current services
  • To explore a passion that you have not yet begun in earnest.

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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28- An Energy called YOUThe sun is the universal source of energy but YOU are an equal source of energy, especially for the people around you and those in your circle of influence. If you didn’t cry at birth the doctors and the nursing staff, not to mention your parents would be very worried. Bet you put all your energy into crying loudly to announce your arrival and to proclaim that you carry with you, enough energy to transform the world. If you remained listless anytime during your tender growing up age, your parents would be very worried. It is your energy that was replicated in your zest that parents crave for. No doubt, too much energy can make you disruptive and mischievous but ask any parent and they would prefer that, to a dull submissive listless individual. Every individual is thus blessed with enough and more energy; but it needs to be channelized well.

You can ensure that your energies are best channelized by ensuring the following:

Having the right thoughts – Every action is triggered by the thoughts one has. Hence it is critical that one needs to be able to train the mind to be positive, confident and proactive. In a dynamic world, where there is constant turbulence minute to minute, our thoughts too keep churning at a rapid pace. It can oscillate from one extreme of unbridled happiness to the other extreme of despondency depending on the happenings around. Training the mind to have the right thoughts consists of being balanced in good times and in bad, developing the art of seeing the glass full no matter how desperate  the situation and being able to focus on a win win solution at all times.

Ensuring you have the right emotions – Emotions in simplistic terms are thoughts being converted into feelings. Since it is the thoughts that are converted into feelings, the feelings expressed would display the same characteristics of the original feelings. Negative emotions like anger, frustration, jealousy etc. would largely reflect the thoughts that triggered the emotion as much as hope, confidence, happiness etc. reflect the positive thoughts. It is possible though that despite entertaining negative thoughts like fear, anxiety, hopelessness etc. we can still retain control over our emotions and channelize them in a positive manner. E.g. Seeing failure as a stepping stone to success.

Taking the right actions – Both thoughts and emotions that remain bottled up merely traumatize a person mentally. It is the when one channelizes these thoughts and emotions into tangible action that the energy in you gets momentum and coverts itself into results. The right actions are overwhelmingly determined by thoughts and emotions but to get it right one has to take into consideration the ground realities. E.g. Anger is a perfectly legitimate thought and emotion when plans fail or things are messed up because of tardy execution. Expressing it is also a perfectly valid action to ensure that those responsible for triggering it, realize their folly. However, anger if expressed in a hostage like situation can be very counterproductive.

Since you are a very potent source of energy, you should be aware at all times about the tremendous power you have and ensure that you use it responsibly. More importantly learn to use it with confidence and integrity by aligning your thoughts, emotions and actions.  

Try these

  1. Think of a few situations where you were embarrassed by your own thoughts emotions and actions / /behavior. E.g. when you lost your temper or did not stand up for what was right or when you cheated in an exam etc.
  2. In the recent past did you succumb to the following:
  • Shouting at someone
  • Cheating in a game
  • Using foul language
  • Telling a lie
  • Becoming jealous
  • Intimidating someone

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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24- 8 Jul 17- Create your own rainbowWith the monsoons already arriving, most days seem like Monday’s; dull, gloomy and too tempting to laze around in bed. Yet, it is time to get up and get going and the process is just a tad too boring and uninspiring. Just as the wonders of the rainbow appear in the monsoon, await the rainbow each day and there would perhaps also be a pot of gold at the end of it to lure you to energetically look forward to each day.

Look for things that brighten the day – it could be the chirping of the birds, the sunlight that is streaming in, the laughter of children playing, the pealing of the temple and/or church bells. The key is to look for things that make you happy, contented and peaceful. It is a proactive responsibility that you must take on in order to change your own world.

See the variety of positives that you are blessed with – Make a conscious effort to over look  the hurt, the pain, the sadness of the past and instead focus on the blessings you have been bestowed. Good health tops the list, financial security, a loving world of family and friends, the comfort of a blessed home perhaps and a secure job too maybe.

Smile, forgive, listen, appreciate, thank – This is such an easy formula to memorize; a tough one to put in practice but the easiest to embrace once you have consciously adopted it. Each of it helps you exhale the toxic within and inhale the pure clean emotions.

Embrace love, laughter, hope and faith – Just as a good diet and exercise is a choice you make, add a heap full of love, a ton of laughter, perennial hope and unwavering faith to your daily mantra. You will find yourself empowered, optimistic and energetic to make your presence felt in the world and to make a positive difference around you.

Spend time with family, nature, self – Since we are social animals, we need to connect with other,  the world around and with ourselves. Spend time with family and friends. Spread good cheer and goodwill amongst them. They would seek to spend more time with you. Nature helps us embrace the spectrum of life; the flora and fauna, the sheer variety of wildlife and the beauty of the hills and valleys, the rivers and the seas, the changing seasons. Spend time thinking, reflecting and connecting to inner self. Never forget you are world yourself; filled with emotions, thoughts, feelings and passion.

Find silence despite the noise, find order despite the chaos and discover peace within despite the turbulence around –  Life is full of noise, chaos and turbulence. In our journey through life, we must be able to filter out and choose everything that would make our journey more pleasant, comfortable and enjoyable. Learn to enjoy silence; then you will master the art of finding it despite the noise around. Like getting through a maze, look hard at the chaos around; anger, frustration, hurt are some  feelings that you need to get past before you get out of the maze and reach peace, tranquility and bliss.

Look back with fondness, look forward with hope and be awake in the present Every day there must be something pleasant to reminiscence about, a goal set to give meaning and purpose to each day and one must make each moment count by being mentally and physically alert and active.

Notice how you have created a beautiful rainbow for yourself. The success, satisfaction, happiness, contentment and the peace that you get is the pot full of gold at the end of your rainbow.

Try these

  • List out 3- 5 colors that you like.  Look around you and for each color you chose, write down at least 2 objects having that color. Did you notice the color of those objects earlier. Do you notice the rainbow of colors around you?
  • Sit with your eyes closed for 5 minutes. Identify the various noises around you. Also imagine the aroma of your favorite food. Can you feel the rainbow of myriad sounds and aroma that you normally take for granted.

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- 26 Jun17- Mantra to live byIn a fast paced world speed is key. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation where people have outpaced themselves and as a result the paradise that we can enjoy on earth, if we simply slow down, seems like an utopian idea. It is race with no end in sight and when we stop occasionally to ask ourselves where we are headed, we have no idea why we are where we are. Our life span won’t increase if we speed up, our dreams will still have bliss if one slows down but most of all we would enjoy and value our life we learn to live, rather than just exist, survive and decay.

To make sure that we enjoy the life we are blessed with, slow down and then follow the mantra below:

Don’t just look, #observe# – Look around and you see varied colors around. You see various facial expressions and body language of people around. You may notice the buzz and zip or an eerie silence depending on where you are. If you look carefully you may perhaps observe some finer aspects that would have skipped your attention; perhaps you will then notice that in a pack of cards there is one king with only one eye. Look carefully and perhaps you will observe the subtle differences in the different Jacks and Queens. Have you ever noticed the various silhouettes that you can contort using the shadow created when light is focused on an object like your hand/ fingers. Take various currency notes and observe some small varied geometrical shapes printed on the currency notes of different values. Along the highway of life you need to take time out to smell the flowers; but first you have to notice those flowers. Observe the blessings you have been showered with; family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, financial stability, good health and the list goes on.

Don’t just swallow, taste – Ever felt your mouth watering when you smelt the aroma of food. Perhaps a similar feeling engulfed you when you see the pictures of various dishes displayed in advertisements and culinary magazines/ blogs. When it comes to part taking of the food, often we are quick to notice what is wrong, but rarely do we appreciate what is wonderful about the meal.  At home, one major distraction when eating is the lure of TV and mobile phones which ensure we eat mechanically; eating fast, chewing less and swallowing it rather than relishing the taste and appreciating the effort that went into the mealAn essential ingredient of a great meal is intangible; it is a dash of love put in by the one preparing it. Next time, taste every morsel and experience the dash of love on your taste buds.

Don’t just sleep, dream Surely you can’t force yourself to dream. It is possible though to go to bed with some good thoughts, passionate ideas and blissful reflections. These will automatically turn into blissful sleep and wonderful dreams. There is also a different angle to the dimension of dreams. The biggest dreams are those that won’t let your sleep. Ask the wannabe next gen entrepreneurs. All their waking hours are spent on visualizing vividly and working diligently on their dreams. So what is keeping you awake at night; a nightmare or a dream? You can choose; just choose well.

Don’t just think, feel This reflects the difference between sympathy and empathy. It is easy to see the pain and anguish of another who is struggling to stay afloat in the tempest of life. It takes courage, daring and empathy to reach out and risk your sanity and life to stand by the one in pain. Doling out alms, making encouraging proclamations and paying lip sympathy is passé. Feeling for another enough, means to walk in his / her shoes and experience their pain. This requires a person to translate their understanding of the others pain into personal action whereby you stand alongside and share the burden of the other. An apt illustration is the story told of a small five year old girl who lost her best playmate and neighbor in an accident. A couple of days later, this young girl went to her neighbor’s house and came back after a while. On being asked by her mother, what she did in the neighbor’s house, she replied that her friend’s mother was weeping copiously and that she sat on her friend’s mother’s lap and joined her in weeping copiously.

Don’t just exist, live – Am I living everyday with regret, complains suffering and pain in my heart? This would indicate that I am going through life merely because life has not yet abandoned me. If life hasn’t abandoned you why are you abandoning life? As long as you breathe, make every breath a sign of joy, happiness, bliss and ecstasy. It is your life; your thoughts; your feelings and your future. How about looking at life in wonderment of being alive; in the joy of the numerous blessings you are bestowed with; in contributing to the world around you the value of your worth be it through smiles, encouragement, empathy and liveliness. Existence is for the ventilator to provide; life is for you to live!

Try these

  1. Which is your favorite food that you miss the most when travelling? Is there someone who makes it better than the rest? Is it because you now realize there is a dash of love in it?
  2. So what dreams are there in your bucket list to be ticked off still? When and how are you planning to achieve it and tick it off your list?
  3. What was the last big risk you took that enabled you to realize your own strength?
  4. Click on the following links to see how you too can create Shadow Art

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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