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18- 04 - 02 Feb 18-Be ready to start againJanuary has passed by and perhaps some of us are left wondering why we missed the opportunity to do something different, something we are passionate about but something we are afraid to dare. It is possible that in the past we have not met with success when attempting something new. It is possible that it was difficult to cope with the criticism from others or that one ran out of enthusiasm when things got tough. Worse of all we may have miserably failed and fear attempting it again. Failure teaches one valuable lessons; the idea was not thought through well, it was perhaps badly executed, maybe you did not factor in some critical limitations you had, your idea was well before its time etc. Failure also tells you one more message; it is not the end, you can succeed a second time if you attempt, success that eluded is never permanent but more importantly failure is never fatal.

Very often it is not fear of failure that prevents us from starting again. It is often our tendency to procrastinate. This aided and abetted by our lack of motivation, lethargy, our reluctance to take chances and worse of all fear of criticism. However, look at starting / starting again from a different perspective and you will realize that there is no better time to begin than now.

It is an opportunity to prove yourself- Everyone is waiting for glory days. It can happen only once you begin. So it does not matter if you have failed before because it is the next time your start again that gives you the opportunity to prove yourself. Success is rarely a flash in the pan. It is the outcome of persistence, patience and passion. Improvement holds the key to success. You may have to work, rework and remodel your work till you achieve what you set out to do. Just do it.

It is a chance to give wings to your passion – It is possible that you are doing something that keeps your body and soul together or that sustains you. You do it largely out of compulsion to make a living. You will have to pick up courage to change your life by chasing your passion. You may have to rough it out, you may stumble and fall, you may face a bleak desolate lonely time. You could fail multiple times. Yet it is only when you start again with hope, faith and focus that you can get the winds of hard work and good luck give your wings the power to fulfill your passion.

It will test your skills, your spirit and your strengths – When you start again, it means you are hoping do something better than what you ever did. It is also a time for you to realize your true potential, bring to the fore your zeal and enthusiasm and to test the depths of your resilience, passion and patience. You will discover a different individual within you; a person far superior to the being you thought you are.

It will change, uplift and embolden you – When you make up your mind to try again, to not give up and to succeed it a true metamorphosis of your personality.  It changes your perspective of life, it will uplift your spirit to new heights and it will embolden you to dare to conquer. Your attitude, your mannerisms, your body language and your achievements will all reflect confidence, urgency, passion and success. Just try again and change your life.

Try these:

  1. Outline three critical changes you would like to bring about in your life. List out the excuses you have been giving for not bringing about these changes. Find an antidote to each excuse and begin the change NOW.
  2. What are your pet peeves or fears. Find a way to confront them and overcome them. try,Try, TRy, TRY.
  3. Your challenge this week is to attempt the following
  • Give yourself a major makeover –e.g. change in hairstyle / clothes / communication style / body language
  • Talk to at least 3 strangers for 5 minutes each at least
  • Do something you have never done before – e.g. cook / eat a vegan meal, draw a portrait of yourself, record a song in your voice, watch a movie in a foreign language, visit a cemetery at night, start writing a blog/ diary

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 -03-26 Jan 18- Cross that bridgeIntent is not enough, one needs to start and progress if one wants to get positive outcomes. However, for many, beginning is in itself a humongous challenge and it is largely to do with escaping from one’s insecurities both imagined and real. Talent, abilities, passion goes abegging because individual’s were too mortified to take chances. For most people the chance to explore other possibilities gets shut off because of his / her insecurities. They do not dare to explore alternatives for fear of failure, discomfort, embarrassment. Overcoming these is the key to discovering yourself and the immense possibilities that lie before you.

Failure – This is the most common reason that chains people from exploring beyond their comfort zone. One would imagine every possible reason that could potentially result in failure and thereby rationalize that the status quo is best suited. However if one were to closely examine one’s personal growth from childhood, the word failure was never known to you or understood by you. Hence you attempted to turn over in bed as a child, you crawled, you fell of the bed, you tried to stand up on wobbly legs, you walked daintily at first, you ran and fell, you fell of a cycle, you almost drowned when learning swimming etc. Is it not a pity that once we learned the word failure, understood its meaning and accepted it as a reality, we misinterpreted it as something to loathe, fear and avoid. One needs to appreciate the word failure to mean, a possibility of not succeeding till we try again and again. Perhaps now, you would be reassured that failure is temporary; progress is forever, provided one tries again and again.

Discomfort – When one dares to be different, it implies that one is taking chances, calculated risks and moving out of one’s comfort zone. There is a very real possibility of facing a lot of difficulty, risks that could waylay you because you did not anticipate it and having little alternative to turn back. In effect it implies that  once a path is chosen that is different, unique and daring, there is a very high probability that one would have discomfort as a constant companion for a fairly long time. A simple example that illustrates this is a person trying to change his/ her physical personality by going to a gym and exercising. It is awkward at first because you believe you are out of shape, you get drained off by the routine, you cannot change overnight and you need to keep at it till you observe the change. Most people therefore avoid taking this route. In fact they live with their regret for the rest of their life only because they do not want to experience discomfort.

Embarrassment – No one wants to be embarrassed; yet one would necessarily have to go through that process if one is not adept. Learning anything new is always a challenge because in the beginning you will be awkward, you will imitate but fall flat, you could be taunted, your self-belief will take a nose dive and worst of all, each day you crave improvement but feel that you are simply not able to or are not capable off it. Learning, unless one is extraordinarily gifted, is a slow and steady process. So it will take a while to get facile with the rigors and discipline that could enable you to see results. The mere thought of having to put up with displaying one’s limitations or ineptness is too daunting a prospect for many and hence to avoid what they perceive as embarrassment, they prefer the security of their insecurities and never discover the diamond within themselves.

If one can dare to sail alone on uncharted waters, move out of one’s comfort zone and remain motivated because you have the self belief, there are undiscovered lands to be conquered. There are immense possibilities within to be discovered. There is an image makeover that will transform you to attract success and be successful. All these possibilities exist; can you overcome your insecurities and embrace these possibilities?

Dare to cross the bridge of insecurities and walk the land of possibilities.

Try these:

List out some of your strongest passions/ desires that you have never dared to explore. Give two reasons why you never dared to explore it. Write down five ways in which you will go about exploring it.

What are the three uncertainties / fears in your life that prevent you from trying out something new that you crave.

Click on the following link and read the poem IF by Rudyard Kipling https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46473/if—

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- 02- 14 Jan 18- Quit Making excusesPerhaps you too like many, have made some excellent New Year resolutions. However, like the vast majority, you too could already be feeling the pressure of sticking to the resolutions set. It is quite possible that we have already defaulted on a few already and are feeling a tinge of guilt about it. Our problems stem from our inability to take responsibility and own the challenges that we have set for ourselves. It all starts with us making excuses for any aberration that we are guilty of. We blame circumstances, others around us and occasionally our own ineptitude. We rarely resolve to overcome the circumstances or to ignore those who knowingly or unknowingly derail our plans. Worst of all, we accept our ineptitude as a character flaw that cannot be corrected.

If we simply pay more attention to correcting our personal flaws, the resultant benefits would be mind-boggling. The first step is to stop complaining. Complains are akin to a carpenter blaming his tools instead of working on enhancing his skills. While at times one may face trying circumstances and daunting challenges, these are the times when one has to dig deep into one’s reserves and find that extra something to overcome the challenge.

Worrying, whining and crying are common traits displayed by failures. These are excuses masquerading in varied forms that paralyze an individual from taking some proactive steps.  In reality they do bigger damage in that the individual neither seeks help nor helps himself/ herself and instead they let circumstances dominate their future. Day dreaming is a more pleasurable way of circumventing reality. The pleasure lasts just as long as the dream and then the individual comes crashing down with a real thud. Day dreaming is a passive way to while away one’s time creating an illusion of success to be achieved in the future. Neither success nor the future materialize the way it appears in day dreams.

The way ahead is to be determined, disciplined and dispassionate. Be determined that you are going to achieve your goals / New Year resolution/ targets set. Wake up each morning with the goal in mind. Let the pursuit of the goal never slip out of your mind. Go to bed with thoughts of the progress made towards achieving your goals. Discipline is following the specific steps outlined to attain your goal. No excuses for not following the steps must be your mantra. If required sacrifice other pleasures just to ensure you have the time to follow the steps outlined. To keep nay sayers and critics at bay you need to be dispassionate and not let emotions and fears cloud your goal. Listen to those who have your welfare at heart. Listen to criticism. However, you must learn to ignore what does not suit your plans because only you can visualize the goal and success you have set for yourself.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of the most common excuses you are guilty of making. Your goal is to ensure you eliminate or at least minimize the use of these excuses in the coming days.
  2. Outline three reasons why you have not actively pursued a latent passion. Jot down three action points that will help you pursue your passion starting this coming week. Ensure you don’t use excuses to not begin work on your passion or discontinue it soon after beginning it.
  3. What are the qualities of a person you admire that you will like to adopt? Begin work on imbibing those qualities starting now.

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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125 -Dance of lifeThis is perhaps an ideal time to look back and reflect on how well we enjoyed the music and dance of the year gone by. It is not that life does not bring with it a fair share of sadness, pain and hurt but what we must not overlook are the joys, the happiness and the blessings that one has been showered with. The best way to judge how the year gone by has changed us is by answering just one question ‘Did I feel / experience a positive change in me ?’ If the answer is yes you know that the dance of life was an exhilarating experience. If the answer is NO then you need to practice your steps again in the coming year for the dance of life goes on and you need to sync your steps with the music that is played.

A look at life from the prism of the various elements of dance would enable us to better appreciate how well we have grasped the ‘dance of life

Space – Whether it is a ball room dance or a solo performance, central to dance is the use of the available space. Similarly in life, we need to give space to our relationships no matter who the other person is, how close or distant they are and one must be able to adjust with those around. Children especially need to be given ample space to pursue their independence in thought word and deed. That is when they learn to think for themselves, take decisions, learn from their mistakes and grow in confidence. Like a kite that we fly, we shall not let go of the string completely but will allow the kite to soar.

Timing – Every good dance is in sync to the beat being played. Similarly every moment of our life must be in sync with the priorities that we accord. So prioritizing our goals is a critical component of a fulfilling life. We need to learn to pause and listen, we need to know when we have to simply let go and encourage and most of all we need to know when to keep quiet and not interfere.

Movement – Like dance, life is a constant movement with varied pace. Sometimes time flies, other times it is slow and dreary. Yet the movement is what makes the dance wholesome and meaningful. Learn to go with the flow; don’t thwart the ebb. At times life can make us dizzy with the speed with which it takes us along. Other times the pace is woefully boring but allows us time to catch our breath. You cannot pause unless it is a demand of the rhythm. So pay attention to the music, the pace and beat. Adjust your movements to gel with the moment.

Patterns – Like any dance, life follows certain patterns and repetitive movements. Each dance has its own set of patterns that gives it an allurement for the eye. Your life too should adopt a pattern that makes it a treat for those around. Your personality would influence those patterns but that does not mean you cannot make the patterns of your life vibrant, soothing, engaging, encompassing and exciting. There could be awkward traits that you would have to overcome, there could be enormous potential that you would have leverage and there is always abundance of love that you can dish out more. The patterns you form in life emerge from the choices you make every day, every moment and to every life around you.

Grace – The beauty of the dance lies in the grace with which it is performed. The same dance performed on another day could fall short of expectations or could be mesmerizing. Similarly the challenge in the dance of life is to attempt to make each day better than the previous day both for yourself and for those around you. All that you do must be because you care, you enjoy doing it and because you believe you make a difference to everyone by the way you lead your life. Some days could be disappointing, painful and forgetful but most days must be exhilarating, enjoyable and fulfilling. Add a dash of sunshine, joy and self belief every morning and the dance of life will always be movement of grace; a joy to watch, behold and experience.

Try these

  1. Make 15-25 small chits. On each one write a name of a random person who you interact with. It could be a family member, a colleague, a neighbor, the liftman, the house help etc. Put it in a big box and pick 12 chits at random. In order of the name you picked up, you have to ensure your dance (interactions) with that person for each coming month is made more exciting for that person through your words, action, deeds.
  2. List out just one personal goal for yourself for each of the following aspects of your life
  • Personal growth
  • Financial security
  • Professional progress
  • Personal passion
  • Learning a new skill

Just focus on the above goals in the coming year and track your progress each month on each of the above goals you have set for yourself.

 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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41- Dec 17-Let it goAs we near the end of the year it is perhaps an ideal time to look back and review the happenings in our personal life. Perhaps the three most important aspects of our life that we need to pay attention to are our relationships, our lifestyle and our job. Ideally no matter how each of those aspects of our life is, in an ideal world we would try to remain happy with the cards we are dealt. In fact most times we try our best to adjust to the situation even if we are not very happy it  partly because we worry about loss of face, partly because we fear change but largely because the world around us expects us to have a perfect life. It is also true that finding an alternative is challenging, making a decision to change is tougher but the toughest part is to admit to ourselves that we have to let it go if we are merely suffering in the relationship, lifestyle or job.

It is obvious that any drastic decision to be taken regarding any aspect of life has to be examined thoroughly, given sufficient time and effort so as to be sure it is not working out and then a firm decision taken if the surgery is to be done. Here are a few questions that one needs to honestly answer before you conclude that something important to you is not making you happy and that you have to let it go and cut it off from your life.

  • Is it really important to me?
  • Can I do without it?
  • How much am I responsible for not making it work for me?
  • I am being fair in my judgment?
  • What are the alternatives that I believe will work best for me?
  • How / what can I do to remedy the situation?
  • Should I seek another opinion before I give up?
  • Once I give up would I ever regret it?

The above are just suggestive questions and depending on each individual situation, one must ask the appropriate questions and more importantly objectively analyze the answers.

You must begin the change you want and you must reflect the change too.

Begin the New Year afresh with hope, dreams and passion.

Try these

  • List out 3- 5 changes you plan to bring in your life in the coming year. E.g. getting rid of a bad habit or inculcating a good habit
  • Outline three relationships you will attempt to strengthen in the coming year.
  • What is the one new thing you will dare to attempt in the coming year.
  • What is the one question that you seek an answer to?

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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40- keep up the good work

We are nearing the end of this calendar year. This is a time when there is a tendency to look back and wonder how well the year gone by has been.  For many people there is a tinge of regret that one has not made the best of the time we were bestowed. We lament the missed opportunities, the strained relationships and our own tardiness in not being self starters and movers and shakers. Yet if we take a pause and focus on just all that we did right, all the successes we have enjoyed and the appreciation we have received, perhaps we would discover that the year gone by has been exceptionally good. We need to focus on the right actions we took, the good we encountered and our blessings rather than on trying to rationalize the negatives in our life.

An important lesson we can learn from appreciating the year gone by is that many of our successes  may not have created waves, nor would they have impacted many people or possibly they looked too trifle. Yet we recollect these moments because they made a difference to us. The reasons we value these moments and cherish it are as under:

  • We did it because we knew it was the right thing to do. E.g. stop our vehicle and help a disabled person cross the street or spend time with a friend facing a crisis or visit a sick person who yearned for some company.
  • We did not aim to please others as much as we did it to align our moral compass to our values. E.g. refusing to succumb to the temptation to copy despite knowing that you could fail in the exam or actively participating in a cause you root for even if it meant retribution from people in authority.
  • We did our best under the circumstances, for we focused on our strengths not our limitations. E.g. Volunteering to help when there is a calamity or Doing the most mundane task assigned because no one else was willing to do it.
  • We would have regretted not doing it then even if the consequences were hard on us subsequently. E.g. Making that extra effort to attend a friend’s wedding and sacrificing your annual visit to your hometown or sacrificing your free time and patiently teaching the neighbor’s kids mathematics because they were weak in it or sacrificing your weekends to help a new colleague settle down in the city.

Carry the spirit of doing what is right into the New Year and you will realize how blessed you are; you don’t need an applause, you don’t require special motivation, you don’t have seek approval and most of all you don’t have to ever regret anything you do.

Try these                                                            

  • Surprise 3- 5 people with an unexpected gift each.
  • Surprise yourself by trying to do something different. Maybe you could trying singing along with a carol singing group or become a Santa at the local departmental store or just experiment with your baking skills.
  • Start writing down your New Year resolutions. Ensure there are at least 2 things that you have never attempted in the past but want to give a serious try in the coming 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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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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