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Archive for the ‘awareness’ Category

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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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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35- 29 Sept 17- Drop the trashOver years we accumulate a lot of knowledge, experiences and wisdom, yet we often ignore the basics. We need to de-clutter out minds, our hearts and cleanse ourselves of toxic emotions. We are forced to de-clutter our mobile phones when the memory is full yet when it comes to ourselves, we are not even aware of the need to adopt a similar approach. Midway through this year is a good time to spruce up our inner self so that we focus on the second half of the year with positive emotions, a forgiving heart and a wondrous attitude of hope.

Here are some pointers on what to drop, so as to de-clutter our life:

Regret – Perhaps one of the most common feelings experienced by everyone at some time or the other. The problem with regret is that we mull over what could have been rather than what we can. The past cannot be changed and yet it seems to unduly influence our thoughts, our actions and our future. We can of course learn from the mistakes we regret but one must not  make it the fulcrum of our future.

Hurt – We are hurt because we allow the feeling to pervade into our psyche. One cannot control the actions or responses of others. Equally importantly we need to recognize that each individual has his/ her own context and emotions which influence their responses.  While it is natural to take offence and feel hurt when actions or responses from others physically or emotionally scar us, the challenge is to get over the hurt quickest and forgive those who have hurt us.

Guilt – Knowingly or unknowingly we are all prone to make mistakes. The mistakes we make consciously e.g. losing our temper or being foul mouthed are more likely to leave us with a deep sense of guilt. At times some mistakes we make are a result of our inability to be strong and resist the forces that we know are wrong but powerful.

Fear – We have both rational fears and irrational fears. Rational fears are more in the nature of preparing for possibilities based on past experience, current facts and a reasonable anticipation of the future. However, most of our fears are imaginary and largely irrational. We fear the future as a catastrophy that can overcome us much and it is largely driven by the fear of superstitious beliefs. The future is rather unpredictable but we can, based on experience and intelligence prepare to face the future with a reasonable degree of confidence.

Anger – This is an emotion that is partly individualistic but largely driven by stress, fear and irrationality. Getting angry at a traffic jam or at a very small child who indulges in some disagreeable behavior is neither healthy for the person getting angry nor is it going to produce any positive outcome. Anger is good emotion when sparingly indulged in, for there could be both meaning and reasonability that produces desired outcome.  Flying off the handle at the slightest pretext is a futile waste of a strong emotion and a serious impediment to developing good relationships.

Shame – We have all gone through some embarrassing moments. However, some happenings could have caused us more pain in terms of embarrassment and consequentially we can never live down the accompanying shame. Failing and repeating a class is often the epitome of embarrassment during school days. Yet, the fact is over time no one really cares or highlights that aspect and instead they focus on how the person has evolved. As an adult in a moment of weakness one could have indulged in some unethical practices or behavior. The stigma will be hard to erase but that does not mean the individual cannot change for the better. While we must never forget our indiscretions, we must not let it be a major scar in the form of shame that overshadows our potential.

See how carefree and energetic you feel once you can de-clutter your life by getting rid of the unwarranted intrusions that subconsciously invade your mind.

Try these

  • What are the three most personally embarrassing situations that you have encountered? What percentage of blame do you allot to yourself for the said situation?
  • Outline three situations that anger you immediately. How often do you encounter it? What is the antidote to cope with your anger?
  • During the past few years which fears have you got over? Which fears still haunt you? How do you propose to confront the fears that still haunt you?
  • Do you regret hurting someone on purpose? When was the last time you forgave someone who wronged 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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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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22- 20 June 17-What matters is...The length of your life is not as important as the quality of your thoughts. Ideally the older we grow, it is assumed the wiser one becomes. This is largely true because of the variety of experiences one has gained; with each new day bringing its share of surprises, hopes, opportunities and regrets. Yet if one were to dispassionately look around, it is no surprise that there are so many mature people with dogmatic ideas, caught in a time warp because their mind has not kept pace with their age. The problem for many is that they find it difficult to embrace change, cope with new developments, adapt to evolving technology and accept the changing social customs and norms.

While we have no control over our age, we can with a little awareness, a wee bit of adaptability and by adopting the right attitude, train our mind to keep pace with the evolving world and seamlessly embrace it.

Awareness Most of us are caught in the mental trap called ‘ the good old days’. It is true that life was simpler, the pleasures that we got were largely from the outdoors, technology was not too complicated and family life was relatively stable and fun. However, with evolving technology came dramatic changes in life style, transportation, communication systems etc. While it made our life simpler it also disrupted the simplicity of living. Hard work was no longer the equivalent of physical labor but was more in the nature of longer hours at work in commuting and in meeting targets. Technological challenges were no longer mechanical challenges but keeping pace with the electronic revolution. The social fabric was myriad with changes; rate of divorces crept up, live in relationships and LGBT became the new buzz words and same sex marriages and surrogate children became passé. Be aware that one cannot turn the clock back and so one has to keep pace with the changes around.

Adaptability – Each of us has some sense of ethics, morals and values. Adaptability is holding on to those ideals without transgressing the right of others to hold on to their ideals. Making that mental adjustment is often fraught with frustration, fear and resignation. Having an open mind to embrace what does not fit into one’s frame of reference is a huge challenge for we begin to question our own value system. Similarly, the technological changes brings with it tremendous opportunity but sadly it also brings along with it the dangers of the misuse of the technology. Learning to use the technology can be challenging but when it is forced up on us we adapt to it. An open mind enables us to happily adapt to changing technology without it being forced down our throat like bitter medicine. Adaptability is all about making peace with change and embracing it with love.

Attitude Only when we have the right attitude will we become aware of the changes around us and begin to adapt to the changes. A good attitude enables one to see changes as a pathway to progress, development and evolvement. It also helps one look at the changes with wonderment, a fun activity to engage in and see it as tools of empowerment. One develops a positive, engaging and empowering attitude by training the mind to visualize opportunities, view changes from the prism of development and by focusing on what more rather than what was. The right attitude is the key to keeping an open mind; not judging, not denying and not condemning what goes on around us.

Try these

  1. Make a list of things/ technology/ social changes that first shocked you and then made you aware of how it impacts lives of people.
  2. List out three positive and three negative influences / impact that change around you has had on you.
  3. Look up a few TED talks and ask yourself what was new that you learned from the sharing in the talk.
  4. Look up a few video clips on various magic tricks. Does it fill your mind with the following thoughts?
  • How was it done?
  • I don’t believe it
  • Is it really happening?
  • Can I do it too?

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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13- 28 Mar 17 -Shadows have no colorThe image today has varied interpretations and perhaps it would also make us aware of how we can get in touch with our own self. It is also the first image in this blog without any words etched on it and hence I am free to interpret it my way. I am sure you too can discover new meanings in it too. Make your life colorful !

When I say hello to myself I discover me. This is perhaps the most obvious interpretation of the picture. In reality we rarely pause to take a deep look at answering questions like, Who am I? What do I seek? Where do I want to go? How can I change and become even more effective? Pausing occasionally to reflect about one’s own journey through life and the way ahead would often be invigorating, stimulating and eye opening. You could discover latent passions, uncover flaws that limited your potential and allow you to appreciate the blessings in your life.

My emotions help me touch myself – You shadow does not define you nor does it uphold you. It is an illusionary appendage that is neither harmful not beneficial. The shadow cannot reflect your inner core. It just outlines the exterior and that to, a distorted image depending on the light. For you to really understand yourself and touch your inner self, you need to understand and appreciate your emotions. Your feelings your sensitivity, your mettle have to be dug out from within you by introspection, observation, listening and interpretation. Perhaps you also have to realign your attitude, behavior and actions to get the best out of your physical and emotional potential.

I need to reach out and touch another – My shadow can fall on another but make no difference to the other person. If I want to touch another person, I will have to make the effort to reach out and touch him/ her. My shadow in fact begins from a point in my physical self; yet I am neither conscious about it nor do I give it any importance. The same is true about my shadow that touches around without them even noticing it. Yet when I stop and pay attention to others, when I listen to them, when I talk and share my thoughts and feelings I can get responses that matter to me and them.  I have a responsibility to reach out and have a positive influence on those around me.

Shadows reflect an outline; I reflect my life – A shadow just takes the form without any depth. It is my life that I lead, that projects the real me. My values, my upbringing, my education, my attitude, my behavior, my strength of character are all displayed in full measure by the way I lead my life. I would be judged (correctly or wrongly) by others by the example I set and the personality I reflect my real self in my interactions. Ironically the shadow that follows me everywhere is just a uni-dimensional projection of my physical self and even that is distorted.  When I say hello to my shadow, I am just making myself aware that there is a multi faceted individual within me that no shadow can do justice to. It also is my way of realizing that there are hues of grey within me that I need to paint brighter. I am responsible for who I am.

In the end thou art just a form but… – This is a chilling reminder that the shadow is all that you are. No color, no emotions, no attachments just a form that you can neither touch nor feel nor avoid. Yet, the form cannot be visible without a physical you and the power of light. As long as you are alive you are duty bound to make the best of your life and the light around; be it family, friends, colleagues or simply the presence of nature around you. The challenge for you is to prove Shakespeare wrong  when he said ‘ the evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interned with their bones’.

Don’t let your shadow define you; let your life be your epitaph long after you are interned.

Try these:

  • Try and write your own epitaph. It will give a purpose and meaning to your life.
  • Choose 3-5 sayings or proverbs that you can make it the bedrock of your life.
  • Click on the following links to see how people creatively use the power of shadows. Perhaps you too can attempt to do something creative in a similar way.

http://tinyurl.com/m25ywpo

http://tinyurl.com/mkd8bd5

 Identify two special qualities that endear the following people to you

  • Your parents/ siblings / a special family member
  • Your two best friends
  • Your two favorite teachers / bosses / colleagues
  • Your favorite animal or bird

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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