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Archive for the ‘awareness’ Category

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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11- 12 Mar17 Happiness holds the key to successThere is a popular misconception that all successful people are relatively much more happier than those who are not so successful. As a result, we also tend to equate success as the measure of happiness; the more successful the happier the individual is. The second misconception closely linked with this line of thinking is our definition of success. We equate wealth as the primary indicator of success, closely followed by fame and following. The third misconception is that we equate happiness to be primarily reflected in what can be displayed especially material wealth, power and influence.

Now if we simply reorient our thinking and focus on what is happiness, we would make a startling discovery that the very concept of happiness in our mind is flawed. Happiness is being at peace with ones self in good times and in bad ; it is a choice we make every moment and that happiness just requires the right attitude. Now if we work backwards to arrive at the factors that nurture happiness you would make another startling discovery that happiness is defined by each of us differently and that being happy is a choice we make consciously.

No matter what work a person is engaged in, if he/she has a song on his/her lip, a smile on the face and no semblance of anxiety or tension writ on the forehead you are in the company of a happy individual who is also successful in meeting his/ her goals in life. On the other hand anxiety, tension and unrealistic expectations are the bane of individuals who chase success in the hope of finding happiness. They are like a dog chasing its tail. Happiness is visible but elusive; within grasp and yet just out of reach; a mirage so near and yet so far.

If you can do anything legitimate that brings you happiness, success is sure to follow. If you can follow your heart, dare to work on realizing your passion and be prepared to brazen out the challenges, happiness accompanies you and success is surely awaiting you at the summit. Why would a passionate mountaineer not attempt the toughest peak despite knowing the risks; to embrace happiness every step of the way. Not every athlete is a winner in a major meet; yet they derive pleasure and experience happiness in the small improvements they notice in their practice and training. Focus on happiness and the journey is fun, the destination never too far and the view always exhilarating.

Happiness likes in our ability to enjoy the process and not wait till we reach our goal; any progress towards our goal, is happiness on the move.

Try these:

  1. Pick up your old photo albums and go through the pictures in it. Notice how each photograph revives a pleasant memory, triggers a happy thought and recaps a moment long past but never forgotten. Happiness is all about re-living and reveling in those moments. Success is not even a factor in those moments.
  2. For no particular reason surprise the following :
  • Your family members
  • Your pet
  • A stranger
  • A long lost friend
  • A former teacher / mentor / colleague
  • Visit the sick in the hospital or the old age home
  • Make a visit to the local prison

Does success play a part in your happiness or does your happiness in the process make you realize that you made a success of your life?

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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10- The mask we wearTruth be told; each of us wears a mask to suit the occasion. We pretend to be happy when we are sad; try to obviate all traces of our jealousy, envy, greed; pretend to like those who we hate but cannot avoid. Many a time we sheepishly smile to disguise our embarrassments and irritation. While we, as individuals use a pseudo mask that attempts to project what we really are not, the clown merely amplifies it with a physical mask, to ensure all those who see it, are in sync with the image being projected.

There is a pattern in facets of ourself that we hide, behind the masks which we put on. The reality is that  ‘Each individual is actual 3 persons. The person I think I am; the person you think I am and the real me.’

The person I think I am : Each of us has an unique identity and that is not merely because of lineage but is also the outcome of how we are shaped by the family, the social settings around us and our own individuality. So siblings could still have widely differing interests, skills, attitudes, display different traits and mannerisms. What is important is how the individual visualizes himself/ herself. Some are pragmatic; some carry the baggage of their own limitations, anxieties, experiences and thinking. There are some who are over confident while others are modest to a fault.  Some are risk takers, others cautious, some reckless and most of us simply flow with the tide. There could be varied aspects of my own self that are probably noticed by others but I remain blind to it.  There could be areas of improvement that I need to focus on or talents and strengths that I can leverage. Listening to others holds the key to understand the person I really am.

The person you think I am : Who I perceive myself to be is what I largely tend to display; notwithstanding the fact that occasionally we attempt to sugar coat ourselves subtly to gain acceptance and occasionally we project a tough principled disposition so that we are seen as fair, upright and no nonsensical. However, there would always be some skeletons in our cupboard that we go to great lengths to hide. It could be some misdemeanors that we do not want others to know, we obfuscate inconvenient truths so that we are perceived more favorably and many a time we tend to display our deftness in ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds’ just to ensure that all our interests are projected. The person you think I am may be a far cry from the real me. Yet my style, mannerisms, behavior and attitude are tuned to make others think about me the way I subtly project myself. Phrases like ‘ still waters run deep’ or ‘Janus faced’  are testimony to the reality that ‘the person you think I am ‘ may be quite different in reality. Opening up with relevant facts will ensure that others get to understand me better.

The real me : The real me is largely hidden from others. Even I would known only myself better only when put to the test.  Occasionally some hidden aspects of me are known to very close family and friends. My insecurities, my fears, my hopes, my aspirations, my anxieties, my deepest thoughts, my confidence, my exuberance, my feelings of love, hate, revenge etc are part of me that very few know about. There are aspects of me that even I have yet to discover like my true potential, my natural aptitude, my yet to be discovered talents, my weakness, my mannerisms, my body language etc. The real me may crave for attention, may seek to be understood, may yearn for acceptance or may search for companionship. The real me could be fearful but when put to the test dare to confront his fears; she may be docile by nature but her wrath could be devastating. The real me strives to maintain equilibrium amongst the chaos of life or it could crumble like a dried leaf when trampled upon.  The real me lurks within. The real me is often searching to discover myself. The quest for individuality is what makes me uniquely ME.

Try these:

  1. Read up on or attend a session on the Johari Window concept.
  2. List out the following
  • Two criticisms about the person you admire the most
  • Two points of appreciation about a person you detest.
  • Two secrets you would find it hard to share in a public forum.(just a brief one line statement would do)
  • Two of the naughtiest things you did
  • Two actions that you took that you are really proud of
  • Your biggest fear
  • Your greatest strength

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-did-you-noticeIf you get irritated by the fact that despite your best efforts, all you get is criticism for what could have been done better, then ask yourself if you are guilty of the same mistake.  Each of us guilty, albeit in varying degrees of being critical, unappreciative and  finger pointing, especially when things do not happen as we plan or hope for. Occasionally some of us even berate ourselves for our lack of success and / or our failures because we find it hard to accept that we could not achieve what we set out to do. The point is that we are pained when others do not appreciate our toil, sweat and tears and unfortunately we too succumb to the same when we undervalue ourselves and others.

Obviously no one can avoid mistakes. However we need to look at mistakes, failures, lack of success from a more holistic view. This will enable one to be less critical, more appreciative and value the efforts, the sacrifices and the struggle without overvaluing momentarily success. The former gives us work ethics; success is an important milestone and motivator but cannot substitute for the discipline, the hard work and the rigor that is the corner stone of every successful person.

So how must one react to mistakes?

Acknowledge – Mistakes happen but it is the way we acknowledge the mistake that ensures it does not cascade into a disaster. If we have made a mistake, be honest about it and acknowledge it. If others have made mistakes, acknowledge the mistake without passing judgment and / or getting emotional about it. Mistakes happen for a variety of reasons and it is patently unfair to judge the mistake without grasping all the facts.

Appreciate – Mistakes happen because someone decided to do something. Even not doing something is a decision. In most cases there is honest effort, clear goals and possibly deep thinking that preceded the action.  One needs to appreciate all these, for often mistakes are not an outcome of these but a result of calculations gone wrong. By appreciating something, the signal is that one values everything done to get success and that not achieving it, is painful for all concerned.

Motivate – Criticism is the easiest thing to do; the challenge is to find something to motivate those who failed, to try again and hopefully succeed. Motivation is essential to keep up morale, kindle hope and most of all to express confidence in the person/s. Motivation pushes people to overcome the past, focus on the future and succeed beyond their capabilities.

Suggest – In the chaos that often follows failure, critics would give opinions, point out mistakes and berate the failure. Instead, an objective feedback in the form of suggestions would be more acceptable to those who are already dejected. In calmer moments they would review the performance and ponder over the suggestions and possibly come out with a better game plan to succeed.

Exude optimism – Every individual requires reassurance; if you are successful you need to be reassured that you can have a repeat performance but it is when you fail that you need to feel that still have it in you to try again and succeed. You exude optimism by being willing to lay your bets on success the next time around, by willing to join the journey the next time around and by proclaiming aloud that you have full faith and confidence. Optimism opens up numerous possibilities, gives greater confidence, you prepared to correct your previous mistakes and most of all you are ready to begin again.

Make it a point to notice the tears, the sadness and the pain first; acknowledge that and only then focus on the mistake.

Try these

  • So list your top 3 failures and what where the reactions of people close to you then. How did you cope with those failures?
  • What did you try differently and did not succeed in the first attempt?  What did you learn from that experience?
  • Do you recollect a time when you criticized someone for a failure and on hindsight realize that either you were wrong or too harsh?
  • What are the things / activities that you are keen to start experiment with but fear of failure is holding you back? How about giving some of those desires a try?

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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20-The child in you

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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