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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

  1. List out the 5 – 10 things you were keen on doing but which others discouraged you from doing or that which people said was beyond your capability. Now choose one which you are still passionate about and set yourself a deadline and a plan of action to achieve it. Begin now.
  2. If you have an audience, what is the one ability that you can showcase and grab their attention? It could be a magic/ card trick, an exquisite piece of musical talent, it could be mimicry, cartooning or painting or sketching, telling your favorite joke in your own unique style, creating your own limerick instantaneously etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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14- 5 April17- Learn to be happy right nowEvery day presents an opportunity but along it with it comes some challenges. Those who make the best of their life, focus on the opportunity and accept the reality that the challenges have to be coped with. Those who are frustrated are actually the people who fail to grab their opportunities and instead worry about the challenges they imagine, even before they encounter it. A classic case are students who stress themselves imagining the vastness of the syllabus, the complexity of individual subjects and their own distorted priorities that won’t allow them to prepare well. Suddenly exam time looms ahead and then they panic.

Happiness is a choice every individual makes no matter what the situation. Perhaps it would help to adopt the following rules to be happy:

Seek out positives – This is largely dependent on the attitude we adopt and how we train our mind. In every situation look out for what is good, find out how you can make the best of the opportunity and have the self belief that you can cope with it. Take a game like soccer and you will notice that the world class strikers create the opportunities to score goals. They don’t wait for the ball to come, they do not hope the defenders make mistakes but they believe that they are ready to muscle their way in and connect with the ball and score.

Downplay negatives – The first thing to bear in mind is that we are rarely alone when facing challenges so we need to get rid of the feeling of martyrdom. Look at challenges as temporary setbacks. Look at challenges as brining out the best in you; your talents, your creativity, your resilience and your self-belief. Do not let difficulties become the focus of your attention instead treat it like a handicap that every golfer loves to overcome.

Make it fun – The key to enjoying life is to have fun while living. Smile, joke, play, be creative, take some risks, enjoy your wins and do not let a failure dampen your spirits. The sweetness of success tastes sweeter when it is achieved by overcoming stiff competition, enormous challenges and under the most trying circumstances. The fun is in enjoying the process, the journey, the competition.

Try again – So you did all the above and yet you didn’t succeed. It sure hurts especially when you miss out by a whisker. Imagine a tennis player being two sets up and then going on to lose the next three sets. It sure hurts as hell. However, a professional would be back again with renewed confidence and vigor to rightfully claim back his title which he believed is his. The heart of winner shouts out I will be back. Make that your mantra too.

Make the right choice – Happiness is a choice. Take that choice every time. You don’t need a reason to be happy; just smile. When feeling low think of a joke, a humorous episode or incident, sing a song, admire the beauty around you. Simply distract yourself to something pleasant.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of your favorite jokes / humors incidents / comedy scenes from movies.  Bet you are having fun already simply recalling them.
  2. What are the three times in the recent past when you were challenged/ stressed? Can you think of something fun in the situation?
  3. Click on the following link and read up on what a SMILE means. http://tinyurl.com/mrutpkm

 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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12-Unplug and rebootA key reason we get stressed is because we continue to grapple with our problems by constantly attempting the tried and tested ways, instead of stepping back and letting the dust settle. If you have noticed muddy water that has been stirred up, it will be difficult to see through till you let the mud settle. The same happens with our problems and challenges. There is no better example than the numerous devices we use constantly, the mobile phones, the laptops and the near extinct desktops. The simplest way to get it going when it seems to have stalled is to simply switch of the power. Unplug the power and everything settles; then reboot and begin anew.

The best way to unplug from troubles is to distract your mind. This simply means forcefully directing your mind to other more pleasurable alternatives that are stress relievers. Take a walk, watch TV or read a book or get engaged in some activity that you enjoy like your hobbies. While trouble itself will not go away, your mind will become calm and you will be able to think more incisively and get more focus on how to proceed ahead.

Another way to unplug is to unburden. ‘Share your troubles and halve it’  is the principle that we leverage here.  We share our problem with people whom we trust and people who we believe would have some tangible solutions or at least make invaluable suggestions. While we share our problem we also subconsciously get greater clarity about the issue, our mind feels more relaxed that someone else is sharing our burden and the chances of getting some fresh insights from others to alleviate or tackle our burden is higher. Those listening to our problem also offer empathy, support and most of all give us some of their insights into coping with the problem.

The most common way to unplug is to sleep over a problem. This is tougher than it seems simply because a troubled mind would not easily get sleep. However, if one develops a style of setting aside the problem for a fair time, when we re-look the problem new thoughts and solutions seem possible. If one can literally sleep over a problem, the subconscious mind would often work in the background and conjure up possibilities that our conscious mind would not have generated. However one should not be like an ostrich burying its head in the sand hoping the troubles not seen would vanish.

Try these:

  1. Try some simple cross words or Sudoku. At first for those not used to solving such puzzles the challenge seems overwhelming. However, once you make an attempt and try it a few times, you get the hang of it and the challenge would not seem so daunting.
  2. Think of a time you managed to find a solution to a pressing problem by unplugging in the following ways
  • Indulging in your favorite hobby  or passion interest
  • Sharing your troubles and getting answers from another person
  • Sleeping over the problem and waking up to a very innovative solution

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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02-07-01-17strength-comesWhen a baby learns to take his/ her first step, it is always tentative and for the first few times it will fall down. Yet, it continues to trust its instincts and when he/ she has mastered the art, there is a perceptible sense of achievement and happiness on the child’s face as well as on the faces of the onlookers. We as adults have lost that sense of adventure, we do not trust our instincts and more than anything, we fear failure and so prefer not to attempt something new, different and exciting. Our strengths remain out of sight, undiscovered and we go to our grave clutching our potential.  Perhaps that also explains why we fear death; because suddenly there is so much more to achieve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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34-finding-your-passion

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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25-A new definition of ACTIONWith the Rio Olympics just around the corner, this quote is an apt reminder of the struggles, the hard work, the challenges and the passion that has driven the numerous sports persons representing their respective countries at the Olympics. For sure each of them started off with a Dream. When they march in the contingent representing their country they would have realized their dreams and the reality of the achievement will sink in when they participate in their respective event. As you read this, you too would be reflecting on various dreams that you have had and possibly wondering how you too can realize those dreams. As is obvious from the quote, all you need to do is to act on it… ACTION !

Accept the opportunity – If you know what you want, see yourself making the best use of the opportunity to attain it. For many, we have dreams but decide that the dreams are too unrealistic and so we let our dreams die without even attempting to give it a chance. If you can be genuinely passionate about your dreams, then you will make every effort to chase the dream.

Cling tenaciously to your dream. – There will be many who would chide you for your audacity to chase your dreams. There will be many who will try to dishearten you and create self doubt within you. You have to believe in your dream and cling tenaciously to it no matter what the price you have to pay. Yes, everything comes for a price and you have to be prepared to pay the price but what you get in return will be priceless.

Trust yourself – There will be times when you began with gusto and suddenly you were overwhelmed by problems and possibly you surrendered to them and gave up. Let that set back deter you from attempting again. Believe in your dreams, trust your abilities to be resilient and daring enough to pursue relentlessly. No one but you can lead your life; no one but you can realize your dream!

Innovate along the way – The dream always looks distant and the road to it long and winding. You would need to innovate and utilize all available legitimate means to be ahead of the crowd. You would need to take advice from the experts, rework your strategies, learn from competitors but all times be ethical and true to your conscience. Notice that many an athlete who used unfair means to improve their performance has come to grief. There must be both dignity and pride in realizing your dreams.

Overcome negativity – fear of failure is the biggest obstacle that prevents many a talent to blossom and showcase their talent. Criticism is another major negative emotion that can drive you to despair. Both failure and criticism are demotivators but they should not chain you to the belief that things cannot be overcome. When challenged you, you must rise above the negativity that it invariably injects in you. Falling down is not failure, failing to get up and go on is!

Next challenge – Action is not just single piece of activity. It is a continuous quest for improvement, for progress and for success. So once you surmount the initial hurdle, the next challenge must be embraced with equal enthusiasm. Those who manage to turn their dreams into reality have chased the next challenge and successfully conquered it.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of excuses you have made for not attaining something that you desperately hope to. Analyze it and work out a plan to eliminate every single excuse and give yourself another shot at realizing your dream.
  2. Make study of how you spend the 24 hours each day that you are blessed with. Can you eliminate some unnecessary waste of time, can you make some of your time even more productive, can you organize yourself better to ensure you group your activities to minimize time wastage?
  3. What is the next big fun activity that you are planning? What is the next major task that you have which you have been postponing for a while. Put a deadline on both and get cracking on achieving both within the deadline set. No excuses please!

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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12- Be yourselfImitation they say is the best form of flattery. Human beings have unfortunately interpreted this to be a virtue to be imbibed. Thus, the rampant cult following for the style, mannerism, behavior and imitation of cult heroes / heroines / fashion trends / branded products. This has also triggered the advertisement industry to perpetuate this myth by getting celebrities to endorse products thereby fueling the followers need to imitate or at least believe that the products are a must have. While one cannot escape from the influences around us, we do have a choice to evaluate logically, think rationally and act intelligently. It is this individuality that we need to bring back into our life and blossom into the unique personality that we are.

To blossom and give expression to your individuality one has to remember the following

Appreciate your uniqueness – Due to the sheer number of people around us and the competitive environment around, it is easy for an individual to feel insignificant and unworthy considering the superiority of those around us. It begins in childhood. The school topper is envied by the rest while the school topper is often envious of the best athlete or someone else who has a different talent or skill set that the topper lacks. The constant criticism that we as individuals are subject to, from family friends, teachers and well meaning neighbors further dents our self confidence and our uniqueness gets drowned in a sea of comparison, expectations, influences and  criticism. If you are constantly being nudged to follow the beaten path, be aware that you are different and that you are attempting to furrow your own path amidst the labyrinth of paths around. Remember when you stand out you get noticed and then you cannot escape attention.

Recognize the good around and imbibe it – In pursuit of being unique it is important that we do not keep bending the rules, transgressing the law and walking a thin line between moral and immoral activities. In fact one must consciously observe, adapt and adopt the good from others around. It could be simple things like punctuality, orderliness, thoroughness, persistence and politeness. You would also observe that some of these good qualities are in short supply around and anyone who adopts these has a good chance of being noticed. So uniqueness is not merely in doing something extra ordinary it could be in doing the ordinary in an excellent manner. Listening skills, empathy, respect, giving an honest opinion, having the courage to disagree and to disagree without being disagreeable are all virtues that can also make an individual showcase his/ her individuality.

Do not get carried away by trends and influencers – it is easy to imitate, blindly follow and succumb to the trends of the times. One does not have to think much to do it but it could come for a price. Copying may not suit your personality, it could cost much, it will make you part of a herd, it could make you fit in with the wrong crowd and you would be blissfully unaware of it. At times it could also make you stand out like a sore thumb; an embarrassment to those who love you and possibly also harm your reputation and creditability. Your uniqueness is often reflected in the strength of you character; be it in refusing to be pressurized into smoking and drinking or to be foul mouthed or refusing to copy in an exam or being truthful even at the cost of losing friends or making enemies. Sometimes your mettle is tested when you have to stand up for your friends and risk having to face the punishment they get, although you were never involved in the aberration.

Dare to be different – Many of us don’t dare for fear of failure. There is a risk in every act we do. Not trying is perhaps the one mistake that is often common to a mass of people. How can you judge your abilities unless you attempt. Failure is just an indication that you can do better. Not trying and therefore not failing is a waste of opportunity to explore your potential. Being different can be as simple as giving honest feedback, appreciation and respect. It could be in the way you approach a challenge, it could be in attempting something you have never done before or it could be in simply walking away from a foolhardy or stupid prank. Your individuality is in being yourself, resisting the temptation to prove anything to anyone and in expanding your comfort zone by willing to risk something for a worthwhile goal. It takes tremendous guts to dare to something when you have no audience, no applause and no appreciation. Being a whistleblower, an RTI activist and a conscientious citizen are opportunities for you to explore to be different and to mark your individuality.

Make it your Life – While we do need to lead a life that meets societal norms, family expectations and fully harness our potential we must not subjugate our life to mere existence in order to comply with expectations. It is MY LIFE that I need to lead should be at the core of living. Is it difficult to lead your own life? Frankly it just requires one to be believe in his/ her own uniqueness and find the right motivation to let the work know that you are standing up to be seen and counted. This could mean risking attention, performing extraordinarily well, being criticized, getting applauded but not getting carried away by it and above all letting the world know you have arrived.

Unless you lead YOUR LIFE how will the world experience your uniqueness your individuality and your being. Have you ever copied somebody’s signature and made it yours?  Just as your signature is your own unique identify, let your life too be a unique one; one that was never there before and one that will never be there again. Make the word richer by your presence.

Try these:

  • If you could go back and live your life again what are 3  things you would do differently?
  • Can you identify an individual who gave you a wonderful piece of advice that you still cherish.
  • What is your favorite saying / proverb / quote?
  • What would you like to be remembered for?

Share with us (by writing in to actspot@gmail.com) the following

  1. A unique video clip that you found engaging and invigorating
  2. A book that you found inspirational and motivating
  3. A real life story that you could empathize with
  4. An incident from your life that you wish to share with the readers.

 

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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