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Archive for the ‘Chance’ Category

22-3 C's of lifeThere are lot of youngsters ( and I suspect plenty of adults too) who are desperately trying to improve their future but find themselves aimlessly drifting and getting frustrated with every passing day. Almost all of them are intelligent, have a fair degree of clarity of thought and posses the energy and drive to succeed; yet they seem to be confused, helpless and defeated as if trapped in cage. The reality is that they build a cage around themselves by merely focusing on what has not gone right, blaming people and circumstances for their plight, blinding themselves from seeing difficult but possible options and wallowing in self pity. The real wonder of life is the new opportunities that each passing day brings, provided we seek it. The options won’t suddenly pop up but would tantalizing hover around, waiting to bestow the opportunity to those who are keenly looking out for it.

Success is actually a matter of knowing the 3 C’s (like the three R’s you learned in school) and putting that learning into practice. In fact you can put this into practice even as you read this post.

Choices abound- seek it, evaluate it, act on it.  First of all identify what you want. This means you must have some objective, an aim, a definite purpose. In short you must have a goal. Most unhappy and frustrated people remain that way because they have no clue about what they want. Using generic adjectives like happiness, rich, successful, well known, popular etc are not objectives or goals but merely pointers to what your inner urges are. Those urges can be met only when you pursue a tangible goal, upon attaining which, you will fulfill your urge of being rich or famous or popular. People are often seeking a ‘good’ job but cannot describe the attributes of the job that will make it a good job for them. As a result they cannot see the various ‘good’ jobs that exist but pick something that seems good. Take time to think out so that there is clarity in your mind. Ideally list out your thoughts so that your mind is not cluttered and more importantly you have something tangible to mull over. The list will give you both clarity and trigger your mind into seeing alternatives and choices that exist. This will enable you to explore and select the path to attaining your goal.

Chances are you will succeed- work for it, persist, don’t fear failure. Nothing ventured nothing gained is an old maxim. They also say that unless a turtle sticks it’s neck out, it cannot make progress. The message is clear; you have to dare, be bold, move out of your comfort zone and explore beyond, move into unknown territory, experiment, be different, break free. If you know what you want, the way to attain would also be clear. You may never have traversed that path but now you must. There are risks involved, there could be setbacks, you may have to trudge along alone and it could be a tiring, weary journey. Yet, the best part is you are moving, inching closer to what you want, your leaving the past trusting your abilities. At times you would hit a roadblock, you could be discouraged, you may even encounter failure. Persistence is the mantra that will embolden you, rejuvenate you and help you attain your goal.

Changes will happen – make it happen, don’t fight it, be the change. As you make your choice and take a chance you will face numerous changes that you have to cope with. Changes would impact your daily life, your emotional life, your psychological temperament, your relationships, your financial well being and even your status in society. You need to cope with the changes. Don’t let the negative changes dishearten you nor let the positive changes make you heady and arrogant. If there are times when you all your efforts don’t bring about the change you seek, you will have to double your efforts, redirect your efforts, get help from others to enhance your efforts till you force the change or become the change itself. Progress has always been made by people who dreamt of a change and got others to believe in their point of view and together forced the change. By the way, your life too will change dramatically !

So have you written down your goals? At least write down all the things you want to do to make your life better. Dream up more and add to the list of achievements you want to attain. Outline the immediate action you need to take for the most important items on your list. Start working on those action points now. It will help, if you also put a deadline by which you hope to attain each item on your goal list. Don’t make excuses for not preparing the list. Start..

Try these:

  1. Read the last para above and prepare the list and the action to be taken by you.
  2.  List out the following ( at least three )
  • Ways to increase your savings
  • Changes to yourself to become an even more engaging personality
  • Bad habits you will try to eliminate
  • Ways you will improve your relationship with family/ colleagues / business associates
  • Expand your productive working hours
  • Contribute your mite to social/ philanthropic activities.

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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Decision making, perhaps ranks first in the list of toughest skills to master and when the issue on hand is subjective one needs nerves of steel to be decisive. The process of decision making can be broadly categorized into two – objective decision making or impulsive decision making. Objective decision making can again follow two different approaches – deciding by eliminating the untenable or choosing the most favored option. Even impulsive decision making can be an outcome of gut feeling, irrational exuberance, illogical elimination or a random pick which is an outcome of a systematic process of elimination using an external aid be it tossing the coin, drawing straws or picking up a chit or lottery. Despite having such a wide variety of methods to make a decision, there are times when the logical thinking clashes with one’s sixth sense or the situation demands that a fair method be adopted to give a fair chance to two opposing sides to make a choice (e.g. choosing which team would bat first in a cricket match) . A way out of such predicaments then would be to flip a coin and…

… as the coin is suspended in the air on its trajectory upward and on its spiral downward one has to quickly choose between heads or tails and assign a decision to the choice. The outcome then is completely random. However in exercising your choice, you have given in to the choice that has an edge in the deepest recess of your heart. The outcome of the flip of the coin then is purely a matter of chance and yet there is a sense of contentment in that decision. E.g.  The captain of a team has to decide what course of action he/ she will take on winning a toss. If the toss is lost, the decision on what to do is forced by the coin.

Action Points:

  1. On what basis would you choose 4 cards at random from a deck of shuffled cards?
  2. What other alternatives can you think of to replace flipping a coin?
  3. Your mother wants to watch the final episode of a TV serial. Unfortunately at the same time there is the finals of your favorite sport. To compound matters, a close elderly relative is unexpectedly coming over and he/ she does not have any interest in TV and is more likely to spend time in meditation which requires peace and quite. How will you attempt to tackle this situation?

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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If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late. Lee Iacocca

One of the toughest parts of decision making is trying to minimize the uncertainties associated with the decision so as to ensure that we improve the chances of having taken the right decision.  There are numerous reasons why getting answers to all uncertainties is extremely difficult. To begin with there is a tradeoff between the time available to get all the inputs required to answer all uncertainties and the time frame within which to take the decision. There are numerous uncertainties where a judgment is the only way one can use to determine the probability of nailing the uncertainity.eg  if we visit a couple of doctors for each ones expert opinion on a serious illness and all of them suggest a different line of treatment, we have no choice but to go with one of those recommendations.  As a result, most times apart from using the available data we end up having to use our judgment and rely on our prior experience to arrive at a decision.

One of the most common ailments of decision making prevalent largely in the corporate world is described as Paralysis by analysis. Here the problem arises not because the decision to be made is really tough but more because the decision makers don’t want to be held responsible in case their decision goes wrong.  As a result they would attempt to use all techniques and tools to study and analyze the data available and they would even tweak it till it confirms what they want to believe or prove so that there is ample paperwork to justify their decision. Unfortunately since most decisions are time bound, decision makers can be mentally paralyzed by the reams of analytical data that is generated which may be quite at variance with our expectations and the decision making process goes for a toss.

Decisions concerning relationships are even more tough because it calls for a value judgment. A simple test is to write down the qualities of an ideal spouse. Most times this process for married people poses a serious problem of having to forcefully appreciate the qualities of a spouse. For those yet unmarried the problem is one of how to prune the list. The tough part is yet to come;  for those who are yet to be married the question is how does one really recognize this quality or attribute in their to be spouse for the married person it is accepting the reality that many of those attributes longed for are utopian and unrealistic now. Breaking off a friendship or relationship is perhaps one of the toughest decisions because it is hurtful, painful, emotional and distressing for all concerned. Many a time this happens when there is mistrust and doubt and an amicable parting is often difficult but inevitable. Here the sheer pressure of the uncertainly in the relationship could prove to be a mill stone in the relationship which ultimately drowns it perhaps a wee bit too late.   Even more tough is to take a decision to part because pure rational itself does not provide the answers to all the uncertainties associated with the relationship. E.g. An office romance between a married boss and a subordinate or social pressures associated with a gay relationship or the breaking up of a partnership or a joint venture because the parties have divergent view points.

Remember: “My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”  Theodore Hesburgh

Try this:

  1. Your most intimate friend has picked up a new job and ever since his visits and interactions have come down.  You are disappointed and not sure if it is only the new job that is the reason for this sudden drop in communications and interactions. You are confused and hurt but you still cherish his friendship. How will you ensure that you don’t take a drastic or wrong decision by cutting off all your ties while at the same time ensuring that he still values your friendship?
  2. You are at a famous art museum that has a Picasso, a Rembrandt and a Van Gogh painting among some other prized paintings being exhibited. Suddenly there is a fire in the museum and you are able to save just one painting. Which painting will you save?  (The answer to this will be published in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com before this weekend)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury

The concept of risks and reward go hand in hand; the higher the risk the greater the reward. The trouble is that each one of us has a different perception of risk and obviously if we get it wrong then we are in real danger of paying a very heavy price. Many of us have flirted with this type of risk right from childhood; by banking on last minute studies to somehow cleat h exams and if lucky even do reasonably well too. Many of us despite getting into trouble by taking undue risks still thrive on skating on thin ice at great peril to ourselves. Speculators in general and gamblers in particular get a high by constantly wagering and taking chances.

Risk taking assumes that one has some safe guards put in place before we plunge into it. The more macho amongst us would have their ego tickled if told to ensure the mandatory safe guards and would probably rebel and perhaps heighten the risk factor to become a hero. They not only endanger themselves but put at risk others too by their irresponsible and often foolhardy behavior. What they fail to understand is that risk is quite different from a gamble or a lottery. A gamble or a bet is often impulsive, has a predominant financial angle to it and have far too many variables that have a major influence on the outcome. In the case of a lottery, the stakes are much lower, the rewards reasonable and luck plays the most important role in it.

Never put all your eggs in once basket is an old adage that succinctly captures a key element of risk viz. do not risk everything. Yet greed and power are two emotions that have a major bearing on how one perceives risks. When one is greedy our sense of reasoning is completely obscured by the lure of big returns and we ignore the risks involved or rationalize it conveniently. When drunk with power a person’s sense of control and influence takes on a falsely inflated proportion which when pricked can send things into a tail spin and a crash landing is the obvious ending. Often the arrogance of a person goads him/ her to take undue risks far beyond one’s own abilities and when things go wrong there is no safety net to cushion the free fall.

To take reasonable risks, one has to be pragmatic and at the same time have the courage to widen the scope of our comfort zone.  When one is pragmatic the chances of ensuring that we have studied the risks carefully is very high. More importantly the true natures of the risks are clearly understood and a fall back/ safety mechanism is put in place. A pragmatic person will only have reasonable expectations and therefore take on only a reasonable amount of risk. To ensure that we get a decent reward one also has to be a risk taker. That is where courage counts. There is always some danger lurking around but once we know the extent of that danger, and we have made arrangements to minimize that, then one needs to have the courage to take the risk. Without courage there will not be any risks taken and then we would be risking not latching on to some fine opportunities.

Remember: “Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.”Gary Ryan Blair

Try this:

  1. Evaluate your investments and outline your risk profile. Consult a good investment consultant to guide you about your risk profile and align it with your age profile. The younger you are the more risks one can take and as one gets older the mix changes.
  2. If you were forced to go with friends to a casino how much would you spend gambling? Will you get influenced by the high spending by some of your friends? Would you be under pressure to spend more by friends who chide you and suggest that you are stingy?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Fear is the dark room in which negatives are developed. Anon

With the advance of technology, the concept of dark rooms and developing of negatives is almost nonexistent but the reality of fear will always lurk as long as mankind exits. The concept of fear takes on various hues. While many are irrational fears, there are a few fears that are obvious and realistic. Similarly many fears are avoidable but a few are inevitable and unavoidable. Another way of looking at fear includes the fear of the past catching up, fear of the present over whelming us and fear of the future lurking around. Some fears are so extreme that we even have terms ending with phobia to classify it. The worst type of fear is the type that we visualize and hype up simply because we imagine ourselves to be victims who can then get some sort of attention.

The most common fear is fear of the future. We worry about what will happen tomorrow, how we will manage if we lose our job, if we lost our investments, fell ill or if we are invalid and dependent on others. The most common fear is the fear of dying. The irony is that almost all of these fears are realistically possible at some point in time, but by giving in to our fears and worrying about it won’t help us very much. Instead, all we do is waste our energies and our productive time trying to avoid the pitfalls of the fear. If we see fears in  a different way, we will find some tremendous ways to use the knowledge about our fears.  To begin with we can take action to minimize the risk of the fear overtaking us e.g. We can start exercising and eating right to ensure we remain healthy for a much longer time. We can attempt to insure against our perceived fears e.g. By taking an insurance policy or doing proper investments for the future.

Many of our fears never ever come true. However our fears overwhelm us to such an extent, that we then begin to actually visualize minor distortions in our everyday life pattern as indications of our fears actually coming true. Eg. We may have bumped and got a lump which may take some time to heal, but in panic we imagine them to be some tumor and to make our dark imagination even more darker we may see it as cancerous too. It is also possible that some of our fears are rooted in some unfortunate childhood experiences eg. Being locked in accidentally in a dark room could trigger claustrophobia. Extreme fears like claustrophobia may require us to take expert help and counseling support. There is nothing wrong in that but here again we run into a problem. We believe that anyone under counselling treatment is mentally ill and we fear being branded that way.

Being pragmatic, rational and realistic holds the key to mimizing our fears. In any case most of our fears never come true. It is strongly suggested that we try to overcome our fears because otherwise we may be letting our fears effect us mentally, physically and emotionally. Fear will breed negativity, paranoia and insecurity and we would never really realize our full potential then.

Remember: “You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

Try this:

  1. Read the following post on FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real  by click this link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2009/12/fear.html
  2. Choose from the following fears your worst fear and attempt to rationalize it and minimize your fear.
  • Fear of snakes
  • Fear of Ghosts
  • Fear of being locked up all alone in a dark room
  • Fear of Death
  • Fear of parachuting
  • List any other fear that you believe terrifies you more than any of the above

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.  Bill Veeck

Many a time we bitterly regret missed opportunities and lapse into bouts of despondency and curse our own fate. Fortunately these bouts are not too frequent or disastrous. In fact if one were to reflect later, many of these missed opportunities actually seem like god send for it is possible that they were defining moments that changed the course of your life for the better. Look around and you will see people who are all chasing their own dreams and looking for that one lucky break which they believe will change the course of their destiny towards the utopia of their dreams. Perhaps if you introspect, you too are part of that crowd waiting hopefully for a bolt of good fortune and opportunity. What we often fail to see is that some of the best opportunities come in the garb of failure, bad luck and hopelessness whilst we kept our eyes open for fancier chances.

Some of us must have missed out on getting admission to a prized course or college by a whisker and it rankles us that fate was so cruel. Yet we might be doing exceptionally well in the new area of study. On hindsight perhaps it was best that you didn’t admission in the area of your choice. There must be times when you were forced to submit to your strong value systems and hence missed out on lucrative deals. Yet the clear conscience that lets you sleep peacefully is worth much more than the monetary rewards that you sacrificed. Perhaps some of you are doing exceptionally well professionally but there is strange emptiness within you. Maybe you would prefer to change tracks and pursue your passions for art, theater or teaching none of which stand up to much in a fiercely competitive and materialistic world. Ask yourself then if the deal you made to pursue the current profession was worth it?

If you participate in a bidding process you will realize that you must be well prepared to know when to back of lest your ego push you to a doomed bid.  Many a time we back off from a deal because we don’t feel it right and later regret letting our emotions overrule us. However if we follow up on the fate of that deal , more often than not our hunch would be proved right for the deal may have fallen through later. Doing a property deal for example is a very complex task for there are too many emotional variables that have to be considered apart from the practical aspects of the deal. Many a time we keep looking back wistfully at some of those property deals that we didn’t pursue and rationalize that maybe we were right. The truth is we also need to get a bit lucky in some deals.

The best deals are often the ones which we enter into with our eyes open and our hearts in place. When both are in sync then the probability of the deal really working out are very very bright. Ironically when our mind and heart are not in sync that is when we also let many a deal pass by and in the long run the probability of that being a good deal is much higher for the best deals are ones  which make you feel right in mind and heart.

Remember: “Always be closing…That doesn’t mean you’re always closing the deal, but it does mean that you need to be always closing on the next step in the process.” Shane Gibson

Try these:

  1. Pause for a moment and look at the various times we have failed or missed out on chances that came our way. Did life stop? Have you overcome the hurt and bitterness of failure? Have you taken a fresh guard to face the new innings, post failure? If your answer to these are yes then seek out the benefits of  what new opportunities that have come your way because of your failure.
  2. Play a game of poker to understand what the whole business of what a good deal is. More often than not we are passing the play because you don’t have a good hand and while you don’t have a chance of winning that game then, you certainly ensured you didn’t lose in it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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The road of life can only reveal itself as it is traveled; each turn in the road reveals a surprise.

It is unfortunate that the vast majority of people get up and go to work and return home and go to sleep and simply repeat this cycle till one day they drop dead. Most of them are simply creatures of habit who rarely venture to find out the treasures that exist outside the routine.  Many others are so weighed down by the cares of daily living that they are just happy to be alive and are reconciled to their fate. If one were to just pause and look around and take a step or two away from the beaten path one would discover surprises that nature has provided in abundance for everyone. It could be a new flower, a butterfly or the sheer beauty of nature’s bounty or it could be forging new relationships, making new friends or the pleasure of helping a passerby. What is important is that we need to go out in search of those surprises.

Each of us is blessed with some very special talents. Some are more visible like the ability to draw, paint, sing and dance. Others are more subtle like the ability to patient, being a good listener or the ability to play second fiddle. We are prone to downplay these special abilities till someone persistently draws our attention to it and then we are pleasantly surprised. Self belief is vital to discover surprises both within us and around us. It is when one has self belief that one becomes embolden and proactive. One will be surprised then to note that we have a reservoir of potential that is now being tapped. It is when one exploits one’s self belief that one would venture into the unknown be it attempting to participate in a quiz or debate competing or trying extreme sports like bungee jumping.

A person with initiative will be the one who will make things happen and surprise everyone. Initiative will ensure that one takes the risks to explore avenues never tapped into be it finding a new picnic spot or arranging theme party or reorganizing the working style. Initiative ensures change and change in any form ensures surprises. Try using a different route when travelling to your daily destination. Some roads might be more crowded, others more circuitous but each road will have something new that will surprise you. Imagination is what enables one to identify surprises. Many a surprise comes dressed up as something very ordinary till one puts on the imaginative cap and sees amazing things in it. In fact we are all born with an amazing imagination that unfortunately got lost in the maze of logic and reason. Look back and remember how a tooth fairy looked in your imagination or how did you visualize an evil witch who may have been central to many a childhood story.

Finally it is attitude that determines the number and quality of surprises that you can clasp with both hands. If you are positive and look forward to a lovely day everything you encounter will be a pleasant surprise. Even a flat tyre on the way to work will give you an opportunity to see how some fellow travelers on the high way will surprise you with their care and concern. If you attitude is defeatist and embittered then even winning a lottery will simply make you feel more miserable; you will hurting inside that the prize should have come a few years earlier.

Remember: “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” Ashley Montagu

Try this

  1. See the following link and let your imagination help you visualize the characters that the shadows throw up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4yvHhZTPCg&feature=channel
  2. Go to the following link and attempt to do the challenge given in the last paragraph  http://poweract.blogspot.com/2010/07/shape.html

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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