Category: Choices

Change perspective and grow

Change perspective and grow

Our vision is critical to how we go about our business in this world.  Mediocre results are the outcome of a terribly conceived, poorly focused and badly executed effort.  When we have a larger vision, a bigger goal and an intrinsic motivation, that is when we become passionate, focused and committed to whatever we have to do. Notice that the goal could be the same but it is the approach to the goal, the purpose of the goal and the pull of the goal that determines the quality of the goal and the value of the resultant success. 

To determine how committed you are to any goal ask the following questions and truthfully answer them

What is my motive? This is the first question to be asked when doing anything. The routine work will have a definite purpose and it won’t change very drastically over time. However, for doing anything new, even deepening the extent of your current routines involves embracing a different more wholesome motive. Deciding to change your career and embracing what your passionate about would be a major change that you will make only when you are clear of your motive. Even making a career move or adopting a change in life style would be driven by a superior motive. If the motive is envisioned with a larger purpose rather than narrow short term interests, chances of your commitment to that goal are higher.

Am I committed to it? Commitment means that you will put everything aside and do what is uppermost on your agenda. That what is uppermost on your agenda will always be something that you are passionate about, motivated to work on and consumes your mind and spirit. Winners are those who have never left sight of their larger goal and have committed to attain the smaller goals that are aligned with the larger goal. For a professional sportsman, there is no substitute for rigorous practice even at odd hours in the most trying conditions. The goal is to excel in the sport and possibly be a torch bearer of that sport.

Am I prepared to pay a big price for it? Every commitment comes for a price. That is because the one key element in life is limited. Hence utilizing your time wisely is critical. In fact, you may have to sacrifice a number of things some mere minor pleasures but often some bigger sacrifices are to be made. Not indulging in your favorite food might be a minor price to pay but missing out on momentous family occasions or skipping crucial exams because your priority is clashing with it are bigger and more costly a price to pay.

Would the goal enhance my perspective and life? Ultimately a goal remains worthwhile only and only of you passionately believe that it will make a huge difference in your life. It could be shifting the focus of your future or it could be embracing your passion or it could be a quantum leap in your lifestyle. What is important is to clearly identify the underlying benefit/ gain/ thrill that you believe will significantly impact and enhance the quality of your life. For someone material wealth could be an obsession whilst for others embracing new knowledge could be the trigger. Others may see opportunities to travel as transforming his/ her life whereas others may want to quit simply to enjoy their life before it is too late.

To sum up, seeing the big picture, finding space for yourself in that big picture and ensuring that the picture reflects what you stand for, results in a ‘perfect picture’.

Try these:          

  • What are the three major decisions that you took which have had a significant impact on your life?
  • Do you regret any decision that you took?
  • What are three things you would have done differently if ever you got a chance to course correct?
  • What are three feelings that dominate your life? How do they impact your decision making?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be like melting snow…

Be like melting snow…

As we enter the last week of the year, Rumi gives us a very insightful sharing, that can help us transcend seamlessly into the New Year.  Like melting snow, so typical of the season of Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere, which simply lets go of its form, allows the impurities to be washed off and merrily adopts a new form and flows with the tide, each of us should embrace a similar attitude.

We need to begin afresh in the New Year. The emotional baggage of the past can be best got rid off by being like the melting snow. Wash it off the memory, clear if from our heart, just carry the purity, fun, joys which like sugar and salt will add flavor. Resolve to begin anew; scrub yourself clean of the dirt that rankled and tortured your mind and body; soap and shampoo yourself with the aroma of beautiful memories, of hopes and aspirations and walk towards the sun; all shadows behind you and a bright spot ahead.

In washing ourselves of ourselves we are merely discovering our true identity. The real self which was born in all purity and innocence and who grew up ensconced with love and impervious of any danger or fear.  The snow is nothing but water that changed due to the environment around and then it rediscovers itself as water when it washes itself of itself.

Each of us is like a snowflake; each one can be born anew in the New Year if we simply wash ourselves of ourselves.

Try these:           

  • What are the most memorable moments of your childhood, teenage years and currently?
  • What are your hopes / dreams / goals for the coming year?
  • What are three positive changes you propose to bring into your life?
  • What is the one way you will ensure that your loved ones begin to notice a marked positive change in you?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Core life skills

Core life skills

In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, the challenges of coping with the changes and the evolving dynamics, are both stressful and laced with apprehension. Yet what does not change and what helps one remain balanced during testing times, are the core beliefs that we should embrace with faith. It is not just the technology that challenges us but more worrisome is the human dynamics that have been cast asunder; the traditional family values, societal norms and the fragility of the bonds between cultures, regions, religions, beliefs and values.  Yet to retain our sanity and remain equanimous  in the face of changes that tend to overwhelm us, all we need to do is focus and implement the core life skills which are:

Calm, but alert – If you see a duck paddling in the water, you would never notice how frantically it is paddling below the water because above the water it looks exceedingly calm and serene. Similarly, in the wild, observe the docile creatures like deer’s and gazelle’s. They remain calm but constantly look around to be alert to any danger lurking in the thickets. They do not visualize trouble in their mind and get anxious but they do anticipate trouble, as they are aware of predators around. We humans tend to absorb negativity and project it in our outlook instead of taking calculated risks with an inbuilt trigger to help us remain safe.

Relaxed, but ready – Observe the great athletes of the world. They know that they are competing against the best and that the results are quite open ended giving everyone a fair chance to win. Yet when they warm up before the event, they are fairly relaxed, prepped up but calm, anxious perhaps but equally excited because they know that it is crunch time. Their training and self belief have got them thus far, it is just their performance that matters. Winning and losing are par for the course and that is why they prepare well and compete hard. They are always ready for the competition. No tensions, no anxieties, no worries.

Smooth, but sharp –A pin, a needle, a nail have a sharp point but the rest of it is sleek and smooth. A football or basketball too is smooth but only when it has the air that sharpens its contours. A cricket and golf ball gets its sharpness when the exterior is hard but it is the smoothness that allows it to roll well. In life you can be smooth by being empathetic, polite, respectful, committed, loyal and honest. At the same time you need to be sharp by being assertive, determined, confident, courageous and focused.

Humble, but confident– Success must breed humility not arrogance. Failure must be seen as a stepping stone to success. When you get success, there is no virtue more important that being humble to keep your grounded. When failure unexpectedly makes its rounds in your life, believe that they temporary hiccups and be confident that you are well prepared to overcome the setbacks. As they say, a Lion never roars after a kill; it never has to announce his accomplishments. At the same time be aware that a Lion is successful only 17-20% of the time it attempts a kill. Yet it is supremely confident that it can succeed the next time around. Your humility must never be seen as your weakness nor must your confidence morph into arrogance.

Try these:           

  • What are your three favorite quotes / proverbs / inspirational sayings / poem’s? Do they reflect any of the above core principles of life?
  • Which of the above 4 principles best represent your nature? Which principle do you think you will find most difficult to implement and why?
  • Can you identify one teacher, one friend, one colleague and one relative who best display most of the above principles in their life?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Live your dreams

Live your dreams

Parental direction, supervision by teachers and society expectations are the influences with which most of us are brought up with. As a result, the conditioning of individuals is largely focused on pleasing the expectations of these diverse set of influencers. Net result is that we surrender our individuality, create an artificial being who is meeting expectations of others but is often deeply dissatisfied within. To break out of this circle is tough because it would mean charting one’s own course with little hope of support and the possibility of not fully attaining the dreams one has. Yet the fact that we have just one life and it is better to make it ‘my own life’ rather than ‘trying to fit into someone else’s view of life’ should be incentive enough to break out and furrow one’s own path.

Dream it – The path to your personal glory begins when you can dream about what is the glory you seek for yourself. The dream need to be grandiose, it can be off beat, it must be something that ignites enthusiasm in you and above all it must be clearly visible in your inward eye. You want to be the top honcho; go for it. You want to play for your country; nothing can stop you except you. You just want to be a happy contented person; seek ways and means to realize that dream. Just ensure it is your personal dream not something you are doing to make someone else happy. The size of your dream does not matter. The quality of your dream determines how you go about attaining it.

Develop it – If the dream is clear, it is time to wake up and get about the business of achieving it. It all begins with planning. Create a blue print; develop a road map; outline the milestones. No dream is realized by pure luck. You want to win a lottery; first step is to invest in the ticket. So everything begins with having a goal, charting out the steps to realizing it, in built the strategy to overcome hurdles, be mentally prepared for a long haul and then start.

Do it – The key to shaping the world the way you want it is by beginning in earnest, continuing with passion and striving for excellence. It is possible that along the way there would be hiccups, obstacles, demotivation and frustration. Yet if the goal is clear the patch well chalked out and your confidence and self belief intact, you will ride the momentum built by your passion to reach the destination. However, action is a long drawn out and often a lonely journey. At times it makes you revisit your own decision. Other times you get energized by the thought of achieving what you have dreamt of. Many a time you will be criticized, condemned, ridiculed and roughly sidelined. That is when your intense desire to leave your own unique mark in the world will be the only thing that will fuel your spirit to create, conquer and rule your own destiny.

Try these:

  1. Try living for a month on one third your normal monthly expense.
  2. Give 4 hours of your time weekly to any social cause. Be part of a social organization or do something tangible for a cause you believe in.
  3. Work on overcoming one bad habit you know is limiting your effectiveness.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The secret to great relationships

20- 4 June17 -A great relationship

If you look at the friendships you have made over the many years of your life, what stands out is the fact that you have and equation with your friends which is often very ironical. There are things about your friend that you love and that is the reason for the bonding and yet there are habits/ mannerisms/ behavior / style of your friend that you dislike, possibly abhor and yet you overlook them. Friendships thrive on these differences and how individuals manage to reconcile these juxtapositions holds the key to endearing and enduring relationships.

It is possible that in many relationships it is differences between individuals is what triggers attention to each other but ultimately it is the similarities that bring about a confluence of appreciative emotions. In most cases though, it is the similarities in thought and approach that helps bonding and the respect for differences cements these bonds. Excellent relationships are all about managing these juxtapositions.

Good relationships are cemented stronger if both the appreciation of similarities and the respect for differences are expressed; the former more vigorously the latter more diplomatically. The latter is a tad tougher to express for it always carries a possibility of being misunderstood or being seen as a reproach and hence viewed as an indictment. This can bring about a wedge in relationships and hence has to be expressed very selectively and cautiously.  The differences are accentuated in criticisms, puns, sarcasm and disagreements. Hence it is important to be aware of the potential lethal effects of using any of the above in words or deeds.

Honesty in the relationship ensures there is greater understanding. However, brutal honesty can be damaging. Disagreements and differences of opinion are essential to retain the individuality of the people in a relationship. It is the individuality of the parties in a relationship that makes the communication, the interaction and the engagement in a relationship unique and interesting. The similarities between two individuals is what cements the relationship for there is a commonality of understanding, purpose and respect born out of appreciating the commonalities in each other.

Try these

  1. What are your three strengths that you think your friends appreciate in you? What are your three traits you think others find it hard to reconcile with or do not appreciate in you?
  2. What are the similarities and differences you note in the following people
  • Your siblings / cousins
  • Your three friends at work
  • Your three colleagues with whom you bond easily.
  • Your three best friends
  • Your classmates in school/ college with whom you meet up occasionally

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Creating opportunities

39-create-opportunityWe have to create our own destinies and this can happen only when we grab every opportunity that comes our way. The trouble is that we eithernkeep waiting for the opportunities to come our way or we do not recognize the opportunities that come our way, unless it is too late. We wait in vain or miss out opportunities simply because most times opportunities present themselves in the guise of hard work. Almost everyone has the intent to get cracking on a task and is prepared to work hard to grab the opportunities that come their way. However, often it is only when we initiate the opportunity, that we are convinced that the hard work, the end result and the success allied to it, is worth it.  It simply means that one has to create the opportunities that one eagerly looks forward to, in order to alter one’s life dramatically. Creating opportunities is not too difficult but it follows a process listed below.

Prepare for it – Look at all the successful people and you will find one common trait that they share. They prepared to make the most of the opportunities that came their way. To begin with, they identified their strengths, worked hard on eliminating their weakness and prepared themselves to get an expertise in their chosen line of work. Even successful actors would have gone to acting school, as did the successful sportsmen who took their childhood grooming very seriously. Even successful businessmen took professional courses, apprenticed with experienced professionals and perhaps even started work on the shop floor. Yes get to understand the job from the basics and work yourself up. Remember ‘ chance favors the prepared man’.

Search for it – Opportunities abound all around. However it may never look so crystal clear to you unless you actually seek it out. So you like the glamour business and want to succeed in it. You may not have any glamour quotient you but there is a lot of background work opportunities that may fit your temperament and aptitude. Similarly, the studious would want to leverage their brilliance but they have to explore hidden opportunities that exist in that space right from teaching to becoming an entrepreneur or a consultant or a professional.

Identify it – This is tougher because all options look equally exciting. More importantly, you are never sure if you miss out on something more exciting once you commit to something. The reality is that you must chose what appeals most to you and then go on to make it the most exciting thing for you. Identifying an opportunity is all about aligning your interests, your competence to fulfill a gap that exists. Opportunities to excel exist in every sphere. Some could translate opportunities into business ventures, others could grow in their workplace and others could become leaders who make a difference in the environment they influence.

Execute it – Merely identifying opportunities won’t take anyone very far. Ultimately, just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, an opportunity has to made use of.  It is essential to start acting on the idea, make things happen and give traction to the opportunity.  All business ventures are largely built around an opportunity identified. Similarly, even in the work place as an employee, by doing something extraordinarily well you differentiate yourself from the rest as someone dependable, a person who contributes qualitatively and is an asset in the corporate. Opportunities can vary in style and substance from cost savings, speeding up activities, discovering something new, to creating something unique. Think then act decisively must be the mantra to create the opportunity and make it work.

Persist This is very critical task that is often overlooked when seeking opportunities. Pursuing an opportunity could be very exciting in the beginning but when reality sets in, there could be surprises, shocks, difficulties, pain and suffering; all of which can be daunting and dissuading. Yet it is persistence that pays in the long run. Persistence means giving yourself enough time and keeping patience. Occasionally though it could also mean deviating if required, dropping the plan for another or simply giving up to pursue a new opportunity. Persistence also means continuing to explore new opportunities for age is no bar, nor is experience or gender.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of 5 things you definitely want to do before you die. Now create ample opportunities to make it happen. Update the list as and when you manage to achieve something from the list.
  2. What opportunities do you see in the following situations?
  • You lose your mobile phone and have no money to procure a new one immediately
  • You have hurt your foot and are house bound for a month
  • You have to travel everywhere either on foot or by public transport for the next two months.
  • You have to look after an elderly senior citizen who suffers from Alzheimer’s, for over a month.
  • You have taken a ‘maun vrat’ (volunteered to keep silence / not to speak ) for one month.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Would you lie to yourself?

31-are-you-a-liarTime and time again, despite our best efforts, we are overcome with a feeling of helplessness and frustration. At such times we conclude that we are worthless and that it is best we give up. Fortunately for many of us, this depressing feeling is largely temporary and we soon find the will and strength to continue with renewed vigor. However, if one continues to lapse into this self talk of worthlessness with increasing frequency, it is a sign of defeatism, a sign of weakness but most of it is a lie that we tell ourselves; no one to blame but our self!

So how does one become aware, daily, that his/ her life has a purpose, a meaning and a goal? That one’s life is a gift to be cherished; that its beauty lies in how well we can harness the potential in it and that, it is the quality of the life we lead, that is more important than the length of the lifespan.  Look at your life from the perspective of an individual who has been blessed with the power to make his/ her own choice and suddenly life takes on a new meaning. To quote Justice M.C. Chagla who in his book Roses in December concluded it with these words ‘“Life is many-sided; it has many facets; it has many moods; it is rich with memories, sad and gay. Ultimately it depends upon each one, whether life has been an adventure or just a short and painful interlude between one sleep and another.” 

To stop lying to yourself and instead make your life an adventure, you can attempt the following:

Dare to expand your horizons – We often hold ourselves back from exploring, experimenting and expanding our horizons because of our fear of failure, fear of the repercussions and fear of moving away from our comfort zone. There is always a first time for everything; so unless you try you will never know if you like it, love it or hate it. Many a time you will discover facets of yourself that are  your blind to, by merely widening your horizons and experimenting with new ideas/ thoughts / activities.

Challenge yourself daily – Never do a task in a routine manner; it gets boring, repetitive and definitely torturous after some time. While you cannot avoid the routine, you can try to add some color to the routine by finding something challenging in it; doing it differently; adding color to it. E.g. Although telephone operators are a dying breed now in the old days they used to hold a key role. Their job could get boring and routine. However I have come across telephone operators who kept themselves motivated by trying to identify the caller by their voice and style and politely greeting them when they called. I have heard of another person who was a talented artist. This person often drew a caricature of the persons who frequently called based purely on the voice of the person. If and when that person visited that office, the drawing would be gifted to the person and it had a remarkable accuracy.

Keep trying – You grow when you work smarter, do better and grow faster. The challenge is to be better than what you were yesterday. Life is not a race with others; it must be an adventure to attempt new things, dare to push your boundaries and to make things happen. So reset your goals, attempt it. If you succeed repeat the process of resetting your goals.  If you fail, try again till your attain what you set out to do.  Read the heroics of Károly Takács by clicking on the following link to know more about trying http://tinyurl.com/zgtqfx3 or  http://tinyurl.com/zbp8hry

Discover your worth – Each of us is blessed with some fine qualities, good virtues and multiple talents; discovering them may pose a challenge. While some of these blessings are easily identifiable, it is discovering the hidden blessings that become challenging. There is also a grave danger that we take for granted the blessings that are very visible and hence, when faced with an impediment or difficulty that is tricky, we lie to ourselves that we are worthless. Instead if probe a little and relook our abilities and talents we would suddenly realize that we have a lot of options still to be explored. Discover your worth and you won’t have to lie to yourself ever.

Try these:

  1. An exotic destination you would like to visit
  2. A social service activity that your keen on doing
  3. A fun activity that you would love to indulge in
  4. A new investment you would like to make
  5. A bad habit you would like to give up.

Your challenge is to put a time line on each one. Now begin with the chit with the shortest timeline and ensure you complete it before you begin the next one. It will be worth your while to seriously do it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The 3 C’s of life

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