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Archive for the ‘Concerns’ Category

36-your-real-worth

Physical wealth, be it money and possessions are a good measure to judge how financially secure a person is. It is also a great asset to lead a reasonably good and comfortable life. It is also a good magnet to attract friends and widen one’s social circle. It is also a good inducement to garner support, influence opinion and climb ups the social ladder. However, physical wealth would be a poor indicator of a person’s true worth. This is because wealth can be created, acquired or inherited  but wealth can never buy reputation and good will which has to be earned, respect and recognition which comes from a deep appreciation of the individual in you, your sense of fair play and justice which comes from personal values and your emotional balance and empathy for others which comes from the heart.

We need to examine these a little more in detail to understand an individual’s true worth.

Reputation and goodwill : It take a life time to build a reputation and goodwill. It comes from doing the right things at the right time, avoiding the undesirable and being perceived as someone who is dependable, principled and balanced. It based on the general perception people have of an individual over a long period of time. It is often reflected in the simplicity, humility and achievements of an individual and society’s perception of these qualities.

Respect and Recognition: Respect and recognition comes with age and maturity. How a person has grown personally and professionally would have a large bearing on this. It could also come from the insightful contribution of the individual in his social and professional environment and the positive influence he/ she has had on those around them.

Fair play and justice: Displaying fair play and justice comes largely from being principled and this in turn is largely influenced by one’s upbringing, personal values and courage of conviction. The ability to hold a minority view point, the daring to express a dissenting note and tuning one’s moral compass in the direction of what is the truth.

Emotional balance and empathy: This is tougher to judge for individuals can display a different personality in private and be very different in public. However one cannot keep a quick temper, a giant size ego, a negative aura or a irrational outbursts only in the private space. How one deals with those at your mercy, with those who look up to you for support, those who differ from you in thought word and deed are primary pointers to an individual’s emotional balance and empathy.

When you attend a funeral where there is a large turnout, do you see some of the above points being reflected in that deceased persons life and it being a prominent reason for the large turnout?  Perhaps these are also critical considerations for others who will part with their last penny if ever you seek their help. Therein lies your real worth; what others value you for.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 qualities / values/ traits that you think others really value in you. Jot out a couple of qualities/ values / traits / habits that others criticize you for. What can you do improve upon those criticisms?
  2. What are the few social problems that really irritate and annoy you? What have you done about it? Is there anything more you can do about it?
  3. How will you deal with the following:
  • You answered 6 questions instead of 5 which was the norm. The teacher corrected all the answers and erroneously added the marks of the sixth question to the total as a result of which you passed the exam. Would you bring the error to the teachers notice or ignore it?
  • You are cleaning your cupboard and come across a book you had a borrowed from a college mate five years. When the college mate asked you return the book, since you could not find it, you lied to him/ her that you had returned it. The friend was upset with you since he/she did not recollect you returning the book.  A couple of years have gone by since that incident and you are not in touch with that college mate but you do know in which city he/ she is. Would you pick up courage to return the book and apologize to that friend? Alternatively what would you do?
  • You are on an outstation trip and while walking you stumble upon a wallet containing Rs.15,000. In that wallet you find some torn papers listing out a couple of names of individuals. It also has a dry cleaners bill of a certain city and a tailors bill of another city. The names on both these bills are different. Both the bills do not have any telephone numbers on it. What will you do?

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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WP14=4-Are you a Pessimist, Optimist or RealistEach of us responds to stimulus in different ways. Our response is often influenced by our beliefs and attitudes which in turn are shaped by our experiences, our thoughts and our individuality. One common denominator that offers insights into our responses and reactions is the mindset that we frequently display based on which most of us are often labeled as either pessimists or optimists. There are of course exceptions who get a more privileged tag of realist. While pessimism is largely considered a negative trait and optimist hailed as exemplary the realist is often ignored as inconsequential. In life, each of these traits has it’s own utility and are qualities essential for both survival and success.

Pessimists are prone to see the negatives. They will be cautious, circumspect and hesitant. Their first instinct is self preservation and as a result their lexicon is filled with words like avoid, delay, evade, be circumspect, use caution, find problems, make excuses etc. Pessimists prepare for the worst so that if their fears come true they are not taken in by surprise and instead can feel vindicated. Pessimism is considered a very undesirable trait and pessimists are largely given a wide berth by most people. However pessimism is an important trait in as much as it considers eventualities taken for granted or blissfully ignored and puts brakes on otherwise unfettered exuberance. A good pessimist is the gate keeper who is pragmatic, cautious and prepared to cushion the fall if and when it takes place.

Optimists are those who are exuberant and gung ho about everything. They are driven by the need to see the silver lining in every cloud even if there is thunder and lightning all around. Their lexicon includes words like must try, it will work, right now, make it happen; success is round the corner etc. Optimists go about their business with a daring and a sense of Déjà vu. Their dictionary centers around words like I can, must do, not hard, must try, can be done, give it a shot etc. Optimists have the added advantage of being widely accepted for their never say die attitude, spirit of enthusiasm and eagerness to get going. An optimist must however be aware of the reality, be pragmatic and be able to distinguish between ego masquerading as self confidence and misplaced bravado replacing one’s inability to retreat.

The realist is one who dispassionately assesses and goes after the results through a mix of daring and caution. Realists are grounded in their thinking, attitude and responses. They are neither carried away by the moment nor are they deterred by circumstances. Their success lies in their balanced approach to challenges and opportunities. In their thinking what works is being practical, being flexible, being creative and being result oriented. They adjust to circumstance, create opportunities, do not take foolish risks, they don’t hesitate to retreat if discretion is the better part of valor and they won’t give up unless they attain what they set out to achieve. A realist is able to live in the present, while assessing the future and learning from the past.

Try this:

If you were given 5 wishes to be fulfilled, what would those wishes be? Would that wish list change if you were told that you have just one day left to enjoy the fulfilled wishes?

If you were forced to choose one of the following options which one would you choose and why?

–          Losing all your material possessions in a fire

–          Losing your speech and hearing

–          Remaining illiterate

–          Letting your worst enemy win a lottery of a million dollars

–          Having to spend the rest of your life eating raw vegetables only

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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13-16-They may not follow

This pearl of wisdom is first meant for parents, especially those parents who have already chalked out the course their children should traverse.  It would also boost the confidence of youngsters who are yearning to follow their dreams/ passions which are far removed from those expectations others have from them.

It is essential to acknowledge that each person is an individual who would have his/ her parents DNA but thereafter grows up to be an independent thinker and would have to walk a self chalked out path all on his/her own. Most parents believe that having their DNA gives them a right to mould and control a child to meet their pre determined standards and fulfill their ideal desires. Other well meaning friends, family members and elders would also similarly express themselves in an overbearing manner with good intent but with precious little appreciation for the individuality of those they are addressing.

Elders in general, including teachers, grandparents, uncles and aunts and parents in particular usurp the right to profusely spiel out advice believing that their age and experience give them an upper hand in dealing with the challenges of life. While their age and experience do have immense value, what they fail to appreciate in others is that the others particularly the youngsters have matured a lot faster, are exposed to a more compact world where information flows easily and they also believe they have the right to be heard loud and clear. This clash of values, expectations, hopes and ambitions is a major cause of discord within families particularly parents and children.

Here are 3 suggestions for elders and 3 for youngsters reading this, to ensure that they appreciate this post better

Elders

  1. Just guide them don’t goad them
  2. Respect the individuality of others no matter what they age or gender
  3. Acknowledge the efforts and if you find merit encourage them

Youngsters

  1. Respect everyone and then earn the respect of others – disagree without being disagreeable
  2. Share your ideas/ thoughts with elders who would be more open to your sharing
  3. Be committed to your goals. This means writing it down and working towards achieving it.

Try this:

Visit www.johngoddard.info and find the various goals that he set for himself and how he achieved most of it. What if his elders dissuaded him? What if he did not commit himself to it?

Elders think of your parents expectations from you and your siblings. How far did they fulfill it. Now examine the growth of the 3 best students ( your classmates) in school/ college and the three so called failures in school/ college. How have they fared? Did they do something extraordinary or did some of them fail your expectations?

Youngsters don’t just have plans. Write down your plans and put it down as SMART goals. If you do not know what are smart goals, you first task is to take the effort to find out what it is. Next learn to challenge yourself. To do this write down the following first

–       The animal / creature/ reptile that is found in your vicinity that you fear the most

–       The activity  or task that you fear /dislike the most

–       The situation or occasions that you dislike immensely

–       The food or cuisine that you simply don’t want to eat

–       The one addiction or habit that you cannot do away with

You have to confront either all or at least 2 of the above till you reduce your aversion / kick the habit by at least 50% Self discipline is the key and overcoming your fears is the learning that is crucial for you to chart your won course.

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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Nothing is really work unless you’d rather be doing something else. James Barrie. Peter Pan

This is a very unorthodox way of viewing work, but if one ponders long enough, the truth in the statement will liberate us from feeling like a bonded laborer.  The reality is that each one of us without exception would have experienced the pangs of having to do something that is unappealing, boring and perhaps unavoidable. No sooner that task is replaced with something that we are keen to do, appealing to us and exciting to our way of thinking, we enjoy the process. With rare exceptions, there is no task that is so engaging that one can happily embrace it for the rest of our lives. The trick in making our living worthwhile is in focusing fully on the task on hand as an opportunity to leverage our time, talent and our temperament. There is no better example than the cheerful way a mother goes about her chores despite the children making the most unreasonable demands on her.

Many times the work we enjoy doing best is ‘doing nothing’ because then there are no targets set, no deadlines to be met and the icing on the cake is the fact that it takes very little effort. However, sooner than later, we are racked with guilt that we have whiled away our time, the miserable feeling of productive time having being squandered away and our inherent sense of responsibility prick us. We then put our nose to the grind not willingly but more as an obligation to be discharged and the resultant effort becomes work that is unavoidable. Yet if can reorient our thought process to view the effort as harnessing our resources to do what is essential under the circumstances, the time spent would seem to fly and the entire process would seem to be enriching and rewarding. E.g. Very few of us enjoy the process of filing our income tax returns because we see it as ultimately ‘giving to Ceaser’ what belongs to us. However if we can see it as an opportunity to better plan our finances and taxes we would eagerly put our heart and soul into it and ensure we don’t have to worry about the taxman’s ‘Damocles Sword’.

How does one cope with tasks that one despises, finds repulsive and would rather avoid given half a chance? The strategy to cope with such a situation is to first be fully aware that each and every individual does face this dilemma. The second is to accept the reality as it exists and not to make any pretence of ignoring its existence. The third is to avoid procrastination and take the bull by its horns so that we tackle the issue rather than spend futile hours speculating on how to bypass the unavoidable reality. By this three pronged strategy, we reconcile to the reality that there is nothing else that we must tackle than what is staring at us. Once we begin the task with earnestness and fortitude, we would relentlessly pour our energies into  completing the task. The euphoria that we experience soon after we tackle our demons is the ecstasy of life.

Remember:  It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.  Pablo Picasso

Try this:

  1. Assuming you are shifting to your new house, list out what excites you about it and what are those activities related to the shifting process that you dread most ? How would you cope with those tasks that you dread but cannot avoid or pass it on to anyone else?
  2. What are those demons in life you would ideally love to avoid? (Here are a few pointers to help you reflect on various possibilities.) How would you use the learning fro, today’s post to tackle the demons and actually enjoy the process??
  • Exercise to lose weight
  • Making  a list of resolutions and following it faithfully
  • Carrying work home
  • Having to sacrifice your favorite TV show (being shown live) to accompany your child to his/her best friends most (boring in your opinion) party

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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“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.”

We seem to recollect those harsh and spiteful words spoken by others, that may have been spoken in anger, frustration, irritation, disappointment or pain, which have hurt us. However it would possibly take us a while to recollect the events that evoked a searing pain caused by those who hurt us by their silence.  Perhaps the latter hurt is so painful that we unconsciously erase the memory and keep it hidden in the deepest recess of the heart but secretly the bitterness and the painful experience engulf us. We would rather dwell on the hurt that is verbalized for it can be recounted and our senses can conjure up a rage and revenge possibility.

When is it that the silence resounds so loudly and painfully? Perhaps we too are guilty of creating this silent cacophony that deafens the senses and perhaps even our sense of self worth.

Remaining silent when we need to speak up. Often when our views seem to be opposed by a strong majority we have self doubts about our point of view and prefer to keep silent rather than risk ridicule. Remember the terrible feeling that overcomes us when latter on someone proffers our view and gets complimented and applauded for the radical idea? Similarly if you are standing in a line and an aggressive person attempts to break in do we meekly allow it or do we tick the person off for his/her uncouth behavior? If we keep mum do we hate ourselves for our spineless behavior?

When we keep mum to avoid telling the truth. Look back at school days when you ended up having a scuffle with a classmate or neighbor. If you came back with a black eye and are closely questioned by your parents after attempting some half hearted lies you would possibly have simply kept quite refusing to respond to any questioning. Despite pleas by elders and parents  to tell the truth on the promise of not being inflicted with any  serious ramifications  if you still kept mum and thereafter somehow the truth emerged and you were severely reprimanded and punished the embarrassment and shame never gets erased.  Imagine a situation where you have done something wrong and a classmate is reprimanded and punished and all the while you keep mum for fear of the consequences. Does the image of the innocent classmate pleading his innocence still hurt you?

When we clam up when we need to assert. Remember the school bully who constantly harassed either us or someone else who was weaker.  Visualize the shame and pain we felt for remaining powerless and quietly bearing up. The hurt is more when at some point we see a much smaller, more scrawny but stout hearted student assert and defuse the bully’s arrogance and bullying. We cringe at the thought for it shames us to recollect our own cowardice. Recollect the time you could not refuse your friends in joining them in their misadventure and flouted the rules and got severely punished for it. Thereafter did you feel lousy for not having the moral courage to boldly refuse being a participant in the misadventure?

When refuse to voice our concerns or vocalize our support due to sheer apathy or fear of the repercussions You may have experienced the pain of studying hard and appearing for an exam only to see mass scale copying all around. Yet you do not lode your protest with the authorities for fear of the consequences both by the students as well as the authorities who could extract vengeance.

The words of ” Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group epitomizes the truth above

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Remember:  “Lying is done with words and also with silence.” Adrienne Rich

 

Try these:

  1. Make a list of 3 – 5 social issues about which you as a responsible citizen have serious concerns. Choose one of those topics and write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. Keep writing till you get atleast one letter published and then you can take pride that ‘your voice is heard’.
  2. Make a list of issues on which you believe you as a responsible citizen should file an RTI query. Ideally try and file an RTI query in all seriousness but for a matter on an issue in which you really seek information.
  3. Try and watch the movie Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (Hindi)  or 12 Angry Men (English). To know the gist of the movie click on the following link http://dearcinema.com/review/ek-ruka-hua-faisla-a-brilliant-adaptation-of-12-angry-men/0720  ( Notice how ONE man changes the views of 12 others and also the final verdict all because he refused to keep silent)

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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“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success”

One of the casualties of intense competition are the school going children who are constantly prodded by parents to excel at examinations. While it is necessary to ensure that the children study hard and do well in the exams, matters become absurd when parents want their wards to top in all the subjects and focus attention on academics at the cost of sacrificing their games and extracurricular activities. The ultimate damage is done when parents instead of appreciating the success of the youngsters dwell on them having missed on a few marks, find fault with the method of study or berate the children for being careless and or not putting in as much effort as required. It is this irrational criticism that stresses out the children for they would have sought praise for their efforts and encouragement for their performance even if it fell marginally short of expectations.

Over an extended period of time we tend to perfect the art of finding fault, being critical and wantonly berating subordinates in  particular, under the mistaken notion that ‘fear is the key’ to discipline, performance improvement and productivity. While some of these techniques would have some positive effect, the negativity that permeates this approach makes it a very questionable tactics when the chips are down.  On the other hand lavish encouragement and tempered praise would restore self belief, enhance confidence and plant the seeds of positive thinking which can then go on to be the bedrock on which to build success. Often a good mentor or coach will strategically resort to this style especially when things seem hopeless for at the stage human frailty would tempt one to throw in the towel. A good dose of encouragement actually pumps up the recipients, rejuvenates them and they are boosted in their intent and then‘ fortune often favors the brave’

 It is well worth pondering that ‘success is never final and failure never fatal’. Unless we can appreciate the profound truth in this statement, the approach taken would be crass, crude and condemnable for the stick would be given more prominence than the carrot. A very unique and effective technique of encouragement involves leaders standing up and taking the rap when there is failure. This takes both a lot of courage and immense belief in the teams efforts. Going a step further when there is success the leader must take a back seat and let the team members believe that they accomplished it all on their own. The beauty of this approach lies in the fact that the leader has full faith in his/ her team and so ‘failure’ if any is deemed to be a collective failure with the leader standing up for his/ her team members. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam former President of India gives a very vivid and detailed example of this leadership quality that he was privileged to experience firsthand from his leader Prof. Satish Dhawan. See this link to read about it http://tinyurl.com/3dl2mtg

Remember: “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. Can you recollect 3 of the most demoralizing moments of your life? Who helped you overcome those terrible setbacks? How did you find the strength to bounce back?
  2. How will you use the learning from today’s post in the following situations
  • Your best friend has misplaced your favorite pen gifted by your grandfather and you are distraught and he is just as disturbed as you are.
  • Your colleague is great photographer and one of his photographs is tipped to win a major international competition. Unfortunately due to a technical error his entry is not taken into consideration for evaluation and he is terribly disappointed.
  • Your next door neighbor is very keen to get his son admitted to a prestigious school nearby but for reasons not known the bright child could not make it to the final admission list. Your neighbor and his wife are devastated and their anguish has spelled gloom in the house and the child too is terrified.

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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He who is ashamed of asking is ashamed of learning.  – Danish Proverb

It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote the Poem that began as follows

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Almost all of us have extensively used these six honest serving men throughout our school life and possible till we graduated. However thereafter most of us felt a little ashamed of using the questioning technique and preferred to remain in ignorant bliss rather than admit we lacked the knowledge. It is also possible that we continued to believe in some possibly mistaken notions. The reality of life is that there is far too much knowledge for any individual to grasp and absorb and so the only way forward is to humbly seek out the facts when we lack the knowledge; yet we have our psychological block of admitting our ignorance.

The technique of questioning had 3 distinct advantages.

It keeps us grounded to the reality that we have a lot to learn.

When we are willing to question, we are acknowledging our own limitations and weakness and readily accept the wiser counsel of others. It opens our eyes to the fact that it is not our intelligence alone that helps us to grow in life but our ability to harness the knowledge that is around us provided we first accept our personal limitations.

It facilitates us learning.

Questioning also helps us to search for answers and makes us aware of the need to seek out more intelligent people, find out more authentic information and search for new avenues of updating ourselves. When we ask questions we also are looking for answers. We use the questioning technique very effectively when we are faced with a problem and require some answers to progress ahead.

It enables one to connect dots and be creative.

Questioning is the best method to solve problems. By constantly seeking to find answers we would stimulate out thinking, dream up apparently illogical possibilities and succeed in finding unique solutions to our problems. Riddles that we asked in school may now look ridiculous and childish but provided the vital stimulant required to develop the spirit of questioning and sharpening our creativity. Eg  Two mothers and two daughters went for a picnic but they were only 3 of them. How is this possible? Or Name 3 consecutive days that does not include Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday in it.

In fact the questioning technique was the bass of most human progress. One of the key players in the development and enrichment of human thinking and philosophy is the Greek Philosopher Socrates whose Socratic Method of inquiry revolved around asking questions. Notice that the educational system irrespective of the discipline of study uses the questioning technique to evaluate the knowledge and aptitude of the students. Similarly the journalistic profession extensively uses the questioning technique to get quote and sound bytes to feature as news.  Researchers and scientists too use this technique to come up with new inventions, discoveries and improvements. Finally it is important to note that the questioning technique is what makes the human race very distinct from the other living creatures. Our evolution and progress can be solely attributed to our ability to use the six honest serving men effectively.

Remember: “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”  Benjamin Franklin

Try this:

  1. Play the game 20 questions in which the leader thinks of a well known personality and will respond only with a YES/ NO/ Pass (if they do not know the answer) to your questions. You have to ask questions and based on the response of the leader guess the personality in 20 questions.
  2. Ask yourself if you suffer from the following indicators of being question shy.
  • You are lost in a new city and struggling with the map but feel awkward to ask the local person to help out
  • You watch Formula racing and / Golf on TV but have yet to find out the rules of the games.
  • You recently shifted to a new home. You are finding it hard to make inquiries with the neighbors to know more about the locality and the important landmarks.
  • Your child’s progress report indicates that he/ she is lagging behind. Yet you do not make efforts to meet the teachers and learn more about the reason for the child’s poor performance.
  • You are invited by your host to a fancy restaurant serving French cuisine. The menu card lists all the dishes in French. You feel awkward to ask the steward to update you about the dishes.

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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