Category: courage

A true measure of your worth

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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The challenge is to turn around and…

11- 27 April 15- The challengeSo what are your fears; your apprehensions; your worries; your concerns? Are there issues you keep running away from, in the fond hope that those issues will sort themselves out over time? At times do you suddenly feel panicky, anxious, agitated, terrified, merely thinking about certain matters? If you answer Yes to any of the questions above, the good news is that you are not alone in trying to face your concerns; alas the bad news is that you have to face up to your fears all alone. True you have family and friends who will be supportive and encouraging but your fears are unique to you and it is a challenge to square up to it. Yet if a Helen Keller could lead a happy and productive life despite being born without the faculties of hearing and more critically sight, for most of us, our concerns would never be of that magnitude unless you let your mind imagine it to be of a much more serious nature.

Here is how you can stop running away from your worries and instead turn around and face your anxieties squarely and actually wrestle it down.

Take a fresh look at your problems. This is the toughest part of most problems because when we are fearful we lose focus, lack objectivity and tend to club different issues to imagine a huge problem. This is particularly true with our rocky relationships with others as it is regarding our monetary troubles as also with our work related concerns. Then again when we let our problems overwhelm us we are too terrified to pause and analyze our problem for it is a painful experience and one from which we would rather run away. Most problems exist because we let it remain in our mind and keep rerunning the tape to feel sorry for ourselves rather than to analyze what went wrong and what can be done to undo the damage or make a fresh start.

Work on finding a solution. Most problems are a result of our own casualness, negligence, inability to nip issues in the bud. Of course there are problems that happen suddenly like an accident or a mugging. In both cases, finding a solution should be our priority. However the normal tendency is to apportion blame, rationalize how the problem was not of your making and wallow in self pity. What is broken needs to be fixed, that which is an impediment has to be circumvented and what cannot be changed has to be accepted with grace and with the dignity to walk with your head held high.

Be grateful for your blessings. It is natural for us to magnify our problems and play down our blessings since we take our blessings for granted. Problems get magnified because we get obsessed by it. Our blessings become microscopic because when the going is good we take it as our right and never pay attention to it. It is only when we can put both our problems and our blessings on even keel that we can truly appreciate the enormity of our blessings and then realize that our problems are relatively insignificant in comparison. Ask yourself if your take your abundance of health, wealth and happiness for granted. Look around and see the humongous population around us who are relatively less blessed than us. In comparison to their problems are your problems relatively minor. Do you see them continue to laugh, love and live with hope. So what stops you from doing the same with the same energy and enthusiasm?

Think again. Stop running away and you will come face to face with the demons in your mind and for sure you can stare them down, trample over them, confront them with daring and make them slink away. Don’t let them chase you forever.

Try these:

Imagine yourself to be a perfectly normal human being with one exception; you have no limbs. How terrible would that be? Is that the worst thing that can happen to you and destroy your zest for life? Click on the link to discover how life is what you make it to be. http://tinyurl.com/knu95gl

What will you do if you are told that the rest of your life is just less than a year away? Would you start asking why me? Would you go into depression? Click on this link to realize how one can be appreciative and grateful for all one has been given. http://tinyurl.com/bpesfbf 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Energy flows where attention goes

6- 15 Mar 15- Energy flows where attention goesIf there is a one line success mantra it is this ! The line contains a wealth of wisdom for it also draws attention to the role of energy and suggests how energy can be focused and leveraged to get desired results. Here are 5 ways you can leverage the wisdom for your own personal success

Use it for Goal setting – Goal setting begins with thinking about the future, drawing up plans, reviewing the present and identifying milestones to ensure steady and focused progress. All this involves paying attention to one’s own inner voice, being pragmatic about the assumptions made, going beyond one’s comfort zone, taking giant leaps when required and making adjustments when required. Notice that at every stage you are focusing your attention on what you seek to attain and in the process you are channelizing your energies to fulfill those dreams.

Use it to be creative – One problem that many of us encounter is boredom. The other is the sheer monotony of the daily grind. Then there are awkward situations, unexpected crisis and the occasional need to be wriggle out of a tight spot. What is common to all these is the need to be creative and come up with an out of the box idea. Rather than being overwhelmed by the occasion or being flummoxed by the situation pay attention to find a solution and you will be amazed at how you manage to direct all your energy into coming up with something different and unique that is possible, pragmatic and definitely worthwhile.

Use it to overcome a challenge – There are many times, apart from those mentioned in the previous paragraph, when each of has to face a challenging situation, overcome a major problem we encounter or make a critical decision. While we may be armed with facts and figures, have a slew of alternatives to choose from and / or be given helpful tips, suggestions and advice when the moment of reckoning comes the individual has to make the choice. This is tough partly because of the criticality of the situation; partly because most alternatives look equally good or in some cases none of the alternatives seem effective. It is at these times that we have to keep focusing on the challenge on hand, direct our attention and channelize our energies to zooming in on the best solution under the circumstances.

Use it to make a dream come true – We all have our share of dreams, hopes, aspirations and desires. Some of it we translate into goals to be achieved but many more remain in the realms of wistful thinking, painful pining and exotic day dreams. As long as we hold on to those thoughts there is a possibility we will yet work on attaining it. If you let it go then you can never hope to achieve it. Keeping it alive in the mind is nothing but paying attention, albeit casually. What you don’t consciously realize is that by letting it be within your attention span you are directing your energies towards it. Perhaps this explains the success of late bloomers who left an inedible mark be it an a Col. Sanders of the Kentucky Fried Chicken fame or Grandma Moses the painter or Gandhiji who spear headed the Dandi March in his 60’s and the Quit India movement in his 70’s.

Use it to be a better individual – We are the sum total of all our physical self, our thoughts, our actions and reactions. If we pay attention to our physical self as also to those thoughts, actions and reactions that hamper our progress we would definitely find ways and means to change them for our betterment. If are overweight or sickly and became aware of it ( it happens only when we pay attention to it) we will find appropriate solutions to address the issue. Similarly, when we realize that we have a poor attitude that hampers our relationships or become aware of our tardiness or casualness that hampers our professional and personal progress we can find ways and means to overcome it. The key lies in realizing our limitations and recognizing our strengths which we can leverage. Realization comes only when we pay attention and then our energy can be directed for our personal betterment.

Try these:

  1. Click on the following link to read about Dashrath Mahnji ( The mountain man) http://tinyurl.com/lqq3vzp
  2. Make your own version of Jal Tarang at home and attempt to get some harmonious musical notes without breaking the containers.
  3. List out 3 of your most irksome / worrying problems and over the next week try to find out atleast 2 unique solutions to manage the problem
  4. Collect the following and find something unique / different/ which you had not observed in each of them.
  • 5 different types of leaves
  • 5 different types of flowers
  • 3 live insects
  • 3 different types of soil / stones

This post is courtesy wwww.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Guide post to a fuller life…

13-11-It is not...The essence of life is in living it to the full; making the best of the opportunities that are there for the taking; overcoming the inevitable challenges that one would encounter along the way with equanimity and exuding with joy when reaching various destinations along the way. Yet each one of us would have some complain or the other, feel dejected and overwhelmed at times and most of us remain clueless as to how to make each day count as a blessing.

 

The focus of today’s post is on a 4 point agenda that should serve as guideposts to living our life to the full.

 

If only is a common lament oft repeated, in which we tend to look back and moan about our ill fortune be it our economic, social, academic background which we think has given us a handicap in achieving our dreams. For sure those with better economic, social, academic backgrounds start off with an advantage there is nothing that prevents us from bettering ourselves and finding our niche in life. However this is possible only if we know what is our Goal in life. A goal gives us something to work towards, helps us focus better and provides us the motivation to achieve. Every goal achieved is a success that adds to the thrill of life.  Your background means nothing… your destination is everything.

  

Getting up each morning is relatively easier then getting going. Look back at the excitement and eagerness with which we looked forward to the early dawn when going for a picnic or an outing. Can we replicate the same enthusiasm every morning? It is the mundaneness of daily chores, the repetitive nature of what we do, the noticeable lack of excitement once we get up that zaps our energies, makes us dull and leaves us dissatisfied and frustrated over the week. We get pepped at the thought of the weekend only to lapse again into a quagmire of self inflicted moroseness and victim syndrome. The key is in discovering some sort of Passion in the tasks on hand. The job on hand is part of life… you have to bring life into that job.

 

Having a fancy job title or belonging to an elite club or having a string of academic and social accolades might help one become charged up and possibly also get a head start in what we do. However remaining on top, earning respect and becoming a role model requires taking risks, accepting challenges, exploring new frontiers and overcoming failure. The key here is Fortitude. This is born out of self belief and the ability to go that extra mile because you believe that beyond that horizon lies a wondrous discovery.  It easy to take risks with a safety net below… taking a leap of faith is a different ball game but well worth it.

 

Each moment we are bombarded with a million different ideas, thoughts, and possibilities. Yet except when we are forced to by circumstances, we stick to the tried and the tested path. Often we carry the impression that exploiting and experimenting with offbeat thoughts and ideas is largely the prerogative of Artistes, thinkers, scientists and the line. Having a Vision is every individuals prerogative and subconsciously we do give expression in our dressing, in the way we do up our homes, in our expression of likes and dislikes and in making our choices. However what we fail to realize is that we suppress our vision with the hammer of pragmaticsm thus vetoing our thoughts idea and possibilities even before they get a chance to bloom. Knowledge gives us the theory… vision is the seeing the theory work in the mind, believing in it and then making it happen.

 

To live a full life, begin by visioning your goal, discovering your passion and then tightly hug each moment with a zealous fortitude born out of self belief. Now feel the difference and discover a new you!

 

Try this:

  • List out 5 exotic holiday destinations ( 1 in the mountain, 1 near the sea/ beach, 1 in the Jungle, 1 Overseas and 1 within 200 kms of your current place of stay, none of which you have been to before ) and then plan out your holiday to any one of them in the coming year.  
  • Irrespective of the occasion, for the next 3 functions / occasions where you have to carry a gift, try to give a completely offbeat gift. ( Hint : it could be as varied as a potted plant, a cute pet, a handy man tool kit etc.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

I choose…

For the past couple of months, well meaning friends and acquaintances have been politely inquiring as to why I have not been writing my blogs as frequently as before. I suspect a number of my blog followers and readers also have a similar query. The plain and simple fact is that I chose to cut down on writing these blogs partly because my priorities changed, partly due to perceptible lack of motivation but mainly due to an unfortunate combination of travel, fatigue and spells of laziness. However, choosing a topic to write on perhaps was the biggest challenge and the real issue that has proved to be the biggest stumbling block in my quest to positively influence my readers through his blog. I have chosen to put these facts before you, for you have been loyal readers and you are entitled, in my view, to be updated of the facts.

The theme for today is something that is both a challenge to embrace and an inducement hard to refuse. I chose it precisely for this intriguing dichotomy.

I choose

to live by choice, not by chance by being aware of the options, appreciating the consequences of my decisions and by consciously improving my chances of success by wisely exercising my choices. Remember: Chance favors the prepared man

to make changes, not excuses by using my intelligence, my creativity, my powers of visualization and all my abilities to influence and impact my life and environment around me. Remember: Instead of cursing the darkness light a lamp

to be motivated and not be manipulated by finding big and small reasons to enjoy what I have to do, by experiencing the joy of a job well done and by doing things right on time without having to be pushed, coerced or threatened. Remember: We cannot be pushed from behind or pulled from the front; we have to be driven from within.

 to be useful and not used by volunteering to lighten another’s burden, by standing up for what is right by not being cowed down by another’s authority or power and by utilizing ones talents and abilities for the larger good of society at large. Remember: It is better to wear out than rust out.

to excel not compete by preparation and decisive action, by treading the path of integrity and honesty and shunning the urge to display one-upmanship. Remember: Excellence is achieved by competing with yourself.

to choose self esteem and not self pity by learning to live within my means, by appreciating the blessings I am showered with by not envying another or feeling sorry for what I lack. Remember: “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.”

to listen to my inner voice and not the random opinion of others by imbibing the qualities of fair play, truth, justice and independence of thought and action. To respect the opinion of others without being unduly influenced by them and having the courage of conviction to stand by what I am sure is the path of righteousness. Remember: To sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.

Try this:

  1. Out of the above list out the toughest point that you find hard to choose and implement. Outline reasons for it. Think of ways and means that would enable you to cope with that challenge if and when you have to face it.
  2. List out the most common criticisms about yourself which are expressed by those close to you. Which of those criticisms are valid? How do you propose to tackle those criticisms?
  3. If you are to hold one of the following 3 pairs of insects /animals in your hands for 5 minutes which pair would you choose and why? (none of them belong to a poisonous or dangerous species)
  • A frog and a lizard
  • A cockroach and a spider
  • A snake and a mouse

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Your real strength is in …

Strength

Strength is often seen as a display of might, be it in physique, through aggression or foolhardy bravado. The gyms are full of people aiming to ape their six pack heroes, the exaggerated use of lung power backed  occasionally by physical violence to prove one’s right are symptomatic of the malady that mistakenly believe that strength is in overpowering through might. Equally damaging is the mistaken belief that anyone who backs out from a challenge, takes a soft and calm approach or attempts to ignore provocation is a sissy or coward. The truth though is that real strength lies in being forceful without being aggressive, standing up to be counted rather than giving a standing count to a weakling and is best exemplified when backing out gracefully when the engagement is not worth it. This is well underscored in the following anecdote.

There is an interesting tale told about a Lion who consistently refused to battle a skunk. The skunk went around proclaiming the Lions fear and his superiority to the Lion when it came to a battle. The Lion still went about nonchalantly about his business. Upon being pressed for a reason for refusing to battle a skunk, he replied that he refused such a battle because as king of the jungle he didn’t want to be seen in the company of a skunk.

Then there is also the huge problem of misplaced machosim masquerading as strength.. Misplaced machoism, be it indulging in road rage, ragging juniors or taking umbrage at the slightest perceived affront is often the result of the mistaken notion, that one can display one’s strength to substantiate one’s worth. The real strength as exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi is in treading the tougher path of non violence, registering protest by peaceful means and retaining one’s dignity in the face of compelling provocation. Unfortunately unscrupulous politicians and radical religious fundamentalist are often guilty of attempting to provoke, incite and frenzy up support, particularly for wantonly misplaced causes through a slew of rabble rousing speeches and conveniently interpreted truth of happenings around. The objective of such tirades being, to influence support through a show of strength in numbers, as well as through demonstrated violence and mayhem.

Contrast this with the trend of peaceful demonstrations, candle light marches, black armband protests and resolution by dialogue and empathy. True these methods are more long drawn in getting results, cannot be a very effective substitute for dealing with continued aggression or be the only alternative at all times but by and large they deliver more lasting and acceptable results. Equally important is the realization that it takes greater strength to withdraw or throw in the towel when it is imminent or give in so as to live to fight another day. Strength is best demonstrated when one stands up to own up a mistake, genuinely accepts failures and heartily applauds a better victor. The ultimate strength is often perceived to be in sacrificing one’s life for another but equally important is the strength that allows one to take on the responsibility for another’s faults and failures and live with the  shame, the blame and the infamy of a an act never committed by you. The greatest strength you can posses is to be accepted by others as someone dependable, trustworthy and honorable.

Try this:

  • Read the well known short story Mr. Know All by W. Somerset Maugham  to appreciate and understand  the real strength of the principal character Max Kelada. Click on this link to read the story http://ajarnjohn.com/about-fluency/original-stories/mr-know-all/
  • Rate your personal strengths on the following parameters by rating them from 1-10 with your best strength being rated 10 and the least rated 1. Each perceived strength should have only one unique rating number. Can you think of examples from your life to justify the 2 most important strengths and the 2 lowest strengths?
  1. Discipline
  2. Integrity
  3. Creativity
  4. Not flustered
  5. Tactfulness
  6. Impartiality
  7. Commitment
  8. Work ethics
  9. Intelligence
  10. Resourcefulness

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Apologizing is an amazing gesture

Among the most difficult choices one has to occasionally make, apologizing perhaps ranks pretty high on most people’s list. As honest, good and objective individuals we would unhesitatingly state that if we are on the wrong we will always offer an apology. The reality though is quite different.

Here are 4 reasons why we find it hard to offer a simple unconditional apology when required.

We find it hard to accept our mistake. E.g.  Despite a frantic search you are unable to locate your set of keys at home. You are in a rush as you are getting late for office. You have in your anger and frustration also accused all and sundry at home that they could have possibly had a hand in the disappearance of the keys. On reaching office you see the set of keys lying in the office drawer. You sheepishly think of apologizing to those at home but then let it pass for it would then mean accepting your mistakes; first of being responsible for the problem; for blaming those at home; for creating a scene etc.

We tend to play down the happenings and attempt to justify/ rationalize it. E.g. in an examination you have strategically placed you answer paper to let the candidate seated behind you copy from it. The invigilator who notices this tactical but unethical arrangement warns both the candidate behind you and you of stern action. You remonstrate that it is the person behind who is copying and that you are blameless.

We mistakenly believe that an apology is equivalent to admitting a fault. E.g. As children we have often squabbled with our siblings or playmates. When the situations got unruly the elders intervened and then there was a blame game that was never ending with no one wanting to apologize. The genesis is the mistaken notion that an apology immediately implies our guilt.

We pamper our ego and forget the importance of relationships. E.g.  We have under a mistaken notion launched a tirade against a subordinate who for fear of more drastic retribution meekly submits to the barraging. Later when we get the facts fully and realize our mistake find it ‘humiliating ‘ to admit our fault and worse still ‘apologize’ to a subordinate.

Here are 3 ways to smoothly embrace an apology as a mature decision.

Remember that saying sorry is the simplest form of apology. Sorry forms part of the trio of Please and Thank you which are the 3 magical words in English that smoothen life.

An apology often helps us start gain with a clean slate. While some scars may remain, the wound is by and large healed and ‘all is well that ends well’ since an apology puts an end to the hurt, resentment and anger that may have been in the air.

An apology at the appropriate time, to the right person in the right manner for the right reason, is a test of your character, a critical component of leadership and a reflection of your personality.

Here let me offer my apologies to…

You my reader for the long delayed post which was actually written 10 days ago. Unfortunately due an oversight I didn’t save the same and I lost the entire file when the computer crashed. What you are reading now is a completely new post than what was originally written.

I need to apologize to my immediate family members who had to bear the brunt of my wrath for the post that was lost to the computer crash. The fault was entirely mine, but in my human weakness I raved and ranted and unburdened myself on all those who unwittingly crossed my path in the immediate aftermath of my disaster.

My apologizes to a couple of well meaning friends who politely inquired about my posts but had to bear  the brunt of my ire for I  had been rather curt and brusque to them when narrating what happened. I think I was also selfish enough to expect more sympathy from them and perhaps that aggravated my irrational behavior at their well intentioned and polite inquires.

Try this:

  1. Name 3 people who deserve an apology from you. Pick up courage to apologize to them even if a lot of time has elapsed since the original event happened.
  2. Can you identify with some of these situations when you felt apologetic about your own response to the situation
  • You did not make enough efforts to cast your vote
  • You told a deliberate lie for fear of the consequences
  • You harbored ill will against someone who wronged you
  • You shielded someone from being justly punished/ reprimanded simply because you shared a close relationship or friendship with him/ her

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Let the truth prevail

Telling the truth may have often resulted in embarrassing situations, perhaps have left painful memories too and may have even triggered anger and fury completely disproportionate to the facts as revealed. Perhaps we may also sly grin at the escapades that we managed by suppressing the truth or outrightly lying. Look back dispassionately and perhaps you may also recall a number of times when the truth was guessed by others who because of their maturity, goodwill and / or need to protect you played along and kept things under wraps. On hindsight more often than not, every time you hid the truth you were left restless, burdened by guilt and with the Damocles sword of being found out looming over your head.

Even today if one were to tell the truth and it is an inconvenient truth, our body language would betray our fear, our quivering voice expose our vulnerability and our feeble attempts at justification would add to our misery. The good part though is that when we speak the truth, our heart is unburdened, the mind is at peace and the consequences seem bearable. Telling the truth is not simply a matter of articulating the reality but it also involves standing up for rights, standing by those wronged, refusing to toe the wrong line and standing up to a brute majority who may intimidate or attempt to cow you down.

The truth is that ‘fear’ is an overwhelming emotion that threatens to derail us telling the truth.  The best antidote for this malaise is the realization that the truth needs no ‘alibi’, it is all pervasive and when shared it shields the reality from being pricked and punctured in any form.  Yes, it is true that it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth and often our quivering voice will expose our human frailty; but the truth when spoken ‘shouts out aloud’ unshackled, unburdened and ubiquitously.

Action Points:

  1. Try playing the card game ‘ Bluff’. Notice how you can catch frequently catch another’s bluff and also how tough it is for you to bluff.
  2. Ask a close family member and an intimate friend to separately list out 5 aspects of your personality that they believe you need to improve upon. When reading the list be aware of the emotions that run through your mind on reading each criticism jotted down by them. How many of the points they mentioned are absolutely true? What and how do you propose to make use of this truth to improve yourself?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The power of thoughts

Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.  Napoleon Hill

Each and every one who is reading this post is bombarded with a million thoughts every single day. We dismiss most thoughts as irrational, impossible, incongruent and impractical to deal with. The stray thoughts that remain after our initial filtration can be broadly classified as positive thoughts or negative thoughts. We sometimes proactively work on some of those thoughts or let circumstances force us into acting on a few other thoughts. What we fail to appreciate is that we as human beings have the rare privilege of being blessed with thoughts that act as stimulus to achieve extraordinary success if we simply engage more of these thoughts with self belief, purpose and positivity.

To reign in our thoughts so as to leverage its potent possibilities to our advantage we need to focus on the following

Listen proactively: Since we are deluged with innumerable thoughts, we are never short of possibilities. However, we are often inattentive, prone to be dismissive of many ideas and nip them in the bud or we fall in love with a thought only to forget it shortly thereafter. The trick is to listen to ideas proactively; believe that each thought has a valuable insight, juggle various thoughts consciously, look at problems as opportunities to exercise the grey cells and always carry pen and paper in the fond hope of getting a great idea. Do try to jot of some of the new thoughts so that when you read them again, they will trigger multiple ideas.

Explore creatively: All progress is the result of a ‘creative exploration’ done by individuals with the zeal, passion and self belief that they can leverage their ideas. The trick is to juggle various possibilities and select one that suits ones personal likings has a good fit with one’s personal, business or social objectives and surmount the obstacles that loom in front when the idea dice is rolled. Fear of failure is often the most common reason why people give up on ideas without much thought. To be creative one has to occasionally connect the dots, at other times fill in the gaps and far too often come up with out of the box solutions. The best of creativity comes when a person is passionate and he/ she is desperate. The urge to succeed must overcome the fear of failure if one has to become successful and creative.

Plan purposefully: Many an idea never sees the light of day simply because one is lazy, indifferent, casual, fearful, lacks self belief etc. but most of the time it is because one does not plan with a purpose. A plan starts with a clear goal and road map chalked out. This is not the result of a sudden flash in the pan event but the outcome of study, research, analysis and determination. A good plan must incorporate time frames, have inbuilt flexibility, have a proper resource allocation strategy and must be capable of being revised smoothly should the need arise.

Act decisively: A plan on paper is simply a redundant document. The plan comes alive when one begins by committing to the plan and decisively acting on the course of action outlined. Being bold and being committed are the two pillars on which decisive action rests. Acting decisively should not be mistaken to mean that one has to prod on even if the writing on the wall is clearly not in favor of it. There are times when being decisive means cutting one’s losses and quitting. Being decisive is like driving a car, merely sitting on the driver’s seat and turning the steering is not enough; one has to start the engine, engage the gears and move ahead balancing the accelerator and the brake pedal.

Remember: First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. Napoleon Hill

Action Points:

  1. Assume you want to start your own business venture. What are the three possible options you would consider and why. List out three impediments to your business plan.
  2. If you win a lottery of US1,000 what would you do with it?
  3. What are the possible themes you will explore for your next birthday party?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

You can impact the world around you NOW

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve theworld. Anne Frank 

Every individual has the power to influence the environment and the people around him/ her. What limits our ability to harness this potential is our inherent inability to believe in ourselves and to accept the reality that our every act if done with good intent and purpose will have a positive effect. Notice how involved we get and how much we enjoy a performance when we can without inhibition clap and cheer. On the other hand we would fail to appreciate the finer aspects of the happenings if we remain constantly critical and negative. Similarly, if we are subject to what we genuinely believe is a poor performance and we do not express our disappointment we would not be helping ourselves or the performers by our silent acceptance.

Here are 5 simple ways to contribute our mite to improving the world.

Participate: The principle applied here is to willingly and genuinely attempt rather than make excuses, play spoilt sport or become adamant. Let us say you go for a Christian Wedding Reception and you are invited to participate in the Wedding March. If the whole concept is alien to you rather than becoming very apprehensive and dogmatic, make an attempt to join in and if you feel genuinely uncomfortable regain your seat. In the process you would have learnt something new, made the environment more lively by your gracious acceptance to play along and chances are you would have enjoyed the experience.

Volunteer: Look around and you will find so many opportunities for you to volunteer and contribute. Do you see someone looking lost and unsure; you can help them feel reassured. Even if you are a guest at a function and there seems to be some confusion or crisis, find out and help out. Do you see some tensions and frayed tempers; step in to diffuse the tension. When there is a major activity being planned, volunteer to take on some activities, preferably one where you have some expertise.

Be proactive: Do we go prepared? Whether it is a meeting / lecture that we are attending or paying a condolence visit or a participant at a picnic we can anticipate some requirements and go prepared. Maybe we have some questions prepared to ask at the end of the lecture or prepared ourselves on the topic by reading up on it. Apart from offering our condolences can we also anticipate some need that we can fulfill for the bereaved family?  As a picnicker we simply go as a guest but the real leaders are those who come prepared with some games or activities to make the outing even livelier.

Encourage: Criticism comes naturally to most of us but offering encouragement is a skill that one must cultivate. Learn to find something appreciate, praise, motivate. Express that loudly and genuinely. If nothing else salute the spirit of the one who is coming last for his/ her spirit of daring and adventure. Learn from the behaviour of legendary coaches who appreciate the efforts of his/ her players even if they have lost a game. The post match critical analysis is always closed door but the pat on the back for every team member is immediate and warmly given.

Smile: The least that one can do to improve the world is to smile. It costs nothing, means much to others and lifts spirits instantaneously. Spreading cheer is within everyone’s power and ability. What is needed is a large heart, a spirit of enterprise, a positive attitude and a zest for life. A smile will never fail you then.

Remember: If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.  Win Borden

Try this:

  1. With a group of likeminded people plan a visit to the mental asylum / the local prison / a hospice for the terminally ill. How will you make use of the learning above to make the visit a very memorable one both for you and those you are visiting?
  2. How will you handle the following scenarios?
  • You are walking along a lonely path and you see a small baby bird that has fallen of the next. You are worried that a cat or dog could attack it. You have never handled birds and feel very uncomfortable.
  • You find a bag left behind in a bus just as you are about to get off the bus.
  • You are in a fair and you notice a small child of 4 years bitterly crying.
  • You are at the railway station to see off a friend. The train is about to leave and you notice a rather stout lady lugging a very heavy bag desperately trying to rush and board the train. In a split second you realize that if you help her with the luggage she can board the train but you will have to board it too if the luggage has to be taken in.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com