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Archive for the ‘Daring’ Category

27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

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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19-  Be Good Better BestAre you one of those people who is frustrated that things are not going your way?  Are you getting impatient and desperate? Are you on the verge of giving up your dreams because life seems to be going nowhere? The good news is you are not alone. There are plenty of people, including highly successful people, who on the outside are an epitome of perfection but on the inside are bitter, broken and busted. However though misery loves company, that is no consolation. The reality is that you want to change your life around and do it soon. So here is how to go about visualizing, living and enjoying your future.

Believe – To begin with there must be something clearly outlined in your mind that you believe you passionately want. This is the key to solving the majority of our problems regarding our future. Most of us have a very sketchy idea of what we want to do, achieve and appropriate to feel satisfied and happy. The problem is we use sweet and nice sounding words, most of which are intangible and difficulty to identify when describing what we want from life and our future. Using words like wanting to be happy, successful, appreciated, recognized, rich etc. are adjectives that merely describe but do not clearly point out the destination. On the other hand outline what you want to achieve and then you have a tangible goal, you can outline the way to achieve it, you can put milestones to measure your progress and most importantly you can start believing in a tangible future. Your actions will then always be aligned to moving forward towards the direction of your belief which is the tangible goal you have set for yourself. Every little progress made in that direction will motivate, inspire and reinforce your confidence. You will also see and be able to measure the progress and if you falter or stagnate you will find alternatives to re-chart your course without giving up on your goal. Even changing your goal is a way forward since you have accepted the reality and are willing to change. Good things happen when you believe and work towards your goal for you will always make progress, perhaps slowly but surely.

Be patient: Patience is a virtue that one must develop for we often tend to give up quickly in frustration. Yet patience must not be mistaken as an everlasting wait; nor must an individual mistake patience to mean doing nothing and hoping things fall in place. Patience is like the farmer tilling the land, sowing the seeds, watering it and then believing he will have a good crop if the conditions are right. As he waits the farmer inspects his crop adds fertilizers, sprays insecticides, continues to water it if required or works on draining the excess water  and also plans out the steps to take care of the bumper harvest he expects. While he/ she patiently waits for the effort to bear fruit they also work towards ensuring a conducive environment to ensure the harvest is good and the fruits of the harvest are efficiently and effectively utilized. Better things will definitely happen when one is patient and works towards facilitating the attainment of the goal.

Don’t give up: This is tough because there will be numerous occasions when we realize that progress is almost at a standstill, doubts creep up and we start questioning our judgment, when critics begin to needle us with their own gloomy predictions and when we are tethering on the brink of confusion. No doubt we have to be pragmatic but that must be tempered with rational thinking, sound logic and an inbuilt self confidence. Many times we give up because we are not clear headed and we tend to exaggerate our doubts and fears; other times we give up because we cannot see ways to overcome obstacles; occasionally we give up because we succumb to criticism and barbs from others whose opinion we respect but possible they do not have the same vision as us. Find motivation to persist, seek out companions who encourage, view criticism dispassionately, learn from mistakes, keep the goal in mind and the progress attained; most of all believe, be patient and then keep persisting.  Learn from couples who want a child but are unable to conceive one of their own; they don’t give up but adopt. They believe they can be a complete family, they believe in their ability to make it a loving family and they don’t give up because they cannot have their own child but adopt one to make their belief come true. The best things surely come to those who do not give up.

Try these:

  • Revisit your childhood dreams/ fantasies. List out 3-5 dreams that you haven’t realized yet but are keen to make it happen. Map out a plan to attain that within a reasonable time span.
  • Outline a plan to attain any two or more of the following
  1. To increase your income by 10 %
  2. To increase your savings by 10%
  3. To be engaged in a social service activity
  4. To improve your own health/ quality of your life
  5. To make family time more meaningful and fulfilling
  6. To learn a new skill or trade or expand on your hobby or change your life style.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

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

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

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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33- Open the gates

How often do you wistfully think about the opportunities lost, the golden chance that you missed and rue your inability to be decisive and experience something different? We are largely creatures of habit and so we prefer to trod the beaten path, remain cocooned in our own little world and are apprehensive about exploring beyond. While our heart would want to take a chance our mind would normally override that urge by popping up imaginary risks and cautioning us against any misadventure, least we fail. Our real problem is not failure but the fear that we could be triggering trouble if we fail. We do not want to take the responsibility and so we remain mute spectators to the numerous opportunities that fate packages for us.

The trouble for many is 4 fold. Once a person can come to terms with these 4 limiting factors, the sky is the limit.

Recognizing the opportunity – This is the toughest part of setting yourself free from the confines of your mental and emotional prison. You can identify an opportunity only if you are seeking it. Many of us are afraid to dream, scared to think big, see lurking danger in being different and so just go along with the flow. Those whom we envy, are people who have dared to visualize something special for themselves and by focusing on that goal suddenly found themselves grasping the opportunity that they craved. Go on make a list of 10 things you always wanted to do or possess. Look at that list daily and notice how you suddenly seem to be noticing opportunities to attain that.

Inability to see the risk reward payoffs – The bigger the risk the larger the payoff. Of course conversely, the bigger the fall too. If we keep thinking about the failure, then you will attract it as you are not focusing on the opportunity but trying to insure yourself against failure. Once you can see the goal you have set for yourself, then it becomes easier for you to outline the roadmap to reach there. Without that roadmap, you will go around in circles. The payoff for bigger risks is the price you pay in terms of effort, sacrifices, stress, criticism and loneliness. If you trust yourself to reach the finish line then nothing can stop you and you will get that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So will you now invest in buying a lottery ticket or taking part in a competition?

Being persistent – Quick results are the bane of those who begin a venture. Just like those who go gyming cannot get to see the result of their efforts within a week, risk takers who dare cannot expect to find success overnight. Persistence is the one quality that will lead to success. Continuous effort with faith in one’s goal and ability and the spirit to weather any storm are guideposts along the highway of success. There are times when you want to give up or question your own wisdom about continuing and yet if the little voice in your heart says don’t give up yet then give it your best shot daily. Look for the little progress to motivate you to keep pecking away like the woodpecker.

Knowing when to change tracks – There is a thin line between persistence and foolhardiness. This is perhaps even tougher to identify than finding one’s goal. It is easy to have lofty goals but very tough to recognize when the goal set is beyond your personal ability. Not all effort gets rewarded in proportion to the effort. Not all plans fructify the way one has envisioned. The ability to accept that the way ahead is not worth persisting with and the daring to cut one’s losses, takes a special sort of courage. It does not mean giving up but merely choosing a better alternative. Notice that when businesses merge, the also ran’s are not caving in to the market leader but merely acknowledging that it is the best time to cash out.

Unless you dare you cannot do; and unless you do you cannot win !

Try these:

Here are a few dares

  • Not accessing your email or mobile or social media for 48 hours
  • Singing a solo song in a foreign language at an office get together
  • Recording yourself mimicking 3 of your office colleagues and showing it to those colleagues
  • Surprising an office colleague with a an expensive gift on his /her birthday

Attempt to make some dramatic changes as under:

  • In your dressing style
  • In your communication style
  • In your personal space at work and home

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- 6 June 15 FreedomBy and large each individual would like to be unfettered from the expectations of others, have the courage to live their dream and be insulated from the barbs, the criticism, the finger pointing and the ‘I told you so ‘reactions of those around us. We long to be free from the clutches of the pressures of ‘conformity’ that society at large subtly exerts on us. While social norms and personal values remain the guideposts of our life, anything outside this ambit would be seen as a curtailment of our freedom. The reality is that far too often we do not have the daring to challenge these restrictions because we are not self confident, we would like to avoid disagreements and most of all because we tend to take all of forms of feedback personally.

Yes you can enjoy personal freedom when you can bring about a balance between retaining your personal norms and self imposed norms in order to get approval of others. The latter is extremely difficult because as human beings we resent any criticism or negative feedback. Unfortunately we live in a world filled with individuals who are quick to spot and comment on anything that does not confirm to their personal standards. So your hairstyle, dress sense, gestures, choice of words, career choices, friends circle etc. are all constantly under the scanner and since we cannot please everyone we tend to try and please the majority. No sooner we do this we feel losing our dignity, independence and freedom to be what we really are.

To enjoy your freedom and explore all dimensions of your life review the following

Do you always seek approval of others? This can manifest in many ways; be it constantly expecting others to notice your new wardrobe / hairstyle etc. or always seeking permission to do anything off beat or different. You would always be constrained from enjoying and doing what you love because the approval of others is vital for you to feel the joy of being yourself.

Do you succumb to the temptation of being critical? This is reflected in the frequency with which you play spoilt sport or being sarcastic or prone to giving backhanded compliments to others. With such a mindset you would often alienate people and in turn be prone to be constantly at the receiving end of similar jibes from others. Your mind is then either preoccupied with being critical or the fear of being criticized. How can you then experience freedom of mind and body?

Do you hold back, anticipating disapproval? You are fascinated by a new dress/ gadget / holiday plan etc. but stop short of indulging because you are worried about disapproval from others. You are shackled by the chains of approval syndrome.

Are you wary of trying new and different experiences? You want to attend a new play or musical but it is a genre that you have never heard about or know anything about and so you drop the idea. Maybe you want to visit a new restaurant serving oriental food / Greek cuisine / African fare but you immediately get imaginary thoughts about the contents / taste/ presentation /ingredients being so alien to your senses and hence do not go ahead with your initial plans. Your mind is not free of wild imagination running riot.

Do you tend to brood a lot over any criticism or negative feedback? So if someone in authority criticizes your work or a close friend passes a negative comment or if you overhear something negative said and assume it is about you and you are preoccupied rationalizing the comment or justifying to yourself how wrong the others are, you would have already sacrificed your freedom on the altar of perfection.

Do failures or the thought of failure overwhelm you? The real shackles that most people find themselves bound by, is the fear of failure. Once a person fears failure then inevitably they lose the capacity to be independent, experimental, adventurous and original.

Freedom is never about being right it is about being able to march to the tune in your head, the beat that only you hear and walking towards a goal that only you and you alone can see. Don’t ever take things personally be it your own fears, others criticisms or disapproval’s, your doubts or your failures.

Try these:

  1. Make an inventory of the numerous odds and ends lying in your house that you would like to get rid off. Now try to sell these ( garage sale / advertise it / sell it online etc.) and donate the proceeds to charity.
  2.  Jot down the following
  • Name of an individual ( who you interact with regularly) who you loathe.
  • Your worst nightmare / fear.
  • Your one regret in life as on date.

Now for each of the above write down 3 – 5 positive things that you can think of.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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12-25 May 15-It is your worldOne of life’s ironies is that we allow our life to be influenced, modeled and directed by others. While it is good to take parental advice, follow the discipline and rigors taught by teachers and elders, be attentive to the suggestions of seniors and mentors at the workplace, we lose our individuality and ability to follow our dreams and furrow our own path if we do not allow our own thoughts to take center stage in our life. Yes, it is possible that when we dare to be independent, there could be the risk of failure, of criticism and of confusion but it is offset by the thrill of exploring, of having given dreams wings and there is definite possibility of success when we translate imagination into effort.

It is not merely the brilliance of individuals that brings about progress, revolution and discovery but it is the ability to propel and channelize the ideas, imagination and creativity into daring, tangible and concrete action that bears fruits. Pause for a moment and imagine the numerous interests that you had in your formative years. Perhaps you still nurture a few new dreams to pursue. Did you want to be a scientist, an astronaut, a fireman, an engine driver, a computer wizard, an industrialist, a fashion icon, a mechanic, a farmer, a writer / dramatist ???? Ask yourself what efforts you made to get a better understanding of the fields of your interest. Did you make some serious efforts to test your skills in the filed of your passion? Did you get discouraged because of the snide comments, sharp rebuke or constant berating of some key influencers in your life? Were you firmly directed to follow the beaten path? Did you succumb to the real and imaginary pressures around you?

Actually it is never too late to add color to your life. After all it is your life and you have to take responsibility for managing it, improvising on it and making it an exhilarating one. So if you fancied yourself as singer what stops you from atleast singing at a Karaoke night? What is holding you back from penning your dream story or poem? So you want to visit foreign lands; start by zooming on the places you want to visit, work out your budget and now you are already half to realizing your dreams. The key to adding color to your life is in using all the available crayons, color pencils, paints and brushes to start coloring. Don’t wait to find the ideal mood, the right canvas, the perfect colors or for your imagination to conceive the exact drawing. Leverage your inspirations with a little perspiration, loads of obsession and infatuation and see a drab life turn exotic and colorful.

Try these:

Simply select 8-15 objects that are around you. Re-arrange them / use them to create something different. If nothing else change their location so that the environment looks different and more pleasant. Good start!

Write down the most frequent criticism / critical feedback that you get from family, friends and colleagues. Now write down an action plan to work on changing the image you project so that those who criticize you will notice the change and applaud you for it.

Allocate a small sum of money each month as ‘ my surprise money’. Use this to buy something to surprise someone or family members or office colleagues. Notice the joy you bring to them and feel it reverberate within you also.

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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7- 26 Mar 15-Never mind the cracksIt is rather ironic that today’s post offers hope; for a despondent nation is still trying to pick themselves up after their semi-final loss to Australia today, at the 2015 Cricket World cup. In fact the raging debate especially on TV channels is between those who believe we have been shattered and those who say that the defeat is a mere blip albeit a devastating one. So to begin with let us accept the fact that after a flawless undefeated run upto the semi-finals, we did get a nasty crack when playing a better team. Yet, while the margin of defeat, the manner of loss, the poor bowling, batting on display as well as the captaincy will be the subject of much debate the fact is that cricket will continue to be our most loved sport. More importantly, remember it was the same team that were totally outplayed in the Australian series that turned themselves around to have an unblemished run till the semi-finals; clearly proving that we can still mend the cracks and also crack the whip when we want to.

Each one of us would have at various times experienced failure. Most failures largely our own fault where we were tardy, disorganized or simply not prepared to succeed. However there could be times when failure hurt us deeply because it was unexpected, we felt humiliated or because we had prepared in all earnest to succeed. In almost all cases failure did not end our life, nor threatened our career or terminate our future. This clearly underscores an important characteristic of failure, that with very few exceptions, failure can only temporarily impact us. Overcoming failure is a matter of 4 simple steps

Believing in yourself – We throw in the towel when we stop believing that we are capable of achieving what we set out to do. This is primarily because we focus on our limitations and weakness rather than on our strengths and our passion. Each one of us can grow in our chosen field of endeavor, provided we nourish it with the right amount of effort, intellect and discipline. When we do get the results the first time, see it as an opportunity to prepare better and succeed.

Letting time be the healer – When we fail, we must avoid cracking up and seeing lack of success as an end to our aspirations. Do mull over the reasons but do not brood over it forever. Let by gones be by gones but never forget the lesson.

Fresh initiative and diligent effort – Time also gives us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, come up with fresh strategies and relaunch a fresh attempt with a brighter chance of success. Leveraging our strengths, adding new arsenal to overcome our limitations and honing up skills as also find other means to neutralize our weakness are the key to succeeding.

Not giving up and also knowing when to give up. – Perhaps this is rather difficult to comprehend for there are two diametrically opposite suggestions. Try till you succeed is an old adage and frankly an excellent piece of advice to follow. So what if a crack appears, one can still stick the pieces together and get things functional. However what happens when the cracks are too many and too fragmented. Perhaps the only way out is to replace. Essentially it means that the outer frame is still sturdy, it has tremendous utility but it may require a fresh coat or it may need to be fixed with fresh glue. In investment parlance knowing when to give up is called ‘cutting one’s losses’.

You may lose a thousand battles but you can still win the war ! Don’t give up- don’t give in; just give it your best shot ! even it means having to take a decision to cut your losses.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 of your major failures. Think of atleast 3 reasons for your failure. Have those failures made you risk averse?
  2. Try all of the following. Attempt each of it atleast 3 times ( each succeeding attempt being at least 3 days apart)
  • Creating a drawing using any software
  • Playing a card game / board game / indoor game that you have never played before
  • Preparing a dish you have never cooked / attempted before
  • Doing something that you were mortally fearful / apprehensive of eg. Holding a reptile in your hand / participating in a public speaking contest etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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