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Archive for the ‘Devotion’ 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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WP-3--Purpose is the reason...

Look around and identify those people who seem lackluster, disillusioned and despondent. The one common thread in their life that significantly contributes to this state of living is the lack of purpose in their life and their inability to find a passion to motivate them. It is possible that at times each of us too has gone through the misery of facing a bleak and dreary day, week, month or at times a much longer period. So how does purpose and passion influence us? Is there a way to find our purpose and passion? How can I make best use of the purpose and passion that I identify? Answers to these three questions form the crux of today’s post.

So how does purpose and passion influence us?

Without a purpose, there is no worthwhile goal that we can pursue. It is the purpose that gives us a direction, a road map to the future and a reason to strive. The purpose in the short term could keep changing but it would be by and large be in sync with the larger purpose we have for our life mission. E.g. The purpose of going to school would initial start of as learning to read and write. As we progress the purpose would change to learning a wide variety of subjects. It could further change to getting degree. It could then change to being a stepping stone to a career. The larger purpose though could also change over time but it would be the outcome of thinking and reflection and would not change color as often as our short term purpose. E.g. I want to be a successful person. At some point this could change to I want to be a change agent in society or I hope to make a difference to the environment around or I just want to be a diligent, upright and respected citizen.

The passion is the fire in your belly that helps you peruse relentlessly the purpose set out. Without passion, you would lack the motivation, the commitment, the inspiration and zest to meet the challenges that are bound to crop up as you journey through life. Your passion makes the journey more endurable, the challenges more manageable and the goal more covetable.

Is there a way to find our purpose and passion?

Finding a purpose and passion in life is like finding the holy grail of life. It exists but it is incognito, it appears but fades quickly and it beckons seductively only to teasingly remain elusive. Yet it is possible for one to decipher it by focused attention and imaginative analysis. Focus on areas of interests, activities that excite you, areas in which you excel, aspects of life that engage your mind more often, arenas that capture your imagination. Be aware also of those topics, subjects, activities that you are most naturally drawn to or those about which you read more intensely or those that you have a natural flair for or skills that you are complimented for. Obviously there would be varied topics, subjects and activities that would vie for your attention at different times. Yet there would be a couple of areas that engage you much more than the others. Your purpose and passion are hidden in this little maze. With experience and maturity, fresh ideas, new thoughts and a changing world view would deeply influence and possibly alter your purpose and passion. E.g. Your passion could be photography and you find a purpose in documenting through photography wild life or news. Once you have achieved a measure of success and professionalism, your purpose could shift to sharing your expertise with others and your passion could change to being a teacher of the subject.

How can I make best use of the purpose and passion that I identify?

Learn with intensity – This is a lifelong purpose. While the subject experts and the text books will add tremendous value there is no substitute for experiential learning. Learn by using all the senses.

Explore with daring – The best experience is got when one moves out of the comfort zone and ventures into unknown territory  all the time being aware of the risk but not being foolhardy.

Temper your purpose and passion – Expertise and success could be dizzying and tempt one to feel almost invincible and that is what one needs to be cautious about and avoid falling into the trap of being reckless or foolish.

Enjoy the process – There will always be challenges, doubts, frustrations and criticism along the way; but that should not let you not enjoy the larger process of pursing your purpose with passion.

Share whole heartedly– Whatever you achieve or any success you attain must be shared; this need be in monetary terms alone but also in terms of sharing the learning, encouraging others, disseminating information and being a friend philosopher and guide to those who are struggling along the way.

Try this:

Here is a picture shared with me. The task for you is to locate the leopard in the picture.

Do you see the leopard

Identify one childhood passion/ dream that is not yet fulfilled. Over the next one month prepare a scrap book or PPT that will be testimony to others about how passionate you were about that dream.

How would you tackle the following situations if your spouse / best friend hates it.

  • You love to travel.
  • You are passionate about dogs
  • You love to gorge on Chinese cuisine
  • Your favorite color is blue
  • You love long treks and hikes

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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Unless you give yourself to some great cause, you haven’t even begun to live. William P. Merrill

From the time we are born our primitive urge is self preservation and this means that we tend to compete/ fight to live for ourselves. Beginning with our need for food, we seek shelter and security for ourselves and our loved ones because it is the herd instinct. As we grow and become adults we become independent but then we tend to become more and more selfish and self centered. While the animal kingdom exhibits similar tendencies, they never have the human weakness of greed. Thus animals that kill and live of the carcass kill only when they are hungry and even the herbivorous animals too eat just for their survival. Man alone tends to hoard, to gorge and to deny a fellow human being.  It is against this background that one needs to understand the need for the human race to consciously make amends for this selfish tendency and the one way to really do it is to give ourselves completely to a cause where the beneficiary is anyone but us.

Since our natural tendency is to live for ourselves, it is only a conscious decision that will really enable us to identify a worthwhile cause and help us spare our time, resources and energies on promoting the cause. The joy and thrill of giving out without any expectations is the real moment that we enjoy our life and appreciate the blessings that life has showered on us. The cause one stands for need not be related only to the human race but should be for the good of mankind. This means that causes as diverse as animal welfare and environmental concerns would be on the same pedestal as working for the handicapped, the aged and the sick. Whatever be the cause, the key is selfless service, total commitment and active participation.

Self less service involves the ready and free desire to be involved in the cause. If the involvement is conditional or it is taken upon reluctantly because of social pressure then the soul of the activity is missing. It is when one seeks out a cause to give selflessly that the cause becomes an integral part of one’s life else it will remain just a duty , a chore and an obligation. Total commitment means the whole hearted and absolute devotion to the cause. No matter what it takes, be it financial resources, networking, seeking out activists to propound the cause no requirement is ignored or side stepped. This is possible when we are wedded to the cause and then we become absolutely committed. The essence of real living is experienced when we give ourselves to the cause by being active participants and be physically involved in all that is required to be done. This involves giving of our time the most precious of our resources, getting our hands dirtied, something that we may not be really used to in daily life and then we experience both he pain of the other and the joy they get from our intimacy and companionship and service.

Remember: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Ty this:

  1. One of the toughest religious orders to join in is the Mother Theresa’s  Sister’s of Charity. Yet they have one of the largest numbers of volunteers and applications to join the congregation. What do you think is the reason for it. If there is a home for the children/ aged/ sick or orphans run by them in your city visit them and spend a day to understand how they work and what they do.
  2. Outline a plan of action to identify a cause, to commit yourself and to actively be involved in it. Don’t fall to the temptation of trying to be involved in all your interests. Chose one and give it your all. Ensure that you even slot a time of the day for the activity and to give of your time and personal efforts. Experience the joy that comes with the commitment.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Insincerity could take many forms; be it succumbing to laziness, being unfaithful, remaining ungrateful, lacking earnestness or simply being tardy and casual in what we do. Simply put insincerity is being disloyal. When objectively analyzed, the act of being insincere takes a lot of effort simply because it goes against the natural mindset and nature of the average human behavior.  All human beings are born with the seeds of goodness in them and it is only those influences and circumstances that we are exposed to that occasionally negative influence our thoughts and makes us deviant in our ways. Insincerity is one such deviant way in which the human being traverses during his earthly life.

Laziness is the one ill that plagues each one of us in varying degrees. Given a choice we would be happier to sit and do nothing provided we get all the comforts and luxuries of life. To avoid any kind of hard work, we attempt to automate it, delegate it or find short cuts in doing it.  Automation will work for repetitive and mechanical jobs but at a high cost. It is delegation and short cuts that could prove to be the bigger stumbling block and make us pay for our insincerity to our tasks for it could be inefficiently executed by others or the short cuts could give us disastrous results. In either case we could end up exhausted attempting to redo the task under severe time constraints and supervisory pressures.

Being unfaithful to a commitment, a task or a relationship is just as stressful partly because it means that we have to wrestle with our conscience and mainly because we still have to deliver the goods. In effect what this means is that we would have to fulfill our commitments, ensure that the tasks on hand are executed to the highest possible standards and maintain a healthy and balanced relationship. If we are not aligned to these goals, our insincerity will create stress because we have to keep balancing between the reality and the optimum.  Similarly, when we are fortunate to have the benefit of family friends and strangers who may have supported us in various ways, courtesy and decency demand that we are grateful for all they do and if possible at least return them the favor. Either because of our embarrassment or because of our preoccupation or simply because we do not want to acknowledge their support it is possible that we avoid, evade or ignore those to whom we owe a debt. The unfortunate part is that then we will have to wrestle with our conscience and sense of decency all the time and this can be extremely exhausting.

For the vast majority of us, work that we do not like, tasks that we do not enjoy, assignments thrust upon us against our will all generate a sense of antipathy and we rebel by being tardy, disinterested, casual and uncommitted to it. The result is shoddy work, incomplete work, plenty of excuses and the underlying fear that our lack of effort or lack of interest will be very visible and possibly be a point of disagreement and reprimand. This creates anxiety within us and there is both physical and mental exhaustion.

Remember: “No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself”  James Russell Lowell

Try this:

  1. In your current work profile outline 3 tasks that you would ideally not like to do but are forced to do since it forms part of your work profile. Ask yourself how sincerely you do that task. What are your ways of coping with these tasks that you would if possible avoid. Do these tasks exhaust you more as compared to your regular routine job?
  2. All of us are guilty of one or more of the forms of insincerity. Identify the ones you are most prone to and honestly evaluate how taxing it is. Are there alternatives to cope with it? Why have you not resorted to those alternatives?

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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When it hurts to look back, and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.

Many of our actions today are subconsciously affected by our past experiences which in turn also have a major bearing on our attitudes, behavior, thought process and decision making and that indirectly has a bearing on our future too. For the overwhelming majority it is the hurt, the humiliation, the failures, the taunts and similar negative experiences that remain deeply ingrained in our psyche and percolate into our thinking and our action which are often defensive or aggressive. Looking back at the past therefore hurts terribly. Looking ahead seems and equally frightening prospect and that is when one really longs for someone to be right besides you to support and encourage you, help calm down your anxieties, point the right way ahead and accompanying you when are fearful and scared. While family would often offer all this it is only one’s best friend who will really understand you and accept you the way you are. It is the best friend to whom you can open up freely, fight with remorselessly, shout and scream at to let out our frustrations and confidently turn to when there is no one left to lend you an ear and a shoulder to lean on and cry upon.

Most times our best friends are school mates/ college buddies or neighbors but we can also get fortunate in meeting some new people who providentially cross our path and we become soul mates. Similarly most times the best friends are of the same sex and age group but some people get exceptionally lucky and discover their best friend in someone much older or younger and someone of the opposite sex too.  What is important to note is that TRUST holds the key to friendships, OPENNESS crowns the interactions and TRANSPERENCY holds the mirror to show up the warts and moles and ACCEPTANCE cements the relationship. Each of these elements needs to be present for a friendship to develop into a relationship of BEST FRIENDS. More importantly we need to nurture and treasure these critical components that make us fortunate to have BEST FRIENDS.

Without trust no relationship can develop.  For friendships to develop there must be implicit trust. This means we not only believe the person but are willing to overlook his / her transgressions, forgive their mistakes and place your faith and possibly your life in their care. One can do this when one has to know the person intimately and accept the person as he/she is. Interestingly even if the person has breached your faith you will continue to give the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to both redeem themselves and also reaffirm their trust. Openness relates to our willingness to share and disclose our personal,  private and privileged information partly to unburden but mainly to get a an honest  feedback and unbiased suggestions from the friend. This is risky business because we may divulge information that could be misused or misunderstood too. We may even open up a Pandora’s box that could have potentially devastating effects on relationships and friendships too. It is by being open that we crown the relationship and turn friends into best friends.

In being transparent one does not hold back one’s feelings of hurt and disappointment in our relationship with our friend. It also implies that one would not hesitate to call a spade a spade and would show courage of conviction in firmly articulating a view resented by a friend. As individuals each one has a different thought process and view and even between friends there could be vastly divergent views and equally controversial positions being taken up on matters. Transparency ensures that one is brave, bold and business like in openly articulating feeling and thoughts. The high point of the blossoming of a relationship between best friends is the unconditional acceptance of each other.  As individuals we may have radically opposing views and philosophies. Yet when one is willing to give space to the other to follow his heart and yet accept that person unconditionally that is when one discovers ones best friend amongst a multitude of friends.  Even when there are serious differences, perhaps even disparaging comments and remarks made in anger but when the dust settles and the individuals can look eye to eye and embrace each other without rancor or disapproval that is when one knows that your best friend is there by you ALWAYS.

Remember: “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

Try this:

  1. Look back and ask yourself if you had a best friend in school, in college and in your work place. Do you still remain good friends? If not why do you think the friendship did not sustain. If it sustains till date can you identify one reason why you have been able to cement your relationship so well.
  2. Think of your best friend and honestly answer if you know the following about him/ her
  • His /her worst fears
  • His /her real passion
  • His/ her worst moment or experience
  • His / her most annoying quality

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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The habit of doing one’s duty drives away fear. Charles Baudelaire

Many of our fears stem from our tardy and lethargic behavior which results in us postponing our work, avoiding work and taking our duties casually. As a result suddenly the piled up work, the extensive rework that we have to do and the unavoidable deadlines that loom in front of us frighten us and the resultant stress and tensions scare us even more. When one objectively looks at the situation we make the startling realization that most of our fears are self created and possibly completely avoidable if only we were more diligent and hardworking.

Very often our problem of doing our duty efficiently emits from the uncomfortable and painful realty, that we don’t even know what our exact duties are. This is partly due to us being haphazard by nature but largely due to being ill organized and unplanned when getting to work. The way out is to take time out and attempt to clarify to ourselves what are the key jobs that we must do and ideally we must have fixed time frames to finish of the tasks. It also helps tremendously if we can prioritize our duties so that we cover all of them efficiently.

The next most common problem relates to our work style and our habit of putting off unpleasant tasks. We will stall, delay, attempt to avoid, try and delegate, deny, refuse or ignore those tasks that in our view are unpleasant and unappreciated. Conveying bad news for example is the least favored duty anyone fancies. Remember the time when we got a bad progress report card in school and we worried sick the whole night about the consequences. We muster courage to show it to our parent just a minute before leaving for school in the fond hope that tempers will cool down by evening. We actually end up getting a triple whammy for we are berated for trying to hide the report card, then for the poor performance and we have already spend a whole night in tossing and turning and visualizing  the most frightening consequences.

Perhaps our own work ethics creates the maximum problem for us. Sheer laziness and tardiness accounts for the bulk of the problem related to our abjecting our duties. . This followed closely by our personal weakness of being meticulous to a fault in doing ordinary tasks or completely casual and irresponsible when having to do important and critical tasks. On one hand one may spend hours on sprucing up our homes to receive an important visitor but at the same time we may conveniently put of deadline bound tasks like paying bills or filing the tax returns since there may be provisions to pay a fine to make up. In effect our style of work puts mental pressure on us for we are most worried about how the guests will react to the house despite our best efforts and at the  same time dread paying the whopping fines for not paying dues on time; the bottom line is that we still do not change.

 Remember: Excellence begins when you go beyond the call of duty.

Try this:

  1. What do you consider as your 3 primary duties to the following people?
  • Your parents
  • Your spouse
  • Your children
  • Your friends
  • Your society at large
  1.  List out the following
  • Apart from the daily chores what are the 3 duties that you have to do at least once weekly for the family
  • What are those 3 duties which you know will make you worried if you do not perform them on time?
  • List out 3 tasks that you hate to do and examine how you handle to tasks when they occur.

 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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We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. Oswald Chambers

It is typical for most people to pray either as a ritual or when I desperation and in both cases the focus is our own paranoia. As a ritual we pray because we are afraid of divine wrath that may befall us and when we are desperate we automatically gravitate to seek divine assistance. It is significant to note that in both cases it is our self centered interest that is the bait that lures us into prayer whereas real prayer is a mix of spontaneous thanks, praise and a reaching out to god. This means our focus should be on GOD and not our personal motives or hidden agenda.

Our difficulty is that we believe in a god more because of our upbringing that focused attention on GOD, but there are many times we seem to take God for granted and/ or  wonder about the truth of GOD’s existence. Most times we have that niggling doubt that stops us from freely acknowledging God’s presence in our life. We pray without faith, we pray mechanically and we pray superfluously and more often than not we simply chant in unison with no understanding of what we are saying. When we pray without feeling, we cannot hope for our prayers to be answered, we lack the faith to believe our prayers will be answered and we are often blinded to the reality that our prayers are answered in different ways.

Since prayer is a communication with GOD, it is essential that we are able to visualize the recipient of the communication. The message has to be tailored to suit the understanding of the receiver of the communication. By focusing only on our self centered message we miss out on the opportunity to interact with GOD spontaneously and share from the bottom of our hearts. More critical is the reality that with focus on our message, which mostly is all about our wants and needs, we do not LISTEN to GOD’s communication to us. Far too many times, we never get what we seek, but in the long run we realize that we got something much more valuable than what we sought. Eg. We don’t get the marks we want but as a result we take up an education which is not out first choice. Later we realize that we got the perfect career choice.

More than anything else is the reality that when we focus on God, we seem to be able to get inspired in finding solutions to our dilemma. We also realize that our problems are really minuscule as compared to those problems of others and that many solutions are within our own grasp. Instead when we focus on our difficulties, we believe that we have passed the buck to someone more powerful who is expected to solve the problem. Thereafter, our urge to resolve the problem by using our own means is not considered a very favored option. Finally focusing on GOD gives us a peace of mind that whatever the outcome it is GOD’s will.

Remember: By my definition, prayer is consciously hanging out with God. Being with God in a deliberate way.  Malcolm Boyd

Try this:

  1. Make it a point to have 3 special intentions focused on our nation, the world at large and some individual known to you in your prayers. Have new  intentions  periodically if needed.
  2. Think of 3 specific instances in the past when your prayers remained unanswered. Reflect if you focused on God or the problem while praying. How much impact did the unanswered prayers have in your life? Was the impact positive or negative in your view?

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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