Category: Difficulties

Disappointments are inevitable…but you can overcome them !

Dissapointments are natural...but...

How many of you reading this feel they are always unlucky and never win be it a lottery, or a game of tambola / housie or just a lucky draw at a raffle? Disappointment is a natural corollary at the end of any such game for all those who never win and worse still miss out on winning by a whisker. There are others who seem to be very lucky but are disappointed that they never win the big stakes. Perhaps most of us see these as minor disappointments of everyday life and get over our disappointments in these situations quickly.  However, the larger disappointments come from our self set (often unrealistic) expectations; be it grades in exams, winning a match, meeting a deadline, meeting a commitment or it could be expectations related to  a large salary rise or  a promotion or worse still expectations from our children in their scholastic, personal and professional life.

One consolation that softens the pain of disappointment is the realization that everyone suffers disappointments albeit in varying measures. However, it is coping with disappointments that are a huge challenge for us.. While the techniques to cope would vary it is essential to be aware that we should not let disappointments become an excuse nor let it fester in our minds and poison our thinking and actions. Here are a couple of pointers to overcome disappointments, quickly regain our composure and motivate us to strive for something even better than what we didn’t get.

Accept disappointments as inevitable: No matter how well planned and careful one is circumstances are uncontrollable and obviously disappointments will lurk around. Escaping disappointments is not an option and accepting this reality is the first step in coping with disappointments. Eg. Flight delays can be very frustrating just as not getting reservations be it for travel or at the theater can be equally disappointing.

Put disappointments in perspective:  Well some disappointments will always be more painful than others. It is our ability to be rational and pragmatic about the disappointment that will bring equanimity into our life. E.g. Not getting a ticket for a movie could be huge disappointment if you were with a date but a flight delay could be terrible if you were to miss an important long haul connecting flight because of the delay of the first flight. In either case it is essential to reconcile to the reality and make the best of the inevitable situation you are faced with.

Seek a positive in the disappointment: To make the best of the inevitable situation you find yourself post the disappointment, force yourself to find a pleasant alternative. This needs a little imagination, a spark of creativity and a stout heart to overcome the disappointment. E.g. If stuck in a stopover town due to a delayed flight, the best option is to explore /discover the nuances of the place. If you missed out on getting tickets you alternatives could range from a surprise fine dining experience to exploring alternative entertainment options or simply going on a drive.

Focus on the many blessings you have: Pause for a moment and think of all the things that you are blessed with. Loving family, decent lifestyle, good education, freedom to pursue your dreams and the list is endless. So the disappointments you encounter are mere blips in an otherwise reasonably good life. Learn to let go of the disappointments and instead embrace the fortunes that you are blessed with.

Be aware that no disappointment can overcome your spirit: Disappointments are equivalent to the little pricks that one has to endure when romping through the woods. We never give up on our trek or hike merely because of a couple of untoward mishaps or stumbles or a scraped knee. It is our enthusiasm that props up our spirit, strengthens us to endure and motivates us to the very end. We need to realize that it is this same spirit in much larger doses that will always insulate us from giving up when faced with disappointments.

Try this:

 

How will you cope with the following disappointments?

  1. You are unable to recollect the location of an important document that you remember having kept very safely.
  2. You are in rush to catch a flight and discover that your car won’t start and you have reach the airport on time.
  3. You pick up your favorite coat and notice a large ugly stain on it.
  4. A long lost friend is visiting you and gifts you something. On opening the gift you find it is something that you craved for but it has the most terrible color that you despise immensely.
  5. You are invited to be the keynote speaker at a prestigious seminar. You have worked hard on your speech but on the day of the address, you wake up feeling feverish and with a terrible sore throat. 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

My wish for YOU for the New Year

13-32-My wish for the New Year 2014It has been 4 years since I first started writing this blog and it has been a roller coaster ride with both highs and lows. The slow but steady increase in number of posts(485 posts), number of views (over 1,97,000), number of followers (over 1050) and the encouraging feedback from blog readers have been real highs for me. The occasional confrontation with writer’s block, the challenge of keeping up with the standards set and the gaps in feedback or slow pace of views at times have been the lows. However, each of you reading this post and particularly the followers of the blog who get the posts in their email inbox deserve my special thanks for the support and encouragement I have derived because of them.

The post today is for each of you with my hearty wishes for the New Year 2014 and beyond.

Comfort – Each day is a new day with a fresh set of challenges, problems and opportunities. Don’t let go the opportunities but should you miss them don’t brood over it too much. On the other hand if troubles seem to shadow you may you take comfort in the realization that ‘ this too shall pass’.

Smiles – They say a SMILE is a curve that sets everything straight. Go on and smile away your blues, your temporary worries and your toughest challenges. A smile is the quickest way to reach to people and to reach into your own heart and feel blissful. (Click on this link to know more about how a SMILE can make a huge difference to you http://www.poweract.blogspot.in/2010/01/smile.html )

Rainbows – After a heavy downpour we are often fascinated by the sight of the majestic rainbow in all its splendid colors. It is also believed that there is proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So wait and seek that rainbow when things don’t go the way you want it to; perhaps you will also find more than just the rainbow and get lucky with that pot of gold.

Laughter – Laugh and the world laughs with you. Bet each of you would love to have more company, plenty of friends and definitely hoping to have a rocking time. The secret to all that is being joyful and spreading good cheer and the quick fix is simply hearty laughter.

Sunsets – There is romantic tinge to sunsets and as you watch the slow sunset in the distant horizon, the physically darkness that follows actually allows you to experience the bliss of a happy ending and would leave you with a warm feeling of accomplishment.

Hugs – Be it a hearty greeting or a moment of heartfelt sympathy, both these extreme emotions are best expressed with a hug. The touch and intimacy convey far more meaning than anything that a wordsmith can conjure up.

Beauty – Far too often our eyes seem to be riveted on the misery, dirt and squalor around us. Alas there is also ample beauty around us that we take for granted be it the tapestry of religious, cultural and ethnic diversity  or the wonders of human evolution be it in the form of dressing, culinary art, physical art, prose and poetry. Nothing beats the beauty of the natural beauty around us be it the flora and fauna, the landscape, the creatures of the world or simply our own fellow human beings. Seek and you shall find – Beauty to warm your hearts and life your spirits.

Friendships – He / she is poor who is alone, friendless and unloved. Friendships are the outcome of a social need, a commonality of understanding and respect and is the essence of human evolution. Friendships nurture social interaction, evolution of communities and personal growth.

Faith – Faith overcomes fears; after all FAITH is Finding Answers In The Heart ( Click on this link to know more about FAITH http://www.poweract.blogspot.in/2010/01/faith.html )

Confidence – You are committed to whatever you do when you have the confidence in yourself and in what you do. Confidence comes from self belief, purpose and determination.

Courage – It takes courage to accept your faults, listen to your critics and to follow your heart. With courage you can only grow better, bigger and brighter.

Patience – If you have read so far, you are blessed with patience; a virtue that will open your eyes to the wonders of new revelations and fresh opportunities.

Love – It encompasses life in its entirety. First love yourself, warts and all. Next love those around you and finally love the world around you. Guess what? What goes around comes around and you will always be ensconced in LOVE

 Try this:

  1. Find out innovative ways of using the above blessings to cheer up a close friend, a total stranger, a person in another town/ country.
  2. Use the gifts of faith, confidence, courage and patience to explore a new hobby, a new exotic place and a new technology that you have been avoiding.
  3. Prepare any one of the following a New Year card / PPT/ collage / painting / poem incorporating the elements smile, rainbow, sunset and beauty.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Disovering your real strength.

13-28- Do you know your own strengthAre there times when you felt life is unfair? Ever felt that you cannot cope any more with life? Perhaps the anger, frustration, pain and problems have at times made you question yourself if it is worth living. As of now you are reading this because you did not succumb to the pressures that could have occasionally threatened, weakened and demoralized you. Perhaps the pressures enabled you to discover your own ability to cope with the vagaries of life, made you aware of the tough and steely self belief you have and helped you find latent strengths and talents that came to the fore.

To discover yourself better think back and analyze how you responded to a vulnerable situation, understand how you coped with temptations, how you chose between alternatives, the manner in which you respond to crisis and your reactions when you are unfairly given a raw deal. This is when you discover your real strength; that comes from your core beliefs, your value system, your character and your all round personality.

Your response to a vulnerable situation.  Look back at your school days. Remember the time when either you were singled out by the teacher for some aberration committed by someone sitting near you. The teacher is unable to identify the culprit but have zoomed in on you and either accuse you or threaten you to identify the culprit. Your response should give you an idea of how and what shaped your response. Would you have responded differently today given the same circumstances?

Coping with temptations You are attending a seminar. After the break you discover that your folder and handouts are missing. It is difficult to identify who has either pinched it or mistakenly taken it. You are annoyed, irritated and a wee bit frantic. After lunch you notice another folder lying around. You are tempted to stake claim to it though you know it is not yours since the color of the folder is different but rationalize that the owner of this folder may have mistakenly taken your folder. Your response should give you an idea of how and what shaped your response. Would you have responded differently today given the same circumstances?

Choosing between alternatives Midway through an exam you are appearing for, you realize that the person sitting behind you is frantically trying to catch your attention and suggesting that you allow him/ her to copy from you answer sheet. Your response should give you an idea of how and what shaped your response. Would you have responded differently today given the same circumstances?

Response to crisis.  You are at the airport on your way to attend a cousins wedding. It is peak season and you have booked your seats months ahead. At the check in counter you notice a commotion. Your curiosity gets the better of you and you try to find out the reason for the commotion. You find a frantic individual begging for a ticket to attend his father’s funeral rites. Your response should give you an idea of how and what shaped your response. Would you have responded differently today given the same circumstances?

Reaction when given a raw dealDuring the course of the year on more than one occasion your bosses have complimented you on some exceptional performance. You are shocked when at the annual appraisal team you are given an excellent rating but not the promotion you were expecting. Worse still you find out soon after that a colleague who has also done some competent work has been given the promotion since he / she had indicated to management that they could quit if the promotion was not coming their way. Your response should give you an idea of how and what shaped your response. Would you have responded differently today given the same circumstances?

There is no crystal clear right or wrong answers to most of the circumstances/ situations described above. They are merely indicative of the type of real life situations that would force you to exercise your discretion and possibly realize your own inner strength.  There is much more of you waiting to be discovered by you… challenges, difficulties and hurt are hurdles that help you discover the real you.

Try this:

Each of us have noble intentions but when it comes to putting it into practice we painfully discover we are weak, indecisive and easily give up. The challenge for therefore is to focus on some noble personal intentions to be put into practice.

  • Try to enhance savings by 10 % each year. If you get an unexpected bonus and during the annual increments add an additional 10% of the bonus / increment to the savings.
  • Identify a charity or social cause and devote at least 5 hours a month to that cause. Increase your involvement 6 months after you put your intention into practice.
  • Find a environment friendly activity to promote personally as well as in your residential area and work place. Target to get 1 person involved in this activity every quarter.

Identify 3 passions you would love to indulge in but cannot do so right now because of financial / personal/ social circumstances. Your challenge is to put a time frame in which to achieve each and write down a time bound plan of action to achieve it. By 1st Jan 2014 this should form part of your active efforts to achieve your dream.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The secret to happiness

13-25-Happy days are around you...

The essential condition for being happy is enjoying the moment. The problem is that our mind tends to wander around and seeks to find real and imaginary problems to dwell upon and fret and fume over. The human tendency to scan around for problems is possibly a defense mechanism to protect our future for we are the only species that uses the higher intelligence to embrace progress. In effect this means that each day we want to get ahead of the previous day and this creates in us a fear of tomorrow for it has to be better than today and yesterday. Protecting our future and planning for it is important but it must never be at the cost of failing to enjoy the better part of our life. Stress is primarily an outcome or result of our obsession with the future and is a predominantly found in the human race.

To reduce our stress it is essential that we find a way to like each moment of our life and love our life. This means we need to create/ find/ invent / be happy. The challenge is to remain happy for as long as possible and that is possible only and only when we learn to enjoy whatever we have.  Here are some ways that we can continue to be happy moment to moment.

Appreciate what you have. We tend to take for granted whatever we are blessed with and on the rare times we are deprived of some of these blessings we notice the absence and react with alarm, fear, worry and exasperation. Look back at the time you sprained your ankle or suffered from flu or the time you misplaced a valuable thing. Your attitude and behavior is symptomatic of our tendency to take the good fro granted and the unwanted as a calamity. Remember the phrase; I complained because I had not shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.

Don’t compare. Nothing disturbs our peace of mind as much as our tendency to compare whatever we have with that of others who we perceive as having something better than what we have. In many ways our inability to appreciate what we have often has its roots in our weakness to focus on what others have. Pause for a moment and think about the possibility that ‘perhaps we are blessed with just the right mix leaving us enough opportunities to aspire, perspire and inspire us to achieve and attain more’ giving us the elation of achievement and success.

Be optimistic. Problems, hindrances, failures, fears and frustrations are part of everyday life. We are given the grace to be optimistic; to be hopeful, to visualize possibilities and to find creative ways to overcome and slay the demons of our negative imagination. It is when we are optimistic that we confront our fears and stop ourselves from running away from the problems we encounter.

Seek positives. When in difficulties, pain or trouble our reaction is to alleviate the suffering. The challenge thereafter is to be calm, have a clear head and to think logically so that we not only overcome our difficulties but come out unscathed. Almost all the prisoner of war (POW) escapes can be attributed to seeking out the positives even in the most inescapable circumstances. Ask yourself if you are a POW of your making; your defeatist attitude, your weak will and/ or your inability to confront reality.

Have fun. Have you seen people in casts displaying a variety of messages written on the cast by friends and well wishers? Have you seen people with a big smile hobble on crutches to a party or come on a wheel chair to the party? Ever notice that the best jokes are the ones people tell about themselves and the embarrassing situations they found themselves in?  The ability to laugh, to have fun, to find a reason to smile is perhaps the greatest gift you can bestow yourself.

Try this:

  • Prepare a funny paragraph containing the words. Each paragraph must have 5 sentences at least and must contain 7 -10 words from the list given below. The paragraphs need not be logical but must be coherent and humorous.

Man, socks, dog, green, TV, nail, Egg, elephant, hook, water, clock, TV, bucket, Adam, Ram, Flag, blue, wheel, cycle, eat, run, scream.

  • Prepare a list (laughs that you can have) of at least 5 each of the following
  1. Jokes
  2. Limericks
  3. Comedy Movies
  4. You tube clips
  5. Cartoons
  6. Sayings / Phrases

(You are welcome to share your contribution by writing in to actspot@gmail.com. Please give your name and age along with your contribution. Select contributions ( emphasis will be on originality and quality of humor) would be featured in this blog. )

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Overcoming Disappointments

13-24-Dissapointments are natural...but...

Disappointments arise when outcomes do not meet expectations. As human beings we tend to brood longer over our disappointments but relish our successes fleetingly. Ask yourself how often you complaint, whine, criticize, find fault, get upset / angry, feel hurt, pass on blame, keep regretting, try to be alone/ silent etc. On the other hand how often do you smile, praise, thank, appreciate, remain enthusiastic, compliment others, be the company of others, say/ do something positive spontaneously etc. Your honest answers would give you a clue to how you cope with disappointments which are unavoidable but never unmanageable.

Even if we are optimists and have a positive attitude we can still be disheartened and disillusioned by major disappointments. If we are pessimistic and have a tinted outlook then it becomes imperative that we find ways and means to cope with the disappointments that we would encounter off and on.

Here are a few strategies to cope with disappointments.

It can’t get worse. Imagine you failed in your exams. You lose a year now. It has happened; but now you can honestly tell yourself that it is the worst possible outcome but it can’t get worse than this. Once you make this profound discovery moving on with life becomes relatively much easier than brooding over the why it happened; if only I studied more; perhaps I should have taken a chance and cheated and the numerous such thoughts that keep swimming in your head.

Thank god it is only this much. Recently a family member came home way past midnight and gently broke the news that he met with an accident. Obviously you are rattled and then shocked to see the person swaddled in bandages. Once you get over the initial shock the next natural progression is to seek more information about what happened all the while berating the person for being careless and irresponsible. Once we have calmed down and get hold of ourselves we rationalize that thank god it wasn’t worse. From then on we are able to handle the shock and disappointment with more pragmatism and acceptance.

Ok so how do I limit the damage? You are frantically searching for an important document and to your horror and terrible disappointment you just can’t seem to locate it. Your panic is matched only by the disconcerting feeling that you are heading for disaster. You search every nook and corner, you can rummage through every drawer and cupboard, you vent your frustration and then fall on your knees seeking divine intervention; alas all in vain. The quicker you get hold of your emotions the better the chances of finding an alternative solution that will help limit the damage perhaps even find an alternative solution.

What is good about the situation? Your team has played and excellent match in which you dominated the opponents and yet you lost the game thanks to a freak goal by the opposition. It is hard to come to terms with such heartbreaking disappointments. The results can be overturned; the missed chances cannot be retrieved; a blame game won’t help. A debriefing by the coach however can turn up a surprising number of useful and invaluable insights about the game. The mistakes made, the attitude and approach of the players, the chinks in the opponents armor than can be exploited next time around, the difference in play in both periods of the game; all of these are more seriously imbibed when the bitterness of disappointment is more acute.

Nothing can overwhelm me. You reach the airport only to be told that your flight has been cancelled and your connecting flights and holiday plans have in simply gone for a toss in a jiffy. Anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness, panic seem to engulfing you. Your mind is in a whirl, you can’t focus and you are in a tizzy. Quickly take deep breaths and calm yourself. While asking the reason for the flight cancellation may be a natural instinctive reaction, wasting time delving into it would be both fruitless and frustrating. Instead, focus on outlining the alternatives to salvage the situation. Take proactive action to implement your plans and be pragmatic about your subsequent actions.

This too shall pass. Pause and think; how many disappointments have actually
ruined your life or brought it to a complete standstill. The fact that you are 
reading this is proof that you are hale and hearty despite the many 
disappointments that you would have faced in your life. The reality of life
mandates that each of us will have triumphs (success) and disasters
(disappointments)  and the trick to overcome disappointment is to remember
Rudyard Kipling’s lines in his poem IF 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same;

For neither success not failure is permanent… for this too shall pass. 

Try this:

  1. You overhear your best friend criticizing you.
  2. You were hauled up by your superior / school management for an aberration done by someone else and no amount of pleading your innocence can cut any ice with them.
  3. You encounter a flat tyre on deserted stretch of the highway.
  4. You press the buzzer during the tie breaker of a quiz final and discover that the right answer is on the tip of your tongue but alas you are unable to articulate it on time.
  5. You go to highly rated restaurant and to you horror the food is awful and disappointing.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

In the midst of chaos find peace…

13-21-in the midst of storms

The universal truth is that life will always have up’s and downs. It is our ability to be grounded when we experience highs and cope with the frustrations of the lows in our life that plays a significant part in the success we achieve and more importantly the happiness we experience. Managing to be grounded when lady luck and success embrace us is relatively much more easier than battling the frustrations, the self doubts and the anger that follows failures, ill luck and negativity. The post today gives you insights into coping with those terrible moments that shake our belief in our own self, makes us feel victimized and sometimes push us to the brink of a chasm called depression, with suicidal thoughts not too far behind.

Be objective. Perhaps the most important cause of our frustrations is our inability to be objective about events/ happenings/ situations which we perceive to be detrimental to our interest or one that is a failure or something that we would desperately want to avoid. Objectivity comes out of being balanced, not being impulsive, avoiding panic and accepting the reality. E.g. You have carefully planned a holiday and everything is in place but alas on the day of travel the flight is cancelled. It is only objectivity that can bring sanity and some realistic solution.

See Positives When things don’t go as per our plans our disgust, annoyance and frustration see only the consequences never the possible positives. It is essential to be objective if one has to see the positives for often our judgment is clouded by our negative emotions. It is also possible that you have to think beyond the normal to connect the dots and see the positives. E.g. recently my flight was cancelled and while it did upset and annoy me, I knew I was short of time to take control of the situation. After prolonged discussions with the airline staff, they agreed to fly to me to an alternate destination and give me a connecting flight next morning. I did lose a day in the process but soon realized that the overnight stop over at the alternate destination gave me an opportunity to visit a friend and his family and offer my condolences in person on the loss of their son in a tragic accident.

Seek help. When flustered and irritated it often helps if one can vent it out or better still share it with a close friend or family. In the first place they help us let out steam and their words of comfort have a calming effect on us. Often they are much more objective in their responses and they would be able to suggest alternatives that would often escape us. E.g. When my flight was cancelled the airlines did not offer an accommodation and it was up to me to make my own arrangements. While I did try to evaluate options, I also rang up a close friend who often traveled to that city. In a jiffy he gave me the contact details of an excellent place close to the airport which was known only to a select few.

Don’t freeze. While meditation and slow breathing are the most popular ways to calm one’s self, the process particularly the former requires some skill set/ technique whilst the latter demands a fair bit of patience. Both techniques are effective but when pushed to the edge, the most effective technique in my view is action. Movement and activity will ensure your mind is distracted from the problem, if done with a purpose the activity will be focused on positive outcomes and for sure you will get an alternative solution. In some corporate offices there are punch me bags kept specifically to allow employees vent their frustrations by punching the bags. Even a walk in the park can be exceedingly helpful to calm nerves and maintain equilibrium. Ideally though diverting the mind to finding solutions and acting on the responses would give one a sense of purpose and bring one a step closer to finding a solution thus liberating the mind and body from the tensions they were subject to. E.g. When my flight was cancelled the airlines offered a full refund but by being calm I realized that it was perhaps the worst option for my objective was to reach the destination. Last minute tickets would cost me an arm and a leg and so I continued to engage the airlines to offer alternatives. Persistence and conscious engagement helped find a more acceptable solution as opposed to taking up their initial offer of full refund, which would neither solve my problem nor let me have peace of mind for quite a while.

I have deliberately used the same situation of  a missed flight  in each of the examples given above, so that readers can be sure that by and large the technique works in all crisis and chaotic situations.

Try this:

Apply the above 4 points to the following situations and find your own responses

  1. Your exam results have been announced and you are shocked to note that you have been declared  failed.
  2. You are all set to travel with your family and just 2 days before you are diagnosed with typhoid and strictly prohibited from travelling by your doctor.
  3. You are on a holiday and suddenly discover that your wallet is lost.
  4. You have had a serious showdown with your best friend and he/she has stopped all communication with you despite your best efforts to have a reconciliation.

How will you respond to the following crisis in your life.

  • You are to meet a very important client and the meeting has been scheduled after a lot of persistent effort on your part. Whilst on your way, you receive and urgent call from your close friend who requests you to rush to the hospital where your friends nephew has been admitted following an accident. Your friend is out of town and hence the request.
  • You have done excellent work during the year and each quarter you have been commended by the management during the quarterly reviews. You are sure you are in line for a promotion and a handsome increase in salary. You are shocked and confused when the management offers you a more than expected increment but declines you a justly deserved promotion. More shockingly you find out that a colleague has been give a promotion and you are convinced that you deserved the promotion more than the other person who was promoted.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Launching yourself

13-9- One step back 2 forward

It is that time of the year when the exam fever is at its peak and both students and parents are in a tizzy coping with the stress of doing well in the exams. The real stress actually comes a wee bit later as the day of the results draws near. While for some there could be jubilation, for a fair amount of people there could be dejection but the vast majority would be plagued by a sinking feeling that the outcome could have been or should have been better. An analysis would possibly reveal that an overwhelming majority are disappointed that the outcomes fell short of their expectations. In effect just about everyone seems to think that the academic pursuits have actually dragged them back or atleast impeded them in the race to a successful future.

The scene with the adults is no different. On one hand they seem to be dragged down by the weight of propping up their wards to excel, they also are bogged down by the pressure to attain personal success professionally, financially, personally and socially. Many a time, success seems elusive, the goals seem distant and the pressure becomes overwhelming. The collective weight of balancing personal expectations, professional growth and domestic bliss seem to be huge load to manage. Often we are tempted to throw in the towel and give up; our spirits are drooping and the rewards seem unappetizing.

Yet it is at the very nadir that one must dig his /her heels in, take a deep breath and with faith and hope launch a herculean effort. Be it an arrow, a trigger or a shotput; to get results we need to take that vital pull back to get the momentum to hit the mark. Take a look at a pole vaulter and notice the sharp arch of the pole brought about by the weight of the individual before the momentum and the technique dramatically enables the pole valuter to go much higher than the pole and safely cross over the barrier. The subtle message is that one often needs to take one step back before one can take two steps forward.

Success is often like a game of snakes and ladders. There are times when we get lucky and climb up faster but many a time we get gobbled up by the snake and come right down. Do we stop playing the game every time we get gobbled by a snake? The challenge in real life is not to let the snakes, be it poor academics or a personal handicap or poor self esteem or financial setbacks or a colossal blunder, become an excuse to give up.

Try this:

  1. Go to a long jump pit and stand at the edge and jump. Have 3 tries and measure the best effort. Now walk back 10 steps and then run down and jump and measure the distance. You can be sure the latter effort where you actually walked back, away from the pit and then gave it your all gave you superlative jump.
  2. Find out the personal limitations / failures that the following overcame before they achieved success
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Helen Keller
  • B. S. Chandrasekhar
  • Walt Disney
  • Tapishwar Narain Raina

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Enjoy the little things in life…

13-4-Little things matter

In the week gone by, this blog has crossed 1,50,000 views and now has 875 odd followers. A BIG THANK YOU to all of you patronizing this blog. For me this amazing journey started on 1st Jan 2010 and as I look back I am both surprised at my own gumption to try and write every day (which I did justice to in 2010) and grateful to my blog followers both for their feedback (largely favorable) and for providing me the motivation to keep writing. Today’s blog post, is also a tribute to all of you my readers, for as the daily views and increasing followers list came in trickles initially, they laid the foundation of the milestone I mark today. Thank you buddies. Jacob

Nostalgia they say is recalling the fun without revealing the pain. No matter what your age, if you are reading this now, you would definitely have enough years behind you to look back and visualize the wonders that have lit up your life at various times. Cut to childhood; the earliest recollection of your birthday celebration would bring a tear in your eye, a lump in your throat, a heaviness in the heart but most of all an unmatched thrill and joy. Perhaps another birthday celebration could trigger a wave of ecstatic emotions with you as the focus but love as all encompassing.

It is not all fun and joy that we recollect all the time. Perhaps there are painful memories too of the first punishment that you got for no fault of yours. Or the nasty injury you suffered when playing a highly competitive sport or perhaps you missed the finals that you looked forward to playing because of suspension. Yet when you look back at these moments, what remains etched more than the pain is the realization that those were defining moments that shaped you into what you are. Perhaps the injustice of being unfairly punished made you subconsciously more sensitive to others or it could be the reason why you are far harsher to those who are guilty.

Remember the first gift you gave your first crush or it could be your lovelorn mushy mushy little note. If you can recollect the contents, you might even unconsciously squirm at the realization of your immaturity then and the frivolous nothings that you conjured up. Yet, that day you grew up to overcome your inhibitions, overcame your apprehensions and learned to be more decisive. Remember the reluctant way you went through the mandatory social service visit to the local orphanage or old age home. Once you got over your initial shock and surprise at what you experienced there, the human values in you kicked in and they, the inmates, suddenly became an extension of your life. Perhaps those moments made you strive for success so that you would not meet a similar fate or turned you into a large hearted person, who gives at every opportunity without the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Pause a moment to remember the school days. The mischief, the examination phobia, the elation at unexpected academic success, your share of the punishment that you had to endure, the words of praise or congratulations that also came your way which was the icing on the cake called schooling. Perhaps the memories of some exceptional teachers have become a role model for you in life, the strict teachers that you resented then now remain idols who were fair and impartial though strict. The patience of others who understood your limitations in keeping pace with the others or those who secretly sympathized with your struggles or those who tactfully highlighted your strengths and pepped you up are now memories that well up your heart.

Finally family, parents, siblings, elders and neighbors and pets; can you just remember in one sentence how they left a mark on you? Love would be a common theme but for some it could be the harshness of not being able to get their affection or it could be their inability to appreciate you that hurts. Yet the precious moments spent with them would each hold a lingering fragrance of experience, affection, guidance, intrigue, regret in some cases, hurt in some very rare cases but a definite impact in all cases.

Beginning today, seek out those moments consciously, hold on to them in memories tenderly and embrace them tightly in the cockles of your heart.

Try this:

List out the following

  • The 3 happiest moments of the your life so far
  • The most painful moment you experienced
  • The most unexpected surprise you got
  • The best gift that you ever received
  • The most unfair criticism that you have received
  • The 3 mistakes that still make you cringe
  • The 1 love (each) of your life which is – a person, a place, a thing, an animal

Write down the first thought that comes to mind when you have to name

  • The best book you ever read
  • The worst book that you would not suggest to anyone
  • The best movie you have seen
  • The movie you couldn’t sit through
  • The most impactful proverb/ saying
  • The silliest feedback you have ever got
  • The best meal you ever ate in a restaurant
  • The worst foodie experience

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

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Set yourself free

13-1-Set yourself free_life

With the start of a new year, we can begin afresh, leaving behind both the troubles and the accolades of the past year behind. While the past will always be lurking in the deep recess of our minds, the future invariably gives us hope but is largely tempered by apprehensions born out of a wild imagination. The present then is squeezed between nostalgia and apprehension, your hopes and your despairs and your dreams and your nightmares. The only way out is to set yourself free; free of your own self imposed bondage.

Here is how you go about setting yourself free

Find a purpose for yourself. Parental expectations during our formative years have a large bearing in how we visualize a future for ourselves. However, the individuality in you often feels stifled and throttled by having to toe a line drawn by others. However perilous a course we chart for ourselves, if we focus on our goal our journey would be more meaningful, more fulfilling and definitely more liberating.

Tip: Write an epitaph for yourself and you would have the purpose of your life outlined clearly.

Reward yourself. We often ourselves overburdened, stressed and running to stay ahead in pursuit of our goals. It is as if the world is examining us with a microscope and we need to do meet their expectations. The reality is you have to pace yourself not with the benchmarks set by others but in relation to our own abilities, potential and capabilities.. This invariably means that you have to reward yourself; be it by taking breaks, indulging in something off beat, taking your foot off the gas pedal or simply lounging around and clearing your mind.

Tip: The key is not how far you go but how much you have enjoyed the journey.

Explore beyond yourself. Time to change your routine. Give yourself a new makeup. If you have been following the beaten path, pause, think of the numerous possibilities that you have failed to explore. Have you wanted to try your hand at something off beat? Ever tried bungee jumping or rock climbing or scuba diving? Ever had the urge to learn a musical instrument or act in a play? Did you always have a social service streak that you never dared to try so far?

Tip: There is nothing stopping you except your inhibitions and possibly your inertia.

Excuse yourself.

Notice that at every stage you are doing what you have planned for yourself, without being weighed down by the expectations, the hopes, the plans and the aspirations others have for you. It is possible that in the process you would have stumbled, bruised yourself, suffered criticism, wondered if you made a mistake and worse of all get the sinking feeling that you should not have dared to move out of your comfort zone. Learn to excuse yourself no matter what the consequence of your personal, calculated and deliberate actions.

Tip : Since you chose to follow your heart and mind you should allow your heart and mind to be free of any guilt.

It is your life – set it free – find the YOU within YOUrself.

Try this:

  • List out 5 of your apprehensions/ fears. Now for each of them work out a way to actually confront your fear. E.g. You fear lizards. Now find a reptile zoo that you can visit to actually confront that fear. Don’t do it because it is suggested here but because you want to overcome those fears.
  • List out 5 of your greatest desires or wishes. Now for each of them work out a way to actually realize them. E.g. You want to go on a cruise. Now read up on all the cruises. Select one that seems to catch your imagination. Slowly but deliberately start working on the finances, the dates, the preparations etc. for it. Before you realize it you would be packing your bags to realize your dreams.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be true to yourself

Nature has been very kind to mankind and that is why it has put an auto program within us in the form of our senses to help us protect ourselves from danger. Ever realized how is it that when we inadvertently touch something hot we instantaneously draw away from it or how quickly we sense danger when we smell a burning odor or stale food is immediately sensed by the tongue. The senses are programmed by nature to be true to the duty of self preservation.

The problem arises when we have to depend on ourselves for progress, growth and happiness. To this end, we are largely dependent on our academics, intellect, behavior, attitude, skill sets and motivation for setting our goals and attaining them. The very stumbling block for many begins with the academics where we are prone to expect more marks than our effort and intellect, succumb to the temptation to use unfair means so as to boost our marks and / or happily make peace with the results and rationalize that you have done your best. In effect we are just not being true to our abilities, our potential or our conscience. If you get marks that you really do not deserve, does it mean that you are academically superior to the rest? Do you think you can continue your bluff in your professional life? The replies to these questions should be again answered honestly and you would have made an important step in the pursuit of being true to yourself.

It is said that a clear conscience is the best pillow; implying thereby that if one is true to one’s self you can always enjoy a blissful sleep. In having a clear conscience one is not merely troubled by deceit, lies or improprieties that one may have lapsed into but the bigger pricks of conscience are brought about by a feeling of inadequacy that one has not discharged one’s duties effectively, not stood up to protest injustice or when one has merely sat on the fence when having to take a decisive stand. Not keeping ones promise is just a simple example of negligence in discharging ones obligation but there could be larger issues like not helping out an accident victim or not exercising one’s franchise during the elections. It may be pertinent to emphasize here that  while not voting could be viewed as an insignificant event that does not prick one’s conscience it is this collective lack of conscience that ultimately give us poor political leadership. Perhaps if each of us was true to ourselves our environment would have been a much better place to live in.

Look around and be aware of your critics. Perhaps some of those critics are people who have some differences or dislike towards you and many of their criticisms could be frivolous. There could be other critics who fail to appreciate your point of view or the reasons or intent behind your actions/ responses that they criticize. Then there are a few who are very very close to you and it this proximity to you that gives them the liberty to be more judgmental and honest in their critical feedback. What is important for you is to realize that there is always an element of truth in most of the criticisms and it is an excellent feedback to help one improve. The more important lesson though is that your friends, fans and supporters will always far outnumber your critics and most of them will never be true to you when it comes to telling you your faults, your limitations, your weaknesses or the area of improvementYou improve and progress only by being honest and true to yourself, for you and only you know yourself; only you know your fears, your ambitions, your apprehensions, your limitations, your abilities, your insecurities, your frustrations, your desires, your cravings, your hopes, your expectations, your values.

Try this:

  1. Write down your strengths and weakness and also your fears and aspirations. Make as elaborate a list as possible. Now try and honestly rate each point in each of the 4 grids and number it from 1 onwards, 1 being the most important priority. Now candidly visualize how each of the fort points in each grid impacts your decisions / your approach/ your progress.
  2. Identify 3 of the following characters and jot down one honest negative feedback you would give each of them. Think of how you will package that feedback to make it more acceptable to the recipient without your relationship being affected.

–          Friends

–          Colleagues

–          Relatives

–          School/ college mates

–          Subordinate/ junior / employee

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com