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18- 04 - 02 Feb 18-Be ready to start againJanuary has passed by and perhaps some of us are left wondering why we missed the opportunity to do something different, something we are passionate about but something we are afraid to dare. It is possible that in the past we have not met with success when attempting something new. It is possible that it was difficult to cope with the criticism from others or that one ran out of enthusiasm when things got tough. Worse of all we may have miserably failed and fear attempting it again. Failure teaches one valuable lessons; the idea was not thought through well, it was perhaps badly executed, maybe you did not factor in some critical limitations you had, your idea was well before its time etc. Failure also tells you one more message; it is not the end, you can succeed a second time if you attempt, success that eluded is never permanent but more importantly failure is never fatal.

Very often it is not fear of failure that prevents us from starting again. It is often our tendency to procrastinate. This aided and abetted by our lack of motivation, lethargy, our reluctance to take chances and worse of all fear of criticism. However, look at starting / starting again from a different perspective and you will realize that there is no better time to begin than now.

It is an opportunity to prove yourself- Everyone is waiting for glory days. It can happen only once you begin. So it does not matter if you have failed before because it is the next time your start again that gives you the opportunity to prove yourself. Success is rarely a flash in the pan. It is the outcome of persistence, patience and passion. Improvement holds the key to success. You may have to work, rework and remodel your work till you achieve what you set out to do. Just do it.

It is a chance to give wings to your passion – It is possible that you are doing something that keeps your body and soul together or that sustains you. You do it largely out of compulsion to make a living. You will have to pick up courage to change your life by chasing your passion. You may have to rough it out, you may stumble and fall, you may face a bleak desolate lonely time. You could fail multiple times. Yet it is only when you start again with hope, faith and focus that you can get the winds of hard work and good luck give your wings the power to fulfill your passion.

It will test your skills, your spirit and your strengths – When you start again, it means you are hoping do something better than what you ever did. It is also a time for you to realize your true potential, bring to the fore your zeal and enthusiasm and to test the depths of your resilience, passion and patience. You will discover a different individual within you; a person far superior to the being you thought you are.

It will change, uplift and embolden you – When you make up your mind to try again, to not give up and to succeed it a true metamorphosis of your personality.  It changes your perspective of life, it will uplift your spirit to new heights and it will embolden you to dare to conquer. Your attitude, your mannerisms, your body language and your achievements will all reflect confidence, urgency, passion and success. Just try again and change your life.

Try these:

  1. Outline three critical changes you would like to bring about in your life. List out the excuses you have been giving for not bringing about these changes. Find an antidote to each excuse and begin the change NOW.
  2. What are your pet peeves or fears. Find a way to confront them and overcome them. try,Try, TRy, TRY.
  3. Your challenge this week is to attempt the following
  • Give yourself a major makeover –e.g. change in hairstyle / clothes / communication style / body language
  • Talk to at least 3 strangers for 5 minutes each at least
  • Do something you have never done before – e.g. cook / eat a vegan meal, draw a portrait of yourself, record a song in your voice, watch a movie in a foreign language, visit a cemetery at night, start writing a blog/ diary

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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125 -Dance of lifeThis is perhaps an ideal time to look back and reflect on how well we enjoyed the music and dance of the year gone by. It is not that life does not bring with it a fair share of sadness, pain and hurt but what we must not overlook are the joys, the happiness and the blessings that one has been showered with. The best way to judge how the year gone by has changed us is by answering just one question ‘Did I feel / experience a positive change in me ?’ If the answer is yes you know that the dance of life was an exhilarating experience. If the answer is NO then you need to practice your steps again in the coming year for the dance of life goes on and you need to sync your steps with the music that is played.

A look at life from the prism of the various elements of dance would enable us to better appreciate how well we have grasped the ‘dance of life

Space – Whether it is a ball room dance or a solo performance, central to dance is the use of the available space. Similarly in life, we need to give space to our relationships no matter who the other person is, how close or distant they are and one must be able to adjust with those around. Children especially need to be given ample space to pursue their independence in thought word and deed. That is when they learn to think for themselves, take decisions, learn from their mistakes and grow in confidence. Like a kite that we fly, we shall not let go of the string completely but will allow the kite to soar.

Timing – Every good dance is in sync to the beat being played. Similarly every moment of our life must be in sync with the priorities that we accord. So prioritizing our goals is a critical component of a fulfilling life. We need to learn to pause and listen, we need to know when we have to simply let go and encourage and most of all we need to know when to keep quiet and not interfere.

Movement – Like dance, life is a constant movement with varied pace. Sometimes time flies, other times it is slow and dreary. Yet the movement is what makes the dance wholesome and meaningful. Learn to go with the flow; don’t thwart the ebb. At times life can make us dizzy with the speed with which it takes us along. Other times the pace is woefully boring but allows us time to catch our breath. You cannot pause unless it is a demand of the rhythm. So pay attention to the music, the pace and beat. Adjust your movements to gel with the moment.

Patterns – Like any dance, life follows certain patterns and repetitive movements. Each dance has its own set of patterns that gives it an allurement for the eye. Your life too should adopt a pattern that makes it a treat for those around. Your personality would influence those patterns but that does not mean you cannot make the patterns of your life vibrant, soothing, engaging, encompassing and exciting. There could be awkward traits that you would have to overcome, there could be enormous potential that you would have leverage and there is always abundance of love that you can dish out more. The patterns you form in life emerge from the choices you make every day, every moment and to every life around you.

Grace – The beauty of the dance lies in the grace with which it is performed. The same dance performed on another day could fall short of expectations or could be mesmerizing. Similarly the challenge in the dance of life is to attempt to make each day better than the previous day both for yourself and for those around you. All that you do must be because you care, you enjoy doing it and because you believe you make a difference to everyone by the way you lead your life. Some days could be disappointing, painful and forgetful but most days must be exhilarating, enjoyable and fulfilling. Add a dash of sunshine, joy and self belief every morning and the dance of life will always be movement of grace; a joy to watch, behold and experience.

Try these

  1. Make 15-25 small chits. On each one write a name of a random person who you interact with. It could be a family member, a colleague, a neighbor, the liftman, the house help etc. Put it in a big box and pick 12 chits at random. In order of the name you picked up, you have to ensure your dance (interactions) with that person for each coming month is made more exciting for that person through your words, action, deeds.
  2. List out just one personal goal for yourself for each of the following aspects of your life
  • Personal growth
  • Financial security
  • Professional progress
  • Personal passion
  • Learning a new skill

Just focus on the above goals in the coming year and track your progress each month on each of the above goals you have set for yourself.

 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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40- keep up the good work

We are nearing the end of this calendar year. This is a time when there is a tendency to look back and wonder how well the year gone by has been.  For many people there is a tinge of regret that one has not made the best of the time we were bestowed. We lament the missed opportunities, the strained relationships and our own tardiness in not being self starters and movers and shakers. Yet if we take a pause and focus on just all that we did right, all the successes we have enjoyed and the appreciation we have received, perhaps we would discover that the year gone by has been exceptionally good. We need to focus on the right actions we took, the good we encountered and our blessings rather than on trying to rationalize the negatives in our life.

An important lesson we can learn from appreciating the year gone by is that many of our successes  may not have created waves, nor would they have impacted many people or possibly they looked too trifle. Yet we recollect these moments because they made a difference to us. The reasons we value these moments and cherish it are as under:

  • We did it because we knew it was the right thing to do. E.g. stop our vehicle and help a disabled person cross the street or spend time with a friend facing a crisis or visit a sick person who yearned for some company.
  • We did not aim to please others as much as we did it to align our moral compass to our values. E.g. refusing to succumb to the temptation to copy despite knowing that you could fail in the exam or actively participating in a cause you root for even if it meant retribution from people in authority.
  • We did our best under the circumstances, for we focused on our strengths not our limitations. E.g. Volunteering to help when there is a calamity or Doing the most mundane task assigned because no one else was willing to do it.
  • We would have regretted not doing it then even if the consequences were hard on us subsequently. E.g. Making that extra effort to attend a friend’s wedding and sacrificing your annual visit to your hometown or sacrificing your free time and patiently teaching the neighbor’s kids mathematics because they were weak in it or sacrificing your weekends to help a new colleague settle down in the city.

Carry the spirit of doing what is right into the New Year and you will realize how blessed you are; you don’t need an applause, you don’t require special motivation, you don’t have seek approval and most of all you don’t have to ever regret anything you do.

Try these                                                            

  • Surprise 3- 5 people with an unexpected gift each.
  • Surprise yourself by trying to do something different. Maybe you could trying singing along with a carol singing group or become a Santa at the local departmental store or just experiment with your baking skills.
  • Start writing down your New Year resolutions. Ensure there are at least 2 things that you have never attempted in the past but want to give a serious try in the coming year.

 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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28- An Energy called YOUThe sun is the universal source of energy but YOU are an equal source of energy, especially for the people around you and those in your circle of influence. If you didn’t cry at birth the doctors and the nursing staff, not to mention your parents would be very worried. Bet you put all your energy into crying loudly to announce your arrival and to proclaim that you carry with you, enough energy to transform the world. If you remained listless anytime during your tender growing up age, your parents would be very worried. It is your energy that was replicated in your zest that parents crave for. No doubt, too much energy can make you disruptive and mischievous but ask any parent and they would prefer that, to a dull submissive listless individual. Every individual is thus blessed with enough and more energy; but it needs to be channelized well.

You can ensure that your energies are best channelized by ensuring the following:

Having the right thoughts – Every action is triggered by the thoughts one has. Hence it is critical that one needs to be able to train the mind to be positive, confident and proactive. In a dynamic world, where there is constant turbulence minute to minute, our thoughts too keep churning at a rapid pace. It can oscillate from one extreme of unbridled happiness to the other extreme of despondency depending on the happenings around. Training the mind to have the right thoughts consists of being balanced in good times and in bad, developing the art of seeing the glass full no matter how desperate  the situation and being able to focus on a win win solution at all times.

Ensuring you have the right emotions – Emotions in simplistic terms are thoughts being converted into feelings. Since it is the thoughts that are converted into feelings, the feelings expressed would display the same characteristics of the original feelings. Negative emotions like anger, frustration, jealousy etc. would largely reflect the thoughts that triggered the emotion as much as hope, confidence, happiness etc. reflect the positive thoughts. It is possible though that despite entertaining negative thoughts like fear, anxiety, hopelessness etc. we can still retain control over our emotions and channelize them in a positive manner. E.g. Seeing failure as a stepping stone to success.

Taking the right actions – Both thoughts and emotions that remain bottled up merely traumatize a person mentally. It is the when one channelizes these thoughts and emotions into tangible action that the energy in you gets momentum and coverts itself into results. The right actions are overwhelmingly determined by thoughts and emotions but to get it right one has to take into consideration the ground realities. E.g. Anger is a perfectly legitimate thought and emotion when plans fail or things are messed up because of tardy execution. Expressing it is also a perfectly valid action to ensure that those responsible for triggering it, realize their folly. However, anger if expressed in a hostage like situation can be very counterproductive.

Since you are a very potent source of energy, you should be aware at all times about the tremendous power you have and ensure that you use it responsibly. More importantly learn to use it with confidence and integrity by aligning your thoughts, emotions and actions.  

Try these

  1. Think of a few situations where you were embarrassed by your own thoughts emotions and actions / /behavior. E.g. when you lost your temper or did not stand up for what was right or when you cheated in an exam etc.
  2. In the recent past did you succumb to the following:
  • Shouting at someone
  • Cheating in a game
  • Using foul language
  • Telling a lie
  • Becoming jealous
  • Intimidating someone

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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5-scale-down-your-goalThe title of this post may sound ironical, as most times we are urged to have loft goals.  No doubt that it is good to aspire for the stars so that you may at least reach the moon; however if we have goals that are unrealistic then chances are that we get daunted by the task we have set for ourselves, get easily discouraged by visualizing the enormity of it and more often than not we give up easily.  This is invariably what happens when we set a personal goal, which focuses on being better than anyone else rather than making it more personalized and stating that I will be better than what I was yesterday.

You would observe that the goal to be better than what ‘I used to be’ is more personalized, it is more manageable, as we know what areas of our life we need to focus on and improve and most of all we can measure our progress every moment. E.g. we need to get rid of a bad habit. Once we identify that habit and make it our goal to get rid of it, then every time you lapse into it, you become aware of it and try consciously to overcome it.

The earlier example focused on overcoming a negative trait. A positive goal could be even more motivating and the results perhaps equally exhilarating. E.g. Students could have a goal to map out  a study schedule and complete the set task before indulging in their favorite relaxation like seeing TV or going for a weekend gig. Note that the first step though is to map out the schedule, without which, focusing on the goal is near impossible.

Scale down your goals but have lofty dreams. Make the goals become the steps of the ladder that you need to climb to attain those lofty goals. Inbuilt a mechanism to track progress, a motivator to keep going and definitely a penalty to ensure you get back on track if you stray.

Surprise yourself with the tremendous progress you make when you begin; never mind the baby steps; even Usain Bolt began by crawling, tottering and then steadying his walk before he realized he could outrun everyone. All you need to focus is on outrunning yourself !

Try these:

  1. Just list 3- 5 personal changes you want to ensure for yourself before the year end. Follow this up with specifics you will do to ensure you can attain your goal before the year end.
  2. List out how this year you will surprise
  • A friend
  • A family member
  • A neighbor
  • A colleague
  • A stranger
  • Yourself ( set a goal to overcome a fear or do a dare )

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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02-07-01-17strength-comesWhen a baby learns to take his/ her first step, it is always tentative and for the first few times it will fall down. Yet, it continues to trust its instincts and when he/ she has mastered the art, there is a perceptible sense of achievement and happiness on the child’s face as well as on the faces of the onlookers. We as adults have lost that sense of adventure, we do not trust our instincts and more than anything, we fear failure and so prefer not to attempt something new, different and exciting. Our strengths remain out of sight, undiscovered and we go to our grave clutching our potential.  Perhaps that also explains why we fear death; because suddenly there is so much more to achieve.

Obviously then, the challenge for us is to dare, do and win. Yes you can, if align the following within yourself and begin:

Self belief: Unless you believe you can do something, chances are that you won’t attempt it. Wish self belief comes the thrill of the challenge.  If you do not have self belief you would end to find excuses not to dare. Questions like why should I? What is in it for me? How will it benefit me? May be it is not my cup of tea etc. would constantly keep niggling you.  You would then prefer to ignore the challenge than confront it.

Planning: While self belief will give you an impetus, a motivation to begin, never attempt a challenge like a casual dare. Outlining a plan to succeed is the key to every challenge. It is also the way to ensure that you have clarity about your objective, a clear road map forward and the required resources to achieve success. E.g. If Public Speaking is your fear, simply getting up and blabbering when forced to, may not give you the desired result. You must plan your topic, prepare for it, practice it and then create the opportunity to demonstrate your ability.

Daring: Self belief will give you the motivation, planning will largely insure your success but without daring, you may falter and fail to start. Daring comes from visualizing success, from having confidence that you have planned and prepared well and from the self belief that you will succeed. Sometimes, daring comes from having no alternative. This is typically what happens in a class room presentation, when every student has to overcome his/ her fear of public speaking for there is no alternative. Remember it is the first time that is the hardest.

Focus: Our limitations are accentuated when we lose focus while attempting the challenge. If we let ourselves be distracted by some blips or glitches that we encounter despite the best of planning the chances are we let our confidence slip. Focus on the resources available, delve into your creative inner self and calm your pounding heart to regain your focus. E.g. when learning to drive initially we grip the steering wheel too hard, we tend to view the accelerator, brake and clutch separately thereby stalling the car more often. It is only with some practice that we tend to see that the three have to work in tandem and that we need to relax a bit more when steering. The focus must be even and that happens when one has sufficient practice and then expertise takes over.

Persistence: Remember the time you learned to cycle or swim. Chances are that you fell, scraped yourself when attempting to cycle or when in the pool drank a lot of water or felt yourself drowning. You mastered the art only because a scraped knee or the fear of sinking did not kill your self belief. The same resilience is called into action whenever you dare to do something different, something challenging, something you have never attempted. There is always the possibility that you may not succeed in your first attempt but persistence is what ensures you succeed.

Look back on the thrill of having overcome many a challenge when you followed your creed to dare, do and win.   It is the same thrill that now beckons you; you suddenly discover both your potential and your strength; the happiness that you get is a huge bonus.

Try these:

Make a list of dares / challenges that you would like to attempt. It could be as dramatic as parachuting or conquering a fear of holding a reptile (like a snake) in your hands. Dare, do and win is next.

List out some of your latent desires e.g. writing poetry, having an exhibition of your art work, singing on stage etc. Assuming you have a decent talent in the respective field, take up the challenge to do this year.

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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42-keep-floweringAs we come to yet another year end, we would tend to reminiscence about the year gone by. While we do pause, recall and get a high about the lovely memories that we cherish, we have a propensity to linger much longer on the sadness and losses we have endured over the year. Perhaps it is thoughts about a loved one who we lost, maybe it is about a change of job or residence because of which we had to leave behind friends and good times we shared with them or maybe it is the recollection of some unfortunate happenings that scarred us. Reality is that we normally tend to take our happiness for granted and let our sadness engulf us. As a result we do not fully value and enjoy the full worth of the numerous blessings that have come our way. More importantly, we do not become fully productive, fully alive and completely besotted by the wonders of our life.

We can take a leaf from the life of a tree; it flowers, it bears fruits and it provides us shade. Yet it does not question why the flowers fall or why the fruits are used up or why it gets chopped. It simply grows despite all the odds. Can we not pick up a few tips from the way a tree continues to grow in rain and blazing heat?

Let bygones be bygones: No matter what odds it faces, be it children shaking it hard, animals grazing on it or the birds nesting on it the tree has simply not let these become excuses to remain stunted and fruitless. It has outgrown the challenges it has endured. It still provides the kids an opportunity to have fun, the animals to scratch themselves against its bark and the birds to build nests and feed itself from the fruits. Perhaps we too must look at our strict parents, hawk eyed school teachers and school bullies as people who helped you become stronger. Do not hold grudges against them. In fact, thank them for molding you to become the person you are.

Grow because you love your life: The tree grows because it wants to establish amongst the flora a fauna. It does not compete with the other vegetation but focuses on becoming what it was designed to do. Perhaps we too can stop imitating others, be less obsessed with the success of others and instead focus on becoming the best individual we can be. As individuals we have an advantage; we need to grow up where we are born. We can move an imbibe the best of cultures, customs, traditions and knowledge and improve much beyond what we initially gifted with. Make it a point to enjoy your life every single moment; the growing up will be much more well rounded and enjoyable.

Make peace with the world around: Yes people have harnessed their cattle on to the trees, they have thrown stones to get the fruits to fall, they have even perhaps disfigured the tree in order to climb it; yet the tree remains rooted and continues to grow. Can we not forgive those who criticize us, those who taunt us, those who talk ill about us, those who discourage us?

Learn to give even if you receive nothing: A tree largely receives only nature’s bounty and very rarely does it get any conscious support from human beings. Yet it continues to have flowers, bear fruits and provide itself for all and sundry be using its shade or eating its fruits or ultimately chopping it for domestic use. Once we have a similar attitude, our relationship with others will improve, our ability to give more increases because we have no expectations and we view others as worthy of our largesse.

Make your life a celebration of all seasons: While the tree does adapt itself to all seasons, it also provides us with an important lesson that no matter what the circumstances one needs to adapt and adjust to the situation. No matter what season, the tree will still retain its singular charm and grace even if it has shed its leaves or it is in full bloom.  It is a lesson that teaches us to take the good times, the bad times, the low times and the highs of our life with dignity and poise. We need to be balanced at all times. At the same time we need to find something good in our troubles and be pragmatic in our good times without being vain and conceited. Everyday must be a celebration of life, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Try these:

  1. List out 4 ways in which you will ethically make your life more colorful/ enjoyable.
  2. Make a list of the following
  • Your three favorite quotes
  • Your three favorite books
  • Your three favorite movies
  • Your three worst fears
  • Your three unpleasant moments of your life
  • Your three most disliked fruits/ vegetables or food.

 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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