Category: Ego

Life is like making tea…

This is an apt simile that offers so many possibilities to make life interesting, joyful and fulfilling. By following it, one can distill the best that life has to offer and it would make for a refreshing perspective to life.

Here is the way, to make that brew called life, perfect.

Boil your ego. Our ego is what gives us our pride, our individuality and our self respect. Unfortunately, far too often we have a bloated ego, a false sense of pride and quite often mistake unpleasant feedback got from others as an affront to our self respect. A more objective look and a realistic assessment of ourselves can help us boil our ego such that the best in us is distilled out as our unique flavor and the residue can be safely discarded.

Evaporate your worries Man is perhaps the only creature in the animal kingdom that carry’s the heavy load of worry on our backs, minds and life.If we are poor we worry about our livelihood, if we are middle class we worry about being rich and these who are rich are worried about increasing their wealth and protecting what they have. Parental worries about the children future is another never ending soap opera that rewinds itself constantly. Children worry about coping with parental expectations, academic performance and exploring their own individuality.

Dilute your sorrows Death is a certainty and obviously therefore sorrow is a natural corollary of it. However we take every niggle and every trouble to be an unfortunate and sorrowful happening and with rare exceptions tend to focus mostly on our troubles. Rather than make life a permanent mourning one must make life one big celebration and cope with sorrow by using the antidote of rationalization, acceptance, pragmatism and laughter.

Filter your mistakes When in a reflective mood many of us pensively wish we could change the script of our life, erasing the mistakes and the glitches that mar our personality. How we also wish we could redo things of the past and perhaps also do some things that we didn’t do in the past. The problem starts when we use this pensive thoughts as a crutch to lean on for all our inefficiencies, mistakes, failures instead of learning from it. Filtering your mistakes involves accepting the mistake, analyzing the root problem that caused it and taking some tough, bold and firm decisions to ensure it won’t be repeated.

Get that taste of happiness. The essence of life is happiness and that is an emotion that comes naturally to us. Alas, the harsh realities of life, our own complex thinking and our beliefs and attitudes influence and shape our perception of happiness. However, having used the analogy of brewing a good cup of tea, it is for us to finally strain out the cup of tea while discarding the residue. In the process we have got rid of our false ego, our persistent worries, left behind our sorrows and got over our mistakes. What is left is the real you. Some pointers to enjoying happiness include indulging one’s self, letting down one’s hair, enjoying the adulation and feeling light in body and spirit.

Try this:

Every day attempt any one or more of the following

  • Smile with warmth at an acquaintance or stranger or colleague
  • Share a word of encouragement/ appreciation with 2 at least 2 people
  • Forgive someone who has wronged you/ hurt you / been rude/ been disrespectful to you
  • Read one joke or cartoon strip or share a joke with someone
  • Every night think of 3 things that happened in the day that you are grateful for.

Think of the following and the possible erroneous ideas you have about it.

  • Three things that you believe are your strengths. – Do you have sense of false pride / ego about it??
  • Think of one sorrow that you find hard to overcome. Do you feel sad and despondent about any other aspects of your life so far? – By merely feeling sad and/ or worrying about it are you able to achieve anything?
  • Think of 3 mistakes made by you that you wished you could go back in time and correct. Have you overcome the anxiety cause by those mistakes or do they still negatively impact your life?
  • Think of 3 occasions when you are completely stress free, happy and at peace with yourself. Do you enjoy those moments often enough and can you find/ create other such moments to make your life very fulfilling.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Making your life simple

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”  Charles Dudley Warner

Are you one of those who is forever complaining, someone who is constantly stressed, a person who never seems to have enough and an individual in the quest of his / her individuality? Our source of dissatisfaction, restlessness and irritation can be stymied and possibly got rid off by learning to avoid complicating our thinking and by focusing on simplifying our living. How do we complicate our thinking? How can we simplify our living? The answers to these questions are the essence of today’s post.

How do we complicate our thinking?

Comparisons. A common human bane is our invariable impulsive need to compare with others. Be it our own physical personality or mental abilities or wealth and riches; the urge to surpass the other creates in us need to compare and this leads us to warped thinking, skewed logic and insatiable wants.

Desires. Coveting what catches our fancy is perhaps a logical extension of our sin of comparison. However this goes deeper in as much as we pay no attention to our need but cave into our greed and lust and this blinds us to the consequences or price of our actions.

Jealousy.  Our insatiable urge for things manifests itself in desires whilst our ego is largely responsible for inability to restrain ourselves from comparing with those around. Alas, the combination of these two evils sparks of a third bigger evil jealousy. Jealousy unfortunately has no antidote and the best way to stem the rot is by learning to appreciate  all that we posses.

Lack of appreciation. By failing to acknowledge all that we are blessed with, we tend to take things for granted. If you have sprained any part of your body or you have had a hand or leg in cast you would understand how much we have taken our physical body for granted. Do we really appreciate the blessings of a loving family the power we have in the form of an intimate friends circle or the blessings of good health?

How can we simplify our living?

Acceptance: We have to make the best use of the cards that have been given us in this life. The first step then is to accept the reality and then begin to make the best of what we have. What we really need to watch out for are excuses that we spew out when we fail to grasp the opportunities that come our way. Acceptance is no license either to stop striving for one can steadily progress by aiming higher.

Be grateful : If you are reading this just be grateful for your education, your eyesight, the fortune of being able to access the computer and for the good fortune of coming across this site. Perhaps there are many more things to be grateful for. In reality do we value all the triumphs, the trails, the pain and the pleasure that we have experienced. The trails and pains are invaluable experiences that teach us a lot while the pain and the pleasure makes our life more fulfilling.

Enjoy the moment: Far too often we plan, strategize, anticipate, imagine and visualize in order to protect our future. Alas in this scramble to enjoy the future we miss out on relishing the present, the reality of now and the ecstasy of living. While it is essential to also think of the future that must never be at the cost of not having a great laugh, indulging in some tomfoolery caressing a loved one or enjoying the affectation of loved ones.

Worry less: The one thing that we overlook when trying to simplify life is minimizing stress. Stress is nothing but worry working overtime and overtaking our happiness. The way to minimize worry is by assessing the source and the consequence and then reconcile to it. This requires a lot of grit to confront the problem and a healthy dose of positivity to appreciate the worst case scenario. Worrying won’t solve problems but by minimizing our worrying we will have peace of mind, clarity of thought and ample time to enjoy the moment.

Remember: “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Try this:

  1. Out of the 4 points listed in the first part of this write up  and  the 4 points listed in the second part which 2 are u most guilty of violating?
  2. Think of one person who annoys you a lot. Now list out 2 things you admire in him/ her.
  3. Think of 2 things that worry you a lot. Now list out 3 reasons for each which you believe makes the worry less irksome.
  4. Name one person who gives you positive feedback and compliments. How often have you appreciated him/her? Have you tried to emulate him/her?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Finding your way in life

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman

Many of us meander through life with a sense of regret that we have neither achieved anything nor made our mark in this world. One reason for this regret is the subconscious desire to make our presence felt and be recognized, applauded and rewarded for our contributions. In this quest to make our presence felt we strive to find a niche that we can quickly usurp and hopefully make it the showcase of our achievements. As many a dope tainted athlete would have realized, there are no short cuts to success and the illusion that our achievements are the focal point of attention is a myth that lasts only as long as we continue to hog the lime light.

On the other hand if we scan our immediate environment, we would find a large number of individuals who may not be changing the world at large but are definitely influencing the world around them. With a little introspection, we could also make the profound discovery that each one of us too has a deep and lasting impact on the many people who we come in contact with. The trouble is that we tend to undermine our own role, abilities and influence and fall victim to the irrational belief that we need to be a mover and shaker if we are to qualify as achievers. The truth is that every small, purposeful and positive action by an individual stirs up the environment around and its ripples reach out far and wide.

The skeptic in us would immediately question our contribution and influence rationalizing that we are too insignificant in the scheme of things. So then how can we really appreciate our importance and role in the mundane and humdrum existence that we seem to be destined for? The clue to this lies in seeking answers to three vital questions.

What are my values? While it may not be humanely possible to be a paradigm of every virtue, it is essential that we identify at least one virtue that we steadfastly hold on to. Most people would have a large list of virtues but it is the one critical virtue that would help one understand ones values in life.  It could be honesty/ sense of fair play/ compassion/ doggedness/ never say die spirit/ accepting challenges/ patience/ orderliness/ etc. The one central virtue is what will anchor the individual to the reality of life and inject in them the urge to proactively contribute and influence e.g. Those with a strong sense of compassion would seek out ways and means to be useful to the poor/ the destitute/ the suffering. Those who are dogged will resolutely pursue the goal they set themselves; be it bringing the guilty to justice or helping the underdog get his/her due.

How do I cope with my own personal weakness and failures? As human beings we are susceptible to a multitude of weakness and have to carry the cross of many a failure. The manner in which we cope with these limitations in us would have a profound bearing on our personality and life. .  E.g. those who are unable to cope with failure could be academically brilliant but completely risk averse. Yet the weakness by itself should be seen as an indictment of the individual for almost everyone has ample alternative strengths just waiting to be tapped. E.g. some of those who are prey to addictions would when sober be the most effective and efficient people to have around. The secret is to discover the potential and to harness that power.

What should I be doing? Nothing is more confusing than the answer to this question. How does a professional sportsman know when to retire? How much money would make a person happy? Should I give up a steady job to purse my passion and dreams? Should I be single or get married because that is the way of the world? When my conscience rebels do I succumb to the pressures of protecting my friends and companions or would I at the risk of losing everything stand up for the truth no matter how damaging it may be?  Once we are able to honestly and consistently answer this question of what should I be doing; then we would be doing what needs to be done voluntarily, proactively and confidently.

Answer the questions above in the silence of your hearts and they will open the doors to self awareness.  Life would then be more meaningful and fulfilling.

Remember: “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” Billie Jean King

Try these:

How will you cope with this hypothetical situation?

You have attended a week long leadership training program. On the last day each participant in the program was asked to give one negative feedback for every participant. You come home with the sealed cover containing the negative feedback you have received. You open the cover and find 7 slips each outlining a different negative feedback as under. How many of these allegations are true about yourself. Can you think of one person whom you know for whom the allegation fits? Can you think of a specific incident that leads you to this conclusion about that person?

Slip 1 – In my view you are very lazy

Slip 2 – Why are you such a loud mouth

Slip 3 – I wouldn’t trust you with my purse.

Slip 4 – Your arrogant way of interaction annoyed me a lot.

Slip 5 – You are an unreliable person

Slip 6 – Wish you weren’t so negative and critical

Slip 7 – My impression is that you are too cunning

Write down the following goals for yourself.

1 personal goal

1 financial goal

1 relationship related goal

1 social commitment goal

1 goal related to a passion you have.

Now  jot down at least 3 steps (for each goal) that you will take to attain the goal.

(e.g. My Passion related goal to read at least one book a month.

 Step 1 – Identify at least 50 books by February 2012 end .

Step 2 – Buy at least 3 books before December 2011 end.

Step 3 –  I will read every Sunday between 4 and 6 pm)

Take a look at this poster that perhaps captures the gist of this post succinctly.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Confronting difficulties

In time of difficulties, we must not lose sight of our achievements. Mao Tse-Tung

Difficulties are found in every walk of life be it in personal life, in the work environment, in the family, in business, in sports, in social communications etc. Obviously in an ideal world, we would hate to be faced with difficulties because it impedes our progress, causes disruption and challenges us to overcome it with a real risk of failure looming large. Yet with resourcefulness, ingenuity, grit and persistence more often than not we have overcome many a difficulty and perhaps occasionally also experienced a few bruises in the process. We would also have painful recollections of failures, discouragement, frustration, shame and pain when the difficulties could not be overcome. Yet if you are still reading this, it clearly means that no obstacle or difficulty could defeat you permanently and that is a very encouraging thought.

Despite this realization, we tend to get dispirited, frustrated and are often tempted to throw in the towel when some difficulties seem unreasonable, grossly unjust and we lack the temperament to fight our way through. Here are three facts about difficulties that we must bear in mind at all times.

  • We cannot avoid difficulties
  • We can plan to mitigate the possible difficulties that we can visualize
  • Every difficulty that comes our way can be dealt with; however success is not guaranteed but if we do nothing failure is certain.

With the above reality kept in mind we can tackle every difficulty that comes our way with equanimity and hope. Since we are sure that we cannot avoid difficulties, the first thing we need to do is accept the difficulties when it comes with faith in ourselves and hope in finding a solution. The numerous successes that we have had in tackling past difficulties will give us both the faith and hope needed to sustain when things look bleak and one is desperately searching for the silver lining in the dark clouds.

We walk into a large number of difficulties simply because we do not anticipate them. The major reason for this is a lackadaisical attitude, inept planning and false bravado. Casualness in handling a task means we are leaving too many loose ends that could bring about a variety of difficulties. Inept planning can be overcome by brain storming, ideating, imagination and a structured approach to any task on hand. This involves not merely thinking about an issue but enumerating the solution in writing and then assigning responsibilities with clear directions, deadlines and goals. Such planning must also make allowances for changes and alternatives must be kept ready for implementation. The reality is that even the best of plans can be devastated by the unexpected, unforeseen and unimaginable difficulties. A sense of false bravado often results in one plunging headlong into finding solutions when the reality is that one needs expert advice, the help of experienced personnel and perhaps the courage of conviction to change the course of action when the progress is certainly doomed in the original direction planned.

Many a failure experienced when confronted with difficulties, is merely because a lack of self belief or the exact opposite a stubborn mule like tendency to chase the impossible. Lack of self belief comes from lack of adequate knowledge, poor self esteem, an exaggerated fear of failure and stunted thinking that limits self belief. The stubbornness that each of us has in varying degrees is primarily the result of EGO and partly the outcome of ignorance, foolhardiness and the mistaken notion that giving up is equivalent to failure. The challenge then is to master the difficulty of accepting the reality that whispers aloud to us and says go on you can do it or when it says stop killing yourself pursuing the impossible. When the former whispers loudly then take a good look at the quote below and when the latter whispers louder than ponder on the quote at the very top.

Remember:  Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. Winston Churchill

Try this:

  1. How will you tackle the following difficulties?
  • You have borrowed your friend’s costly new mobile handset and have misplaced it.
  • You have studied hard for your exams. When the question paper is handed over to you, you are shocked to see the question paper of the subject that you had not anticipated. You then realize that unfortunately due to an error in jotting down the exam schedule, you studied the subject for the examination to be held a day later.
  • You are in a new city and suddenly realize that you have been robbed of your purse and mobile. With no know person in the city and no money you are badly stuck.
  1. The challenge / difficulty in this puzzle is to link all 9 dots (shown below) using four straight lines or fewer, without lifting the pen and without tracing the same line more than once.

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The art of being smart

Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about.Solomon Short

In our own way, each of us would have some competencies that give us the edge over others but that does not necessarily mean that we are smart. When we can recognize our competencies and simultaneously be aware of our deficiencies and work around leveraging the first and plugging the loopholes in our deficiencies, which is when we slowly become smart.

The three rules to be smart are as under:

When in doubt find it out. It is obvious that each of us will have limitations in grasping everything that we try to learn or attempt. Being ignorant is not the problem the problem is remaining ignorant. Hence it is imperative that we first realize our ignorance, find the right way to eliminate that ignorance and then systematically go about erasing that ignorance by learning and implementing the learning. A simple example is our visit to a doctor when we are ill. While we are aware of the symptoms and perhaps have an inkling of the real problem it is the expert in the form of the doctor who will diagnose it correctly and prescribe the right medication. Similarly coaches focus more on ironing out the mistakes made by players both as individuals and as a team. The net result is improved performance all thanks to learning more from those who are entrusted with helping us out.

Talk less listen more. The more we listen the more we can assimilate. This means we are taking in more knowledge and we can then utilize the learning to conceptualize, strategize and execute better. Often in the process of merely talking we give out more than what is needed, do not address the real issue since we haven’t paid attention to the receivers needs and our verbosity can confuse, conflict and camouflage the solutions. Listening also helps build rapport with the speaker, allows us time and inputs to maneuver and offers new avenues and opportunities to explore. When we leverage all this inputs we offer smart solutions.

Learn the trade and only then focus on the tricks of the trade. We are often in a hurry and that means we attempt to execute the tricks of the trade and hope that we can attain our objectives quickly. We also believe that by doing this we come across as smart individuals. With experience and foresight one can take the liberty of trying a few tricks of the trade .However it is always safe to understand the trade in depth before we even attempt a few tricks because if we execute half baked ideas the end result could be catastrophic and could lead to unmitigated losses and even loss of face. E.g Even the most experienced cricket batsman will think twice before attempting the reverse sweep so for a rookie to attempt it could be suicidal.

 Remember: Be smart, but never show it. Louis B. Mayer

 Try these:

  1. Learn a couple of card tricks. Then attempt them on your family and friends and see if you can do the tricks smoothly. You will realize initially you may foul up but that the more your practice the better you get and soon you can do those tricks like a pro.
  2. Try and solve the following if you think you are smart. ( The first question is solved for you to get a feel of how you need to come to the solutions)
  •  7 D in a W = 7 Days in a Week
  •  1,000 Y makes a M =
  • 52 C in a P of C =
  • 10 T on your F =
  • 5 W & 1 H =
  • 3 W on a T =

(Answers will be given in the next post)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

True peace of mind can be got by…

True peace of mind is not dependent on circumstances. It comes from the inside.

The most common ailment that people complaint about is anxiety/ stress/ lack of peace of mind. Ironically, almost all of them believe that they are the part of a minority of unfortunate ones with the problem whilst the majority of people are blissful, joyous and at peace with themselves.  In fact the major cause of stress is this belief that everyone else seems to be so lucky and happy and that we are denied that pleasure. In this process we blame everyone and everything for our woes but our major complaint is against our lack of financial well being which we are convinced can be a single dose pill for all our worries and the anti depressant that will bring forth peace of mind.

Negative thinking accounts for all the stress that we undergo. We enjoy visualizing the worst case scenario in the hope that if it occurs we would not feel so bad about it and that we would be well prepared to meet it. Negative thinking can take on bizarre proportions right from blaming corruption and nepotism for our personal woes to wondering aloud about our own future be it in relation to a job or family life or wealth accumulation or relationships.  Instead of being pragmatic we lapse into reminiscing about the wonderful past that we believe will no longer come back and / or we morosely anticipate a future that we believe will be bleak, insipid and possibly terrifying.

Our temperament, temper, anxieties and negative feelings of jealousy, hate, revenge, envy, fear etc contribute in large measure to us not enjoying peace of mind. If we can examine the root cause of what ails us and makes us sleepless, fearful, worried and anxious we would realize that almost of all of it has its origins in our mind and heart. Comparisons are perhaps the single most destructive trait / habit that we posses that eventually wrecks our peace of mind. We compare our looks, our talents, our possessions, our fortunes, our academic credentials, our material possessions etc  and conclude that others are by far much more lucky and we then fall into the quagmire of self pity. Many are fearful of failure, others wary of success for then the benchmark could be hard to emulate; others are suspicious of the motives, the intent and the large heartedness of others who apparently freely give and share without any expectations.

Self belief, openness, gratefulness and trust are virtues that if we can posses or cultivate will de-stress us and nurture peace of mind.  With self belief we overcome fear, with openness we accept the reality, with gratefulness we value our own riches and with trust we remove ill feeling and misgivings and can easily forgive. Notice that all these are positive traits, are traits that fertilize the mind and help cultivate positive thoughts and traits that are within us waiting for us to discover it and bring it to the fore. No matter what the situation, whatever be the problem or however complicated the reality, we develop the mental strength to cope with it without undue stress and quickly regain our peace of mind.

Remember: When you unclutter your mind, you enjoy peace of mind.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 positive things about stress. Are you harnessing these positive things when stressed or do you end up losing your peace of mind?  What are the 3 obvious mannerism that you display when you are stressed or worked up? Do you deny being stressed if someone remarks that they think your stressed?
  2. On a scale of 1- 10 (with 1 being no stress and 10 being acute stress) rate the stress you will be subject to in the following circumstances. Give the list to your close friend/ colleague/ spouse and ask them to rate how they perceive you to be stressed under these conditions. Compare both scores and if there are large deviations between both scores ask yourself the reasons for the same.
  • Your doctor tells you that you may be having cancer.
  • You lose a substantial amount when your investments go bust.
  • Your friend and you purchase lottery tickets in sequence. The friend wins the bumper lottery and you do not.
  • You win a 2 week all expenses paid holiday to Europe but unfortunately you are down with chicken pox and cannot go on the trip.
  • A close family member announces that he is gay
  • You think your best friend has betrayed you.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The challenge of relationships

People must be taken as they are, and we should never try to make them or ourselves better by quarreling with them.  Edmund Burke

One of the many reasons relationships fail is because we have a lot of expectations from the other party and consciously or unconsciously we keep finding faults over trivial matters and blow it out of proportion.  Other times we are so full of ourselves that we fail to understand that we are actually irritating the other person by our selfish and self centered ways.  There are times when we believe we have the right to harshly criticize, articulate uncouthly our feelings particularly when irritated or hurt and worse of all take liberties in ascribing motives to people’s behavior that does not appeal to us. When we let our differences become barbs, turn our expectations into demands and dogmatically spurn friendly overtures to pamper our own ego that is when the first signs of cracks in a relationship show up.

It is tackling our own ego that poses the real problem in maintaining relationships.  Many a time we make an issue of a perceived slight to our ego. It could be a comment that we do not agree with or it could be indifference that we think is deliberate or it could be completely misunderstanding a gesture,  a communication or even non communication.  Other times we want to be given importance, want others to take the lead in touching base with us and far too often we seek to control the relationship. If we step back to take a good hard look at the reasons why we do not get along with some people, why we do not enjoy the company of others and avoid like plague certain individuals we cannot deny the fact that we are in some way at least partly responsible for the situation. Perhaps we need to also look at why the same people could possibly be giving us a wide berth too.

The challenge in any relationship is to balance expectations, minimize presumptions and maintain open communications. This is easier said than done because our personal styles are so varied, we succumb to the pressures of our own emotions and attitudes. While some of us are loud, arrogant and on your face there are others who appear docile, submissive, fearful but are constantly scheming. While those inclined to adopt the aggressive style easily provoke and snap of ties the latter are prone to mask their feelings and yet cunningly severe ties by pushing relationships to the brink. While individual styles play a crucial part in cementing or severing relationships, one can make an attempt to become aware of how to change and soothen ruffled feathers and restore balance and relationships.

The fact is we can with effort on our part, an open mind and honesty of purpose always improve relationships, cement relationships and nurture new relationships. For this the first step is to meet, greet and respect people.  The next step is to acknowledge people, praise them when required, be patient if the need arises and give them their due. To scale up a relationship to a different level be more candid without being offensive,  be honest without being moralistic and be open to all feedback without being judgmental. Patience, respect and acceptance are three virtues that will help us maintain healthy relationship with all those whom we interact with.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what the other is being, doing, having, saying, wanting, demanding. It doesn’t matter what the other is thinking, expecting, planning. It only matters what you are being in relationship to that.

Try this:

  1. Recollect three pleasant memories and one unpleasant memory of your relationship with the following people. Ask why you enjoyed the relationship and how you could have helped improve the relationship that was unpleasant.
  • Your father
  • Your mother
  • Your siblings
  • Your best friend in school
  • Your favorite teacher in school
  • The teacher you disliked immensely
  • A current colleague or batch mate
  1. Name one person who comes to mind in the following situations
  • An actor or actress you dislike
  • A player/ sportsman who you feel is overrated
  • An idol/ icon who you would love to meet
  • The sweetest person you can think of immediately
  • A person known to you personally for whom you feel really sorry for.
  • Someone you need to really apologize to.

(In the first three cases are you justified in your feelings since you do not know the people concerned personally)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

The secret to a happy marriage

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger

Strange as it may sound, the theory of opposites attract as is proven by magnets is perhaps just as applicable in marriages. The genesis of the marriage could be anything from love marriages to arranged marriages or marriages of convenience as would perhaps happen when a divorcee marries another divorcee or   a widower marries a widow ;  the focus though  is often on how compatible the couple is and we mistakenly believe that compatibility will cement the relationship. Compatibility certainly plays a vital part in getting a couple together else there would be no commonality of interest/ purpose/ objective/feelings. However compatibility does not really address the reality that surfaces after the courtship and honeymoon, that of the individuality of the partners that manifests itself in differences, disagreements, opposing style and personality traits  and even in completely divergent expectations and behavior.

The real issues in marriage often surface soon after marriage but the emotions of love, tenderness, joy and the eagerness to please the partner and respective families and friends camouflage the differences that may have crept in. In many ways the earlier the differences come to the fore the individuality of partners becomes more obvious and enables the couple to find ways and means of handling it using all the positive emotions and by suppressing ones ego and making adjustments. There is no doubt that in this process each partner also does sacrifice a part of his/ her individuality and adapts and adjusts to the demands of married life. The good part is that we get used to the adjustments early on and so the process is easier than unlearning and relearning which is tedious, painstaking and above all a major psychological hurdle to cross. To explain, if one partner is obsessed with brushing the teeth before going to bed and the other couldn’t care less the earlier they adjust to the reality by either accepting each one’s differences or one of them adjusting to the others pet peeve it won’t be long before the issue becomes a major bone of contention in a temperamental married life.

It is essential to accept the fact that when we express our individuality there would be a hugely disproportionate number of differences that come to the fore. While many of these could be insignificant it is the serious differences that could often mar an otherwise harmonious marriage. It is equally possible that the differences small or big get to be more frequent, more stressful and more acrimonious and that is when the strain of living together comes to the fore. The chief culprit that actually stretches the relationship to breaking point is often cited as incompatibility but this is just a pseudonym for intolerance, ego hassles, inflexibility, bickering and nagging not to mention finger pointing and possibly culminating in use of vile and abusive language tone and threats. If one can manage to bridge the differences that crop up in a relationship through a combination of understanding, give and take, acceptance, adjustments, sacrifices, forgiveness and unconditional love, handling incompatibility would never pose a problem ; ask those couples who tenderly hold hands even when they squabble, have a love tinged mischievous smile when then poke fun at their other half and revel in the affection of their partner and display both concern and pain when the other is suffering. The vows of marriage when the couple get married offer a clear clue to the incompatibility that is central to marriage when they  vow to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us par.

Remember : “More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” Doug Larson

Try this:

  1. If you are married outline the 3 most annoying traits in your spouse that you never realized before marriage. In the same breath also jot down 3 wonderful traits that your spouse has that really surprised and elated which you never knew before marriage. If unmarried, list 3 traits that you would hate to have in your future spouse and 3 traits that you hope he/she will have.
  2. Identify 3 ideal couples known personally to you (other than your own family members)who have been married for  less than 5 years, married for 5-10 years and 20-25 years. Why do you think they are an ideal couple? Is there some trait that you can emulate in your relationship now or in the future?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

 

Make no mistake…

Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good. Bertolt Brecht

Observe a tiny tot making his/her first move to becoming a toddler. It would first attempt to stand and promptly fall for it lacks the balance and the strength in the legs. Yet the natural urge to get up and be independent will stimulate the tiny one to keep pegging away despite many a futile attempt. At this point the concept of failure and mistakes is alien to the little one and that helps the little ones have no inhibitions or apprehensions.

As one grows up we acquire many a skill and knowledge and with it the concept of success and failure, right and wrong, possibilities and impossibilities, truth and fiction etc. In this process making mistakes is often severely punished and kudos liberally given to those who do not make mistakes and they are considered intelligent. As a result the average person tries hard not to fail and make mistakes and therefore avoid anything that hints at failure. Yet ironically no invention or discovery or noteworthy contribution of the human race has ever been error free or perfect in the first attempt. This brings us to a notable reality that success is in harnessing ones intelligence to pursue ones dreams against all odds and achieve it.

Mistakes could be due to a number of reasons from overlooking the obvious to complete misjudgment is one such spectrum. It could also be due to carelessness, misunderstanding, inefficiency and /or wrong assumptions.  The net result though is that the end result we seek is not achieved thereby implying failure which in turn leads us to question our own competence and intelligence. Yet for those who believe in themselves, the mistakes are merely a pointer to the elimination of a failed possibility thus offering us the opportunity to pursue another line of thinking by harnessing our intelligence.

Creativity and logic form the axis around which intelligence revolves. Memory, quick thinking, number crunching and reasoning polish up the shine of intelligence. However, intelligence unless harnessed and utilized remains just an adjective but mistakes provide the perfect opportunity to translate it into an active verb. Real intelligence is in also recognizing that even the most perfect person is bound to make a mistake and that despite that one can attain unparalleled success if one were to relook the mistake and make the corrections. It is said that Jesus Christ got 1 out of 12 decisions wrong when he chose Judas to be one of his 12 disciples because ultimately he betrayed Christ.

Remember: “Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used”  Dr. Carl Sagan

Try this:

  1. Jot down the 3 biggest mistakes of your life. Were you solely responsible for each of those mistakes? If yes does the consequence of the mistake still rankle you? What was the learning from each of these mistakes?
  2. Assuming that you made all the three mistakes mentioned below which of these would you want to correct first if you had an opportunity to do so?  Why have you chosen that option?
  • You could not give your exams due to poor attendance and therefore lost an academic year.
  • Your drove your car in pouring rain with the driver’s side wiper not working and as a result banged into a care ahead of you which braked suddenly. The other car was damaged badly and the driver of that car had to be hospitalized.
  • You broke up with your partner over a minor misunderstanding and are not on talking terms simply because you want your partner to apologize first.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Acknowledge limitations to learn and grow

The person with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection. Johann von Goethe

As human beings we are all prone to make mistakes, tend to stray from the acceptable norms and succumb to our personal limitations and weaknesses.  Some mistakes could be trifles like overlooking the niceties in a social situation, others could be more severe like not discharging our critical duties and some could be out right dangerous and fateful like drinking and driving. The reality is that at some point or the other we are prone to fall prey to any or all of these traps and usually we try and rationalize our faults instead of acknowledging our mistake. It our reluctance to stand up and accept our faults that is often the worst of our faults for then we compound our error and worse still miss out on an opportunity to correct our faults and redeem our self.

By admitting our limitations, we are doing ourselves 3 favors.

  • We consciously realize our fault.
  • We are able to then take steps to correct our faults and learn from our mistakes.
  • We grow through our strength of character, reinforced self belief and improved abilities.

By admitting our faults, we are acknowledging the fact that we are conscious of what we do, we are aware of what the norms are and that we have realized that we have violated those norms. Many a time, making this admission is difficult because we may have to end up paying a heavy price for our faults. We also are open to being branded as inefficient, irresponsible and incompetent. What we fail to appreciate though is that a fault can be corrected only if we realize that it is a fault. Then we can get guidance, seek out ways to rectify and in the long run ensure that we have learnt and reduce our chances of repeating the fault. By refusing to acknowledge our faults we are merely falling into following the wrong practices, run the risk of making more gross mistakes and definitely increasing our chances of failure.

By admitting our fault we display our strength of character that we would rather be honest and be branded ineffective than lie and run the risk of being caught in an even more embarrassing position. Our character is further strengthened by our willing acceptance of the consequences of our admission of fault.  The moment we admit our fault, we are telling ourselves that we have it in us to overcome the set back and bounce back. This is the reinforcement of our self belief. Self belief comes from a pragmatic evaluation, oodles of confidence and a steely resolve. Finally when we learn from our faults, we are actually participating in a process of self development which ultimately leads to improvement in our abilities and talents. The star athletes and sports men would readily testify to the vital role their coaches’ play in correcting their technique by first critically evaluating the performance and then making the much needed corrections. Strange as it may seem, at the peak of their careers many an athlete has relied on the insightful observation and good counsel of their coaches to turn out superlative performances.

Remember: “Genius has limitations; stupidity is boundless

Try this:

  1. The annual appraisals for employees / the customer feedback forms/ the complaints made by clients are good indicators of third party perceptions about faults. Ask if we tend to constantly refute it, rationalize it, dismiss it casually or simply refuse to acknowledge it.  On the other hand those who take this feedback seriously will invariably use the feedback to alter their style, improve their work ethics, investigate the core issue etc. and in the long run change for the better.
  2. Can we list out and acknowledge 3 of our faults for the following spheres of our life
  • Our family life
  • Our personal life
  • Our professional life
  • Our social life
  • Our lifestyle

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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