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38- Faliure is not the opposite of successOnce we can orient our thinking to appreciate the tremendous insight provided by the above quote, chances are, we will never be apprehensive or fearful of failure. Failure has been stigmatized, it has been projected as the antonym of success and it has been the one word that every individual has been cautioned to keep away from. The reality is that failure has merits but unfortunately the word failure has been demonized and the merits cast away.  A glimpse of how failure is an essential part of success is shared below.

Provides painful lessons grasped quickly – While success is craved by everyone, the lessons from success are not as strongly ingrained in the mind as much as lessons learned from failure. Failure could be a painful outcome despite a good effort so it hurts more. However, it is the lessons learnt  from failure that enables one to reorient ones thinking, enables one to be creative, helps change ones approach to a problem and remains a constant reminder on how to avoid previous mistakes so as to achieve success. E.g. if one was tardy in studies the fail result in the report card and its consequences would be a good reminder to be more diligent in studies.

It is a hard rock on which one can built something strong – Failure provides one a strong rock like foundation to build on simply because one has to start again but this time one would be more alert, agile and astute. The pain and shame of failure is always a bitter pill to swallow.  Hence next time around one would invest time, energy and effort very cautiously and prudently so as to ensure one does not fitter away one’s resources.  At the same time failure highlights the chinks in one’s armor, helps one realize the importance of going back to the drawing board to work on a more robust plan that can succeed.  E.g. Steve Jobs life provides you a perfect script of success being tempered by failure and subsequent bigger success.

It acts as speed breakers on the high way of success – Success is often very heady and that can lead to reckless behavior. A failure is a wonderful speed breaker that tempers one’s exuberance, helps slow down ones pace to suit our temperament and above all ensures that we pause to refresh, recharge and resist the temptation to be over ambitious and take reckless risks. E.g. look at the monumental failures of once billionaires who took dubious means to multiply their wealth till their failures were exposed

It sensitizes one to be more humane and pragmatic The true measure of success is how one can have a positive influence on the environment around. Yet many equate success with wealth, influence and power alone.  Failure helps one realize his / her human failings, makes one look around in a more humane way and then channelizes success for the larger good of society. E.g. The spurt in voluntary CSR initiatives of corporates or the philanthropic initiatives of the rich are an acknowledgement of their belief that they have failed to use their wealth for the larger good of mankind and they are now making efforts to correct that.

It is just one extreme end of the continuum called life– Success is one end of a continuum called life. At the other end is failure. Seen differently they are two sides of a coin. You cannot relish success with out a taste of failure. One can better appreciate the joys of success only when one has tasted the bitterness of failure. Winning a game with no opponents will never give you an euphoria as much as winning games beating tough opponents. It is because failure exits that quest for success becomes more challenging and enjoyable. E.g. Ask Usain Bolt how much more valuable his gold medals from previous Olympics are, especially after his relative failure in his last races.

Try these

  • List out three of your major failure and the lessons each failure taught you.
  • List out your three major successes   and identify any failure that had a part to play in each of those successes.
  • What is the best compliment you ever got? Can you identify 3 reasons that made the compliment really worthwhile?
  • What are the areas of concern for you where you fear failure? What steps are you taking to ensure success in those areas?

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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36- I am rare

One reason many of us undervalue ourselves is because we focus largely on our commonality with others around and do little to discover what is unique about us. The fact is that each individual is unique not just physically but in thought, emotion, action and expression. The sooner we try to discover our uniqueness, the faster we will begin to value it and leverage it to carve a niche for ourselves. Equally importantly our sense of pride, worth and value will get magnified in our own eyes and it will reflect in our actions and thereby get noticed by those around us. What is important is to become aware that I am rare; none like someone before and none who will ever be a carbon of me.

So how does one discover one’s uniqueness; one’s specialty and one’s rarity?  The answer lies in looking inward to search for meaning in what one does, how one feels, the positive emotions that trigger enthusiasm, the unmitigated joys that one enjoys and the appreciation that an individual is showered with.

Your actions – So what is it that you enjoy doing? What is it that you do really well? What is that you abhor doing? In real life we have to do what has to be done whether we like it or not. By trying to be involved in activities that you enjoy, reduce/ avoid what you abhor and by doing whatever has to be done very well, you are simply uplifting the quality of your work, your life and your own worth. Introspect on this and you will begin to value the unique contribution you make in making the world around you a much better and enjoyable place. Do this and you become the rare individual who can make transformation happen.

Your emotions – So what emotions dominate your life? Joy, trust, surprise or are you prone to anger, disgust and sadness most times? If your life is largely filled with positive emotions, the chances of you being enthusiastic, popular and effective are very high. If negative emotions tend to overshadow your positive emotions, there is a probability that you are more demanding, more critical and more circumspect in your dealings. Your emotions help you become more responsive, more empathetic and more understanding thus making you an unique influencer for those who come in your circle of influence.

Your thoughts – Your emotions have a large influence on your thoughts. Your actions in turn are shaped by your thoughts. Hence it is vital that analyze your thoughts for they trigger the course of action you take. Do you feel confident, have self belief and have the daring to take on challenges. Are you also prudent in how you choose your options? Do you take reasonable risks or are you reckless? Do you see opportunities in problems or problems in various opportunities?  What is essential to note is how your thoughts shape you and help you decide on your course of action, thereby shaping your own independent proactive or responsive action that would have an impact on the environment around you.

Try these

  1. With which animal do you identify with and why? What are the unique features of that animal that you admire and/ or share in common with?
  2. Name 3 people, who in your personal experience, are unique in their own way. Can you write a short note to each of them appreciating that uniqueness in them which you appreciate.
  3. List out three adjectives that you believe best describe you. Outline a special moment in your life in which each of those adjectives came true/ was demonstrated.

This post is courtesy http://www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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26- do more with lessOne of the problems facing the world is the indiscriminate use of limited resources. As individuals, each of us must examine how individually each of us can limit our own use of the resources available to us so that we can make our own little contribution to saving our resources. That apart, we must also be aware, of how we are influenced by advertisements, social pressure and our own ego, in consuming more than what we need to. Once we become aware of our blissful ignorance, we will be more vigilant and possibly more conscious about doing more with less.

Reuse & Recycle – Most people in developing nations have mastered this art but as the economic well being goes up, we indulge freely because we can now afford to. So convenience becomes the new mantra and reuse & recycling remain footnotes in the daily grind. Think before you dispose; can you find alternative uses for what you want to dispose? Don’t worry about being called a cheapskate; your objective is to do more with less.

Utilize recyclable stuff – Primarily this means minimize your use of plastics and instead utilize reusable options like paper / cloth bags.  Can you have your own minimal crockery at your work place so that you can wash and reuse your coffee mug / spoon/ fork and plate? Do not be overly worried about what people will think about you. You will be setting an example and perhaps influence others to imitate you.

Limit our usage – It is an extension of the above; wherein you go prepared so that you avoid the use of stuff (like plastic bags )/ do not print flex boards indiscriminately simply because it is cheap / buy stuff simply because it looks nice/ cute  or is on discount but which you may never use after buying. How about working on not wasting electricity and switching off all the unnecessary lights and power supply switches? Ask yourself if you are wasting running water and how you can limit the use of it. Notice how tooth paste advertisements always show the paste being spread on the entire bristles.  Do we really have to use so much of toothpaste or is it a psychological ploy to ensure you consume more? Notice also that the large toothpaste packs have a much wider mouth so that you tend to squeeze out a much larger volume; a good marketing method to increase consumption and sales; do you need to fall prey to it?

Do not overstock – Overstocking would only lead to possibilities of having expired stuff that you have to trash. Particularly true of medicines and edible stuff. So you pay good money (even if there are bargain offers) only to end up losing all that money to trash.

Find alternatives – How about buying refill packs instead of a bottled / fully packaged stuff where the packing becomes thrash no sooner you bring it home. How about having a sturdy bag that accompanies you whenever you go shopping so that you eliminate all the plastic bags that your stuff is put into?

Say No where possible – Even if the shopkeeper offers you a plastic buy and you just have a couple of items to take away can you avoid taking that plastic bag? Can you resist the temptation to buy stuff just because of a discount / sale offer if you do not think you are going to use the stuff in the near future? Can you say no to ordering food online simply because you are too lazy?

Be creative – When going window shopping don’t carry money/ wallet. This will ensure that you don’t indulge in impulsive buying. Sure, if there is something you really want, you will take that effort of going again and buying it. Remove all the shopping apps on your electronic devises. Retain only the essential ones. Can you limit home delivery so that the amount of plastics and cartons can be done away with? Can you shop from those outlets which you know are eco friendly?

Spread the word – Your actions speak louder than your words. So let others notice your pro environment behavior.  You can also share with others your concerns and suggestions on how they too can become environmentally conscious and take practical steps.

Notice that in the above process, you are actually ending up doing a lot more by using less. When action speaks louder than words; that too is actually getting a lot more done by less pontification.

Apologies for using more words and sentences than needed for getting the message across.

Try these:

  • Make a list of environmental friendly initiatives that you will immediately implement.
  • What are steps you will take to ensure you get more money’s worth from all what you have?

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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9 Coping with  anger

Every individual however calm and tolerant he/ she is will at times get angry either because they are provoked or because they are upset at what they observe and do not approve. The vast majority of us are quick to get angry, some because they are short tempered others because they are easily frustrated and some because they are idealists and seek perfection all the time. The irony is that most times our anger is justifiable but how we give in to our anger is questionable. We rave, we rant, we scream, shout, abuse, threaten and in extreme cases vent our anger in a physical form. Unfortunately the anger we express allows us to let off steam but rarely does it propel the relationship much further.

The intensity of our anger is largely expressed in direct proportion to the intimacy of the person to whom it is directed e.g. husband and wife or parent and children. In other cases the intensity is largely inversely proportionate to the level of the organizational hierarchy of the sender and receiver of the angry exchange e.g. the superior will inflict all his anger on the junior most subordinate and will sulk to express anger with a superior. With strangers the intensity of our anger depends on the situation, our perception of the individual at who we direct our anger and how effectively the quick release of anger calms us down. What is interesting is that having expressed our anger we do tend to get a sense of relief but very very rarely do we actually resolve the problem effectively. By expressing our anger we certainly convey our emotion but do not effectively convey the real problem nor do we get the full attention of those who we address. Most times expressing anger triggers defensive responses from the recipient who try to apportion blame or to justify the action or simply apologize and escape.

On the other hand if we can pinpoint to ourselves what exactly annoys, irritates and angers us, we would be able to explain our anger perhaps forcefully but certainly very effectively. Our anger is often a quick reaction to what we perceive as an action that is contrary to our expectations. At times our anger could be completely misplaced and if we explain our anger, we would perhaps get to hear a very plausible reasoning for the action. Explaining our anger would educate the recipient, it would also make the recipient better appreciate our point of view and most of all it will be enable the person explaining and the person listening connect and see the issue from the same perspective. Explaining anger would spur the recipient to proactively rectify the problem and this in effect means you are enabling a solution, resolving an issue and achieving our objective.

Expressing anger may give temporary relief to the person expressing it but explaining anger will certainly direct energy and action towards a more permanent solution to the problem.

Try this:

  • Can you recall 3 incidences where you were at the receiving end of somebody’s anger? Were you really guilty or culpable as indicated by the person admonishing you?
  • Think of one or two times when you expressed your anger only to sheepishly realize that your anger was completely misplaced. Do you think you could have handled the situation differently and more effectively with loss of face?
  • You were entrusted with Rs.5,000 in cash to be deposited in the bank. Since one of your office colleagues was going to the bank you asked her to deposit it on your behalf. Unfortunately her handbag containing your money was stolen on the way. How would you react to this situation? How do you expect the person who entrusted you with the money to react when you explain the matter to him.

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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14-17Aug14 -Standing first in lifeMistakes happen and when we realize it, we are often tempted to keep it under wraps. The logic used is that perhaps the mistake will never be noticed. Invariably though, mistakes do get noticed and the consequences are not too pleasant. The worst mistakes are those we make in our relationships. Here invariably we cannot hide the mistake but equally true is the realization that the mistake can strain and possibly break a relationship. It takes a lot of courage therefore, to admit to a mistake and apologize for it. We will be greatly relieved once we admit our mistake and sincerely apologize for it for that is when we discover our inner strength and character which in turn makes us brave enough to own up our fault. The consequences notwithstanding, be the first to admit to a mistake and apologize; for that is when your values and upbringing prop you up and define your personal and moral courage.

If you put yourself in the shoes of someone against whom a mistake has been committed, the natural reaction is to fly into a rage, seek revenge and hold grudges. Assume further that the mistake committed is by someone very close to you then you will definitely be seething with anger. If the other party has been brave enough to admit a mistake and apologize for the same, your character, upbringing and values will be severely tested at this point. How you react will be the defining moment for you. If you are harsh, rude and stubbornly unforgiving, it will belittle your personality. On the other hand if you can keep your rage in check, remain calm and composed when listening to the apology and thereafter magnanimously accept the apology and forgive the wrong doer, it will be testimony to your core values and inner strength.

It is relatively easier to apologize and to forgive, but is almost impossible to forget a hurt or slight suffered. Revenge, ill will and an eye for an eye are the normal dictums that keep buzzing in our mind. Invariably then, it is impossible to get rid of the feeling of hurt and forget the incident that triggered our angst. Unfortunately we do not realize that keeping a hurt alive only gnaws us from the inside; it seethes, it simmers, it is like an acid that corrodes the very container it is stored in. If one can imagine the futility of keep in mind a past hurt it would be easy to forgive and forget. The bad memories once erased offer space for more positive and pleasant thoughts to reside in the recess of the mind. It helps flower within us the seeds of happiness. Count blessings, forget hurts and live happy!

Try this:

Recollect a couple of negative feedback given to you by your

  • Teachers
  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Bosses
  • Family
  • Do you think any or most of it were unjustified? Did it help you improve? Do you still carry a hurt or grudge about any of the above persons who gave you a negative feedback?

List out names of 3 people (other than your family members) who have had a deep positive influence on you. Recount at least specific incident that you cherish about your interaction with that person.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.in

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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

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13-5-We are human

The reality of life is something that most of us are prone to misconstrue as being unfair to us. The prime reason for this is our focus on what we crave and do not have and our envy of those who have what we crave. At times when things seem to be going our way or are in a happy frame of mind, we do appreciate the blessings we have but these periods of bliss are far few and in between. So how does one etch happiness into our psyche?

Happiness is a state of mind and the key then is to fine tune the mind to allow happiness to seep in and envelope us. This is best done as under:

Appreciate the reality:

We need to appreciate the fact that we are human. This means that we can think, we can emote and we can decide.

We need to realize that we are not perfect and as a result we have to learn to forgive ourselves, tolerate the mistakes of others and make efforts to correct the mistakes rather than give up in hopelessness.

We need to be ecstatic that we are alive for we now have limitless opportunities to leave our mark in this world and energize the environment around us.

 Focus then on thinking positively, being more forgiving and grasping opportunities.

 Realize the truth:

That as human beings we will make mistakes, we stumble, we fall and we may even get hurt. The truth is that these are like vaccination pricks that are temporarily painful but leave a long term positive effect in ensuring our well being. Seen in this light, it dawns on us that every fall makes us more humble, every mistake teaches us a new lesson and that hurt is a mechanism to alert us to impending dangers that can be avoided through caution and alertness.

Every setback, every tumble we take and every obstacle that comes our way is just a blip in the larger scheme of life; recognize this truth and you shall be free of worries.

 Clasp all possibilities  

Understand the innumerable possibilities that come with the knowledge that we can rise again, we can try again, we keep learning and we keep growing. Seen amputees participate in games and athletics or heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata a classic that one finds hard to believe has been composed by a deaf composer. If these seem extreme examples, look at the physically, financially or academically challenged in and around you who have succeeded despite all odds.

So do you see the innumerable opportunities around you just waiting for you to clasp them and turn them into successes?

Embrace life

Now be thankful for the priceless opportunity of life for as long as life exists we can find happiness in the little things and big things that surround us.

Don’t forget that LIFE is Love Inside Finding Expression – start with loving yourself.

Try this:

Write down the following immediately

  • The one new learning you would like to acquire E.g. Learning a new sport or language
  • The one physical good that you desperately want to posses, which is a realistic possibility for you sometime in the next 5 years. E.g. A high end music system (name the brand of your choice)
  • The one limitation / trait that you would want to eliminate at the earliest. E.g. Being more decisive or being more organized
  • The one change you would like to bring to your life E.g. Lose weight or spend more time with family etc.

Now work on ways to realize these desires before the end of 2013

  1. Click on this link and watch this inspirational and motivational talk by Nick Vujicic a truly physically challenged but most engaging speaker http://tinyurl.com/6oqnzk
  2. Click on this link and watch the Last Lecture by Prof. Randy Pausch to appreciate the need to embrace life  http://tinyurl.com/2z3wsx

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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