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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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When one looks back on the days gone by, there will be some people and some incidents that you will recall with great fondness. Focus on these people whose memories always bring a smile to the lips and warmth in the heart and you will be transported to a world of nostalgia. If you correlate some of your successes with the influence these people have had on your life, you would be amazed at the volume of positive inputs they have given you. These inputs could be as varied as having full faith in you, encouraging you,  guiding in you, comforting you, giving you tips, empathizing with you, allowing you the freedom to pursue your passion, supporting you when you falter etc.

Here are a set of people who would be ideal people to associate with and benefit from.

Those close to you.  Beginning with parents and siblings, the list includes friends, colleagues, teachers and seniors. Of course it is possible that some of those close to you would find it hard to empathize with your thoughts and views but it is in your interest to give their counter point of view a hearing. The best part of their support is their response is always keeping your best interest in mind.

Those who have a natural flair to be cheerful and positive. Some of these people could be from the above list but it is equally possible that you do meet others who radiate positive energy. It could be trainers, motivational speakers, superiors from other departments, neighbors etc.

Those who you find knowledgeable, fair, impartial and open. These could include people in positions of authority like the principal of an institution or a senior academician, senior executives in your organization, experienced professionals, a friend’s parents etc.

Those who are good listeners.  Anyone who is willing to lend you an ear, pay attention to you and express interest in your thoughts, views, hopes and aspirations. They may counter question, raise objections, have a different point of view but as long as they pay a lot of attention to you, you can be sure their patience and genuine interest will accelerate your progress.

Those who display appreciation, give proactive encouragement and offer creative solutions. You often meet people from varied backgrounds, experiences and views at seminars, conferences, meetings etc. It is possible that they have some insights that are congruent to your line of thinking. If they display interest in your views, ask relevant questions and give encouraging feedback you can be sure you can profitably tap into their vast repository of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Action Points:

  1. Make a list of 5 people at least 2 of whom are senior citizens and one of whom is younger than you who you believe would be excellent people to associate with and who would appreciate, understand and encourage you.
  2. Can you list out 3 of the best advice that you ever received. How did advice have a major bearing in your life?
  3. Who was the one person who offered you the best solace when you were very low or depressed? How and what did the person do or say to reassure you?

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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At the outset let me thank each one of my readers and blog followers for having supported this blog and crossing 1,00,000 views. A special word of thanks to the 661 followers of the blog. For those who do not know, I started this blog on 1st Jan 2010 and kept a target of writing one post a day. I did manage around 340 posts in 2010, but cut down drastically thereafter. I am just delighted that so many of you send in your feedback or write in to me with their comments. Thank you friends!

Obviously, I was keen to mark this historic moment with something special but was not getting a lucky break or a fabulous idea. However a couple of days back a close friend sent me an email containing quotes in the form of posters and immediately I knew that this was the answer to my prayers. So starting today for the next 40 odd posts I would be using the contents of these posters as the central theme. I would also try to be more brief as regards the post contents. This is in deference to the wishes of a handful of good friends whose feedback I value. Your feedback would be most appreciated.

Rule 1. – If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it.

  1. To get what you want you must know what you want.
  2. Write down your passions, whittle it down to your goals.
  3. Ensure you have a time frame to achieve the goals.
  4. Have a detailed action plan with indicators to ensure that your are on track.
  5. If you have read so far, start implementing what you have read. GO !!

Rule 2. If you do not ASK the answer will always be NO

  1. Following Rule 1 and implementing is a good beginning to follow Rule 2.
  2. Remember you cannot do it all on your own- so might as well ask others to help out
  3. While you might occasionally get NO as an answer, to get that YES you must ask.

Rule 3. If you do not step forward you will always be in the same place.

  1. Begin by having a firm point of view on issues.
  2. Try and express yourself so that you are heard and noticed.
  3. As you progress be more decisive and stand up to be counted.

 Try this:

  • Have you tried a different cuisine?
  • Ever made friends with a foreigner ?
  • Ever tried fund raising for a worthy cause by seeking out sponsors?
  • Visit an orphanages/ home for the aged/ prison / mental hospital/ hospice

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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