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Archive for the ‘Failures’ Category

17- 14 May 17-Discover yourselfThe first step is to believe you are unique… different from your siblings, your twin and from every other human being ever created or to be created. Once you realize this, it should be a strong motivator for you to leverage your uniqueness and showcase your identity to the world. Far too often we associate academic or sporting brilliance at an early age as a sure sign of future success. The reality is that with few exceptions, most of those who showed early promise could not cope with the pressures of the world or did not have the nerve to move out of their comfort zone and make a unique mark. Of course the word successful is relative. As long as you use your talents, promise and abilities to become someone better than anyone hoped you would, it could be a fair indicator of talent. A better measure would be if you are happy with what you have achieved and do not have any regrets about not fulfilling your promise, that would be real success.

To become what you are capable of, focus on these:

Believe in yourself – Have the confidence that you have it in you to do something special. While academic excellence could boost your chances of doing well, it is actually the self belief, the discipline and the passion that one brings in, that opens the doors to achievement and success. Self belief also fortifies you against nay-sayers, the critics, those who discourage you and those who constantly belittle your progress. Self belief gives you the energy to carry on when progress seems slow or non-existent and when obstacles and failures occasionally threaten to derail your plans.

Be prepared to learn – Every type of formal learning as well the experiences of each passing day, gives invaluable practical learning. The challenge is to be open minded and willing to soak in the learning. Occasionally the learning can be tough and painful; other times it can be easy and simple. The key is to seek out the learning each day and put it into practice by adopting / adapting good practices and giving a wide berth / avoiding the bad practices.

Be prepared to fail – Failure is an essential requirement for success, for it is the true measure that explains life’s uncertainties and challenges.  It also prepares one to anticipate troubles, teaches one to think creatively, toughens one to face adversities and most of all it helps one to realize one’s own potential, passion and purpose. Failure is also a sure sign that one is trying and doing something and not merely day dreaming.

Be prepared to take risks –Although one is prepared to fail, there is always the psychological barrier that often limits us from daring, moving out of our comfort zone and taking the big leap. Many a time it is the outcome of ‘paralysis by analysis’. Other times it is simply because the going is good and so why test one’s potential attitude. Unless one thirsts for success, enhances one’s benchmark, craves to make a mark, the risk taking ability remains dormant. Visualizing the big picture, focusing on the ultimate goal and challenging yourself are the best ways to take risks and realize one’s latent potential.

Keep going – There could be setbacks, you could get tired and discouraged and occasionally the mind would waver and set in motion negative thoughts. Pause but do not stop. Catch your breath, reinforce your zeal, get inspired by your vision, be motivated by the challenge you have taken up and keep going.

You have a point to prove to yourself; to be somebody nobody thought you could be !

Try these:

  1. List out the 5 – 10 things you were keen on doing but which others discouraged you from doing or that which people said was beyond your capability. Now choose one which you are still passionate about and set yourself a deadline and a plan of action to achieve it. Begin now.
  2. If you have an audience, what is the one ability that you can showcase and grab their attention? It could be a magic/ card trick, an exquisite piece of musical talent, it could be mimicry, cartooning or painting or sketching, telling your favorite joke in your own unique style, creating your own limerick instantaneously etc.

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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41-the-hues-of-lifeAs we enter the last couple of weeks of the year, it is an ideal time to look back on the year gone by. Perhaps many a day was mundane, quite a few days could reflect pain especially when we reminisce about a loved one who has departed but look again and most days would have been actually joyous for never a day must have gone by without some laughter. That we are alive to read this is a blessing, that we have the eyesight to read is a blessing , that we are blessed with riches and resources is a precious gift denied to many; oh just look around and you will realize you are blessed beyond imagination.

The tapestry of our life mimics the changing seasons; there are the monsoons, the winters, the spring and the summers. Individually we all have our preferences for the season we like best and the season we dislike; yet we value each season for it is essential for our survival. The seasons also influence the environment around and bring us the varied joys that nature has blessed us with. True when the season is at the extreme it brings with it pain, suffering, destruction and disruption but from that chaos we have only grown bigger, better and stronger. Look back on the year as well the years gone by and you will recollect with fondness how every event has helped shape you to be the individual you are.

This is a time for thanks and this is a time for hope.

We must be thankful for not just the blessings but many a time, it is the pain that helped us become stronger. We need to be thankful for the people who hurt us;  because of them when we realize the value of the people who stand by us and those we love. We need to be grateful for the times when we fell and bruised our self, for that is when we understood how strong we are. If we had not failed, we would not appreciate the value of getting things right and if we had not occasionally lost our temper, we would never know our limitations. We may not be proud of the vain things we did but for sure it taught us that we have a mean streak in us. We hate those who criticized us and gossiped about us but certainly if we pause and reflect we must thank them for opening our eyes to our own faults. Most of all we must be thankful for the love we are blessed with; family, friends, colleagues and strangers who in varied ways stepped up when we needed them the most.

As we round of the year, it is wonderful time to look forward in hope. It is that time of the year when we jot down our New Year Resolutions. Yes a large part of the list must be carry forwards from the year just ending, but now we can hope to begin anew and succeed. Oh yes, we have new dreams that we need to realize during the coming year and we have the faith and hope that we can attain it in the coming year/s. We have hope for our loved ones to discover their own individuality, chalk out their own paths and make a smooth transition towards their destiny. We hope that the world would change for the better and that we would be part of that transformation. Most of all we must hope to play an important part in contributing to that hope through our thoughts, words and deeds. Unless we have hope, we will never have the courage to ‘stand up and be counted’.

Try these:

  1. Begin with making your New Year Resolution list. You have still have 3 weeks to reflect and update it but you need to start now.
  2. List out 2 things that you will do in the coming year that will enable you to :
  • Improve you as an individual
  • Make you involved in your favorite social cause
  • To expand your social / friends circle
  • Surprise your family
  • Change a bad habit that you are often criticized for
  • Improve your financial health
  • Ignite a latent talent or indulge in a latent passion
  • Connect with a long lost friend/ relative

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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38-did-you-noticeIf you get irritated by the fact that despite your best efforts, all you get is criticism for what could have been done better, then ask yourself if you are guilty of the same mistake.  Each of us guilty, albeit in varying degrees of being critical, unappreciative and  finger pointing, especially when things do not happen as we plan or hope for. Occasionally some of us even berate ourselves for our lack of success and / or our failures because we find it hard to accept that we could not achieve what we set out to do. The point is that we are pained when others do not appreciate our toil, sweat and tears and unfortunately we too succumb to the same when we undervalue ourselves and others.

Obviously no one can avoid mistakes. However we need to look at mistakes, failures, lack of success from a more holistic view. This will enable one to be less critical, more appreciative and value the efforts, the sacrifices and the struggle without overvaluing momentarily success. The former gives us work ethics; success is an important milestone and motivator but cannot substitute for the discipline, the hard work and the rigor that is the corner stone of every successful person.

So how must one react to mistakes?

Acknowledge – Mistakes happen but it is the way we acknowledge the mistake that ensures it does not cascade into a disaster. If we have made a mistake, be honest about it and acknowledge it. If others have made mistakes, acknowledge the mistake without passing judgment and / or getting emotional about it. Mistakes happen for a variety of reasons and it is patently unfair to judge the mistake without grasping all the facts.

Appreciate – Mistakes happen because someone decided to do something. Even not doing something is a decision. In most cases there is honest effort, clear goals and possibly deep thinking that preceded the action.  One needs to appreciate all these, for often mistakes are not an outcome of these but a result of calculations gone wrong. By appreciating something, the signal is that one values everything done to get success and that not achieving it, is painful for all concerned.

Motivate – Criticism is the easiest thing to do; the challenge is to find something to motivate those who failed, to try again and hopefully succeed. Motivation is essential to keep up morale, kindle hope and most of all to express confidence in the person/s. Motivation pushes people to overcome the past, focus on the future and succeed beyond their capabilities.

Suggest – In the chaos that often follows failure, critics would give opinions, point out mistakes and berate the failure. Instead, an objective feedback in the form of suggestions would be more acceptable to those who are already dejected. In calmer moments they would review the performance and ponder over the suggestions and possibly come out with a better game plan to succeed.

Exude optimism – Every individual requires reassurance; if you are successful you need to be reassured that you can have a repeat performance but it is when you fail that you need to feel that still have it in you to try again and succeed. You exude optimism by being willing to lay your bets on success the next time around, by willing to join the journey the next time around and by proclaiming aloud that you have full faith and confidence. Optimism opens up numerous possibilities, gives greater confidence, you prepared to correct your previous mistakes and most of all you are ready to begin again.

Make it a point to notice the tears, the sadness and the pain first; acknowledge that and only then focus on the mistake.

Try these

  • So list your top 3 failures and what where the reactions of people close to you then. How did you cope with those failures?
  • What did you try differently and did not succeed in the first attempt?  What did you learn from that experience?
  • Do you recollect a time when you criticized someone for a failure and on hindsight realize that either you were wrong or too harsh?
  • What are the things / activities that you are keen to start experiment with but fear of failure is holding you back? How about giving some of those desires a try?

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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22-3 C's of lifeThere are lot of youngsters ( and I suspect plenty of adults too) who are desperately trying to improve their future but find themselves aimlessly drifting and getting frustrated with every passing day. Almost all of them are intelligent, have a fair degree of clarity of thought and posses the energy and drive to succeed; yet they seem to be confused, helpless and defeated as if trapped in cage. The reality is that they build a cage around themselves by merely focusing on what has not gone right, blaming people and circumstances for their plight, blinding themselves from seeing difficult but possible options and wallowing in self pity. The real wonder of life is the new opportunities that each passing day brings, provided we seek it. The options won’t suddenly pop up but would tantalizing hover around, waiting to bestow the opportunity to those who are keenly looking out for it.

Success is actually a matter of knowing the 3 C’s (like the three R’s you learned in school) and putting that learning into practice. In fact you can put this into practice even as you read this post.

Choices abound- seek it, evaluate it, act on it.  First of all identify what you want. This means you must have some objective, an aim, a definite purpose. In short you must have a goal. Most unhappy and frustrated people remain that way because they have no clue about what they want. Using generic adjectives like happiness, rich, successful, well known, popular etc are not objectives or goals but merely pointers to what your inner urges are. Those urges can be met only when you pursue a tangible goal, upon attaining which, you will fulfill your urge of being rich or famous or popular. People are often seeking a ‘good’ job but cannot describe the attributes of the job that will make it a good job for them. As a result they cannot see the various ‘good’ jobs that exist but pick something that seems good. Take time to think out so that there is clarity in your mind. Ideally list out your thoughts so that your mind is not cluttered and more importantly you have something tangible to mull over. The list will give you both clarity and trigger your mind into seeing alternatives and choices that exist. This will enable you to explore and select the path to attaining your goal.

Chances are you will succeed- work for it, persist, don’t fear failure. Nothing ventured nothing gained is an old maxim. They also say that unless a turtle sticks it’s neck out, it cannot make progress. The message is clear; you have to dare, be bold, move out of your comfort zone and explore beyond, move into unknown territory, experiment, be different, break free. If you know what you want, the way to attain would also be clear. You may never have traversed that path but now you must. There are risks involved, there could be setbacks, you may have to trudge along alone and it could be a tiring, weary journey. Yet, the best part is you are moving, inching closer to what you want, your leaving the past trusting your abilities. At times you would hit a roadblock, you could be discouraged, you may even encounter failure. Persistence is the mantra that will embolden you, rejuvenate you and help you attain your goal.

Changes will happen – make it happen, don’t fight it, be the change. As you make your choice and take a chance you will face numerous changes that you have to cope with. Changes would impact your daily life, your emotional life, your psychological temperament, your relationships, your financial well being and even your status in society. You need to cope with the changes. Don’t let the negative changes dishearten you nor let the positive changes make you heady and arrogant. If there are times when you all your efforts don’t bring about the change you seek, you will have to double your efforts, redirect your efforts, get help from others to enhance your efforts till you force the change or become the change itself. Progress has always been made by people who dreamt of a change and got others to believe in their point of view and together forced the change. By the way, your life too will change dramatically !

So have you written down your goals? At least write down all the things you want to do to make your life better. Dream up more and add to the list of achievements you want to attain. Outline the immediate action you need to take for the most important items on your list. Start working on those action points now. It will help, if you also put a deadline by which you hope to attain each item on your goal list. Don’t make excuses for not preparing the list. Start..

Try these:

  1. Read the last para above and prepare the list and the action to be taken by you.
  2.  List out the following ( at least three )
  • Ways to increase your savings
  • Changes to yourself to become an even more engaging personality
  • Bad habits you will try to eliminate
  • Ways you will improve your relationship with family/ colleagues / business associates
  • Expand your productive working hours
  • Contribute your mite to social/ philanthropic activities.

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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10- 22 April 15- Lessons from the pastOne of the big millstones that weighs down and defeats people, is the regret that they have of their past and their mistaken belief, that they have missed the boat to success. It is true that every one of us would have something in the past that we would desperately want to edit and redo; yet the past is only a mirage that cannot be revisited but we must not convert that into a regretful flashback put on permanent loop. On the contrary, successful people have build their success by learning the lessons from their past, being cautious not to repeat the mistakes and occasionally tweaking the lessons learnt to make another attempt. (Read this to get insight of the FedEx billionaire Fred Smith http://tinyurl.com/ln9xxbq )

In fact, your past provides you an excellent reference point to value your achievements. Whatever your failures, disappointments, frustrations and / or regrets you are here today reading this post because your past could not define you as a defeatist nor could it destroy your strong will nor could it deter you from pursuing your dreams and neither did you concede defeat to the past failures. Your past has made you more determined, disciplined and daring; in short it has strengthened you.

The challenge now is to make optimum use of the strength that you posses. This can be done by consciously working on your GAME

Your Goals – Unless one has an objective and a plan, there would be neither purpose not progress. Well thought out, written goals will provide us the direction and the roadmap to march ahead. Never forget that the a journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step. Writing down your goals is the first step in your march towards success. You must have goals for varied dimensions of your life be it personal goals, professional goals, academic goals, self development goals, relationship goals, spiritual goals etc. Writing down your goals will bring clarity, ensure attentiveness, help monitor your progress and provide you motivation and self worth to pursue it with passion.

Your Attitude – Like New Year resolutions that we all cynically believe are meant to be broken, even written down goals will remain on paper with no progress being made unless one adopts the right attitude to attain the goals. Progress could be slow, impediments could be many, there could be occasional failures and disappointments but remember every successful person has overcome all these because they had the can do, will do attitude. No goal is too big or too small. In fact the small goals are the stepping stone to success for with every small goal attained you would have traversed many mile forward to attaining your larger goal. Yes you too can eat an Elephant slice by slice!

Your Motivation – Even the most disciplined individual will have to confront the demons of self doubt, slow progress, discouragement from others and at times even the ignominy of ridicule and taunts from critics. One must be able to identify both an extrinsic motivation and more importantly and intrinsic motivation to provide the energy, the nourishment and the impetus to keep marching ahead ignoring all protestations of mind and body. Your goals must exceed your grasp for that is when one is motivated to aim higher, reach further and progress beyond one’s comfort zone and discover a new world, a new destination and a new person in you.

Your Efforts – Now that you have read so far, it is time you actually walked the talk. So write down your goals, the positive words /adjectives that could determine / outline the attitude needed and identify the motivation that will drive you to attain your goals. Don’t forget that your goals are not mere statements of good intent but definitive, positively articulated tangible outcomes. Ensure that each one of your goals is a SMART goal i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. By now you have the drift of what is expected of you; not platitudes of good intent but a tango of mind and body that will bring you closer to realizing your full potential, leverage your hidden strengths and give you the euphoria of success.

Who cares what happened in the past? The GAME is on…this moment is as good a time as any to begin and win !

Try these:

I often get emails (actspot@gmail.com) requesting help in finding the best way to improve an individual’s English Language Skills. Here are some ways but you will have to convert them into your own personal goals. Cultivate the right attitude, find the appropriate motivation and put in your efforts to progress in mastering English.

  • Read a lot ( could be Readers Digest / English Newspapers / Magazines / Comics / Fiction / books related to your profession etc.)
  • Look up words in the dictionary and also check for alternative in a Thesaurus
  • Most English language newspapers have a recreation page with crosswords , comic strips, other resources. Make it a habit to consciously attempt some of these daily. This is a fun way to learn new words and the meanings.
  • Cultivate English speaking friends and make a conscious effort to speak in English. Encourage your friends to correct you so that you get feedback and can improve. Make a determined effort not to speak in your native tongue.
  • Watch English movies with sub titles so that in case you do not understand the spoken language you can still grasp the words from the sub titles.
  • Write one page atleast, every day. This could be in the form of a dairy of daily happenings or it could be your thoughts and feelings or it could be a summary of your reading or random thoughts and musings. Once you start writing, you would be well on your way to becoming excellent in English for that is the culmination of the GAME you started and your Efforts will pay off.

What are the passions you always wanted to indulge in but never had the time / resources / courage to pursue? ( e.g. learn dancing , go hiking, visit Europe, write my own blog, work with an NGO, start my own business, give lectures, become a crusader for a cause etc.) Select a couple of them and put it in your list of Goals. Use the SMART goal formula to make these attainable goals. You should now be able to definitely attain your goals within the time-frame you have set.

Go through this list of positive words, that can trigger your imagination to determine other words, which will help you have the right motivation and attitude to achieve your goals.

Be yourselfThis 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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Dissapointments are natural...but...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try this:

 

How will you cope with the following disappointments?

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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WP14=4-Are you a Pessimist, Optimist or RealistEach of us responds to stimulus in different ways. Our response is often influenced by our beliefs and attitudes which in turn are shaped by our experiences, our thoughts and our individuality. One common denominator that offers insights into our responses and reactions is the mindset that we frequently display based on which most of us are often labeled as either pessimists or optimists. There are of course exceptions who get a more privileged tag of realist. While pessimism is largely considered a negative trait and optimist hailed as exemplary the realist is often ignored as inconsequential. In life, each of these traits has it’s own utility and are qualities essential for both survival and success.

Pessimists are prone to see the negatives. They will be cautious, circumspect and hesitant. Their first instinct is self preservation and as a result their lexicon is filled with words like avoid, delay, evade, be circumspect, use caution, find problems, make excuses etc. Pessimists prepare for the worst so that if their fears come true they are not taken in by surprise and instead can feel vindicated. Pessimism is considered a very undesirable trait and pessimists are largely given a wide berth by most people. However pessimism is an important trait in as much as it considers eventualities taken for granted or blissfully ignored and puts brakes on otherwise unfettered exuberance. A good pessimist is the gate keeper who is pragmatic, cautious and prepared to cushion the fall if and when it takes place.

Optimists are those who are exuberant and gung ho about everything. They are driven by the need to see the silver lining in every cloud even if there is thunder and lightning all around. Their lexicon includes words like must try, it will work, right now, make it happen; success is round the corner etc. Optimists go about their business with a daring and a sense of Déjà vu. Their dictionary centers around words like I can, must do, not hard, must try, can be done, give it a shot etc. Optimists have the added advantage of being widely accepted for their never say die attitude, spirit of enthusiasm and eagerness to get going. An optimist must however be aware of the reality, be pragmatic and be able to distinguish between ego masquerading as self confidence and misplaced bravado replacing one’s inability to retreat.

The realist is one who dispassionately assesses and goes after the results through a mix of daring and caution. Realists are grounded in their thinking, attitude and responses. They are neither carried away by the moment nor are they deterred by circumstances. Their success lies in their balanced approach to challenges and opportunities. In their thinking what works is being practical, being flexible, being creative and being result oriented. They adjust to circumstance, create opportunities, do not take foolish risks, they don’t hesitate to retreat if discretion is the better part of valor and they won’t give up unless they attain what they set out to achieve. A realist is able to live in the present, while assessing the future and learning from the past.

Try this:

If you were given 5 wishes to be fulfilled, what would those wishes be? Would that wish list change if you were told that you have just one day left to enjoy the fulfilled wishes?

If you were forced to choose one of the following options which one would you choose and why?

–          Losing all your material possessions in a fire

–          Losing your speech and hearing

–          Remaining illiterate

–          Letting your worst enemy win a lottery of a million dollars

–          Having to spend the rest of your life eating raw vegetables only

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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