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Archive for the ‘Failures’ Category

18- 09- 27 March 18 If it scares you and excites youLike many, I am full of ideas. I get excited at the thought of executing some of my ideas but most times I avoid attempting anything because I am scared that I may fail. When I travel to new destinations I am captivated by the sights be it the mountains, the rivers, the sea or simply the ambiance of the fun, food and locale. Again I am tempted to indulge but often hold back for I am afraid of something going wrong. Far too often we attempt something different because we are left with no choice. It is also possible that we discovered that there is something new, invigorating and exciting about the new things we attempted. The question we need to answer then is ‘ why don’t I proactively try out something new, different, exciting and scary?’

We are lazy – The easiest thing to generate is ideas. The tough part is executing them. So we lie back and think of various possibilities, scenarios, opportunities. However, if we want to make something out of those ideas we need to get up and work towards it. Sheer laziness, casualness and lethargy on our part makes us dreamers not doers. Laziness manifests itself in the most common way called procrastination.  If one can stop making excuses for not doing something one is passionate about, then one can strive and realize one’s passion and dreams.

We create self doubts – One key reason for procrastination is the self doubts we create in our minds. We question our abilities, we see the challenge as overwhelming, we try to find short cuts rather than hit the road running, we try to plug every loop hole that we imagine in our plans etc. Notice that each of these is self created and a convenient way to fool our mind into thinking that we are being prudent, careful and thorough in our approach. Every doubt is just a self created hurdle that delays our start and often leads to inaction.

We are risk averse – An extreme case of self doubt is rationalizing is that we are risk averse. Risk exists every moment of our life. The degree of risk could vary but the reality is that it exists. Yet we place a premium on certain types of risks which is logical because some risks are higher when the nature of the business on hand itself is fraught with risks. The risk trouble doubles when we imagine all sorts of risks plaguing us especially when one is kickstarting something new. It is technically impossible to over all our bases and yet that is precisely what we try to do when we have to plunge into a new activity. The risk of failure is perhaps the biggest risk we fear.

We fear failure – Among the risks we fear, the fear of failure is what haunts us. A simple example is the numerous people who do not attempt public speaking simply because of their fear of failing. Failure they say is the stepping stone to success but apparently no one wants to use stepping stones. Everyone was to jet set to success and that is technically a near impossibility. Success is earned, learned and sustained over time. Many a time failure is nothing but our inability to keep going and giving up on the cusp of redemption. Occasionally failure is our short sightedness in not responding to change but most times failure is imagination taking us on a ride to nowhere.

We limit ourselves by limiting our thinking. – Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to progress for many, is our self limiting thinking. We begin to aim high and then lower the barrel ending up shooting ourselves in the foot. We question our abilities, show poor trust in our judgment, do not dare to leap frog and keep looking over our shoulder instead of seeing the distant horizons. There are opportunities aplenty, there are challenges that we can overcome easily, there is life beyond the ordinary if only we dare to dream big, think differently and  act decisively.

It is time to TRY what EXCITES you and SCARES you… NOW

Try these:

If you could change your profession or life list out the three alternatives you are most passionate about. How about doing yourself a favor and working on pursuing one of the passions within the next one year.

If you won a million rupees in the lottery what will you do with it? Outline a plan. Share it with a friend and see his/ her reactions ( do not tell them that it is an imaginary exercise you are attempting).

List out the three craziest things you have done in life so far. What was the outcome? What lessons did you learn from it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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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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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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