Category: Failures

Are you a pessimist, optimist or realist ?

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

Life lessons

Here is your assignement for the year

  1. You will receive a body. Quickly peek at yourself in the mirror. Better still admire your pictures preferably starting with the ones from your childhood, school days , college days, wedding time…. Have you noticed how you have grown? If you need to improve on you physical self, what is stopping you? Learn to love your body and you will take care of it better.
  1. You will learn lessons. Each day brings about new learning. It is a mixed bag; exciting, boring, painful, fun filled. How you learn from the lessons of life will make a qualitative difference to your daily living and your attitude and your circle of influence. Let the bitter lessons make you better and the exciting lessons motivate you.
  1. There are no Mistakes; only lessons.Mistakes are what we label those efforts that are not channelized right. In life no effort goes waste for it is the fount of all learning and so there are no mistakes only lessons from which we learn. If you stub your toe, is it a mistake? If you choose to attempt something dangerous and fail is that a mistake? If you decide to be a silent spectator instead of an active participant is that a mistake?
  1. A lesson is repeated until it is learned.This is the reason we keep repeating our mistakes for the lesson is not fully imbibed by us. If failure is a bitter lesson, success is a lesson in seeing hard work and effort pay off. Along the way there are lessons learnt from frustrations, irritation, patience, annoyance, disappointments and the like.
  1. Learning lessons does not end.Just when you think you have mastered something, you are faced with a new test. It could be handling people, coping with personal and professional challenges, sudden changes in social, professional or personal environment.
  1. ‘There’ is no better than ‘Here’An old adage that states that the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ sums it up all. No matter what we strive for or attain, when we look back each moment of our life has its own significance. While our riches and successes add luster to our life, we often lapse into the recess of our ‘good old days’ too. Don’t we all nostalgically look back to the days gone by?
  1. Others are merely mirrors of you.While your individuality is unique, the reality is that we have much more in common with each other than what we can imagine. Each one of us shares the same emotions and express ourselves in ways much like others. In liking or disliking others we are merely mirroring an image that we consciously or unconsciously have imbibed. The same is true of everyone else. Isn’t it time we made and effort to imbibe the best and thereby reflect the best in us and simultaneously learn to see the good in others?
  1. What you make of your life is up to you.People, circumstances and luck are labels we give to justify our success or failures in life. The truth is that it is up to us to gravitate towards the right people, chance upon the right circumstances and make the best of every opportunity that comes our way. As Longfellow says ‘We are the captain of our ship, the master of our fate’
  1. The answers lie inside you.Far too often we ask the wrong questions and alas we end up with frustrating answers.  We crave for what we do not have, pine for what we do not deserve and can conjure up a million excuses to justify ourselves. Ask yourself ‘what is it that I am seeking’ and presto you will see the way forward, grasp the truth and suddenly your life will light up too.
  1. Whether you think you can or can’t, in either case you will be right.To sum it all up, it is all in your mind. Think right, feel right, live right is the message.

So there is no better time than now to grasp the truth, face the reality and rework on your life and make it a journey of happiness and fulfillment.

Try this:

  • Have a relook at your New Year Resolution and if you don’t have one, get down to writing it down. For reference look up the immediate preceding post.
  • If not in one sentence, at least in 3- 5 sentences can you write down your personal ‘mission’ statement.
  • Out of the above 10 truths, pick the one truth that appeals the most to you and make it your ‘statement of purpose’ for the coming year.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The way to succeed is in being YOU

13-31-Be YourselfWe are often left wondering why we do not succeed and realize our full potential. Much as we ponder the answer seems elusive, our frustrations keep increasing and worse still we are envious and jealous of those whom we feel succeed beyond measure. The quote above gives clear clues as to why we fail to achieve success that is well within our reach. Here is a simple analysis of the clues and each one of us can interpret the analysis for ourselves and apply the learning to realize our full potential.

Lack of self confidence. The vast majority of us are never going to be in the top percentile of those achieving academic excellence. Unfortunately, there is an over emphasis laid on academic brilliance and that first dents the confidence of the vast majority who lack the academic powers. Perhaps this lack of confidence then translates into lack of clarity of personal goals, indecision, confused mind set, inability to focus, half hearted efforts etc. This then becomes a vicious circle where performance is not up to par and in turn one becomes even less confident. Breaking this vicious circle holds the key to regaining our self confidence and self esteem.

Comparisons with others. Almost everyone is guilty of this at some stage or the other in our life. Unfortunately, the seeds of this aliment are first sown by our own well meaning parents, elders, teachers and well wishers who invariably try to compare our progress and achievements with that of other peers. While we resented that comparison, far too often we have subconsciously imbibed it and end up doing the same and ending coming to the same conclusion ‘poor me’ or ‘lucky them’. The comparisons by themselves are not bad because it gives us yardsticks to measure ourselves. However the conclusion we draw and which then becomes our creed poses a huge problem for our personal well being and success.

Attempting to be what we are not. One of the consequences of our lack of self confidence and our penchant to compare ourselves with others is the metamorphosis that we undergo in aiming to imitate our perceived success heroes/ heroines. Unfortunately the metamorphosis is incomplete because we only end up imitating the individual without imbibing the virtues he /she possesses. The result is a lame attempt at masquerading as a success while the mind, body and soul have never come to terms with the artificiality and hollowness of the self we project.

Not paying attention to our strengths. In our eagerness to achieve success we seek to imitate others, search for shortcuts and give up far too easily when confronted with difficulties. What we fail to realize is that each of us is blessed with our own unique abilities, talents and strengths. All it requires us to do is recognize it, allow it to flower in our work and leverage it in both our personal and professional life.

Focusing too much on our limitations. Time and time again the biggest weakness that thwarts our attempts to attain success is our inability to get going. This is because we are obsessed about the limitations we perceive in us and tend to imagine failures as a natural corollary. So if at all we begin we do it with trepidation, keep looking over our shoulders for signs of failures and fail to stay the course when confronted with problems. We also fail to work on ironing out our limitations, let them become excuses and sadly become slaves to our own anxieties.

Not accepting ourselves as we are.  Perhaps the one single cause for our inability to achieve the success we are capable of is our inability to acknowledge our self worth. We are terrified of our limitations, under value our strengths, are unclear about our goals and search for answers to our problems around us. The reality is that we create a bigger problem than what exists and instead of seeking the simple answers that are within us refuse to accept the individuality we are blessed with.

Remember you are both the sculptor and the sculpture; it is never too late to chisel away at yourself and let out the individuality in you.

Try this:

  1. Write down 3 role models. Now outline 3 qualities / abilities in them that you envy and can adopt or adapt for your personal growth. Can you identify 2 traits / weakness in the role model that you detest?
  2. Write down 2 personal habits/ traits/ limitations that you would like to get rid of. Outline a month long plan to reduce / eliminate at least one of these 2 limitations.
  3. Given your personal and academic background, what is your dream job/ business venture?  What steps do you need to take to attain that? What are the 2 biggest stumbling blocks and the 2 major gains you attain in achieving them?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Overcoming Disappointments

13-24-Dissapointments are natural...but...

Disappointments arise when outcomes do not meet expectations. As human beings we tend to brood longer over our disappointments but relish our successes fleetingly. Ask yourself how often you complaint, whine, criticize, find fault, get upset / angry, feel hurt, pass on blame, keep regretting, try to be alone/ silent etc. On the other hand how often do you smile, praise, thank, appreciate, remain enthusiastic, compliment others, be the company of others, say/ do something positive spontaneously etc. Your honest answers would give you a clue to how you cope with disappointments which are unavoidable but never unmanageable.

Even if we are optimists and have a positive attitude we can still be disheartened and disillusioned by major disappointments. If we are pessimistic and have a tinted outlook then it becomes imperative that we find ways and means to cope with the disappointments that we would encounter off and on.

Here are a few strategies to cope with disappointments.

It can’t get worse. Imagine you failed in your exams. You lose a year now. It has happened; but now you can honestly tell yourself that it is the worst possible outcome but it can’t get worse than this. Once you make this profound discovery moving on with life becomes relatively much easier than brooding over the why it happened; if only I studied more; perhaps I should have taken a chance and cheated and the numerous such thoughts that keep swimming in your head.

Thank god it is only this much. Recently a family member came home way past midnight and gently broke the news that he met with an accident. Obviously you are rattled and then shocked to see the person swaddled in bandages. Once you get over the initial shock the next natural progression is to seek more information about what happened all the while berating the person for being careless and irresponsible. Once we have calmed down and get hold of ourselves we rationalize that thank god it wasn’t worse. From then on we are able to handle the shock and disappointment with more pragmatism and acceptance.

Ok so how do I limit the damage? You are frantically searching for an important document and to your horror and terrible disappointment you just can’t seem to locate it. Your panic is matched only by the disconcerting feeling that you are heading for disaster. You search every nook and corner, you can rummage through every drawer and cupboard, you vent your frustration and then fall on your knees seeking divine intervention; alas all in vain. The quicker you get hold of your emotions the better the chances of finding an alternative solution that will help limit the damage perhaps even find an alternative solution.

What is good about the situation? Your team has played and excellent match in which you dominated the opponents and yet you lost the game thanks to a freak goal by the opposition. It is hard to come to terms with such heartbreaking disappointments. The results can be overturned; the missed chances cannot be retrieved; a blame game won’t help. A debriefing by the coach however can turn up a surprising number of useful and invaluable insights about the game. The mistakes made, the attitude and approach of the players, the chinks in the opponents armor than can be exploited next time around, the difference in play in both periods of the game; all of these are more seriously imbibed when the bitterness of disappointment is more acute.

Nothing can overwhelm me. You reach the airport only to be told that your flight has been cancelled and your connecting flights and holiday plans have in simply gone for a toss in a jiffy. Anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness, panic seem to engulfing you. Your mind is in a whirl, you can’t focus and you are in a tizzy. Quickly take deep breaths and calm yourself. While asking the reason for the flight cancellation may be a natural instinctive reaction, wasting time delving into it would be both fruitless and frustrating. Instead, focus on outlining the alternatives to salvage the situation. Take proactive action to implement your plans and be pragmatic about your subsequent actions.

This too shall pass. Pause and think; how many disappointments have actually
ruined your life or brought it to a complete standstill. The fact that you are 
reading this is proof that you are hale and hearty despite the many 
disappointments that you would have faced in your life. The reality of life
mandates that each of us will have triumphs (success) and disasters
(disappointments)  and the trick to overcome disappointment is to remember
Rudyard Kipling’s lines in his poem IF 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same;

For neither success not failure is permanent… for this too shall pass. 

Try this:

  1. You overhear your best friend criticizing you.
  2. You were hauled up by your superior / school management for an aberration done by someone else and no amount of pleading your innocence can cut any ice with them.
  3. You encounter a flat tyre on deserted stretch of the highway.
  4. You press the buzzer during the tie breaker of a quiz final and discover that the right answer is on the tip of your tongue but alas you are unable to articulate it on time.
  5. You go to highly rated restaurant and to you horror the food is awful and disappointing.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Using your personal power

13-19-Use your power

Even before you read further, ask yourself what are the 3 things that you have done/ achieved in your life that you are most proud of. Do any of those proud moments also include a display of physical or moral courage? For the vast majority of those reading this post, finding 3 achievements to be proud of could possibly be a challenge and certainly finding an achievement displaying courage of any sort could be even more challenging. The simple truth is that for the better part of our life, we are comfortable just meeting the bare requirements that life demands of us. Today’s post exhorts each reader to explore, discover and create a new life in which you experience life in new hues.

 

Here are 4 ways to emit your own frequency and thereby leverage your potential, discover yourself and impact the world around you.

 

Be aware – Awareness comes from being alert and responsive to happenings around. You are often alert when you are fearful/ anxious and every creaking sound and unusual movement would be noticed by you. Being aware constantly takes much more effort and even more discipline. The key is to align all your 5 senses and discipline them to be responsive to all that goes on around. Awareness enables one to make intelligent choices, take rational decisions and maintain equilibrium in life no matter where there is ecstasy or panic. E.g. you are passing by a school long after the school children have gone home after school and you notice a primary student loitering around. Your awareness will force you to pause and observe the child and your senses will alert you to  find out more about why the child has not gone home.

 

Be sensitive – This will enable one to better appreciate a person and / or a situation. Being sensitive is all about putting yourself in the situation and understanding the individual caught in it. When you are sensitive your response would be more empathetic, possibly logical but laced with ample heart and it would definitely be a response that will linger long after the moment has passed. E.g. You are waiting for a rick/ taxi while it is pouring heavily and soon a heavily pregnant lady and her husband join you also anxiously waiting for a conveyance. Chances are that you would if sensitive enough allow them to avail of the first conveyance that comes along.

 

Be proactive – Many of us are relatively more aware and sensitive but when it comes to being proactive and taking the initiative we are held back by a number of doubts, visualize numerous obstacles that seem to block our path and fear the possible negative consequences of our proactive responses. For the better part of our lives we have been reactive and hence conditioned that way. How many of us have willingly participated in extracurricular activities at school or college or willingly given answers to questions asked in class when you knew the answer? Being proactive is relatively simple for people who are aware and sensitive because their heart and mind simply prompt the body to act but we still need to overcome our hesitation. E.g. you notice an advertisement about an interesting lecture by an eminent personality on a topic of your deep interest. Only if you are proactive will you make the extra effort to attend the lecture. Your effort would be well worth it but it is up to you to make it happen.

 

Be responsible – Taking responsibility sounds easy but in reality we hanker to take credit but find excuses or accuse others for failures. Taking responsibility means you take ownership and therefore you have to do everything in your power to ensure the success of the undertaking. This could involve commitment of resources, delegation of tasks, managing crisis, finding innovative solutions, taking tough decisions etc. The challenge in taking responsibility is having the daring to empower yourself and if successful sharing credit with the team and if success eludes then taking on the brickbats solely. Since the pay offs of responsibility seem skewed, many of us prefer to shirk responsibility and prefer to be just another team member. Leaders are those who have trained themselves to take on responsibility. E.g.  If you are organizing a picnic or a party there are too many nitty-gritty’s to be taken care off. Often finding someone to take on the responsibility is a challenge for at end of day no matter who organizes there will be some criticism and so the initial response is to side step the opportunity to showcase one’s leadership skills.

 

Try this:

 

This coming festival season instead of sending e-greetings identify 10 very dear people for whom you would buy greeting cards that suit the specific individual. Now write a personal message in each card and send it by snail mail to the respective individuals.

 

Choose a unique way to celebrate this festive season by focusing on impacting the lives of those in hospitals / prisons/ war veterans homes (like the paraplegic home in Kirkee Pune)/ leprosy rehabilitation center.

 

Reflect on the one quality or talent that you posses. Now think of 3 unique ways / situations in which you can proactively and responsibly use your talent/ quality/ ability for the benefit of others.

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Reboot your life

13-14-Reboot your life with a new software

As we meander through life, there are many times when we question ourselves about the path we are traversing, the goal we are aspiring for and the means we adopt to arrive at our destination. For many others life is not a walk in the park but a race against time and even they would be occasionally haunted by similar thoughts. We struggle to find a proper answer not because we ask the wrong question but because we dismiss the answers that stare at us as illogical or improbable. Far too often life simply tells us to reboot our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self with a rider that we need to upgrade our system before the reboot.

Since childhood, by and large, the family, our educational and our social environment have had a major influence on our thoughts and decisions. Our personal system is therefore loaded with version 1, with occasional patches that selectively upgrade bits and pieces of our self, mainly academic, professional and personal. However in a fast paced, evolving world, keeping up with the changes around calls for constant upgrades in our personal operating system. At times our hardware would seem inadequate but with some creative tweeking we can even ensure that our hardware to is adequate to meet the system requirements.

To ensure your personal hardware and software is kept up to date here are some areas to focus upon.

Urge to learn

Overcoming inhibitions is the first step to learning.  Be it a new skill or coping with the demands of evolving technology one must shed our inhibitions and plunge ahead. Many a time we do succumb to believing in the old adage of ‘ an old dog cannot learn new tricks’; instead focus on learning new things to feel and remain young.

Being open to possibilities and ideas is a natural byproduct of the urge to learn. Reading opens windows to numerous possibilities. Similarly thinking and reflecting stimulates ideas. Interaction with others, experimenting, attempting something offbeat, seeking alternatives are ways and means of expanding the possibilities and ideas that we can leverage.

Being proactive

Seek opportunities could involve moving out of our comfort zone and taking risks. Instead of waiting for things to happen, we must make things happen. Every problem no matter what the gravity of it is, offers each of us a chance to use all our faculties to come up with solutions.

Connect with the changing environment and embrace the new dynamics. Don’t wait for changes to take you by surprise but go out an meet them. Dinosaurs they say became extinct because they did not or could not adapt to change; don’t let that be your fate.

Dare to be different

Listen to the heart for it can give you the confidence and the gumption to do things which could challenge your confidence, stretch you to the limits and yet free your spirit and allow you to soar. Ever thought of being a Santa Claus at a mall and entertain the kids? So what is stopping you from attempting it?

Don’t be intimidated by the enormity of the challenges or your own lack of experience. Remember there is always a first time for everything. More importantly remember that failure is only a blip not the end; for almost everything in life we don’t get it right the first time. Ever seen a baby taking its first steps; tentative, unsure but never inhibited.

Enjoy the moments

Find lessons in failures and disappointments for it will give you a reason to rework, retry and redeem yourself and realize that success can be relished when we can confront our failures and disappointments.

Create happiness as often as you can and a smile is just the simplest way to traversing that path. Letting the child in you come to the fore, listening to the woes of others, offering encouragement, being large hearted be it in forgiving or in sharing time, talent and money are some other avenues that we need to explore. Learning to appreciate comes a close second to smiling when it comes to creating happiness.

Try this:

Urge to learn – learn a new language, a new game, explore a new place / hobby, gentlemen should attempt a role reversal and do the normal chores done by the lady in the house.

Be proactive – write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper on local issues until at least 2 letters are published. Go visit a prison / mental asylum.

Dare to be different- Ladies should try and learn a percussion instrument for at least a month. Gentlemen are encouraged to learn some form of classical dancing for a month.

Enjoy the moments – Write down 3 positives you got from your biggest failure you have experienced. Think of the best compliments you ever received from a non family member or friend.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Listen to your heart and give it a try…

13-13-Give it a try..

Today’s words of wisdom hold a special significance for me personally and hopefully it would also be an apt quote for all those reading this blog. Around three and half years ago in Jan 2010, when I conceived this blog, it was actually my second attempt at experimenting with the medium called blogs. I had first started off on 1st Dec. 2009 (http://www.poweract.blogspot.in/2009/12/poweract-fission-of-ideas-to-fusion.html ) and was fortunate to get a quick comment from a friend which was motivation enough to write regularly. However, when I began this blog and kept a target of writing daily, all three of the doubts expressed in the quote above overwhelmed me. Fortunately for me my heart was in the right place and nudged me hard enough and I am delighted that I have kept my pride intact, gained invaluable experience and have reason enough to make the point that unless you try you will never know what you can achieve.

When one is setting off to explore unknown territory, it is good to have some apprehensions but it is terrible to start with doubts. Apprehensions are nature’s way of injecting a sense of responsibility, caution and pragmatism all of which are essential to complete a challenge. Doubts on the other hand, fuel fear, deflate self belief and allow irrationally thoughts to creep into our mindset thus heightening the chances of derailing the journey almost as soon as we attempt it. Apprehension stems out of our inexperience coupled with the realization that there are lot of unknown variables along the way. Doubts on the other hand seep in when we let our pride assume humongous proportions morphing into false pride. There is no shame in failure if despite our best efforts we fail but there is no pride in chickening out for fear of failure.

Experience is either first hand or it is second hand (that what we see/ hear about others). Either way each adventure poses new challenges that even past experience may not necessarily equip us to handle. In fact experience should guide us to make the necessary adjustments to ensure success. At times though, experience can give valuable insights that could temper our pride especially so as to ensure that we do not do anything foolhardy. The key to leveraging experience is in making a realistic assessment of the risks, finding innovative means to minimize the risks and then translating the risks into worthwhile targets for us to pursue.

The toughest obstacle is posed by our logical mind which reasons out every action but is not fully equipped to accommodate variables like creativity, individual resilience and risk taking ability. Reasoning is an excellent mechanism for analysis, provides reference points that flag off caution and alerts and is a dispassionate tool for exercising our options. However, far too often reasoning tends to err on the side of caution thereby reducing the potency of our decisions. We cannot dismiss reason completely but have to temper it with our personal insights, gut feeling and a healthy dose of self belief. Don’t always let the head rule the heart.

The heart has its reasons; not necessarily logical nor would it be completely irrational. What it does is prod, push and nudge one to become aware of some hidden and untapped abilities, potential and daring that is ready to be harnessed. When we can add this mix to our rational and logical self we get a holistic mix far more potent than we can ever imagine. Success is all about finding this right holistic mix and using it appropriately by balancing our mind and our heart.

The voice from the heart may sound fainter than that from the mind; but it is for you to seek it, listen to it and then believe in it.

Try this:

  1. During the coming month participate in at least 3 contests. It could be giving answers to contests run by radio / TV channels or sending in your entries to contests run by newspapers/ magazines.
  2. Find & execute innovative ways (in which you are an active participant) to raise funds for your favorite charity. (Do not involve family or friends in raising the monetary resources) e.g. putting up some unused things owned by you  for sale on a website with the sale proceeds earmarked for charity.
  3. Prepare your own crossword/ quiz (the answers to which must have some relevance to your family and friends or your neighborhood or city) and use that in the next get together or party. E.g. which person in this group stays on the top most floor of his/ her building? Or  The person in this group who is born in Lucknow. Or find out some well know spots in the city which have a colloquial name but which can be translated into English. In the quiz give the English translation and ask people to identify it. For example in my city of Pune we have a Phoolwalla Chowk (Flowersellers roundabout) / Lakadipul ( Wooden bridge). These can be innovatively used to prepare your quiz.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Launching yourself

13-9- One step back 2 forward

It is that time of the year when the exam fever is at its peak and both students and parents are in a tizzy coping with the stress of doing well in the exams. The real stress actually comes a wee bit later as the day of the results draws near. While for some there could be jubilation, for a fair amount of people there could be dejection but the vast majority would be plagued by a sinking feeling that the outcome could have been or should have been better. An analysis would possibly reveal that an overwhelming majority are disappointed that the outcomes fell short of their expectations. In effect just about everyone seems to think that the academic pursuits have actually dragged them back or atleast impeded them in the race to a successful future.

The scene with the adults is no different. On one hand they seem to be dragged down by the weight of propping up their wards to excel, they also are bogged down by the pressure to attain personal success professionally, financially, personally and socially. Many a time, success seems elusive, the goals seem distant and the pressure becomes overwhelming. The collective weight of balancing personal expectations, professional growth and domestic bliss seem to be huge load to manage. Often we are tempted to throw in the towel and give up; our spirits are drooping and the rewards seem unappetizing.

Yet it is at the very nadir that one must dig his /her heels in, take a deep breath and with faith and hope launch a herculean effort. Be it an arrow, a trigger or a shotput; to get results we need to take that vital pull back to get the momentum to hit the mark. Take a look at a pole vaulter and notice the sharp arch of the pole brought about by the weight of the individual before the momentum and the technique dramatically enables the pole valuter to go much higher than the pole and safely cross over the barrier. The subtle message is that one often needs to take one step back before one can take two steps forward.

Success is often like a game of snakes and ladders. There are times when we get lucky and climb up faster but many a time we get gobbled up by the snake and come right down. Do we stop playing the game every time we get gobbled by a snake? The challenge in real life is not to let the snakes, be it poor academics or a personal handicap or poor self esteem or financial setbacks or a colossal blunder, become an excuse to give up.

Try this:

  1. Go to a long jump pit and stand at the edge and jump. Have 3 tries and measure the best effort. Now walk back 10 steps and then run down and jump and measure the distance. You can be sure the latter effort where you actually walked back, away from the pit and then gave it your all gave you superlative jump.
  2. Find out the personal limitations / failures that the following overcame before they achieved success
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Helen Keller
  • B. S. Chandrasekhar
  • Walt Disney
  • Tapishwar Narain Raina

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Enjoy the little things in life…

13-4-Little things matter

In the week gone by, this blog has crossed 1,50,000 views and now has 875 odd followers. A BIG THANK YOU to all of you patronizing this blog. For me this amazing journey started on 1st Jan 2010 and as I look back I am both surprised at my own gumption to try and write every day (which I did justice to in 2010) and grateful to my blog followers both for their feedback (largely favorable) and for providing me the motivation to keep writing. Today’s blog post, is also a tribute to all of you my readers, for as the daily views and increasing followers list came in trickles initially, they laid the foundation of the milestone I mark today. Thank you buddies. Jacob

Nostalgia they say is recalling the fun without revealing the pain. No matter what your age, if you are reading this now, you would definitely have enough years behind you to look back and visualize the wonders that have lit up your life at various times. Cut to childhood; the earliest recollection of your birthday celebration would bring a tear in your eye, a lump in your throat, a heaviness in the heart but most of all an unmatched thrill and joy. Perhaps another birthday celebration could trigger a wave of ecstatic emotions with you as the focus but love as all encompassing.

It is not all fun and joy that we recollect all the time. Perhaps there are painful memories too of the first punishment that you got for no fault of yours. Or the nasty injury you suffered when playing a highly competitive sport or perhaps you missed the finals that you looked forward to playing because of suspension. Yet when you look back at these moments, what remains etched more than the pain is the realization that those were defining moments that shaped you into what you are. Perhaps the injustice of being unfairly punished made you subconsciously more sensitive to others or it could be the reason why you are far harsher to those who are guilty.

Remember the first gift you gave your first crush or it could be your lovelorn mushy mushy little note. If you can recollect the contents, you might even unconsciously squirm at the realization of your immaturity then and the frivolous nothings that you conjured up. Yet, that day you grew up to overcome your inhibitions, overcame your apprehensions and learned to be more decisive. Remember the reluctant way you went through the mandatory social service visit to the local orphanage or old age home. Once you got over your initial shock and surprise at what you experienced there, the human values in you kicked in and they, the inmates, suddenly became an extension of your life. Perhaps those moments made you strive for success so that you would not meet a similar fate or turned you into a large hearted person, who gives at every opportunity without the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Pause a moment to remember the school days. The mischief, the examination phobia, the elation at unexpected academic success, your share of the punishment that you had to endure, the words of praise or congratulations that also came your way which was the icing on the cake called schooling. Perhaps the memories of some exceptional teachers have become a role model for you in life, the strict teachers that you resented then now remain idols who were fair and impartial though strict. The patience of others who understood your limitations in keeping pace with the others or those who secretly sympathized with your struggles or those who tactfully highlighted your strengths and pepped you up are now memories that well up your heart.

Finally family, parents, siblings, elders and neighbors and pets; can you just remember in one sentence how they left a mark on you? Love would be a common theme but for some it could be the harshness of not being able to get their affection or it could be their inability to appreciate you that hurts. Yet the precious moments spent with them would each hold a lingering fragrance of experience, affection, guidance, intrigue, regret in some cases, hurt in some very rare cases but a definite impact in all cases.

Beginning today, seek out those moments consciously, hold on to them in memories tenderly and embrace them tightly in the cockles of your heart.

Try this:

List out the following

  • The 3 happiest moments of the your life so far
  • The most painful moment you experienced
  • The most unexpected surprise you got
  • The best gift that you ever received
  • The most unfair criticism that you have received
  • The 3 mistakes that still make you cringe
  • The 1 love (each) of your life which is – a person, a place, a thing, an animal

Write down the first thought that comes to mind when you have to name

  • The best book you ever read
  • The worst book that you would not suggest to anyone
  • The best movie you have seen
  • The movie you couldn’t sit through
  • The most impactful proverb/ saying
  • The silliest feedback you have ever got
  • The best meal you ever ate in a restaurant
  • The worst foodie experience

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be true to yourself

Nature has been very kind to mankind and that is why it has put an auto program within us in the form of our senses to help us protect ourselves from danger. Ever realized how is it that when we inadvertently touch something hot we instantaneously draw away from it or how quickly we sense danger when we smell a burning odor or stale food is immediately sensed by the tongue. The senses are programmed by nature to be true to the duty of self preservation.

The problem arises when we have to depend on ourselves for progress, growth and happiness. To this end, we are largely dependent on our academics, intellect, behavior, attitude, skill sets and motivation for setting our goals and attaining them. The very stumbling block for many begins with the academics where we are prone to expect more marks than our effort and intellect, succumb to the temptation to use unfair means so as to boost our marks and / or happily make peace with the results and rationalize that you have done your best. In effect we are just not being true to our abilities, our potential or our conscience. If you get marks that you really do not deserve, does it mean that you are academically superior to the rest? Do you think you can continue your bluff in your professional life? The replies to these questions should be again answered honestly and you would have made an important step in the pursuit of being true to yourself.

It is said that a clear conscience is the best pillow; implying thereby that if one is true to one’s self you can always enjoy a blissful sleep. In having a clear conscience one is not merely troubled by deceit, lies or improprieties that one may have lapsed into but the bigger pricks of conscience are brought about by a feeling of inadequacy that one has not discharged one’s duties effectively, not stood up to protest injustice or when one has merely sat on the fence when having to take a decisive stand. Not keeping ones promise is just a simple example of negligence in discharging ones obligation but there could be larger issues like not helping out an accident victim or not exercising one’s franchise during the elections. It may be pertinent to emphasize here that  while not voting could be viewed as an insignificant event that does not prick one’s conscience it is this collective lack of conscience that ultimately give us poor political leadership. Perhaps if each of us was true to ourselves our environment would have been a much better place to live in.

Look around and be aware of your critics. Perhaps some of those critics are people who have some differences or dislike towards you and many of their criticisms could be frivolous. There could be other critics who fail to appreciate your point of view or the reasons or intent behind your actions/ responses that they criticize. Then there are a few who are very very close to you and it this proximity to you that gives them the liberty to be more judgmental and honest in their critical feedback. What is important for you is to realize that there is always an element of truth in most of the criticisms and it is an excellent feedback to help one improve. The more important lesson though is that your friends, fans and supporters will always far outnumber your critics and most of them will never be true to you when it comes to telling you your faults, your limitations, your weaknesses or the area of improvementYou improve and progress only by being honest and true to yourself, for you and only you know yourself; only you know your fears, your ambitions, your apprehensions, your limitations, your abilities, your insecurities, your frustrations, your desires, your cravings, your hopes, your expectations, your values.

Try this:

  1. Write down your strengths and weakness and also your fears and aspirations. Make as elaborate a list as possible. Now try and honestly rate each point in each of the 4 grids and number it from 1 onwards, 1 being the most important priority. Now candidly visualize how each of the fort points in each grid impacts your decisions / your approach/ your progress.
  2. Identify 3 of the following characters and jot down one honest negative feedback you would give each of them. Think of how you will package that feedback to make it more acceptable to the recipient without your relationship being affected.

–          Friends

–          Colleagues

–          Relatives

–          School/ college mates

–          Subordinate/ junior / employee

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com