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Archive for the ‘focus’ Category

15-11 Apr 17-Steps to takeThe lessons of life are not learned by reading text books or self help books or by observation alone. The real learning happens when we apply the knowledge and get a firsthand experience. Imagining the outcomes won’t help. It is in doing that we appreciate the nuances of the learning, the pitfalls that we never visualized, discover our own strengths and resilience and occasionally realize our own inadequacies. The best part of applying our learning is that we know instantly how capable we are of fulfilling our potential and how much more capable we are of doing a task even better. There is of course the risk of failure, of the realization that perhaps we are not cut out for something or painfully discovering that our potential is not good enough to be the best. However, there is also the possibility of discovering some unknown strengths, talents and potential that come to the fore only when we apply our knowledge. The Try This activities listed in the end of each post are a simple method for each reader to apply the learning from each post and get to appreciate your own strengths and potential.

The best way to get yourself going is by getting started by following the steps listed:

Have a personal vision – This is the key to every activity a person undertakes. Without a vision there is no goal, no motivation and no sense of accomplishment. Never do anything to fulfill an obligation. Instead do it because it challenges you, it motivates you, it interests you and because you want to do it. See yourself playing a vital role in huge process and suddenly you realize your own worth and contribution to the larger goal. This will stimulate and motivate you not just to begin the task but also to do an excellent job of whatever you undertake.

Barricade yourself from negativity – There would be well meaning critics who often would not be able to see your vision in the same light as you do. Listen to them but let not their criticism be a dampener to your vision. Failure could be another de-motivator but the challenge for you is to overcome it. The slow pace of progress, unexpected obstacles, the pressure to deliver results, self doubts etc. are all negative forces that could distract and distress you occasionally. Keep your eyes on your vision and proceed with faith.

View every experience as learning – Once you master the art of treating every experience as a step forward towards learning, you will treat success and failure with equanimity. Your motivator is the learning that you gain. Success and failure are simply milestones along the way of progress that indicates to you how far you have come and how far more you have to go.

Embrace success – While humility is an essential requirement to remain grounded, it is equally important that one learns to embrace and enjoy success. Enjoy the accolades, the recognition, the applause, the thrill of achievement. It is in embracing success that you fulfill your vision. For sure you can set up a new vision after that and proceed ahead. Occasionally there would be times when success comes at a price. At other times success is elusive despite your best efforts. Be realistic and focus on the progress made; that is success. Discovering your own inadequacies reflected in not being successful is also a learning and in a convoluted way, a learning success.

Try these:

  • Make a list of unfulfilled potential that people have often spoken to you about. Alternatively, list out some of your childhood dreams that you never pursued. Prepare a plan of action to get going on realizing at least one of those dreams.
  • From a personal growth / learning point of view, list out the activities that you do daily. Is there something more you can do to keep you physically and mentally upbeat.
  • Take the daily newspaper and go the leisure page and attempt some of those activities listed. E.g. Sudoku, cross words, wordplay, spot the difference 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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5-scale-down-your-goalThe title of this post may sound ironical, as most times we are urged to have loft goals.  No doubt that it is good to aspire for the stars so that you may at least reach the moon; however if we have goals that are unrealistic then chances are that we get daunted by the task we have set for ourselves, get easily discouraged by visualizing the enormity of it and more often than not we give up easily.  This is invariably what happens when we set a personal goal, which focuses on being better than anyone else rather than making it more personalized and stating that I will be better than what I was yesterday.

You would observe that the goal to be better than what ‘I used to be’ is more personalized, it is more manageable, as we know what areas of our life we need to focus on and improve and most of all we can measure our progress every moment. E.g. we need to get rid of a bad habit. Once we identify that habit and make it our goal to get rid of it, then every time you lapse into it, you become aware of it and try consciously to overcome it.

The earlier example focused on overcoming a negative trait. A positive goal could be even more motivating and the results perhaps equally exhilarating. E.g. Students could have a goal to map out  a study schedule and complete the set task before indulging in their favorite relaxation like seeing TV or going for a weekend gig. Note that the first step though is to map out the schedule, without which, focusing on the goal is near impossible.

Scale down your goals but have lofty dreams. Make the goals become the steps of the ladder that you need to climb to attain those lofty goals. Inbuilt a mechanism to track progress, a motivator to keep going and definitely a penalty to ensure you get back on track if you stray.

Surprise yourself with the tremendous progress you make when you begin; never mind the baby steps; even Usain Bolt began by crawling, tottering and then steadying his walk before he realized he could outrun everyone. All you need to focus is on outrunning yourself !

Try these:

  1. Just list 3- 5 personal changes you want to ensure for yourself before the year end. Follow this up with specifics you will do to ensure you can attain your goal before the year end.
  2. List out how this year you will surprise
  • A friend
  • A family member
  • A neighbor
  • A colleague
  • A stranger
  • Yourself ( set a goal to overcome a fear or do a dare )

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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8 - Refocus and get clarity

Clarity of thought is a quality that is essential for every individual so that he /she can progress forward in the right direction. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, individuals have always grappled with the problem of confusion, an inability to be decisive and worse of constantly looking back and wondering if they chose their path wisely. Most of our lives we have been told to avoid problems. In school one is taught to solve problems. Most of our adult life we are anticipating problems and seeking ways to avoid it. As a result the problem overwhelms us, we are hell bent on avoiding or solving problems and we are apprehensive of moving away from the beaten path lest we encounter problems that we have never experienced. So instead of exploring and discovering we prefer to gingerly and tentatively traverse on known paths occasionally daring to venture into some shallow waters. Our horizons are limited our growth is stunted and our sense of achievement is scaled down.

Today the startups, the youngsters having dreams of alternative professions and those leapfrogging from staid professions to dynamic alternatives are tribute to mind set change from problem avoidance to solution finding. Our training of being defensive and risk averse has actually prepared us to easily reorient our thinking into seeking problems and finding solutions. Instead of letting your mind constantly worry about the problem, let it now dwell in anticipation of finding alternative solutions. With this changed orientation in our thinking we allow our creative self to take over. Problems are merely irritants, solutions are there to be found and in finding the solutions you discover your potential, create something unique and possibly even build a new paradigm of success for yourself. Man’s inability to fly was a problem since evolution. Those who saw it as a problem and did nothing about it rationalized that we really didn’t need to fly and so came up with alternative means of transportation. The Wright brothers on the other hand viewed the inability to fly as a problem deserving an appropriate solution. Their aircraft crude as it may have been pioneered the aircraft industry later. The hot air balloon and the drones are also examples of how solution centric answers can become very effective.

We need to watch out for three impediments that could take away our focus from being solution centric

Fear of the problem – It is true that every problem comes with its share of anxiety. When we let this anxiety overtake our rationality we remain problem centric. Our anxiety increases with the passing of time and no acceptable solution visible on the horizon. On the other hand if we analyze the problem dispassionately, we would be able to appreciate the varied dimensions of the problem and perhaps even see various alternative solutions peeping from some corners. Pick up a newspaper and try to solve the crosswords or Sudoku problem in it.

Distraction due to anxietyBefore you attempt the above keep a personal time limit to solve the problem. Notice how you get more tense, distracted and frustrated that the time is running out. Your attention is now drawn towards the deadline rather than the problem itself. This distraction will take away your concentration. On the other hand if you focus on finding solutions you will get at least some answers by the time the deadline approaches.

Urge to disown the problem – Very often we just want to somehow get rid of the problem. If possible we try to pass it on to others. If not we try to find excuses for the problem still being there. Very often we try to find someone to blame for the problem. This urge to get rid of the problem, to disown the problem, to pass the buck is our way of escapism. It neither helps in getting a solution nor does it ease our anxiety for the problem persists.

Watch out for the above and immediately change your thinking to finding a solution and keep seeking alternate solutions till you have ample alternatives to choose the best one. Yes problems often come with many many solutions. Keep searching for the best one.

Try this:

Click on this link to get an idea of how to FOCUS

You are given a barometer and asked to measure the height of a building. Think of 3 possible solutions to the problem. (Having a science inclination would help but oh yes every one can attempt 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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29-R U a weirdoYou did read the title of this post right, although any English language teacher would have chastened me for that style of writing. The fact is that the world is changing at a rapid pace, the styles are also keeping pace with that change (not always a good thing) and if you don’t follow the trend you would be branded a weirdo. I am betting that each one of you reading this post owns a mobile phone. If you don’t own a mobile phone, I am willing to double the bet that all those you interact with treat you like a weirdo. So the simple equation is that if you are to be seen as a normal person, an essential demonstrable accessory is owning a phone. Perhaps it is because one can buy a phone and there are plenty of options to choose from, everyone ensures he/ she has one and not be labeled a weirdo.

Now if you ask yourself or the next person you interact with, the question ‘What is the purpose of your life? Or What are the goals you have set for yourself? there is every possibility that they will think you are a weirdo for asking that. Having a purpose in life is much more challenging; partly because it cannot be bought off the shelf but largely because we are not even conscious about the options available to us and mainly because we do not want to commit to a purpose.

So how does one know if one has a purpose in life? Simple; ask yourself the question are you ready to die just now? If your answer is YES, you will understand the purpose that drives a solider to fight for his/ her country; an adventurer to undertake a risky adventure; an aid worker to risk life and limb to bring succor to war torn areas. If your answer is a resounding NO and you are just not ready to die, it simply means that you have a lot of unfinished agenda and they are unfinished because you haven’t yet clearly identified them and / or you are still aimlessly meandering through life.

So what do I do to identify the purpose of my life? This is a tougher question to answer. However it is not impossible to find an answer. Ask yourself what epitaph would best describe you and your life. This means that you would have to answer the question’ what would I want to be remembered for? The answer may not be readily available but it will help you focus your thoughts to a more meaningful goal/ objective / vision/ mission. Your purpose must be something that drives you from within. This means that you must be enthused ( this comes from you having a passion / deep interest in something), you must be able to execute it with some degree of competence ( this means you must have the skill set/ learn the techniques ) and have the motivation to pursue with passion ( this means there must be an intrinsic motivation / an inner urge). A fine example of appreciating people with a clear purpose is to recollect all your teachers that you fondly remember even though they may have be tough to deal with. The one common thread that all those whom you remember immediately is that they had the zeal and commitment and a demonstrated purpose that appealed to you and remained with you long after your academic years were over.

Remember that if you have a purpose in life – you will be LIVING not merely Existing!

Try these:

View the video The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch by clicking on the link http://tinyurl.com/o2993k6

Read the poem The Psalm of Life by H.W. Longfellow clicking on the following link http://tinyurl.com/nomreb5

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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17-5 July 15 -Stubborn Goals and Flexible methodsThe constant challenge in life, is to sift options and zoom in on what one desires. This is because change is the only constant in life and change always redefines the future. When the future is being constantly redefined, every individual is required to make course corrections. However a course correction does not mean we need to change our destination but merely the route map and mode of getting there. Of course dramatic and major changes may require one to change the goals but even then the alternative chosen would be equally important and challenging. What does not change, is the desire to reach our goal. Success and achievement in life therefore hinge on how well you choose your goal, map out your way and stick to your plans. Here is a road map to success.

Choosing the right goal Right from school days when we have to choose the optional subjects, moving on to choosing the career path and later life goals in the chosen path we are constantly having do decide our goals. Most of the time we are confused, other times we realize our goals are beyond our capability or passion and then we have to revise our goals.

Deciding on a plan of action If selecting a goal is challenging, choosing the plan of action is relatively simple since the goal is clear. What is important is to think thorough the plans, being clear about the assumptions and also outlining the alternative plan/s. Backup plans are vital for they provide a quick alternative should our original plans get derailed. However, there is a real danger that we can get dogmatic and fixated about our original plan and approach. This could create problems if one does not factor in the numerous changes that come about, because of the dynamic environment around.

Reviewing the progress A plan of action is only as good as the progress one makes using it. It is imperative therefore that one constantly reviews how one is progressing and make adjustments for the deviations if any. All plans must have milestones and timelines and wherever possible assumptions based on which the milestones and timelines have been set. These will provide the yardstick for reviewing the progress.

Revising the plans – This is extremely difficult because we have to first acknowledge that we have slipped on our plans. Secondly it could also suggest that our plans were not well thought out. Thirdly it could imply we have to relook our personal competence and commitment as also keep us wondering if our goals are too ambitious or if we have the capability to execute our plans and realize the goals. Despite these self doubts and apparent set back, we have to look at revision of plans as a necessary detour to get back on track.

Continuing the journey – Whether we continue with our original plans or move on with the revised plans, what is important is to keep moving on. Sometimes we are bogged down by frustration, the slow progress, our inability to cope with pressures and setbacks; these are times when we are tempted to give up and stop. Focused and well directed efforts are never wasted but the progress and results may not always be visible. Faith is what will sustain and help one to push ahead no matter what the constraints.

Enjoying the success Since success will eventually come to those who believe in their dreams and goals, it essential that one learns to relish and enjoy success. Many a time, even when we reach the destination we are reluctant to appreciate and recognize that we have pursued and attained out goal. This is partly because along the way, we have lost hope or because we undervalue our success by comparing it with the achievements of others or because we have reset our goals to much bigger and loftier ones. While resetting goals, especially aiming for loftier goals is commendable, not valuing achievements would be like eating bland food for mere sustenance.

Try these:

  1. Go back and review your New Year Resolutions. How far have you succeeded? It is half way through the year and have you a list of things which you have not even started work on? Is it because you didn’t write down the action plan to achieve them?
  2. Choose one of the following as your major area of concern and write down the goal you hope to achieve this year so as to minimize your concern. Also outline the road map with timelines to help you attain it. If you already have a plan review it and make changes if needed to speed up the process of attaining your goal.
  • Improving your finances / savings
  • Bringing about a better work –life balance
  • Adopting a healthier lifestyle.
  • Attaining a significant professional / academic growth
  • Improving and strengthening your current family relationships
  • Working out an overseas holiday trip with family.

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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15-20 Jun 15-Excuses gone results gotFrom early childhood, most of us have unconsciously adopted the undesirable trait of making excuses to rationalize non performance. It begins with us making excuses for our poor handwriting, our inability to meet deadlines or stick to our schedules, not doing homework etc. Later it manifests in us having various regrets be it in our academic performance, tardy work output, out inability to meet targets and deadlines and our constant rebuttal of any criticism directed at us. Unfortunately, in a highly competitive world, all that matters is results and no excuse is ever good enough for not meeting the expectations set. So achieving results is simply a matter of eliminating excuses.

Here are some tips to overcome our tendency to create excuses to rationalize non performance.

1 Have goals – The major difference between successful people and those who are not successful is the goal focused approach of the former set of people. When goals are set, one can direct one’s energies to focus on the goal. When the end objective is clear, we would always finds ways and means of overcoming all obstacles on the way. More importantly goals give a purpose, a direction and meaning to our life. A student who targets a certain rank or percentage in the exams knows that he/ she can attain it only if the studies are planned, prepared and diligently adhered too. Similarly, someone who has set his/ her eyes on a specific career choice would also then chart out the progress systematically, get appropriate inputs and suggestions and pursue the goal with passion.

2.Inbuilt motivation – A goal helps one to see the and aim for something specific. However, very often the goal is at a distance, the efforts required herculean, the obstacles along the way challenging and we are prone to give up and make excuses to justify our stand. Hence it is essential that we have some strong compelling motivation to keep us going even when our spirits are drooping, our physical energies failing and our mind wavering. A good motivation is the perfect antidote for our tendency to make excuses. Have you noticed that when one is eagerly looking forward to something pleasurable like going for a picnic, an holiday or even to see a movie we would find a way to overcome any obstacle that crops up for we are deeply to motivated to attain that goal.

3. Avoid giving in to temptation – Perhaps the single most common excuse comes from the fact that we succumb to the temptation to chase pleasurable alternatives rather than focus on the goal in front. Going for a friend’s birthday party or watching an interesting match on the day before a crucial exam or running errands that could have been postponed, to avoid studying are examples of giving in to temptations. A strong sense of priority, a firm resolve to remain detached from pleasurable alternatives, a deep desire to attain the goal set are essential to ensure that one doe not waver from the plans laid out. A very strong motivation like proving your mettle, surprising your critics, being with the best would surely be torch light that beams on the goal and guiding you towards it.

4. Relish achievements – Life would be both boring and stressed if we are only obsessed with attaining our goals. Every goal is actually a series of smaller goals being realized along the way. It is essential that we are aware of each of the sub goals and more importantly pause to enjoy and relish the attainment of these sub-goals. When we are able to relish the small achievements, they provide us added motivation, inspiration and energy to pursue our larger goals. If we take the case of academics, there would definitely be a subject or two that we do not enjoy as much as other subjects. The challenge then is to remain enthused to focus on those subjects so that the learning and subsequent results contribute significantly to one’s larger goal of academic excellence. It is important to enjoy the thrill of completing the set targets especially for those subjects that one finds tough or boring.

5. Don’t give up easily – Many a time, it is not the temptation of alternatives but the sheer pressure of the effort that would deflate our enthusiasm, sap our energy and depress us. Those low periods are the times when one is extremely vulnerable to throw in the towel and quit. Giving up is easy and the excuses will flow but the reality is that your goals remain unattained dreams. When the going gets tough, that is when one has look within for inspiration, motivation and positive action. Maybe a short break would help rejuvenate, perhaps the counsel of an elder or expert would bring fresh perspective or maybe you just have to change tracks and pursue the goal by traversing a different path; what is important is to continue not stop.

Remember that when excuses are gone results are got !

Try these:

Do you like the contents of this post? Whether you like it or not can you take time out to comment on this post? Remember NO EXCUSES !

Keep checking the site to see if your comments are published and how many share your views about this blog post.

Don’t forget to relish your achievement of commenting and letting others know that you did make practical use of the learning from this blog post!

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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3-12-Feb 15- Dreams and purposeThey say a clear conscience is the best pillow. If this be true, it is also the first step to ensure one has pleasant dreams and a rejuvenated self in the morning. Unfortunately most of us go to sleep with a lot of anxiety, remorse, anger and hurt partly because we believe life has been unfair and also because we have a lot of unfinished agenda that keeps nagging us at bedtime. Obviously when we plant the seeds of negativity and frustration in our mind, chances are that we will end up either up with disturbed sleep or wake up with a start on seeing a nightmare. Either way our sleep is ruined, our anxiety more acute and the new day heading up to an anticipated disaster. For many, Monday morning blues are a recurring weekly nightmare and that perhaps is typical of the magnitude of the problem.

Yet with a little effort, a pinch of optimism and a large dose of fortitude one can ensure that each night brings us sound sleep, sweet dreams and ample opportunities every dawn. The trick lies in tweaking ones thoughts, words and deeds.

Acknowledge achievement – Every night instead of focusing on all the pending tasks, the unfinished works and the irritating challenges you have to cope with, let your thoughts be on the success you achieved during the day, the tasks you managed to complete, the progress you have made on tough tasks, appreciations received, appreciations given to others, the tasks that have been delegated and completed well by others etc. When the focus is shifted to achievements, success, progress and satisfaction the mind is calm, you are at peace and you sow the seeds of positive possibilities to wake up to the next morning.

Respect ones limitations – Our inability to say NO, our need to help others even at a cost to our self, our urge to commit way beyond our abilities and inability or refusal to accept that we have our limitations creates a disconnect within our self. Our mind is then filled with guilt, remorse, annoyance while our physical self is battling with stress, deadlines and self inflicted challenges. End of day we psyche ourselves into being bitter, stressed and deflated. On the other hand if we are willing to appreciate and accept our personal limitations, we would immediately refuse to take on responsibilities and challenges that are beyond our capabilities. For a brief moment we would feel guilty, inadequate and possibly worry about personal progress but in the long term we would be rid of anxiety, guilt and remorse. Our mind is now nurtured to grow the seeds of positive thoughts and success.

Focus on possibilities – Everyone is swamped with tasks big and small. Yet we let our self doubts, fears and insecurities overwhelm us. Consequentially we let our minds stray and linger on what we fear we will fail in, instead of identifying the innumerable possibilities that we can succeed in. Learn to visualize problems and challenges as opportunities to progress. By identifying the numerous possibilities we are fertilizing our minds to produce dreams that one can turn into reality.

Identify the goal – To channelize our energies and direct us to success, we need to narrow the possibilities into tangible goals that we must focus on. The goal is determined by our passionate interest, our determination to succeed and the price we are willing to pay to attain the goal. Goals could also be the culmination of numerous aligned possibilities e.g. eating right, exercising regularly, lifestyle changes are all possibilities that can be aligned to a larger goal of reducing weight or being more fit or overcoming an illness. The goal is the harvest that the mind expects to reap when the time is right.

Pursue with purpose – The dreams often get shattered when we wake up and realize that we merely dreaming. However a self directed dream is the self starter that helps one to activate mind body and soul and channelize all energies to attaining our goals. The goal is now translated into a purpose to which we are drawn, to which we commit and that which makes each moment more meaningful, energetic and motivating. This is when we till the soil, plough into the thick of action and sweat it out because there is a purpose that draws out the best in us.

Relish success – When we attain success we need to celebrate that success. This is equivalent to emptying the mind and setting our hearts free while soaking in the elation of success. We free up our resources to pursue new dreams, identify a new purpose and be enthused to chase our goals, our dreams and the success we crave for.

Try this:

  • Identify an NGO operating in the sphere of your passionate social objective. Join up them after determining how and in what manner you will contribute. Do you feel enthused once you join up. What will be your measure of success to determine how you have contributed to the cause.
  • Identify 5 social problems that you view as urgently needing attention. Choose the one that in your estimation does not get enough attention or support. Identify innovative ways to pursue your passion to address the social problem, get more people aware and enthused.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog
www.poweract.blogspot.com

is post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

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