Category: focus

Leveraging your potential

Leveraging your potential

From childhood to adolescence and from then on to adulthood is a process that we can see evolving. The physical and mental changes during this process that every person undergoes are obvious to everyone. What is less obvious is how the individual grows up psychologically, emotionally, tactically and smartly, meeting the new demands put on her/ him. Even more importantly, once a person reaches adulthood, the demands on the person are much more challenging for each one has to furrow his/ her own path in life. There are different sets of obstacles, newer forms of technological challenges, difficult decisions to be made, tough times to cope up with, euphoric times that may seem never ending but sadly come to an end. The good news is that with each passing day an individual is growing through effort, experience, learning, failure and competition. The even better news is that with every challenge in front of us, we set our own personal bars of excellence a wee bit higher, largely unconsciously for that is when we truly realize out potential.

Your potential is what an individual needs to leverage to ensure she/ he has no regrets in life. Success and failure are mere milestones but it is the distance covered that matters in the end. The way to maximize your potential is by embracing some or all of the following :

Smart work – While hard work is essential to ensure you are in the rat race, the real winners are those who leverage the power of smart work. Those who work smart focus on the big picture, understand their key strengths, identify people who have complimentary expertise and then use a combination of delegation, supervision and motivation to extract maximum productivity. All professionals who reach the top of their profession are people who have learned the fine art of working smart. They know the rules and the short cuts that can fast track their progress.

Risk taking – If you have the potential, there is no point in keeping it under wraps. Perhaps you will discover new facets of your potential by daring to move out of your comfort zone and trying new things.  Sure, there could be hiccups, failures, disappointments but remember that is the way it was when you first took your baby steps in life. The difference is that then you were not conscious about falling or failing or being laughed at; you were gravitating towards your natural urge to use your limbs to be mobile. As an adolescent and adult we are more focused on negative reactions to our risk taking and hence avoid straying down that path. Yet, progress has been made only by sticking one’s neck out. As they say a turtle cannot make progress without sticking its neck out.

Cre8ivity – Each of us blessed with ample creativity. The problem is we do not believe we are creative because we associate creativity with art and fine arts. A bigger problem is we are too lazy to explore our creative genius. Take for example the silly reasons we invented for not doing our homework during our school days. The more mischievous fellows came up with the most believable lies, thanks to their risk taking ability combined with their flair for inventiveness and their desperation to avoid punishment. As adults, we just need to believe in our creative abilities, try to juggle things in the mind till a solution emerges and be daring enough to attempt.

Persistence – Persistence is not equivalent to doing repetitive work nor is it simply attempting till one succeeds. Persistence is smartly working on a solution that you keep refining till it yields results. Trying to persist without checking if your approach is right is a sure recipe for both failure and frustration. Persistence is the power to hang on to yourself belief because you know you are  on the right track to succeed. A stamp they say succeeds, because it sticks to its task.

Common sense – In pursuit of innovative solutions, technology driven options and by being a slave to automation, the one aspect most under-utilized is our common sense. Common sense is the ability to see things in the right perspective and to respond in a simple and pragmatic way. Common sense has no school of learning but is the outcome of intelligence meeting learning and experience adding even more value to the action being taken.

In India, Juggad is a term that largely incorporates all the above principles except for the fact that end product is largely to find a temporary solution to a problem in a crude but effective way. Leveraging your potential is making the juggad of your life a long term, rewarding and satisfying experience because you rise up the level of the challenge before you.

Try these:          

  • Draw a scenery without any river, mountain, birds or sunrise featured in it.
  • List 6 ways in which you can increase your income in the coming month.
  • What is the most innovative gift you have ever received? Why do you value it so much?
  • What was the biggest risk you ever took and what was the result of that risk? Was it worth it?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

 

Nirvana – the Rubick’s cube way

Nirvana – the Rubick’s cube way

I came across this wonderful cartoon,  that puts in perspective what we need to do this coming year, to ensure that by the year end, we can look back with no regrets – simply get ourselves sorted right.

All of us travel with a whole lot of baggage; some inherited, some acquired, a few bestowed and most of it our own creation. As a result we are constantly balancing our imaginary and realistic possessions in the fond hope that they will ensure that we live a worry free life of comfort and happiness. Unfortunately, with each passing day, juggling becomes problematic as we seem to have a penchant for adding to our possessions, keep craving for more and wishing some of our less prized or despised possessions would be taken away. The six sides of the Rubick’s cube give us a clue as to how we can organize our life and attain Nirvana without having to climb the mountain in search of a guru.

Each of the six sides of the cube can be seen as representative of a broad aspect of our life. Our physical well being, our mental/ intelligent growth, our emotional stability, our spiritual/ ethical grounding , our financial security and our social needs. All we need to do is to ensure we sort out each of these aspects of our life so that they, like the colors of each side remain in harmony and pronto the Rubik cube of life is sorted.

A few pointers given below, may perhaps help us get the knack of sorting each aspect of our life more expeditiously and productively.

Physical well being – This is a no brainer. Obviously if we are not in the best physical shape, it is extremely difficult to live a productive life. Eating in moderation, eating healthy and physical exercise are the keystones of physical well being. However,  worry and stress do tend to have an unduly negative impact on physical well being as well. Regular health checkup and the subsequent suggestions of the medical practitioner’s would ensure that your over physical well being is at its best at all times. Those will disabilities and challenges would do well to accept the realities and pace their lives accordingly. This is particularly true for those who unfortunately become victims of such disabilities after leading a perfectly healthy lifestyle.

Mental and Intellectual growth – Reading widely, soaking in new experiences, experimenting, living beyond one’s comfort zone are ways and means of ensuring you continue to growth mentally and intellectually. Get involved in the changes happening around, interact with the young, listen without judging and be open to ideas that seem contrarian to your intellect.

Emotional stability – It is extremely difficult to control our emotions. Too often it is our emotional outbursts that fractures relationships, creates chasms between individuals, contributes to build up prejudices and drains us emotionally. Balance in evaluating any response and responding with a measured response both in choice of words and tone is the key to ensuring we maintain our emotional stability. Beware of issuing threats, ultimatums’, taking extreme positions in arguments; replace it with pragmaticism, reason and common sense.

Spiritual and ethical grounding – While circumstances and upbringing, have a role to play in how we develop our spiritual and ethical values, going to extremes is the cause of tensions within us. One needs to be aware of the ground realities, be accommodation to differences yet remain true to the values one cherishes. Get clarity about your values and your actions will be synchronized leaving no scope for doubts and worries.

Financial security – In a materialistic world, financial security is compulsive reality. You need to provide for your future, your lifetime and for the unexpected. Make a realistic assessment and save accordingly. Take professional help if required. However, let not the future scare you so much that you do not enjoy the present. The challenge is to balance your current utilization and provide for future security. Take those holidays you crave for, indulge in some luxuries that you dream about, experiment with a progressive lifestyle and make your today just as enjoyable as the future you dream off.

Social needs – As a social animal, one cannot live as a hermit or in seclusion. Yet, on one extreme we are connected with all the gadgets and technology and on the other hand the physical interactions seem to be disappearing. Life is always full of beautiful memories which you have to create and make a reality. There is no substitute to meeting, interacting and enjoying life in groups. It could be families together, friends together, travel companions or making connections with strangers. Be there in person; minimize the use of gadgets and you will create magical moments to cherish forever.

Try these:

  1. Just list out one resolution that you will diligently adhere to for each of the above points. Begin Now.
  2. List out 3 of your fondest memories
  • With your parents
  • Your siblings / cousins
  • Your school mates
  • Your college mates
  • Friends you made in your travels
  • Unexpected but fond experiences
  • This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Is it today?

Is it today?

All good intent comes to naught, when one does not put the intent into practice or begin acting on the plans. We have lofty goals in mind, sit back and plan, decide on a day, date and time to act but when crunch time comes, we have numerous excuses for delaying beginning it. In fact the real problem begins at the goal setting stage. We rarely commit ourselves to outlining the goals in writing. On the rare times we do write down some goals, they are more or less one line statements which are more in the nature of expressing a dream / desire than a commitment. Often the statements are peppered with adjectives that make the goal sound lofty whilst the core remains hollow. One technique to ensure one writes down actionable goals is the SMART goal technique. If you are not aware of this technique or are only have a hazy idea of it,  you can google it and read up on the same. (This would be the first test of how committed you are to writing down actionable goals.)

The next step is critical because we do not spend adequate time planning out and chalking out the blueprint of how to go about achieving each goal. This is not a short ten minute exercise. It is actually a test of your passion for the goal you have set. You would need to mull over your goal, the challenges you will face, reflect on your personal limitations that you would need to set right, identify milestones that will indicate that you are on the right track and that you are keeping up to the schedule planned. In planning out your blueprint, you will also make sure you will not compromise on your ethics and values in pursuit of the goal.

Finally it is crunch time, when you have to walk the talk. You will need to begin as planned; no excuse will be good enough for any deferment. If you defer, you will have to go back to the drawing board and rethink your plans for you have not made provisions for contingencies. Your entire SMART goal hinges on the last alphabet T which stands for TIME. Your goal is time bound and this can be achieved only if you begin on time and progress as per your time schedule. Beginning on time is just a blip in the scheme of things; it is sticking to the time schedule till you attain your goal that is the real elephant that you have to eat slice by slice to ensure you have eaten it all. Each day therefore becomes day one of the next step of your plan.

To get your plans off the ground ask yourself ‘When am I going to begin? If the answer is ‘I will start one day ‘ be sure that day will not be in the foreseeable future. On the other hand if you say ‘Day one is here, let me begin now’ you would have created the momentum that you can maintain with the right motivation, an eye on the goal and feet on the ground running. It is your choice to ask and answer the question ‘Is it today that I begin to realize my dreams?

Try these:           

  • When are you going to write the letter to the editor of a newspaper, putting forth your views on a social problem that you are most upset about?
  • What and when will be your next attempt at doing something that you have never attempted before?
  • When will you start making new friends at work/ the neighborhood / when travelling?
  • When will you write a letter to or visit a favorite teacher to convey your appreciation?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Curiosity is a special talent

Curiosity is a special talent

A common lament of most people is that they cannot identify any single ability/ talent that they posses. They blame this limitation for their lack of ambition, focus, drive and inability to make something better of their life. It is equally true that the overwhelming majority of us are not blessed with some extraordinary ability/ talent. Yet just look around and you will find innumerable talented people never making use of their potential and surprisingly a host of very ordinary people make a whooping success of their life. So what explains this dichotomy? It just so happens that those who seemingly possessed nothing possessed a great gift of curiosity. The others neither explored their talents nor were they curious as to how they could use their talents to make something better of themselves. So it is important to understand how someone who is passionately curious can channelize that talent and convert it into a resounding success.

The answer lies in the approach one takes to curiosity and is best explained by two contrasting English proverbs on curiosity.

Curiosity killed the cat. – This implies that one must not be too curious or it could lead to trouble.

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning – This encourages one to explore and find out for there is a world out there that is still to be discovered.

Most people keep their curiosity tucked away for fear that it could open up a Pandora’s box. They don’t dare to open up, find out or move out of their comfort zone. They believe that the status quo is what they are destined for and so they remain there; forever. However, it is those who pursue the later approach are the ones who experiment, fail, succeed, discover, study, work on alternatives, keep trying and finally succeed. It is never a lateral progression but a circuitous complex and occasionally crazy way around. What keeps these people going is their insatiable urge to discover, is their self belief and their singular focus on succeeding in their quest.

Urge to discover/find out / explore / try– How many of you have cut an apple other than lengthwise? Cut it horizontally and look at the two halves carefully. You would see a star like pattern. Is this discovery of any use? Nah. However it now helps you see things you never imagined before. You will find out only if you try something different. The apple slicer for example was a result of someone getting very irritated with slicing the apple only to have to the seeds become an irritant and the slices looking uneven.  Now list out all your irritants and think about alternatives to overcome your irritants. You don’t have to be a wizard of scientist to explore and find out ways and means to make your life better.

Self belief – Perhaps you have already dismissed the earlier point as silly/ not for me / how does it help me. Unless you believe that you have the intelligence, the determination and the power to make a difference you will never take on anything challenging. If you learned cycling, swimming or driving you would have never succeeded in the first go. Yet because you believed that you could master it you continued despite failing and acquired the skill. It is the same self belief that you can make things happen, you can change things around for yourself, you can succeed that will enable you to experiment, explore and extract the best of everything around you.

Having focus – This might sound like an oxymoron in the context of curiosity because curiosity is all about exploring without inhibitions. The focus must be on two aspects. One focus on experimenting; this means be unrestrained in diverse areas, be open to varied possibilities and keep challenging the status quo.  The second aspect of focus is in narrowing your attention to the finer details of what implicitly fascinates you in your quest and discovery. If Thomas Edison experimented with a thousand things before he came up with the filament for the light bulb it simply shows the focus he brought into what was his self belief. At the same time the number of patents he holds shows the focus he brought to bear on exploring diverse aspects that triggered his scientific curiosity.

Try these:

  1. Each of you reading it must be exposed to various social media inputs be it wattsapp / facebook/ instagram / twitter etc. Can you recollect the 5 forwards that you received that got you mesmerized because it was so unique/ different / wow in your opinion.
  2. Make a list of personal/ social irritants that constantly annoy you. Can you list out 3 -10 possible solutions for each of those irritants. How about working on making one of them a workable proposition?
  3. In what creative ways would you spend a gift of Rs.1,000?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Reading is breathing for the mind

37- Reading is...

Reading is perhaps one of the most enjoyable leisure activities. It certainly is an unavoidable compulsion for students and teachers alike. The ability to read and write is also the yardstick used to distinguish the literate from the illiterate. What makes reading so unique is that it has the ability to evoke emotions, feelings, thrills and fears, laughter and sadness, pain and pleasure apart from allowing the reader to vividly visualize, leisurely contemplate and at times act decisively. It is breathing for the mind because it keeps our mind active, vibrant and alive to possibilities.

To get the best out of reading and to cultivate the art and enjoy the experience focus on the following:

Variety in reading – If you can bring yourself to read a variety of genres, styles, topics, authors and have different reasons for reading you will never tire of reading. Reading the newspaper is perhaps one of the most common reading activity indulged in by the overwhelming majority. This is because in a dynamically changing world, each one of us wants to know what is going on. The newspaper also offers variety in terms of current affairs, sports, leisure, and politics being major areas covered. However a visit to the library or a book shops opens up a enormous possibilities to explore and there is limitless variety in reading material.

Purposeful reading – If there is focus on why you want to read you will ensure that you read just what you want to read without feeling that you have wasted your time. Students largely have focus on their reading because the objective is appear for exams and score well. This enables them to cope with the reading that they may not necessarily like but which is unavoidable. Similarly, having focus helps you identify what interests you, the styles of writing and genres that engage you. You may even switch genres which are completely different but it ensures that you are never bored or that the content is monotonous. It also allows you the freedom to stop reading what does not appeal to you without feeling guilty.

Enjoy what you read While reading as part of learning can at times get exhausting, it is your attitude that will determine how tedious the reading is. Obviously given a choice, you will read just what you fancy and hopefully you enjoy what you read. At times, you pick up a book either because it is a best seller or because it is highly recommended but if you are plodding through it, it is best you switch to what interest. The pleasure of reading comes from how easy it feels to ones senses in terms of style, content, appeal and pleasure it brings to the reader.

Share your learning – By sharing the key concepts or the salient features with others, you actually relive the book and the pleasure it gave you. It is also indicative of how it has impacted you and how eager you are to ensure others too get a pleasure out of it.

Cultivate it as habit – The more you read, greater the pleasure and the learning. Cultivate reading as a habit. It refreshes the mind, enhances your knowledge, gives you stimulus and is a wonderful companion especially when you are alone.

Try these

  1. List out 5 of your favorite books and authors. Identify one reason why each book appeals to you.
  2. What types of books appeal to you? What genres of writing do you like?
  3. Which characters in the books you have read endear themselves to you and why?
  4. Which well known book did not appeal to you? Can you identify the reasons you did not like the book?
  5. Name one incident from any of your reading that you still recall vividly or with nostalgia.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

 You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Get going

29- 12 Aug 17- Get goingBeginning a quest is always challenging because one is filled with doubts, concerns, worries and fear of failure. Perhaps, that explains why many of us have never got any of our grandiose plans even started. It also explains why the vast majority continue to walk down the ‘oft trod path’; lamenting or ruing their destiny. Each of us is given the freedom to explore options but we are often tethered by our dogmas and beliefs, our prejudices and our fears, our self limiting thinking and our inaction. As a result we continue to walk the beaten path lamenting our fate without daring to indulge in a latent passion or pursue a deep desire. The net result is that we just do not start; the dreams we have remain just pipe dreams; the future remains predictable and largely futile as compared to our hopes, aspirations and ambitions.

If you are someone with a burning desire to explore opportunities beyond the mundane and predictable, the starting point must be planning. The planning process begins with the setting up of a goal/ objective. This is then fleshed out in the form of details being added, so as to ensure as many variables as possible are identified and a plan to manage it, spelled out. It is important to bear in mind that no plan is fool proof and that a start date must be identified so that the plan is put into action. The way forward is in starting the implementation of your plan.

It is possible that a plan set in motion would face challenges. Despite the best of preparations, unforeseen and unpredictable hurdles could derail the plans. Many of these hurdles are self inflicted and often the result of tardy planning or self doubt or overconfidence. You may falter, you may have setbacks, you could begin to doubt yourself along the way but the goal must be to keep going. Of course there could come a time when either because you are prudent or because circumstances are beyond your control, that you will be forced to stop and give up. Take this setback in your stride. Having begun with confidence and hope is in itself a victory over your inhibitions and a testimony to your determination.

You will, if you move ahead as per plans, make progress. This will embolden you and be a great motivator to push ahead even if you progress is slow and even if the goal seems distant. Eventually you may reach the goal but perhaps not as planned and there could be a feeling of dejection. Yet, it is in reaching the goal, finishing the race and stretching your limits, that you realize how strong a person you are. If you did not start or if you gave up midway, you will never experience the thrill of realizing your potential, knowing your strengths and stretching yourself to attain new limits.

Your victory is in getting over your doubts, your inertia, yourself limiting beliefs and instead becoming proactive, resolute and focused on bringing about a change in your mind, body and spirit.

Start now, push ahead and realize your dreams.

Try these

  1. If you had just a week to live, how would you prioritize your life so that you have no regrets on the last day?
  2. What steps can you take immediately, to do the following:
  • Raise a significant sum of money for a charity of your choice
  • Give a suggestion to your local corporator / MP / Union minister in connection with an idea you have to improve the current services
  • To explore a passion that you have not yet begun in earnest.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Knowing is not enough

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

Scale down your personal goals

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

Focus and get clarity

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

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R U a weirdo ?

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

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