Category: Grace

Your personalized visiting card

16- Your visiting cardYour radiating smile is the first thing that enables people to connect with you. It is what they look for when they meet you and that is what they expect no matter what the interaction is about. A smile gives all parties comfort, confidence and a comprehensive platform to communicate. It does not matter if it is a toothy smile or a hearty laugh, it is the genuineness in it that gives it an unique identity. It is your logo that people identify you with; one that gives everyone who interacts with you an anticipation of what to expect when they are with you.

While a smile sets the tone, it is your overall demeanor, which will reflect your personality and your uniqueness. Your manners, your etiquette’s, your dress sense, your communication skills, your attitude, your ability to put people at ease, your commitment etc. enable others to respect and appreciate you as a dependable individual.

Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it is the image that you leave behind after each interaction that becomes your trademark. The expertise and maturity you display in your interactions would be valued as much as your ability to get results. You will command respect and be rewarded with trust. You will be valued as through professional and be sought for first especially when the chips are down. Similarly how you deal with customers and employees would be reflected in their interactions with you. A good way to judge how they perceive you is to note how many of them are willing to come and share their concerns as well as successes with you.

When you command respect you would realize that your visiting card is being valued !

Try these:

  1. List out three changes that your will make to overcome some limitations that hamper your personality.
  2. Who are the three most dependable personalities you have encountered in your professional life. For each individual, list out three remarkable qualities that endear them to you.
  3. Write a tag line for yourself. ( In one sentence write down, what would you like to be remembered for )

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be the first to make a difference to your life by…

14-17Aug14 -Standing first in lifeMistakes happen and when we realize it, we are often tempted to keep it under wraps. The logic used is that perhaps the mistake will never be noticed. Invariably though, mistakes do get noticed and the consequences are not too pleasant. The worst mistakes are those we make in our relationships. Here invariably we cannot hide the mistake but equally true is the realization that the mistake can strain and possibly break a relationship. It takes a lot of courage therefore, to admit to a mistake and apologize for it. We will be greatly relieved once we admit our mistake and sincerely apologize for it for that is when we discover our inner strength and character which in turn makes us brave enough to own up our fault. The consequences notwithstanding, be the first to admit to a mistake and apologize; for that is when your values and upbringing prop you up and define your personal and moral courage.

If you put yourself in the shoes of someone against whom a mistake has been committed, the natural reaction is to fly into a rage, seek revenge and hold grudges. Assume further that the mistake committed is by someone very close to you then you will definitely be seething with anger. If the other party has been brave enough to admit a mistake and apologize for the same, your character, upbringing and values will be severely tested at this point. How you react will be the defining moment for you. If you are harsh, rude and stubbornly unforgiving, it will belittle your personality. On the other hand if you can keep your rage in check, remain calm and composed when listening to the apology and thereafter magnanimously accept the apology and forgive the wrong doer, it will be testimony to your core values and inner strength.

It is relatively easier to apologize and to forgive, but is almost impossible to forget a hurt or slight suffered. Revenge, ill will and an eye for an eye are the normal dictums that keep buzzing in our mind. Invariably then, it is impossible to get rid of the feeling of hurt and forget the incident that triggered our angst. Unfortunately we do not realize that keeping a hurt alive only gnaws us from the inside; it seethes, it simmers, it is like an acid that corrodes the very container it is stored in. If one can imagine the futility of keep in mind a past hurt it would be easy to forgive and forget. The bad memories once erased offer space for more positive and pleasant thoughts to reside in the recess of the mind. It helps flower within us the seeds of happiness. Count blessings, forget hurts and live happy!

Try this:

Recollect a couple of negative feedback given to you by your

  • Teachers
  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Bosses
  • Family
  • Do you think any or most of it were unjustified? Did it help you improve? Do you still carry a hurt or grudge about any of the above persons who gave you a negative feedback?

List out names of 3 people (other than your family members) who have had a deep positive influence on you. Recount at least specific incident that you cherish about your interaction with that person.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.in

Live a life that helps you leave a legacy

5-21 May 14- Live a life -Leave a legacy

Like the Northern Star that steadfastly guides the lost traveler, the quote today provides us an excellent pointer to what must drive us in making our life more meaningful, fulfilling and exhilarating. It also offers us a fresh perspective about our existence, reminding us that we need to make the most of life, for someday we will cease to be alive physically but we can ensure our legacy lives on.

Many of us get disheartened because we view ourselves as mere mortals who cannot create an impact on the world nor can we escape the drudgery of living as destiny has chosen us to. This is a fallacy that we have ingrained into our psyche and can be easily corrected by being aware that our life can positively impact all those you come in contact with and that each of us is given the opportunity to make the best of all we have. It is apt that at this juncture I share with you a link (http://chairbornewarrior.wordpress.com/category/my-second-life/ )that outlines the story of an extraordinary individual Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar who passed away yesterday. In many ways this post is also a tribute to him but more importantly his story captures the very core of today’s post.

Here are a few tips on making your life a legacy

Know yourself – This is the toughest part, partly because we can never be completely objective about our self but mainly because we are constantly evolving and our personality evolves with varied experiences, new knowledge and changing perspectives. Accepting our limitations also requires tremendous courage while identifying our strengths requires passionate self belief. Yet once we begin to understand and accept the being we are we can carefully circumvent our limitations while fully harnessing our strengths. E.g. Academics may not be everyone’s strength but some of us have diligence, commitment, hard work, vision etc as allies that we can harness fully to succeed.

Identify your passion – Many of us would candidly admit that lazing around, sleeping, day dreaming or being a couch potato is our most passionate activity. Yet we are also conscious that all of them are unproductive passions. So leaving aside these, list out some productive activities that you will happily engage in. Now creatively work out ways and means to make these activities fetch you income / returns. E.g. If you are a movie buff see if you can be a movie critic or if you have a natural flair for gadgets / gizmo’s find opportunities to leverage this passion.

Be zealous in what you do – Visualize a wonderful outcome of whatever activity you are engaged in.  This will provide you the impetus to be zealous and meticulous in whatever you are engaged in. The zeal you bring to your work will always give you an edge over others for good work is always noticed and rewarded. E.g. Have you noticed who is the co worker you can safely entrust a task to? Think about why you value his work so much.

Listen to the criticism but never let it overwhelm you – Since we cannot live in isolation, it is obvious that different people will form varying opinions about us. While some will be appreciative, there would be very many who will be extremely critical. There could be others who are indifferent while some others could be openly hostile. Be aware that there could be some truth in the criticism of others, so do not ignore the negative feedback. Yet do not let criticism dampen your spirits or cloud your judgment. Take corrective action where required but stay the course. If you know yourself you can never go wrong. E.g. If Ms. J.K. Rowling believed all the 12  publishers who rejected her first Harry Potter draft, those books would never have been published nor would millions of young readers have the pleasure of reading those books nor would she have become a millionaire and celebrity. What stops you from aiming so high?

Be the person you want others to be – If we have expectations of others, we must be prepared to walk the talk. In effect, our yardsticks of excellence for others must be the same yardstick we follow for ourselves. If we set a good example, all who observe us will attempt to imitate us. If we can simply be diligent in what we do, be truthful to our conscience, be fair to others and appreciate the efforts of those around, we would be living and leaving a legacy for others to imitate and emulate. E.g if we want our children to be honest we must ensure we don’t do any dishonest act ourselves or if we want the world to be a happier place learn to be happy first. Remember Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar and the cruel joke destiny played on him; yet he left behind a legacy hard to imagine and impossible to match.

Try this

List out 5 limitations/ weakness that you believe are hampering your progress in life. Now identify a quality that you posses that could be a possible antidote for that weakness. E.g. You are lazy. Antidote could be your ability to be disciplined or your ability to be committed to your goals or it could be your fear of monetary/ reputation loss. Now use the antidote as fulcrum to overcome your laziness.

Identify 3 people who in your opinion have left a legacy behind; (one must be a person from a historical / scientific / political / social service background   ; one from your friends and acquaintances and one a former teacher / superior ) Give an example of the one sterling quality they exhibited.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

How to overcome jealousy

13-29- How to overcome JealousyWith the world being influenced by a slew of marketing gimmicks we are brainwashed into thinking that we are incomplete without possessing the product we are seduced by. Obviously lack of funds is often the one single reason that we cannot posses what we crave for. However the pain is made worse when we notice our peers or friends or acquaintances possessing things we craved for. This added pain is an outcome of jealousy; the feeling of not merely craving for what others have but more importantly the hurt that he / she possesses it. Jealousy is a self inflicted pain that we carry around with neither a cure in sight nor the possibility of not adding to our pain.

We become jealous for 2 reasons.

We ignore or discount our own blessings.

Almost all of us are guilty of taking all what we are blessed with for granted. This means that we simply discount the value of our blessings and never ever value it till we are deprived of it. A simple example is good health. It is only when we stub a toe or sprain our ankle or suffer a fracture that we realize what a blessing it is to have good health. In a similar way we do not realize the value of the intangible blessings we have like the love of a family, the liberation got from our education, the freedom of speech and much more because we are in a democratic set up etc.

We are however equally quick to outrightly discount our tangible blessings; be it money or possessions because when we look around there is always someone who has more. Be it a mobile or a car or a house, ideally we would want to own a version higher than what we are blessed with.

We focus on others and selectively choose to highlight what they are blessed with.

Look back at your school days and recollect the times your parents compared your marks of each subject with the marks of the person who scored the highest in the respective subjects. You would have hated the fact that this was done and you found it unfair that toppers marks were used to gauge your performance and possibly also suffer the ignominy of being berated. Now pause for a moment and ask yourself if you felt jealous about a colleague’s lavish lifestyle or her wardrobe or their swanky new car etc. Do you have similar jealous feelings for some else who owns a roaring business or has a enviable social life? Have you ever paused to find out the price they have paid for those trappings of success that you are jealous about? Are you aware of the undercurrents of worries, possibly hurt and worse still fear and loneliness that could possibly be a hidden part of their real life?

Jealousy can be overcome by simply being grateful for what you have and by focusing and proactively going after the innumerable opportunities life gives us to aspire, perspire and acquire what we want.

Try this:

  • If you were to suddenly inherit USD 10,000 what would you splurge it on? You must use for at least 5 different items or purposes. Now ask yourself if any of those purchases were subconsciously dictated by a desire to own it because someone else known to you has it or because of the snob value associated with it. Is there any item you plan to purchase that is purely to indulge in a personal passion or yearning.
  • Can you identify 5 things which you are certain will make you happy. The cost should not be a limiting factor in deciding these 5 things. For each of these things can you be very specific as to color, features, measurements etc. e.g. don’t simply say ‘ I want a car’ but specify the make and type and features of the specific model you crave for. Now that you have written it for what worthwhile causes will you sacrifice these indulgences without a trace of regret.

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

Being human…

13-5-We are human

The reality of life is something that most of us are prone to misconstrue as being unfair to us. The prime reason for this is our focus on what we crave and do not have and our envy of those who have what we crave. At times when things seem to be going our way or are in a happy frame of mind, we do appreciate the blessings we have but these periods of bliss are far few and in between. So how does one etch happiness into our psyche?

Happiness is a state of mind and the key then is to fine tune the mind to allow happiness to seep in and envelope us. This is best done as under:

Appreciate the reality:

We need to appreciate the fact that we are human. This means that we can think, we can emote and we can decide.

We need to realize that we are not perfect and as a result we have to learn to forgive ourselves, tolerate the mistakes of others and make efforts to correct the mistakes rather than give up in hopelessness.

We need to be ecstatic that we are alive for we now have limitless opportunities to leave our mark in this world and energize the environment around us.

 Focus then on thinking positively, being more forgiving and grasping opportunities.

 Realize the truth:

That as human beings we will make mistakes, we stumble, we fall and we may even get hurt. The truth is that these are like vaccination pricks that are temporarily painful but leave a long term positive effect in ensuring our well being. Seen in this light, it dawns on us that every fall makes us more humble, every mistake teaches us a new lesson and that hurt is a mechanism to alert us to impending dangers that can be avoided through caution and alertness.

Every setback, every tumble we take and every obstacle that comes our way is just a blip in the larger scheme of life; recognize this truth and you shall be free of worries.

 Clasp all possibilities  

Understand the innumerable possibilities that come with the knowledge that we can rise again, we can try again, we keep learning and we keep growing. Seen amputees participate in games and athletics or heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata a classic that one finds hard to believe has been composed by a deaf composer. If these seem extreme examples, look at the physically, financially or academically challenged in and around you who have succeeded despite all odds.

So do you see the innumerable opportunities around you just waiting for you to clasp them and turn them into successes?

Embrace life

Now be thankful for the priceless opportunity of life for as long as life exists we can find happiness in the little things and big things that surround us.

Don’t forget that LIFE is Love Inside Finding Expression – start with loving yourself.

Try this:

Write down the following immediately

  • The one new learning you would like to acquire E.g. Learning a new sport or language
  • The one physical good that you desperately want to posses, which is a realistic possibility for you sometime in the next 5 years. E.g. A high end music system (name the brand of your choice)
  • The one limitation / trait that you would want to eliminate at the earliest. E.g. Being more decisive or being more organized
  • The one change you would like to bring to your life E.g. Lose weight or spend more time with family etc.

Now work on ways to realize these desires before the end of 2013

  1. Click on this link and watch this inspirational and motivational talk by Nick Vujicic a truly physically challenged but most engaging speaker http://tinyurl.com/6oqnzk
  2. Click on this link and watch the Last Lecture by Prof. Randy Pausch to appreciate the need to embrace life  http://tinyurl.com/2z3wsx

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Accept me as I am today…

Accept me as I am
Accept me as I am

Our human frailty makes us vulnerable to making mistakes and being condemned for it. It is also our human frailty that makes us so critical, harsh and cruel enough to perpetually condemn those who could have faltered but have atoned for their folly. Our frailty fortunately is not a unalterable trait for we are also blessed with the boon of change, the facility of realization, the temperament to atone and the capacity to make up and undo the damage. Yet when it comes to being charitable to others we take a moral high ground and end up admonishing and chastening the unfortunate souls who would faltered whilst traversing the pathway of life. Pause for a moment and ask yourself how you would like to be apprised by others; would you like them to pinpoint your past follies or would you desperately want them to focus on the your current achievements?

Class reunions are a wonderful occasion to look around and actually witness the progress and success that almost everyone has achieved. Yet time and time again, we tend to bring up many an unflattering incidence during the years of schooling relating to specific individuals, merely to have a good laugh without realizing that the person in question may have moved on life winning accolades and begetting a hallowed status in society. Again put yourself in the shoes of that individual who may have flunked a test or got caught cheating in an exam but thereafter by dint of hard work become very successful. Would you not like to be acknowledged for the success achieved and deeply resent being flogged for a juvenile mistake. The question is, are we as charitable to others as we would want them to be towards us?

It is possible that even as we read this post we are sure we would always be charitable to others and that the contents of the blog post is not applicable to us. You may be right, but ponder about your readiness to work alongside a rehabilitated convict. Would you readily employ a suspect in a crime even if he/ she has been acquitted of the crime? If these sound like extreme examples, look back and ponder over the times you have accused someone or tale tattled about someone merely based on hear say. There are shades of judging and convicting someone particularly someone who we are ill at ease with or someone whom we are not comfortable with.  How often have we passed judgment about someone merely based on their dress and physical appearance?

The best way to give people a second chance is by seeking the good in them and accentuating that. This is more easily achieved when we begin to appreciate that no one really wants to be a deviant and their follies could often have been committed either due to poor judgment or a moment of weakness or out of sheer desperation. We as individuals have every right and duty to exercise a judgment call when it is appropriate but we also have an obligation to give others reason to believe in themselves and turn over a new leaf.

Try this:

  1. Write down 5 qualities that best describe you. Now go around with a list of 25 positive qualities and ask your family, close friends, colleagues and acquaintances to choose 5 qualities that best describe you from that list . You will have a fair idea of how you perceive yourself and how others see you.
  2. Think of the following
  • The 3 most embarrassing moments of your life
  • The 3 serious acts of dishonesty you have committed
  • The 3 biggest lies you have said
  • The 3 wickedest thoughts that have occurred to you

Now assuming that someone knew about any or all of these how would you feel if reference was made to any of the above acts in public by that person?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Don’t forget this reality…

Dont forget this reality
Dont forget this reality

This is a good reality check and could perhaps also offer some comfort for YOU reading this at this moment. I bet you can’t deny that you are afraid/ fearful/ scared of something, yearn/ love/ crave for something  and for sure have lost /misplaced/ got fleeced of something. The good news is that this reality holds true for every single person around you. The better news is that despite this all of us can lead a very happy, peaceful and productive life.

Are these some of your fears? Death/ sickness/ failure/ rejection/ pain/ darkness/ loneliness

Did you feel the ecstasy of love? People/ Nature/ animals / gadgets/ places/ works of art

Could losing something precious derail your life? Your loved ones/ your favorite object / your job/ an opportunity/

The above is just an illustrative list. Perhaps you can add your own personal list of fears that have held you back from realizing your full potential or perhaps limited your risk taking abilities. There could be a vacuum created or a searing pain at having to sacrifice something you loved or do feel that you lost your way in life either through ignorance or foolishness or recklessness?

Now look at the cross roads of life that you are now standing at. Notwithstanding your age, background, financial strength and the like, the reality is that not just you but every single person has the same set of apprehensions as you but you now have a choice of making a life changing choice. So how would you now proceed ahead; would you let bygones be bygones and forge ahead taking on new challenges? Will you seek out opportunities to dare, do and win? Will the real you shed all inhibitions and dance with gay abandon?

Life is lived when you dare to confront your fears and overcome it, give abundantly of your love to one and all and freely share with others all that you love…. For that is when you and I when departing, leave behind us, Footprints on the sands of time*

Action Points

  1. Make a list of 3 negative emotions that have troubled you.
  2. Make a list of 3 positive emotions that you count amongst your strengths.
  3. Identify 3 qualities that you wish you could cultivate.
  4. Describe yourself in one sentence not exceeding 15 words.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Apologizing is an amazing gesture

Among the most difficult choices one has to occasionally make, apologizing perhaps ranks pretty high on most people’s list. As honest, good and objective individuals we would unhesitatingly state that if we are on the wrong we will always offer an apology. The reality though is quite different.

Here are 4 reasons why we find it hard to offer a simple unconditional apology when required.

We find it hard to accept our mistake. E.g.  Despite a frantic search you are unable to locate your set of keys at home. You are in a rush as you are getting late for office. You have in your anger and frustration also accused all and sundry at home that they could have possibly had a hand in the disappearance of the keys. On reaching office you see the set of keys lying in the office drawer. You sheepishly think of apologizing to those at home but then let it pass for it would then mean accepting your mistakes; first of being responsible for the problem; for blaming those at home; for creating a scene etc.

We tend to play down the happenings and attempt to justify/ rationalize it. E.g. in an examination you have strategically placed you answer paper to let the candidate seated behind you copy from it. The invigilator who notices this tactical but unethical arrangement warns both the candidate behind you and you of stern action. You remonstrate that it is the person behind who is copying and that you are blameless.

We mistakenly believe that an apology is equivalent to admitting a fault. E.g. As children we have often squabbled with our siblings or playmates. When the situations got unruly the elders intervened and then there was a blame game that was never ending with no one wanting to apologize. The genesis is the mistaken notion that an apology immediately implies our guilt.

We pamper our ego and forget the importance of relationships. E.g.  We have under a mistaken notion launched a tirade against a subordinate who for fear of more drastic retribution meekly submits to the barraging. Later when we get the facts fully and realize our mistake find it ‘humiliating ‘ to admit our fault and worse still ‘apologize’ to a subordinate.

Here are 3 ways to smoothly embrace an apology as a mature decision.

Remember that saying sorry is the simplest form of apology. Sorry forms part of the trio of Please and Thank you which are the 3 magical words in English that smoothen life.

An apology often helps us start gain with a clean slate. While some scars may remain, the wound is by and large healed and ‘all is well that ends well’ since an apology puts an end to the hurt, resentment and anger that may have been in the air.

An apology at the appropriate time, to the right person in the right manner for the right reason, is a test of your character, a critical component of leadership and a reflection of your personality.

Here let me offer my apologies to…

You my reader for the long delayed post which was actually written 10 days ago. Unfortunately due an oversight I didn’t save the same and I lost the entire file when the computer crashed. What you are reading now is a completely new post than what was originally written.

I need to apologize to my immediate family members who had to bear the brunt of my wrath for the post that was lost to the computer crash. The fault was entirely mine, but in my human weakness I raved and ranted and unburdened myself on all those who unwittingly crossed my path in the immediate aftermath of my disaster.

My apologizes to a couple of well meaning friends who politely inquired about my posts but had to bear  the brunt of my ire for I  had been rather curt and brusque to them when narrating what happened. I think I was also selfish enough to expect more sympathy from them and perhaps that aggravated my irrational behavior at their well intentioned and polite inquires.

Try this:

  1. Name 3 people who deserve an apology from you. Pick up courage to apologize to them even if a lot of time has elapsed since the original event happened.
  2. Can you identify with some of these situations when you felt apologetic about your own response to the situation
  • You did not make enough efforts to cast your vote
  • You told a deliberate lie for fear of the consequences
  • You harbored ill will against someone who wronged you
  • You shielded someone from being justly punished/ reprimanded simply because you shared a close relationship or friendship with him/ her

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

We let others judge us when we judge others

Ask a person for an opinion on another person and his / her response will give you an immediate idea about the person speaking. Being critical is not a vice but taking an unbiased and balanced view based on facts is difficult. This is because, most times we have incorrect, incomplete or second hand information about others and far too often our judgment is clouded by our personal bias, emotions and feelings.

On the other hand if we are naturally inclined to be positive, have developed the ability to see the not so visible strengths of others and give benefit of doubt to others, we would be favorable disposed to others and form an appreciative opinion about others. In the long run, not only our attitude but our expectations from others will become more encouraging, others would seek both friendship and counsel from us and we would automatically widen our circle of influence and friendship.

A good rule to follow would be to find 3 good virtues in another for every one vice/ complain that we may have about the other. If we can consciously practice this, we will find a substantive collateral benefit for ourselves beginning with stretching our imagination to seek the good in others and ending up with feeling nice about others as well as tranquility within us. Look around and observe your circle of friends; there won’t be even one who is your vehement critic but everyone will uniformly be someone who appreciates you for what you are; your strengths as well as your deficiencies are accepted by them.

Be like the mirror who does not judge you, nor does it lie to you but it allows you the luxury of presenting both your worst self as well as best self without fear or favor.

Judge others as you would have others judge you.

Action Points:

  1. Pick up a deck of cards and examine the kings, queens and jacks in it. Choose any one of these 12 characters as your favorite. Give 3 reasons for choosing that card.
  2. Find at least 3 points to admire in the following personalities

–          Genghis khan

–          Hitler

–          Aurangzeb

–          The teacher you disliked the most

–          The classmate you disliked the most

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Nurturing the spirit in the New Year

“It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated…it is finished when it surrenders.”Ben Stein

For me personally, the above quote is the perfect one to begin the New Year’s first post. After setting a personal target to write every day in 2010 when I began this blog, I was delighted when by December 2010, I had managed around 345 posts. After a diligent start to 2011, both reader fatigue and personal fatigue induced me to scale down my target to just around one post a week. Even this I realized was tough going and by December end 2011 I was just happy that the year had ended albeit with very little output to showcase on this blog. Then I chanced upon this quote and that injected fresh life into my blogging endeavor and here I am back with the hope of doing  much more than in 2011.

There would many like me who have enjoyed the high points of success but have also experienced the low point of drudgery that sometimes overwhelms us. This is inevitable, but surrendering meekly to it is optional. For almost every individual, life by and large is fairly routine, occasionally stressful, sporadically successful but largely very boring. At various points in this cycle of life, the temptation to give in and surrender meekly is often overwhelming, but then the spirit of survival takes over and coerces us to take charge of our life. It is this spirit that we are all blessed with which needs to be nourished so that it powers us from within to tide over the bumps, the hurdles, the pitfalls and the chasms that we need to cross in our journey called life.

This is my 4 A’s formula to help nourish the spirit.

Accept with grace. Good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, bountiful or frugal these are extremes in a continuum and we need to accept that in the journey of life we would be getting our share of these. Rather than crave for more of good or whine about our troubles we should calmly and deliberately focus on acknowledging the fact that we receive these only because we are alive. Life by itself is a grace of the almighty and what comes with it needs to be accepted as it is. By accepting ourselves unconditionally we are ensuring that our spirit is fully charged up within us.

Avoid negativity. Finding fault, making comparisons, being dissatisfied are very human traits. Notice that these are never found in the animal kingdom and yet we proudly claim to be a more evolved species.  The irony is obvious and so we would be better off taking a leaf out of the book of the animal kingdom and wake up each morning with the hope of a better day.  By avoiding the negatives we would be letting our spirit shine brighter.

Appreciate gratefully. As an evolved species we have the power of communication, higher level of intelligence, the special gift of being creative and the individuality that is so unique to each one.  We need to realize that with these special gifts we are empowered to meet any challenge. Once we appreciate this power within us, we would be reinforcing our spirit.

Align harmoniously.  We need to align our life to our goals, our dreams, our expectations by soaking in the grace that we are blessed with, eliminating the negativity that we are tempted to embrace and by adding zest to our living by appreciating the blessings given in abundance to us. When we align our thoughts, hopes, aspirations, expectations to our material, spiritual, intellectual and social wealth we would realize that the spirit engulfs us from within and we radiate that spirit in our thoughts, words and deeds.

Remember: Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey. (Quote by – Alex Noble)

Try this:

  1. Play a game of snakes and ladders with a group consisting of someone much older, another person of around your age but of the opposite sex and a child. Notice that the group is heterogeneous and there is an equal probability of each person winning.  Can you see life as this game being played by characters not too different from those playing with you. The only difference is that in the game of life, everyone is assured of a win.
  2. List out all your negative thoughts, fears, worries etc. one below the other. When you run out of ideas to include in this list, realign this list in order of your most worry some thoughts. Adjacent to this list, against each point write down all the blessings, positive points, the skill sets that you posses. Once you have listed this in the next column write down all your hopes, your aspirations, your dreams. Now study the table and put a line under the last row where each of the columns is filled in. Cut of all the items in the other two columns against which there is no item in any of the adjacent column. Put a time frame column adjacent to the dreams column and enter a time frame to achieve each of your dreams, hopes and aspirations. Make this your practical horoscope and envisage the future for yourself.

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