Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ignorance’ Category

23- Five things to quitOften people wonder what they need to do to set things right in their life. Perhaps each of us is guilty of indulging in one or more of the following, as a result of which we fail to realize our full potential.

Trying to please everyone:  We find it difficult to disappoint people. So we agree to the plans set by others even at the cost of having to make major adjustments that could impact our plans. In some cases we commit, although we are aware that we may not be able to honor our commitment. As a result we get annoyed with ourselves for giving in when we really should not have. We start resenting those who forced us into agreeing with their plans. We feel overburdened and pressurized. At times we fail to meet our commitments because we were busy trying to accommodate others.. You cannot accommodate everyone! Learn to say NO if the situation warrants it

Fearing Change: Everyone loves the status quo because we have reasonable control over what is happening. Change is therefore looked upon as potential danger, a possible threat and a definite inconvenience. We therefore find out excuses to avoid change of any sort. Actually change offers us opportunities to discover our potential, holds out promise to leap frog into something more spectacular and can often also help get away from the drudgery and irritable aspects of the existing  situation. Bear in mind that Change is the only constant in life.

 Living in the past: The good old days are symptomatic of how we get entrapped in the cage of the past. Perhaps life was simpler then but we take for granted the gifts of progress that has made our life a wee bit more comfortable. Living in the past also weighs us down from soaring and embracing new opportunities and possibilities. The past cannot be undone nor can it be re lived. While we may reminiscence about it off and on, we cannot let the past make us a prisoner of it. As Longfellow elucidates eloquently in his poem the Psalm of Life ‘Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!    Let the dead Past bury its dead!  Act,— act in the living Present!    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Putting yourself down :  From childhood we are taught to be modest and humble. This is a good quality to imbibe. However, when we let our modesty envelope us, we begin to shy away from praise and appreciation. We feel embarrassed when others laud our achievements. At times we try to play down our contribution so much so that we try to draw attention of others to what we could have done better and how we didn’t do enough. Accept credit with humility; showcase your achievements with pride; enjoy the accolades you deserve.  

Overthinking : We do not achieve as much as we possibly can for one simple reason. We think too much about the what’s and if’s and but’s instead of working in earnest. We worry about people’s reactions to our bold initiatives. We worry about failure and that dampens our enthusiasm. We think about fool proofing our initiatives and therefore never get around to launching our ideas. We worry about the past and the mistakes we made. We think about the future and feel insecure. Thinking before acting is definitely a must but it is the over thinking and consequent ‘paralysis by analysis’ syndrome that we must be watchful of. Do not become a prisoner of your negative thoughts.

It is time you got over these personality traits that limit you from realizing your true potential!

Try these:

  1. List out 5 things that you always wanted to do but did not attempt because you lacked confidence or because you worried about failure or were too concerned about the reactions of others. Put a deadline and attempt any 2 in the next 6 months.
  2. List out 5 of your worst fears. How many of them do you think you are likely to encounter in the coming year. Do you know of anyone who has confronted the fear you are terrified of and can you learn from how they coped with it?
  3. Assuming you won a lottery ( you just might if you dare to invest in a lottery ticket) of Rs. 1,00,000 how would you utilize the proceeds?  Are you already thinking that you don’t have that kind of luck or that this is a hypothetical question and you don’t want to even think about it.?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

13-18-Take time to do nothing

Do nothing is often equated with wasting time and consequentially being labeled a lazy, good for nothing, wastrel. Yet today’s post exhorts the reader to make a conscious effort to do nothing and reap rich dividends in ways least thought of or expected. The objective of doing nothing is equivalent to sleeping after a hard day’s work; to be rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed. The difference is that doing nothing must not be a daily ritual like sleeping but a self motivated break availed of perhaps a couple of times a year. While one can afford the luxury of doing nothing whilst on a holiday it is essential that our mind is calm, the locale is idyllic and there is no pressure of any sort.

Skeptics must already be wondering if this is some sort of crude joke on unsuspecting victims for our culture, our upbringing and societal norms do not allow for the luxury of doing nothing. However if you were to see yourself as a sponge that has soaked itself fully with all the knowledge, the experiences and the pressures of daily life, it is apparent that you need to let out the intake and become dry. Weekends and holidays are designed to allow you the luxury of drying out systematically. Doing nothing however is not in the mould of being squeezed or spin dried but is the equivalent of hanging in the sun to luxuriate and take in the sunlight whilst drying at one’s own pace. Take a look at the forced dried clothes (often crumbled) or barely dried clothes during the monsoons ( still a wee bit moist and smelly)to know the difference.

So how does doing nothing benefit us?

  • It has a calming effect since it is self induced and a conscious choice made to allow the mind to idle ( like a car engine) without any movement or activity.
  • It gives one a myriad of possibilities none of them of serious enough to be fretted over but sufficient to trigger possibilities for the future (ever tried making objects with Lego pieces)
  • Doing nothing will let you avoid the guilt of feeling that you are wasting your time and yet it will give a balance and anchor to your otherwise tempest life. ( if you accept the reality  that following traffic signals regulate your travel experience better, then waiting for a signal change will never stress you)
  • In doing nothing you allow your subconscious to freely roam around and they will form patterns that you never knew existed. Suddenly you see that your life has a new meaning and fresh perspective and suddenly you realize your own worth and importance in the schema called life.

Try this:

Take a blank sheet of paper and randomly sprinkle some drops of paint or ink. Now visualize a work of art / pencil sketch in which all those dots will be connected. Using a pencil or pen outline your sketch.

Those who would like to explore the concept further are welcome to attend a Vipassana Course.

Read this very interesting article by Mr. Arthur GordonTurn of the tide. The article originally appeared in Reader’s Digest and is being shared in 3 parts. Click the following links to read each of the three parts

Part – I – http://tinyurl.com/q62hpo4

Part – II – http://tinyurl.com/ps7t6tc

Part – III – http://tinyurl.com/puo3pn6

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

13-17- The perfect teacher

It is possible that many of those reading these posts and particularly those subscribing to the blog occasionally wonder how best they can benefit from what they read. At times they may find the post enlightening but not applicable to them. Sometimes the post maybe a tad too difficult to absorb and digest, whilst there are times, when the sheer weight of the underlying philosophy completely swamps the readers mind. The focus of these posts is to share with readers my perspective, occasionally give pointers for the reader to explore and in this process inspire, motivate and enthuse readers to find their own perspectives that they can leverage to lead a more fruitful and happy life.

Here are four pointers to get the most of these posts

Keep an open mind – There is ample truth in almost every form of communication one is exposed to  provided one does not have a prejudiced mind or a pre conceived notion. We could be biased for many reasons but the worst bias is because we find the truth inconvenient. This could happen because we don’t want to change or because we are given a painful reminder of our wayward ways or because it thrashes our most cherished beliefs. By keeping an open mind, we would benefit from getting a variety of different and possible revealing insights, it is possible that we are woken up from a self induced slumber and it could at times be the key that unlocks our hidden potential.

Discern judiciously – For some people, every new learning seems just perfect to make their life blissful. They passionately believe that the new inputs would be the panacea for all their trials and tribulations. Their enthusiasm is soon tempered by the realization that the new learning may not necessarily suit their style, temperament or situation. It is therefore essential that one uses a judicious mix of common sense, pragmaticism, creativity and reality in discerning and choosing the learning best suited to us.

Attempt to adopt/ adapt the learning While we do understand, appreciate and accept the numerous interesting points that we come across in our everyday life, we are often clueless as to how to make it relevant to our daily life. The secret lies in quickly assimilating the learning and adopting it to fit into our daily life. Many times we would have to adapt the learning to suit our unique individuality.  What holds the key is implementation of the learning, believing in it enough to practice the learning till we master it and in a large number of instances working doubly harder to unlearn the bad practices that are ingrained in us.

Find new meanings As human beings we are expected to go beyond the obvious; to explore, to discover, to create, to realize, to assemble, to reinvent, to stretch the boundaries of our imagination. One can and must do the same with the new inputs that one gets. The challenge lies in innovating, risking and imaginatively utilizing the learning to transcend beyond our comfort and possibly pain zone too. Like a caterpillar that has to struggle through its cocoon to become a butterfly, we too have to find new cocoons to struggle through before we can revel in the beauty of our success, achievements and self discovery.

Try this:

  • Make a greeting card (birthday/ wedding anniversary / congratulatory etc.) out of chart paper and other craft material and give it out on the next relevant occasion.
  • On your next gastronomical outing choose a dining place that serves either Mexican/ Lebanese / French/ Greek cuisine.
  • Gentlemen reading this post are encouraged to go to the kitchen and prepare one dish for a serving for 2 out of the available ingredients and surprise the rest of the family with their super dish.
  • Ladies reading this post are encouraged to go to the parking lot and wash their vehicles ( car/ two wheeler) and discover the joy of tidying beyond the confines of their house.
  •  All of you reading this post and attempting the above are strongly urged to sent in their comments about their experience by clicking on the comment button under this post. Your feedback would be a strong testimony both for me and other blog followers as to how effective these blog posts are.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

13-16-They may not follow

This pearl of wisdom is first meant for parents, especially those parents who have already chalked out the course their children should traverse.  It would also boost the confidence of youngsters who are yearning to follow their dreams/ passions which are far removed from those expectations others have from them.

It is essential to acknowledge that each person is an individual who would have his/ her parents DNA but thereafter grows up to be an independent thinker and would have to walk a self chalked out path all on his/her own. Most parents believe that having their DNA gives them a right to mould and control a child to meet their pre determined standards and fulfill their ideal desires. Other well meaning friends, family members and elders would also similarly express themselves in an overbearing manner with good intent but with precious little appreciation for the individuality of those they are addressing.

Elders in general, including teachers, grandparents, uncles and aunts and parents in particular usurp the right to profusely spiel out advice believing that their age and experience give them an upper hand in dealing with the challenges of life. While their age and experience do have immense value, what they fail to appreciate in others is that the others particularly the youngsters have matured a lot faster, are exposed to a more compact world where information flows easily and they also believe they have the right to be heard loud and clear. This clash of values, expectations, hopes and ambitions is a major cause of discord within families particularly parents and children.

Here are 3 suggestions for elders and 3 for youngsters reading this, to ensure that they appreciate this post better

Elders

  1. Just guide them don’t goad them
  2. Respect the individuality of others no matter what they age or gender
  3. Acknowledge the efforts and if you find merit encourage them

Youngsters

  1. Respect everyone and then earn the respect of others – disagree without being disagreeable
  2. Share your ideas/ thoughts with elders who would be more open to your sharing
  3. Be committed to your goals. This means writing it down and working towards achieving it.

Try this:

Visit www.johngoddard.info and find the various goals that he set for himself and how he achieved most of it. What if his elders dissuaded him? What if he did not commit himself to it?

Elders think of your parents expectations from you and your siblings. How far did they fulfill it. Now examine the growth of the 3 best students ( your classmates) in school/ college and the three so called failures in school/ college. How have they fared? Did they do something extraordinary or did some of them fail your expectations?

Youngsters don’t just have plans. Write down your plans and put it down as SMART goals. If you do not know what are smart goals, you first task is to take the effort to find out what it is. Next learn to challenge yourself. To do this write down the following first

–       The animal / creature/ reptile that is found in your vicinity that you fear the most

–       The activity  or task that you fear /dislike the most

–       The situation or occasions that you dislike immensely

–       The food or cuisine that you simply don’t want to eat

–       The one addiction or habit that you cannot do away with

You have to confront either all or at least 2 of the above till you reduce your aversion / kick the habit by at least 50% Self discipline is the key and overcoming your fears is the learning that is crucial for you to chart your won course.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

It is jokingly said that after God man Adam, he had a good look and then murmured I can do a better job and then he took a rib of Adam and created Eve… and possibly ever since love was supposed to be the dominant theme.  Alas, the serpent had other ideas and once he lured Eve with the Apple, she enticed Adam too with it. Possibly that was the beginning of people continuing  to be lured into loving things and using people for their own self centered interests.

When we dispassionately look at our behavior we would know how true it is that we tend to love things a lot more than we will admit. Why is it that we want the lasts gizmos in the marketplace, the trendiest watches, the latest styles in attire no matter what the costs or irrespective of its utility for us. Look at the way we hoard things, the umpteen pictures we take without digital cameras in the fond hope of holding on to memories, the huge cache of books right from our KG days not to mention the wardrobe of long discarded but safely kept clothes.

At the same time though we may deny it our conscience won’t let us forget that there are many a time when we use even those who are close to us for our own selfish ends. How much time do we spend with our parents once they grow old and we get busy with our lives? Do we ignore our siblings or family members who have grievances to share, fears to express or seek attention from us? Most times it is because they disturb our tranquility and we cannot empathize with them. Yet when we need them we will shamelessly mend fences or build bridges to get our way with them.

If we are wee bit pragmatic we would realize the futility of loving things; for while we can accumulate and possibly enjoy the luxury and comfort and the adulation it brings, they are by no means a guarantee of long term happiness and more importantly they are all replaceable. On the other hand, if we open our hearts and give our all to those around, we would double the joy around by being participants in the others happiness too. Those whom we love are all irreplaceable and LOVE is the only emotion that ensures an unconditional and undying connect forever. Just look at a picture of someone whom you loved passionately but is not around anymore; in a jiffy you can feel the persons presence, fast forward our minds to the blissful moments we spent with them and fell their warmth and affection in the deepest recess of our heart.

Try this:

What adjectives/ words of appreciation would describe the following persons? 

  • Your dad / mom (choose any one)
  • Your favorite sibling/ cousin
  • Your favorite grandparent
  • Your favorite teacher

Make a list consisting of at least 2 persons/ things but not exceeding 5 who meet the following criteria

  • The things you have lost and miss very much
  • The people in your childhood whom you resented very much
  • The relatives (except from your own family) you love the most
  • The things you own that you won’t gift even to your best friend
  • The things that you wished you owned if you had all the money in the world
  • The causes of charity for which you would donate the most

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”  Winston Churchill

Most of us are natural critics but very few of us accept criticism with an open mind and the right attitude to learn from it. Criticism comes naturally, because each of us has an idea of a perfect world and invariably there is always something wrong with it. Thereafter it is a simple matter of pouting opinions on how things are not right and perhaps we pontificate on how we could set things right if only we were empowered. If the same conversation is initiated by others we can heartily concur and add a few more views without contributing very constructively. Of course the good part of the critical way we see things is that when the clamor gets louder some action takes place and there is improvement.

The problem that we face as individuals is that we ‘fear criticism’. No sooner we are subject to criticism, we see criticisms as a direct attack on our ability, we view it as the incorrect and inappropriate assessment of us and resent the reality when pointed out to us. We react to criticism with skepticism, attempt to justify and rationalize our short comings and in extreme cases attempt to discredit our critics or dwell upon what we perceive as their incompetence and inability to judge us correctly.  What we fail to appreciate is the reality that very few people will criticize us because human nature prefers to be good and sweet to one and all and being critical is an invitation to strain relationships. Equally important is the fact that any valid criticism is a good feedback mechanism that enables us to correct ourselves, bring about improvement and progress towards excellence.

Criticism is unavoidable and so we need to accept this reality and then leverage it to improve our life, our effectiveness and our relationships. The key to that lies in adopting the following approach:

Accepting criticism.  This is the toughest part to overcome. Our natural temperament is to refute, reject and rebut. However once we realize that most people criticize us with our welfare at heart, be it parents, teacher, siblings, family, friends, bosses and colleagues, we would pay heed to what they have to say. When there are disagreements and in a fit of rage an opponent or adversary makes a comment or observation that hurts us deeply, it could be a sure sign that there is an element of truth in it. This realization would be the ultimate test to walking the way of accepting criticism.

Harnessing the feedback got. The simple rule here is to ask yourself if there is there some truth in it. If yes, learn from the feedback and make the adjustments, learning, behavioral change, required. If some skills have to be learnt, if some relationships have to be mended or if some ties have to be cut off, however painful it may be, the same has to be done. Making all out efforts to implement  the change based on the learning from the feedback holds the key.

Being honest with our criticism of others so that we understand the shortcomings. As tough as it may seem, by being constructively critical, we are honing our skills of observation, improving our standards of excellence and fine tuning the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. All these qualities will go a long way in improving our personality, our confidence and our outlook of life.

Learning to appreciate others so that we can adopt the good practices that we observe.  Compared to the previous point, this may sound extremely ironic for it involves making a complete U turn in our way of seeing things. Balancing this contradiction actually makes us develop an all round personality where we can learn to live with the good and the bad. When we appreciate, we are also unconsciously raising our own standards of performance for we will strive to attain what we see as the bar of excellence. Appreciation when balanced with criticism also enables us to remain rooted to reality; for while there may be many who would praise us and overlook our shortcomings, the ones who dare to be critical will be holding a mirror to our face. We can then see ourselves warts and all and then begin the process of sprucing up and making a fresh appearance worthy of our talent, our abilities and our aspirations.

Remember: Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.  Frank Howard Clark

Try this:

  1. Go and see new released movie without reading the critics reviews. On returning home from the movie, attempt to review the movie or at least jot down 3- 5 appreciative points and 3- 5 critical observations about the movie. Thereafter read the professional reviews and compare your own effort.
  2. Mark Anthony’s speech criticizing Brutus in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is a master piece of using the rhetoric to criticize subtly. To read the same, click on the following link.  http://tinyurl.com/yae2nno
  3. Can you recollect the criticism given by the following people, which was hurtful but helped you improve
  • Your dad
  • Your mother
  • Your favorite teacher
  • The teacher you disliked immensely
  • Your best friend
  • A third party, perhaps a passenger traveling with you or a motorist who rammed your vehicle or a player from an opposing team or a taxi driver

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

Many people have ideas on how others should change; few people have ideas on how they should change. Leo Tolstoy

There is plenty of free advice floating around, most of it liberally dished out by ordinary folks who believe they have a solution to everyone else’s problem. Sadly in most cases if the problem is closer home, perhaps at the doorsteps of those who dish out these pearls of wisdom, they would grapple to come to grips with it. This sound ironic considering how appropriate the advice sounded for someone else but alas its potency seemed to vanish when a inch of it is applied at home. The conclusion that one can draw is that any advice given must first be tried and tested by those giving it before it is freely distributed around.

Here are four situations in the average person’s life where advice is often sought and given but rarely digested in the same form if the giver of the advice has to digest it himself// herself

Parenting and the generation gap. Each successive generation grapples with the problem of handling the younger generation. Each generation also gets ample advice from the previous generation most of which is very sound and based on good experience. The problem is that there is still a huge gap between us and the next generation which we normally try to rationalize and explain failing which we emotionalize the issue and pressurize. What we fail to understand is that we need to change with the times and adapt to the ways of a changing younger generation.

Facing the humdrum of everyday life. The daily grind of work that is the destiny of every individual rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick often gets monotonous and boring. For others we would suggest a variety of solutions to cope with this situation. We could suggest job rotation, brining about variety in the job, finding creative ways to do the repetitive job, looking out for intrinsic motivations and where possible change jobs. The very same advice somehow seems to lose its charm, its appeal and its magic properties when we attempt to charge up our own monotonous everyday life. A major reason for this is our coziness and comfort of aligning with the known devil rather than risking it with a new devil as a result of which the very advice we give others ends up being impotent and ineffective to rescue us from the hellish rigors of daily life.

Managing life changing challenges. Change comes in many forms. While the furious pace of technological and scientific changes eases life in many ways mastering their functionality can be quite a change to manage. Remember the first time one tried to master the mouse on the computer. Imagine the challenge for those in the older age bracket.  More difficult are the emotional changes that challenge us be it death of a loved one, breakdown of relationships, pain of separation, job loss and the challenges caused by ill health and related trauma. Our problem is our inability to adopt and embrace the advent of technology and make peace with the upheavals brought about by the emotional changes.

Bidding good bye to life. Each of us comes with our expiry date stamped and hardcoded in our destiny. Yet being prepared to accept that reality is an extremely painful and heart wrenching prospect. While we would in all earnestness and honesty give courage to a dying person by drawing their attention to the goodness of afterlife and the prospect of never ending peace and happiness, when we are merely asked to even think of an epitaph for our self the task seems frightening, ludicrous and insane. We do not fear death itself but the prospect of leaving behind all those we love for we believe that they are the real possessions that matter.

Remember: The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.  Oprah Winfrey

Try this:

  1. Write down the 3 most annoying things about the younger generation. (If you are a youngster write down 3 most annoying things about the older generation.) Now jot down 2 reasons that you think are why these seem to annoy. Perhaps you now get a better perspective of the other side.
  2. Who are the 3 people who you would like to speak to in the last moments of your life? What would you like to tell them?
  3.  Here are two links to help you connect with 2 heroes who coped with drastic CHANGE in their lives.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »