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Archive for the ‘Imagination’ Category

27-30 Jul 17-An open mindIf we look at children playing you would notice that they are excited by the little things that they discover for the first time. The ants moving around busily, the joy of jumping in some puddles, the flight of the birds, the freedom when on a swing and the up and down of the sea saw. Their minds are filled with wonder at the fun that is in abundance around, at the variety of the fun they can have and they are joyous at discovering something new.  Yet this very same child, as he or she grows up begins to learn,  most of it by rote and thereafter things become a blind belief. If the text book says it must be a fact, if the teachers, parents or elders say something, reasoning would have little scope to penetrate the mind and if the individual has firsthand experience, that would be the ultimate truth. The wonders that once enabled a free and open mind are now shackled by the chains of dogma and blind faith.

The only way to regain and retain the joys of wonderment are by keeping an open mind that will allow all varieties of influences to come and go without it being prejudged, prejudiced or passed over. This can be best done in the following ways

Seek new experiences – Move out of your comfort zone if you have to experience something different and new. It could be as simple as trying out trying out a different cuisine or experimenting with a new hairstyle. Alternatively it could be extremely challenging like attempting to overcome a fear or taking on a dangerous dare. Your mind would feel the exhilaration only when you open  it up to take on new possibilities.

Find positives in sour experiences – Not every experience would be pleasant. Sometimes the experiences would be painful or it could be embarrassing or it could provide a rude jolt. Train your mind to find something positive in the failure so that the experience becomes worthwhile and has provided you a new learning.

Question more – While one cannot try and question all that is taught, where one has serious doubts raise questions. The objective must be to ensure that you are fully convinced about the matter and not embrace it because of a blind belief. Disruptive technology and disruptive business models are nothing but answers to questions that asked about existing beliefs.

Have an independent view – You are an unique individual. Your individuality is highlighted by your ability to stand out in a crowd. This is best expressed by asking probing questions, articulating / expressing yourself even if it means going against the majority. Stand by your convictions.

Embrace change – Since change is the only constant, embrace change whole heartedly. Change is nothing but moving from the existing to creating a new paradigm. Change can be disruptive, frightening, revolutionary and overwhelming. Make change a friend and you will discover possibilities that you never ever imagined. It will shatter your existing beliefs and instead transport you into a land of wonderment.

Try these

  • Go to Youtube and check out some of the TV talent shows to get a flavor of what possibilities mean.
  • List out the five major technological changes that you have had to cope with, in the past five years.
  • Outline three bitter experiences and a valuable lesson you learned from it.
  • What is the best gift/ present you ever got in your life. Why do you think it is special?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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7-12-feb-17-listen-to-the-guruTime and time again, we are admonished that we do not listen. In any communication lecture, you would invariably be told that of all the skills of communication the most vital one is the art of listening. The trouble is, almost all our life we have ended up as listeners and there is a certain amount of boredom, lack of motivation and prejudice against the speakers and or topics, that we have developed over the years. Part of the reason can be attributed to ineffective teachers who bored us to tears, part of the reason could be that we were forced into listening to boring lectures on boring subjects and the rest of the problem could be attributed to sheer indifference we have developed over the years. Criticism whether from parents, teachers, friends, well wishers, colleagues or bosses (especially at appraisal time) and worse of all from the spouse, have just hardened us to pay a deaf year to the feedback received. All in all, over the years, we have become indifferent, immune and largely deaf to any most forms of communication especially those that we dislike, disapprove or dread.

However, it is never too late to change and begin afresh.  Bear these facts in mind when focusing on listening. The first thing to remember is that listening is not a passive activity but an activity one must actively engage in. This means we need to take the effort of listening. The next thing to keep in mind is that when listening all our senses are engaged. While the ears absorb the spoken word, every other sense also absorbs the signals relevant to them. Hence any form of distraction be it noise, smell, weather changes, movement etc. influence the quality of our listening.  The third and most important element of listening is to understand the essence of listening; which is wanting to hear. Unless we want to hear, find a motivation to hear, pay attention to the entire communication and not be selective in our listening, we could misunderstand, partially understand, miss out on key information or interpret the communication conveniently.

Once we begin to appreciate and adopt good listening skills the process of our personal improvement and growth would be enhanced dramatically. This is because we learn to value the lessons, however unpleasant or critical that we interpret from the communication signals received from around us. We also begin to value and respect our strengths by listening to the positive and encouraging responses we get. The value we derive from listening is maximized when we explore opportunities, dare to take risks, begin to change, learn to appreciate and never get discouraged.

Remember that the word LISTEN comprises of the same alphabets that form the word SILENT. So the more silently you absorb the communication that is around the better your listening skills. Make the world your GURU by simply listening to everyone and everything around. Absorb, learn, implement, change !

Try these:

  • What is your favorite joke that you enjoy sharing with friend’s. Did you notice that it is how keenly the other person listens to you, that makes the joke effective. More importantly the joke may have something absurd and illogical that actually triggers the punch of the joke. Conventional listening, where logic and order are essential do not trigger the response as much as the non auditory visualization does.
  • Here are some non auditory listening challenges
  1. Take a standard deck of cards and find out the only one eyed king in it. Also note the subtle differences between the Jacks as also the four different queens in the deck.
  2. Ask a friend to prepare a bag full of assorted articles. Without seeing the articles but by merely putting your hand in the bag and feeling the articles try and identify each of them.
  3. Blindfold yourself and ask a friend to hand over various currency notes into your hand. Identify the denomination of those notes.
  4. How often have you entered your house, smelled the food being cooked and decided what kind of a meal to expect?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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03-first-3-wordsOne of the problems many of us have is our inability to really identify something positive to focus upon. This is partly because our minds tend to stray towards what troubles us, our problems real and imagined and varied anxieties that we have made ‘much ado about nothing’. The problem becomes more acute at the start of the year for most of our plans/ resolutions tend to center around unfinished business, challenges to be met and overcoming our limitations. The grid above, however, has ample positives that stare at us and it would help if we focus on the first 3-5 positive words noticed and for the rest of the year align our goals to meet the goals those words beckon.

Honestly I would have loved to list out some of the words above, but then it would take away the fun for you.  Instead, my friends, I am using my power of identification to share my experience of using my time to focus on some goals that have helped me gain friends, popularity and happiness. While money is important, it is the fun of influencing lives that really drives me. The beauty of this is that, I can with all honesty confess, that I have a large circle of young friends and interacting with them makes me feel young at heart. By the way, you also need to use your time not just for yourself but also for others. Keeping busy would also ensure good health in mind and body. If you look carefully there is something positive in every line except for one word. It is not for me to identify it but yes if you have the lust for life, even that word would be positive although most times we use it in a negative context.

Have fun decoding the above and more importantly use those words to make this year a wonderful and productive year for you and all those whose lives you influence.

Try these:

The grid gives you enough to focus on. Break time for both you and me. Actually, it is break time for me just for this post; you have ample scope to keep busy for the rest of the year.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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37-look-againEvery one wishes to have a smooth, peaceful and happy life. However, the wonder of life is in its unpredictability, its constant change and the contrasting emotions that spice up life. Like the varied delicacies that we savor everyday, which is a mix of sweet, sour, hot, cold, spicy, bland, delicious, ugh, life helps us experience a wide variety of feelings, emotions, joys and pains. Obviously, given a choice we would prefer to experience only the emotions that appeal to us, those that we enjoy and relish. The challenge then for us is to find those hidden emotions within the moment that we experience particularly when we are distraught, hurt, pained and emotionally drained. To do that we need to look again and search for what we want to feel.

Seek the good in the bad – So you got fired from the job or your boss has just given you are earful and a warning. Hurts terribly, you become fearful, you want to erase the memory of it. Yet the hurt keeps echoing in your mind. If you pause and try to calmly relook the situation making a conscious effort to focus on what is good about the situation you could realize that there are collateral benefits in the situation. Perhaps they just nudged you to do what you always wanted to do; quit and find a new job or begin a new venture. Maybe you realized that your performance was slipping because you were bored in your job and now you are forced to find new opportunities. Maybe you were already planning alternatives but not finding the time to tie up all the loose ends and the sudden turn of events has now given you ample time to finalize your plans faster and move on.

Find something happy in the sadness you encounter – May be you lost a loved one or flunked an exam or your relationship is collapsing. Not the best of times. You are overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events that are now not just painful but the reality is a nightmare that won’t go away. Pause again and try to visualize it from a more positive angle. Perhaps the person who passed away was spared pain and agony; maybe the exam failure was expected but now you know what you did wrong and correct yourself; maybe it is best that the relationship is ending without more acrimony and ill will.

Discover some gain in your pain – Did you lose your wallet or credit cards? Maybe somebody rammed your car and damaged it? Did you hard disk crash and with it your data vanished in a jiffy. Painful no doubt but it is possible that there is some good coming from it too. Look again and search for the gain in the pain you just went through. Maybe you just spend a huge amount using the cash in your wallet so fortunately the loss of the wallet happened after that or you would have lost a lot of money. Perhaps you car need an make over and the accident has grounded you now but the insurance company would settle it now for you. Quite possible that there was a lot of junk in your hard disk and you are now spared the effort of painfully going through each file before deleting or organizing it. Yes there is some gain in every pain; look again for it.

Focus on what makes you grateful not hateful – So you got criticized at appraisal time and you hate your boss for it. Did you just get a feedback from your doctor stating that you have tested positive for some aliment and now you are constantly asking yourself ‘why me’? You find something that you desperately wanted on the online portal but just when you are about to pay you realize that the dimensions of the product is not what you want and that is the only piece available.  You hate your boss, you don’t want to meet your doctor anytime soon and you hate that website that just broke your heart. Look at the events from the filter of positivity. There would be plenty to be grateful for. Now that you have a feedback from the boss, however unflattering it may be, there could be some truth in it and you have a reference point to begin to change. If the feedback from the boss is in your view distorted and not true, maybe it is time you looked for another job opportunity. The doctor is just a messenger of the truth and perhaps he is also the savior who can suggest an appropriate course of action. Did you just save some money by not buying what you longed for or better still you may find something even better later.

When hurt/ pained/ bitter pause. Re-look the situation from a filter of ‘so what is good about the situation’ and suddenly life would be much more joyous and immense possibilities open up to you.

Try these:

  • List out the 5 most painful experiences you have had in your life. Identify one good thing about each of the said experience/situation.
  • List out 5 frequent criticisms that you are accused of by family/ friends / colleagues/ bosses / teachers. Is there justification for those criticisms? What are you doing to rectify / remedy the situation?
  • Make a list of 5 people / personalities who you dislike/ disapprove of. Can you outline 2 points about each of them that you appreciate / respect them for.
  • Name 3 adjectives that apply to your positive qualities and 3 adjectives that describe your negative qualities.  So what is your action plan to eliminate those negative adjectives?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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35-pain-changes-people

Broadly pain comes in two types- physical pain and emotional pain. Both types of pain are tough to deal with. However, the emotional pain is often the one most tough to cope with, because the emotional pain hurts from inside and is much more difficult to overcome. The physical pain can at times be excruciating too and equally difficult to cope with. The challenge of emotional pain is that it provokes questions like why me? What if? Will it change my life for the worse? Can I ever cope with it? that makes it hard for an individual to find satisfactory answers to. The result is that emotional pain triggers in us a negative attitude to people, lose confidence in ourselves and a ‘poor me’ syndrome overwhelms us.

Emotional pain is non physical pain. This means that the pain is felt in the head and heart. Death of a loved is the most common emotional pain but since death is a reality everyone has to deal with, most people can get over this pain over time. Of course there are exceptions like the sudden death of young person or the sudden death of a dear pet. However, emotional pain felt when a marriage breaks down or when one gets an unexpected pink slip or one is made aware of a serious ailment is much more difficult to handle. The most common response to emotional pain are as under:

Trusting less: Emotional pain, especially if it is the result of a disconnect with another person be it a lover/ spouse or employer would seriously affect the aggrieved party/ parties and would often result in them at least temporarily losing their confidence in other people. This means that going forward, it takes them time to let go of the past, are always wary of people around especially new people and would never make a commitment to a relationship personal/ professional without being circumspect about the future.

Thinking more:  Emotional pain always magnifies the problem in the eyes of the aggrieved person. It also makes a person think of various worse case scenarios, make them interject varied negative possibilities to a possible solution and largely make them feel victimized. The over thinking limits their vision to see effective alternative solutions. It also adds to their mental turmoil and consequently  it impacts their personal, social and professional  life.

Becoming a recluse:  People who are emotionally pained tend to become recluse. They shun social contact, prefer their own solitude and face psychological trauma. They find it hard to connect with people for they trust less, think more and believe that no one can help them. They wallow in self pity, have delusions/ fears of a second wave of trauma and adapt to solitude for company. Unfortunately that also means they have lesser chances of picking themselves out of their emotional rut.

Pain changes people. Life becomes harder; living even tougher and at times dying seems like a perfect escape.

Be aware of the dangers of letting emotional pain overwhelm us and make us irrational. As long as there is life there is hope. Listen to both your inner reason and to the advice of well meaning friends. Learn to trust your instincts as well as the voice of love and reason of your loved ones who would do all within their power to help you overcome your trauma. Do not cut yourself from the world around; remember man is a social animal and your best chance to be emotionally stable would be by interacting with others. After all sharing joy doubles it and sharing grief halves it.

Try these:

  1. List out 3 painful moments of your life. How did you react to each of these moments? Do you still feel that pain even today or has time helped you overcome the pain?
  2. So which of the following emotional baggage are you still carrying with you
  • Having a breakup
  • Having a dear one insult/ hurt you
  • Hearing a rude/ disrespectful / sarcastic comment about yourself
  • Being let down / cheated  by a dear friend / colleague
  • Being forced to sacrifice your ethics in order to succeed

How did the above effect you. What have you done to regain your confidence after facing the above?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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21- The control challengeOne of the major reasons we are stressed is because we are unable to keep our emotions in check when faced with a dilemma or confusion or problem. We then get overwhelmed, fearful and react impulsively.  Our reactions are often in anger, frustration and despondency. Rational behavior takes a back seat, the challenge of the moment looks ominous and damage control is our instinctive allay which then becomes the focus of our attention. If ever one who faced a crisis behaved in this manner, there would be very few who survived disasters. If every researcher adopted the same attitude there would be very few discoveries. Every major war is testimony to the resilience of the vanquished and destroyed, to rebuild and grow despite the severity of their ruins physically, financially and mentally. So what is it that makes the human race change, progress and succeed despite the upheavals, the disasters and the disruptions that seem to perennially confront them?

The answer lies in how one responds. The key is not to react but to respond. The difference between the two is in how you control your attitude, your thinking and your actions.

Attitude: Do we visualize a problem as a disaster or as challenge to be overcome. It is our attitude that will determine our perception of the challenge on hand. Those who are fearful, those just wanting to plod forward and those who are faint hearted would look at obstacles as useless, irritating and insurmountable. They would then settle for compromise solutions rather than a resolution of the problem. On the other hand those having supreme confidence in their own abilities, those who seek long term solutions and those willing to take on a challenge would approach every problem with a ‘ seek the hidden solution’ attitude. They too would get irritated at times, would feel frustrated momentarily, be tempted to give up. However, they resolve to effectively  tackle the challenge even if it takes time, even if they have seek help from others and even if the world around belittles and criticizes their efforts. They have the positive can do – will do attitude.

Thinking : Our attitude will determine how we approach a situation. Those who are positive and determined to find solutions would rein in their negative emotions of fear, anger, disappointment and frustration. Instead they would bring into play their strengths, realign their thinking to seek solutions and refocus their attention on varied possibilities in order to overcome the challenge on hand. The will not hesitate to seek the expertise of others; they would be keen observers and listeners for they are sure there exists a solution that they just need to discover. They do not let the problem slip from their mind but they keep mulling over it to let the subconscious work on it. Their thoughts are focused on responding to the challenge rationally, logically and decisively

Action: There are times when quick action holds the key and there is little time to elaborately think and plan. Emergencies are classical examples be it a natural disaster, a fire, an accident or  even events like missing a flight or losing your mobile/ wallet. Even in such situations, the action must not be purely impulsive (it will be largely  impulsive when your life itself is threatened like if you are in a building that is on fire, since self preservation is a natural instinctive mechanism for survival) but taken with a calm and cool head. Controlling panic whilst seeking a solution would provide more possibilities. The action must be taken decisively and not tentatively; this is possible when the action plan is based in clear headed thinking and with full awareness of the consequences. The action must be to arrive at a solution with minimum damage.

Try these:

  1. Pick up a news paper and attempt to solve the crosswords or similar puzzles that appear in it. Your attitude, thinking and action would be reflected in how you respond to this challenge.
  2. List out three instances when you panicked. What was the final outcome of those situations? What role did you play in each of the given situations?
  3. Of the three key points listed above which of them is your primary problem.
  • Attitude – By nature are you and optimist or a pessimist
  • Thinking – Can you think both logically and creatively or do you prefer to follow instructions?
  • Action – Are you a self starter or do you like to act as instructed.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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