Category: improvise

What is your excuse ?

6-6-feb-17-what-is-your-excuseExcuses come naturally to us. It is our defense mechanism against inertia, criticism and failure. Part of the reason is our upbringing. As children, if we were encouraged, appreciated and motivated chances are that we minimize excuses and focus on getting results. On the other hand, if as children we were discouraged from exploring, criticized for failing and shouted at for the mess created rather than appreciated for the outcome, excuses are the only shield we have to take refuge under. Unfortunately, over time, excuses become an extension of our personality and we rationalize every unsavory action of ours with creative excuses, most times merely fooling ourselves.

Once we remove excuses from our lexicon the benefits are enormous; just try it and see the difference.

You begin to dare/ explore – Fear of failure and criticisms are the two red flags that often derail our hopes and ambitions. We limit our actions to only those that we are sure will succeed, those that meet approval of peers and elders and those that are tried and tested. We have ready excuses for anything untoward. Give up excuses and then you become more daring and start exploring options that you are passionate about. Success and failure are just milestones/ markers along the way not millstones that weigh you down.

You discover hidden potential – You give expression to your passion, move out of your comfort zone and discover talents and potential that remained dormant within you. You do not have to rationalize your actions or the consequences; no excuses for anything; you take responsibility. Dare do win is your only motto.

You become creative – When failure is not a fear, when justification is not needed, then excuses have no place in your lexicon. You can give expression to your inner spirit, the vivid imagination you have, the adventure of a lifetime with you owing no one an explanation or justification. No excuses needed; more life explored; fun and failure is just a phase of life but the process is what brings the thrill.

You do not fear failure – If at first you don’t succeed you just begin to try again. If you find that you were following the wrong trail in life, all you need to do is change tracks with no excuses for your actions or the past. No fear of failure comes from the freedom of not having to explain or justify or give excuses.

You succeed – Success is not just a destination; it is actually the enjoyment of the journey. The destination is merely a marker in life that tells us how far we have come. Every moment is a challenge, so also an opportunity to make life more colorful and meaningful. When we leave behind the baggage of excuses to be given we are no longer weighed down by expectations, More importantly we are on a journey in which we set the pace, the destination and the breaks. Every move forward is success for we have traversed ahead. No excuses, no regrets, no failures, no finish line.

Try these:

  1. How can you color up the monotony of your work life, personal life and social life? Be creative, be daring, explore and act.
  2. Find creative ways to do the following:
  • Overcoming a bad habit / addiction
  • Becoming more productive in the work place and at home
  • Surprising friends and family
  • Overcoming an inhibition or fear
  • Picking up a good habit
  • Increasing your savings every month

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be rich always

04-get-richTake away money as a measure of richness and ever single human being can be as rich as he /she chooses to be. True riches lies in being rich in mind body and soul. 

Keep in my mind the mantra:

I alone have the power to become as rich as I want to be.

The formula is simple, the application requires discipline and it’s your life your riches your choice.

Rich in knowledge – Read, observe, learn, teach, assimilate, experience, explore.

Rich in adventure – move away from your comfort zone, take risks, do something different, be creative, experiment.

Rich in laughter – See the funny side, laugh at yourself, share laughter, learn to see the funny side of the worst, think fun, be fun, make every moment fun.

Rich in family – Be together, meet often, celebrate together, keep in touch, talk more with each other, listen, touch, and hug.

Rich in health – Eat healthy, exercise, avoid stress, have a positive attitude, be around with people who make you happy and comfortable.

Rich in love – Love yourself! Love those around! Learn to love life! Learn love each moment.

Try these:

  1. Identify and use a website for each of the above riches. Oh yes there are ample alternatives online. If you want you can even identify a suitable app.
  2. Make it a point to do the following off and on
  • Tell (not share on whatsapp) a joke to a friend / colleague
  • Pay attention to a frequent criticism that you get and do something to overcome that.
  • Read something that is totally different from what you normally read
  • Surprise your family members for no special reason
  • Announce and do something challenging e.g. losing weight or dancing / singing at a function etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Creating opportunities

39-create-opportunityWe have to create our own destinies and this can happen only when we grab every opportunity that comes our way. The trouble is that we eithernkeep waiting for the opportunities to come our way or we do not recognize the opportunities that come our way, unless it is too late. We wait in vain or miss out opportunities simply because most times opportunities present themselves in the guise of hard work. Almost everyone has the intent to get cracking on a task and is prepared to work hard to grab the opportunities that come their way. However, often it is only when we initiate the opportunity, that we are convinced that the hard work, the end result and the success allied to it, is worth it.  It simply means that one has to create the opportunities that one eagerly looks forward to, in order to alter one’s life dramatically. Creating opportunities is not too difficult but it follows a process listed below.

Prepare for it – Look at all the successful people and you will find one common trait that they share. They prepared to make the most of the opportunities that came their way. To begin with, they identified their strengths, worked hard on eliminating their weakness and prepared themselves to get an expertise in their chosen line of work. Even successful actors would have gone to acting school, as did the successful sportsmen who took their childhood grooming very seriously. Even successful businessmen took professional courses, apprenticed with experienced professionals and perhaps even started work on the shop floor. Yes get to understand the job from the basics and work yourself up. Remember ‘ chance favors the prepared man’.

Search for it – Opportunities abound all around. However it may never look so crystal clear to you unless you actually seek it out. So you like the glamour business and want to succeed in it. You may not have any glamour quotient you but there is a lot of background work opportunities that may fit your temperament and aptitude. Similarly, the studious would want to leverage their brilliance but they have to explore hidden opportunities that exist in that space right from teaching to becoming an entrepreneur or a consultant or a professional.

Identify it – This is tougher because all options look equally exciting. More importantly, you are never sure if you miss out on something more exciting once you commit to something. The reality is that you must chose what appeals most to you and then go on to make it the most exciting thing for you. Identifying an opportunity is all about aligning your interests, your competence to fulfill a gap that exists. Opportunities to excel exist in every sphere. Some could translate opportunities into business ventures, others could grow in their workplace and others could become leaders who make a difference in the environment they influence.

Execute it – Merely identifying opportunities won’t take anyone very far. Ultimately, just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, an opportunity has to made use of.  It is essential to start acting on the idea, make things happen and give traction to the opportunity.  All business ventures are largely built around an opportunity identified. Similarly, even in the work place as an employee, by doing something extraordinarily well you differentiate yourself from the rest as someone dependable, a person who contributes qualitatively and is an asset in the corporate. Opportunities can vary in style and substance from cost savings, speeding up activities, discovering something new, to creating something unique. Think then act decisively must be the mantra to create the opportunity and make it work.

Persist This is very critical task that is often overlooked when seeking opportunities. Pursuing an opportunity could be very exciting in the beginning but when reality sets in, there could be surprises, shocks, difficulties, pain and suffering; all of which can be daunting and dissuading. Yet it is persistence that pays in the long run. Persistence means giving yourself enough time and keeping patience. Occasionally though it could also mean deviating if required, dropping the plan for another or simply giving up to pursue a new opportunity. Persistence also means continuing to explore new opportunities for age is no bar, nor is experience or gender.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of 5 things you definitely want to do before you die. Now create ample opportunities to make it happen. Update the list as and when you manage to achieve something from the list.
  2. What opportunities do you see in the following situations?
  • You lose your mobile phone and have no money to procure a new one immediately
  • You have hurt your foot and are house bound for a month
  • You have to travel everywhere either on foot or by public transport for the next two months.
  • You have to look after an elderly senior citizen who suffers from Alzheimer’s, for over a month.
  • You have taken a ‘maun vrat’ (volunteered to keep silence / not to speak ) for one month.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Do more with less

26- do more with lessOne of the problems facing the world is the indiscriminate use of limited resources. As individuals, each of us must examine how individually each of us can limit our own use of the resources available to us so that we can make our own little contribution to saving our resources. That apart, we must also be aware, of how we are influenced by advertisements, social pressure and our own ego, in consuming more than what we need to. Once we become aware of our blissful ignorance, we will be more vigilant and possibly more conscious about doing more with less.

Reuse & Recycle – Most people in developing nations have mastered this art but as the economic well being goes up, we indulge freely because we can now afford to. So convenience becomes the new mantra and reuse & recycling remain footnotes in the daily grind. Think before you dispose; can you find alternative uses for what you want to dispose? Don’t worry about being called a cheapskate; your objective is to do more with less.

Utilize recyclable stuff – Primarily this means minimize your use of plastics and instead utilize reusable options like paper / cloth bags.  Can you have your own minimal crockery at your work place so that you can wash and reuse your coffee mug / spoon/ fork and plate? Do not be overly worried about what people will think about you. You will be setting an example and perhaps influence others to imitate you.

Limit our usage – It is an extension of the above; wherein you go prepared so that you avoid the use of stuff (like plastic bags )/ do not print flex boards indiscriminately simply because it is cheap / buy stuff simply because it looks nice/ cute  or is on discount but which you may never use after buying. How about working on not wasting electricity and switching off all the unnecessary lights and power supply switches? Ask yourself if you are wasting running water and how you can limit the use of it. Notice how tooth paste advertisements always show the paste being spread on the entire bristles.  Do we really have to use so much of toothpaste or is it a psychological ploy to ensure you consume more? Notice also that the large toothpaste packs have a much wider mouth so that you tend to squeeze out a much larger volume; a good marketing method to increase consumption and sales; do you need to fall prey to it?

Do not overstock – Overstocking would only lead to possibilities of having expired stuff that you have to trash. Particularly true of medicines and edible stuff. So you pay good money (even if there are bargain offers) only to end up losing all that money to trash.

Find alternatives – How about buying refill packs instead of a bottled / fully packaged stuff where the packing becomes thrash no sooner you bring it home. How about having a sturdy bag that accompanies you whenever you go shopping so that you eliminate all the plastic bags that your stuff is put into?

Say No where possible – Even if the shopkeeper offers you a plastic buy and you just have a couple of items to take away can you avoid taking that plastic bag? Can you resist the temptation to buy stuff just because of a discount / sale offer if you do not think you are going to use the stuff in the near future? Can you say no to ordering food online simply because you are too lazy?

Be creative – When going window shopping don’t carry money/ wallet. This will ensure that you don’t indulge in impulsive buying. Sure, if there is something you really want, you will take that effort of going again and buying it. Remove all the shopping apps on your electronic devises. Retain only the essential ones. Can you limit home delivery so that the amount of plastics and cartons can be done away with? Can you shop from those outlets which you know are eco friendly?

Spread the word – Your actions speak louder than your words. So let others notice your pro environment behavior.  You can also share with others your concerns and suggestions on how they too can become environmentally conscious and take practical steps.

Notice that in the above process, you are actually ending up doing a lot more by using less. When action speaks louder than words; that too is actually getting a lot more done by less pontification.

Apologies for using more words and sentences than needed for getting the message across.

Try these:

  • Make a list of environmental friendly initiatives that you will immediately implement.
  • What are steps you will take to ensure you get more money’s worth from all what you have?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Six steps to realizing your dreams

25-A new definition of ACTIONWith the Rio Olympics just around the corner, this quote is an apt reminder of the struggles, the hard work, the challenges and the passion that has driven the numerous sports persons representing their respective countries at the Olympics. For sure each of them started off with a Dream. When they march in the contingent representing their country they would have realized their dreams and the reality of the achievement will sink in when they participate in their respective event. As you read this, you too would be reflecting on various dreams that you have had and possibly wondering how you too can realize those dreams. As is obvious from the quote, all you need to do is to act on it… ACTION !

Accept the opportunity – If you know what you want, see yourself making the best use of the opportunity to attain it. For many, we have dreams but decide that the dreams are too unrealistic and so we let our dreams die without even attempting to give it a chance. If you can be genuinely passionate about your dreams, then you will make every effort to chase the dream.

Cling tenaciously to your dream. – There will be many who would chide you for your audacity to chase your dreams. There will be many who will try to dishearten you and create self doubt within you. You have to believe in your dream and cling tenaciously to it no matter what the price you have to pay. Yes, everything comes for a price and you have to be prepared to pay the price but what you get in return will be priceless.

Trust yourself – There will be times when you began with gusto and suddenly you were overwhelmed by problems and possibly you surrendered to them and gave up. Let that set back deter you from attempting again. Believe in your dreams, trust your abilities to be resilient and daring enough to pursue relentlessly. No one but you can lead your life; no one but you can realize your dream!

Innovate along the way – The dream always looks distant and the road to it long and winding. You would need to innovate and utilize all available legitimate means to be ahead of the crowd. You would need to take advice from the experts, rework your strategies, learn from competitors but all times be ethical and true to your conscience. Notice that many an athlete who used unfair means to improve their performance has come to grief. There must be both dignity and pride in realizing your dreams.

Overcome negativity – fear of failure is the biggest obstacle that prevents many a talent to blossom and showcase their talent. Criticism is another major negative emotion that can drive you to despair. Both failure and criticism are demotivators but they should not chain you to the belief that things cannot be overcome. When challenged you, you must rise above the negativity that it invariably injects in you. Falling down is not failure, failing to get up and go on is!

Next challenge – Action is not just single piece of activity. It is a continuous quest for improvement, for progress and for success. So once you surmount the initial hurdle, the next challenge must be embraced with equal enthusiasm. Those who manage to turn their dreams into reality have chased the next challenge and successfully conquered it.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of excuses you have made for not attaining something that you desperately hope to. Analyze it and work out a plan to eliminate every single excuse and give yourself another shot at realizing your dream.
  2. Make study of how you spend the 24 hours each day that you are blessed with. Can you eliminate some unnecessary waste of time, can you make some of your time even more productive, can you organize yourself better to ensure you group your activities to minimize time wastage?
  3. What is the next big fun activity that you are planning? What is the next major task that you have which you have been postponing for a while. Put a deadline on both and get cracking on achieving both within the deadline set. No excuses please!

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Success starts with resourcefulness

11- Being resourceful is the keyWhen confronted with a challenge, a problem, a dilemma, a threat, an obstacle or danger, chances are that we would furiously think of ways to mitigate the issue. This is normal human reaction for that is how we are psychologically conditioned to act.  The issue is actually what we do next. Many of us give up daring to execute our plans for fear of failure. Some would simply give up even trying to identify a solution rationalizing that the circumstance confronting us is far beyond our own ability to cope up with. There would be others who make half hearted attempts to at least postpone the inevitable, in the fond hope of the matter resolving itself over time. The circumstances confronting you are not your enemy. Being afraid to think and act is the real enemy.

Being resourceful is all about thinking quick and acting purposefully. In fact thinking quick is often a natural reaction. However, we tend to keep prejudging our thoughts, ideas, alternatives and opportunities thereby largely neutralizing the power of those immediate thoughts. Acting purposefully is a bigger challenge for we normally tend to react to circumstances rather than act with a clear plan in mind. So is resourcefulness just a matter of generating alternative solutions? Ideating and creativity are just one tool for being resourceful albeit a critical and important tool. Resourcefulness goes far beyond merely thinking up alternatives. It is setting up yourself to triumph over circumstances.

Here are some pointers to being resourceful and using them to overcome the obstacles that confront you.

Believe in yourself – The first thought that often comes to mind when confronted with a challenge is oh no. This is quickly followed by thoughts that revolve around Why me? Can I? This is terrible. I can’t cope with this. It is unfair. It is important to remember that every individual does face challenges at various times in varied degrees and the challenges cover a wide spectrum. One either copes with the challenge or gets overcome by the challenge. The first step to coping with a problem is to believe that you have the mental, physical and emotional strength to find a solution. Unless you believe in yourself you would not seek to find a solution.

Think/ ideate / be creative / visualize– Thinking holds the key to generating solutions. It could be logical or rational thinking, it could be creative thinking, it could be idea generation or it could be visualizing big and narrowing to specifics. There is a solution and I can find it must be the mantra. The solution could be completely off beat, it could be risky, it may require a tremendous leap of faith or it could be so very simple you start doubting its efficacy. Look at all the technological wonders around you and you would realize that each of them is a marvel in itself. More importantly each improvement is actually a solution to a problem that was worked out by someone who believed they could find a solution.

Create the right environment to act The toughest part of being resourceful is reassuring yourself constantly that you are capable, competent and clear about your resourcefulness paying off. Sometimes it would be the nagging doubts in your mind, other times it could be the nay sayers who discourage you, occasionally it would be those days when nothing seems to go right and mostly it would be the let me give up feeling that comes like waves of a nausea. To cope with this it is essential that you create the right environment. This includes simple things like ensuring you have the right tools to work with, the physical environment suits your temperament, you bounce ideas of people who will give you dispassionate and encouraging feedback, you brace yourself to dealing with failure, your tune your mind to find encouragement in the smallest success that you attain.

Act decisively to attain your objective – This the toughest part of being resourceful because this requires daring and is test of yourself belief. Just as one cannot cross a chasm in two steps, acting decisively means taking a giant leap of faith. The plans on the drawing board would remain just that, till they are translated into concrete action. There are no auspicious moments, no perfect time to begin. Making that commitment by beginning ensures that you will make those extra efforts to keep going. It is possible that you will be tempted to rethink, to reassess, to go back to the drawing board, to give up, to start differently but once you get the momentum it is a commitment that will linger and persist and draw you back to continue.

If at first you don’t succeed, start again. Very few have ever succeeded in their first attempt. However, it is those who didn’t give up their quest for success who ultimately triumph. Few plans pan out the way they are planned. There would be detours, there would be complications, there could be road blocks, there could be frustration and there will be discouragement. Keep your goal in mind. It must be sufficiently big enough to motivate but not so large that you are overawed by the challenge. Most importantly you must enjoy the journey. Be desperate, determined and driven; then you will be resourceful enough to see your dream come through no matter how long it takes or how many attempts it takes.

Try this:

  • Can you think of unique ways to celebrate your birthday or that of a close friend or family member?
  • During the coming week, check out the various cultural activities that will take place in your city and attend at least 2 such activities that you have never even been too. Identify 2 new things you learned in the process and find a way to implement it or utilize it.
  • From the various posts in your social media sites list out 5 posts that caught your imagination. Of these are there any that you think you can replicate or adapt to make the world around you a better place?
  • If you had the resources to start a social service initiative what would you start? How would your initiative be different from those existing? Even without the resources can you implement some of the unique ideas you have in mind?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

You have to be odd to be…

26- You have to be oddThe odd and even numbers start with the numbers one and two respectively. In life, we attach a lot of importance to standing first be it in academics, sports, quizzes or in form of competition. Perhaps the only place a person is not keen to be first, is in the roll call list. It may look ironic, that to be first you have to acknowledge that it is an odd number. However, there is a large message though, which suggests that you have to be odd, different, stand out in a crowd, evolve into someone unlike anyone else, if one wants to stand first. The challenge is to mentally be ready to be different, have the self belief that being different is the way to be noticed, that being different does not mean being a deviant and that when one is different, the conformists (who are always in a majority) would try everything in their power to bring you back in line.

Here are a few rules to being on top and standing first:

Give wings to your imagination – All of us have a wild imagination that often pops in the form of dreams, ideas, wishes, hopes and wishful thinking. To give momentum to your imagination think wildly, be creative, don’t curb your instincts and never prejudge your thoughts. Let you mind free to explore, to soar high, to visualize creatively, to be wild and fantasize. Look around and observe the man made wonders and you will see the wonders created by imaginative people. If they had curbed their natural urge, stifled their wild imagination and feared criticism they would never have achieved what they did. Be odd in your thinking and that is the way to be number one.

Dare to be different – A wild imagination will give you ample alternatives to explore. However, picking on one of the numerous brilliant ideas that you have would be a huge challenge. Most times we are caught between choosing from equally attractive and equally challenging alternatives. More importantly you may never find support from those around you, who cannot be as imaginative as you or are constrained by their own understanding and logic. Thus the choice of alternative becomes even more complex for it is yourself belief that has to overcome all rational objections. If you can see the path ahead, no matter how rocky or perilous, you can be sure very few will dare to walk that path and so you have the advantage to be pioneering the way. By being different, you risk being labeled odd but remember fortune favors the brave.

Never fear failure – There is an inherent risk of failure in any new venture. Failure must therefore be viewed as a reality check, that helps keep the venture on track. Fear of failure is perhaps the single biggest reason that separates the achievers from the dreamers. The achievers have factored in the risk of failure and then made decisive progress whereas those who had lofty ideas, gigantic plans and aimed for a risk free venture got waylaid by a syndrome called ‘paralysis by analysis’. Managing failure is also an art. The focus must be on root cause analysis and fixing the problem rather than apportioning blame and squabbling. When confronted with failure there is a thin line between being obstinate and having confidence; the key is to listen, observe, think through and be humble enough to correct the errors. When one fails there will be plenty of criticism, lots of well meaning but often ill directed advice; be rationale in evaluating them. Bear in mind that failure is not falling down but failure to get up.

Act today – Most plans never take off because we wait for that perfect moment. Most times the perfect moment is always delayed because we have never defined what that perfect moment is. In a race the starter gun begins the race. In our quest for glory we wear two hats; that of the starter and that of the participant. More importantly in our mind we do not see the rivals and so we believe we are competing only against ourselves and so we wait to make the perfect start. They say that even a tortoise makes progress only when it sticks it’s neck out; be bold enough to stick your neck out and begin today.

Keep improvising –They say quality has no finishing line. No matter what you have achieved, there is scope for improvement. When you strive to improve further, you remain competitive. You make yourself invaluable and edge ahead of the competition. One trait that always helps become competitive by improvising is by listening and paying attention to feedback. The negative feedback about yourself, the positive feedback about the competition and the wish list that people express, all provide vital inputs for you to reinvent yourself. Imagination and asking questions are the other traits that will provide you inputs to work upon to edge past the competition and get that odd number one spot.

Each day provides you and opportunity to improve upon yourself. Every new thought, act and effort that helps you grow, change and improve means you are better than the day before. You are retaining your number one spot by choosing to be at odds with the previous day and bettering yourself.

Try these:

  • Read the poem If by Rudyard Kipling by clicking on the following link http://tinyurl.com/6xkmplx
  • List out the actions that you have initiated despite not getting support from family and friends, that have helped you achieve something significant. Can you recall actions that you initiated that failed by still helped you improve by learning from that failure?
  • Identify a hero and a heroine from history that you admire. Find out at least 2 decisive decisions / actions/ initiatives that each of them took that was bold, different and path breaking that made them a hero and heroine in your estimation.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com