Category: Instinct

A disaster called Revenge

Revenge could steal a man’s life until there was nothing left but emptiness. Louis L’Amour

The one problem with anger is that the next immediate thought that comes to mind is revenge. The problem with such a thought is that we are so consumed by that thought that we forget to enjoy life. It is another matter that most times we are unable to execute revenge because it is a double edged sword and often we only go around feeling bitter, hurt and frustrated. Revenge is perhaps a very human quality for the animal kingdom has never displayed such emotions, although there are stories about how some animals do have a long memory and do extract their pound of flesh when the opportunity presents itself. Perhaps we need to take this lesson from the animal kingdom that revenge is by and large a fruitless exercise that is best avoided.

Often the provocation for revenge is the feeling of being insulted, humiliated or unfairly treated. Ironically the animal kingdom is devoid of such emotions and they accept the simple law of the jungle that it is the matter of the ‘survival of the fittest’. When viewed from this angle, there is a case for the emotion of revenge, because the human race believes in the rule of civil society that is governed by rules, laws and regulations. More importantly some of the most human feelings of ego, jealously and pride pave the way for the feeling of revenge to be a legitimate outlet to vent our negative emotions lest we human beings go crazy when stressed out during our normal interactions. Yet the reality is that revenge is a very stressful emotion that invariably leaves very few winners rather it only leads to a painful existence for all involved who survive the revenge.

Once we succumb to the revenge virus, there is no antidote and only a strong sense of responsibility and common sense can ever pull us back from the potential threat of self destruction. Revenge is like a hand grenade with its pin removed but one which we are unable to lob too far. The resultant devastation would possibly hurt and destroy others but there is a very good chance that we too would be facing collateral damage. Revenge often consumes much of our time in planning, plotting, generating negative emotions all of which are directed at our potential target but which like a cancer actually eats us up within. Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of revenge is that the process is long, passionate and emotionally charged but the post execution feeling is often a damn squib for there is nothing to drive us, occupy us or engage us thereafter. We are then left with a deep sense of emptiness that pervades our life and our existence.

Remember: “Revenge is a confession of pain” Latin Proverb

Try this:

  1. There are many books of fiction and movies that revolve around the theme of revenge. In almost all cases it is the Good triumphing over evil by taking appropriate revenge and there is a sense of fairness and justice. However read the book or watch the movie the ‘Godfather’ to get a better perspective of revenge and the price one has to pay for it. Notice that when Michael extracts revenge for the killing of his brother Sonny he has to thereafter leave family and friends behind and go on a long cooling off period to another country. Also pay attention to the various acts of revenge that are interspersed in the book.
  2. Recollect the times that you had a strong need to extract revenge. If you attempted revenge introspect about the net effect of that act. On hindsight would you have executed your plans?  Also ask yourself if the feeling of taking revenge is actually your way of acknowledging your emotional weakness and inability to cope with the pressures brought about on you be it in terms of tickling your ego or a feeling of being humiliated or insulted.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Self belief holds the key to success

Perhaps I am stronger than I think. Thomas Merton

Each of us is blessed with numerous qualities, skills and abilities which we often take for granted.  However we find it very hard to recognize our strengths and acknowledge them, partly because we see ourselves as ordinary people and partly because we are modest to a fault. In fact human nature is such that we seek out those qualities that we wish we had and then we end up feeling sorry for ourselves that we are not blessed. Other times we are aware that we have some key strengths but we find it hard to acknowledge it, least we convey an impression of being pompous or haughty. In rare instances some of us who are very talented mistakenly compare our talents with that of the maestros in the field and conclude that we are woefully inadequate. The net result is that we undermine our strengths and do not leverage it to our advantage.

To understand our strengths we need to analyze our personality on 4 broad dimensions; the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual dimensions. There could be specific strengths under each of these broad dimensions that we need to study and the we have to put our own personal competencies in perspective. Eg. To be very creative education is not a prerequisite but our creativity can be enhanced by education. So even if we are not class toppers our ideas maybe one in a million. If one has to get a good self analysis done, the key is to be open and receptive to feedback from others. There are times when this can be very painful particularly when we are criticized unfairly or the honest truth is a bitter pill to swallow. Conversely, when we are lavished with praise we suspect that people are being sarcastic or too liberal with their judgment and we discount their honest feedback.

To leverage our strengths the key is self belief. If we do not trust our own abilities and mental strength to face competition and overcome it, we can never realize our full potential. All successes and victories are first conceptualized in the mind before they are achieved on the ground. It is therefore essential that we begin to accept that we are no ordinary mortal but someone special who has some very special skill sets and talents. In the movie the Rain man the protagonist suffers from a mental disability that makes him in a deviant from the societal point of view. Yet he has the rare ability of calculation which he himself is unaware of but is identified by others. Many of us are like Rain man with one vital difference we are not considered social misfits and we don’t have extraordinary gifts but we are simply not able to utilize our special strengths. E.g. We are very perceptive when we analyze data but we prefer to do some paper pushing job because we lack the confidence to use our analytical powers to take on more responsible assignments.

Can we develop self belief? The answer is a resounding yes but the path is not so easy. The key to self belief lies in our ability to accept failure as a part of the learning process and more importantly to believe that failure is not the end of the road but the critical fork on the road where we need to perhaps retrace our steps and take the right fork. When we let perceived failure or failure itself to dominate our thought process, we have lost the strength to bounce back. Self belief is all about bouncing back for no one ever succeeded without failing at least once.

Remember: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”  Stuart Chase

Try this:

  1. Look back at the days gone by and list out the bravest things you did. Perhaps it was coming in as a tail ender and facing up to a terrifying pace balling in order to save your cricket team from losing a match or it could be not being pressurized into allowing someone to copy from your answer sheet in an exam or it could be severing a relationship that you were convinced was going nowhere and not giving into emotional blackmail. Did you realize then that these were examples of your real strength manifesting itself?
  2. List out 3 of your worst fears. Now choose one of them and make an attempt to overcome it. E.g. You are terrified of dogs. Now try to overcome this fear of dogs by going near a pet dog which the owner says is very docile. Perhaps if you gain in confidence you must attempt to pet it too.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Friendliness

One thing everybody in the world wants and needs is friendliness. William E. Holler

It costs nothing and yet is so invaluable that we are often left wondering why people can’t be more friendly and spread good cheer. In fact if you look around there is an acute need for friendlier people  for you will see plenty of glum faces, worried expressions and harried people ambling around with shoulders drooping  and a defeatist attitude written all over them.  Notice also the sudden spring in their steps of people when someone comes along who is enthusiastic, sports a big smile and goes around back slapping one and all enthusiastically. Man’s best friend, dogs, have perfected the art of being friendly and anyone who owns a dog will swear that a dog can lift your spirits, soothe your nerves and recharge your batteries without uttering a word or more correctly a bark. What is their secret?

Friendliness is something each of us can learn from a dog.  A dog has no particular expectations except the warmth of its owner; it never carries any of the past hurts in its mind and so is unhibited in its responses; it has no mental blocks and warms up to anyone and everyone; it understands moods and can sensitively respond appropriately; it expresses itself freely and generously by wagging its tail, jumping around and cozying up to its masters. Unfortunately we human beings have too many expectations from our fellow human beings. We carry our burdens in our minds and use that as a convenient excuse to behave in an aloof manner. We carry our baggage of social status, caste, creed, nationality and the like in choosing even our response to friendly overtures by others. We are constrained by our inhibitions and upbringing in giving measured responses to our innermost feelings and thereby erect an unseen barrier in both our behavior and responses which lack the spontaneity to seem free and friendly.

Being friendly is the best gift that you can give yourself. Try smiling at someone and giving them a hearty greeting and chances are that they will respond equally enthusiastically. Such a response more than makes up for any worries or cares that have being bothering you. A friendly approach helps you widen your circle of influence and helps you network effectively. With a friendly attitude you can banish negativity, inject enthusiasm and grasp success in relationships and life. By being friendly, we help others view us as approachable, stimulate dialogue and interaction and initiate the possibility of having a long lasting and enduring relationship. Similarly friendliness injects vitality into the environment by bolstering those around; kick starts new associations, ignites communication and spreads the fragrance of joy, peace and happiness all around.

Friendliness is as simple as giving and accepting a smile, encouraging with a word of praise, appreciation or a pat on the back, empathizing with someone in trouble, soothing the pain of others by our simple presence, comforting those in agony and being there for those in despair. All it takes is some time, our involvement and a very large heart and mind. Real friendliness is reaching out!

Remember: “A good motto is: Use friendliness but do not use your friends.”  Frank Crane

Try this:

  1. Over the next week starting today try to be friendly / express your friendliness to at least 3 people who can never repay you in any way. E.g Smile at the bus conductor or appreciate the good work done by the watchman etc.
  2. List out the times when you are least friendly and most friendly. Examine the possible reasons for these drastic mood swings. Be aware of the times others have been friendly to you and your response to their friendly overtures. Can you reciprocate similarly to others who you are not so comfortable with?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Stand up for something or…

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.  Michael Evans

A problem many of us face is not getting an answer to the question ‘ what do I want ?’ Obviously then getting satisfaction is very difficult because we will never know when we are satisfied. If all this sounds confusing then I suggest that you just do a small exercise now. Write down the amount of money that will make you completely contended. Now assume you get that money write down how you will spend each day.  I hope you have written down you answer and not just let it float around in your mind. If the answer to these questions are difficult to jot down then you know that you are part of the majority who has no clue what they want!

Most times we know what we want but can’t specify it. E.g we all want lots of money but can’t decide how much will satisfy us. Or we want a beautiful house but we can’t pinpoint more details. Notice that this problem begins because we use an adjective to camouflage our inability to pinpoint our needs/ wants. So the solution to this problem lies in us constantly attempting to be very very specific about what we seek. Many of our troubles would simply vanish if we are clear in our mind about whatever we aspire for. Let us say we want to give a donation. For this we need to be clear as to whom we want to give it for, the amount one wishes to donate and the cause for which we are donating. The answers are never easy and often frustrate us for then we end up being indecisive.

The problem with being unsure and indecisive is that we are then guided by the ‘herd mentality’ where we succumb to the pressures of following those who are in a majority. Career choices for example confuse youngsters who have just finished their schooling. Fortunately for many they are clear about the subjects that they dislike so by default they atleast reject those career options involving subjects they dislike. This brings us to a wonderful technique of zooming in on your preferences by the elimination route. This simply means examining an choice and eliminating it because you are uncomfortable with that option.  Our choice of friends is often a result of the elimination of people who we are uncomfortable with.

The real downside of not being clear and standing up for what we really want is that we very often end up choosing a compromise option which may solve one problem but can spark of a multitude of other problems.  E.g We laze around instead of studying and then decide that for lack of a choice we have to copy in the exam. Obviously copying is fraught with danger of being rusticated and failing ignobly.  Many people are caught in the rut called a job simply because we hate the alternatives or fear them. If only we were more clear as to what job would make us happy and contented we would first attempt to find that in the current job before scouting around for what we want.

Remember: Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.  Karl Von Clausewitz

Try this:

  1. Currently the FIFA World Cup is on. If you had to choose the Winner how will you go about it? What considerations will influence you choice of picking your winner?
  2. Attempt to make a drawing of your dream house. Make it as elaborate as possible with no budget constraints in mind. Next jot down the location of the house and pick a neighbor from the following options – your in laws, your former girlfriend / boyfriend, your boss

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Let your passion guide you

The conclusions of passion are the only reliable ones. Soren Kierkegaard

Unless one feels strongly about an issue, action is not spontaneous and in all probability the effort if any will be lackadaisical.  This in effect is at the heart of today’s post. Pause for a moment and evaluate all the things that you are passionate about; food, movies, books, travel etc. You will definitely ensure that despite your busy schedule there is a slot available to ensure that you can indulge in your passion. While it is true that we can be more effective if we are organized, we can be exceptionally effective if we identify our passions and organize things around our passions for then what has to be done is not a chore but a pleasure.

Most of unfortunately are text bookish in our approach to life, thereby using logic and reasoning as pivots around which we build our future. There is nothing wrong with this approach since we must be practical and realistic in embracing the future as much as in harnessing the present. However the reality is that we would be even better of if we simply let our heart choose the path ahead and then let logic and reasoning take over to ensure that we have control over what we set out to do. Stop and ask yourself if you are really doing what you always wanted to do? Did you choose your career path or did people influence your choice and are you happy you listened to them? If you answer NO to any of the two questions, it definitely means that there could perhaps have been a better alternative if you just listened to your inner passion.

Is it too late to change tracks? That depends on how strongly you feel about your current state of affairs. However, it is never too late to start indulging in your passion and incorporating that if possible in your current work life, personal life and social life. Assume you are an accountant but you would have loved to be a musician. It is possible that you didn’t peruse your passion because when you did a reality check you realized that you were not top draw in your field. So it is a good thing that you chose a good profession of being an accountant. Yet, you can still moonlight with your musical inclinations. Play for a local band, record and upload your music on the net, teach music to people, play for the local choir etc. You will suddenly experience a thrill that is hard to describe and I can bet you will be reinvigorated too.

The message is simple, it is never too late to indulge in your passion and you can bet that life will be even more fun. Don’t let reasoning, logic and excessive analysis clip your wings; spread out your wings and reach for the skies riding the wind of passion that will help you soar every single day.

Remember: “If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” T. Alan Armstrong

Try this:

  1. Did  you ever wish you could do magic? Have you ever attempted it? Perhaps it is time you did something about it. How about asking someone to teach you some card tricks? Practice makes perfect so practice the tricks till you can do it almost blindfolded and then perform. Soon you may find it fascinating and perhaps you may develop a passion for it.
  2. Name the three alternatives that you would have chosen if you were given an option to choose a new profession. Ask yourself if any of these were childhood dreams? Do you realistically think you can change tracks now? If yes ask what is holding you back. If it is not possible to change tracks now, is there some way you can ensure that you can leverage your passion even today? Go and attempt to indulge in your passion!

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

New adjustments and self esteem…

Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.  Eric Hoffer

Adjustment definitely indicates a shift from the status quo. For almost everyone this shift brings with it a number of questions relating to ‘what happens next’.  With the rare exception of very desperate people or extremely positive people, most normal people would be circumspect about the adjustment, primarily because we are concerned about how what the possible negative impact of the change would be. Desperate people will go with an attitude of it can’t get worse whilst the positive people will look at it as another opportunity around the corner.

The bigger problem of adjustment though, is its impact on our self esteem. Invariably the adjustment is because of changing circumstances most of it not initiated by our self. Worse still if the adjustment is forced up on us our ego will first question the authority and authenticity of the source of change. The human mind will then go on the defense and conjure up imaginary negative impact of the adjustment so as to take preventive action if and when the eventuality happens. Job transfers are a classic case of an event requiring a major adjustment. Beginning with accommodation and schooling of kids, it also raises worries about the new work environment, the quality of work, the type of superior one will have to deal with and the cultural and social adjustments one has to make.

Our upbringing and personal nature also play a major role in either minimizing the crisis of the self-esteem problems in adjustments or precipitating it.  There are times when we take a high moral ground and refuse to budge from your position even if you realize that your argument is weak. Eg. When we refuse to give alms to a beggar ostensibly because you are opposed to encouraging beggars but realistically because you do not have any small denomination currency. Other times we make the adjustments with poor grace and an even worse temperament.  Road rage is a vivid  example of such behavior. Our inability to cope with change particularly technological change is a major crisis in self adjustment.  While we would love to own the latest gadgets, finances permitting, we actually hesitate even when we can afford to acquire the gadgets simply because we fear w may not be able to operate the equipment. Eg.The latest mobile telephones are a rage with the youngsters but don’t cut much ice with the older generation who put on a façade of ‘not really requiring the features’ to justify themselves.

A good test of knowing your own ability to cope with adjustments is to check on how often you decline opportunities, ask yourself how weak is your argument for declining and what are the first thoughts that come to mind, when you see a change coming. Finally also ask yourself if you are ashamed to attempt and fail. If the answer is an overwhelming yes, then you have a major crisis of self esteem on hand.

Remember: “The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” Orison Swett Marden

Try this:

  1. Assume that you are travelling in train with your family and you have reserved seats.  At a certain junction a very old lady enters the compartment and requests you to make a small adjustment and let her sit since she has no reservation and she has to go to another place which is 6 hours away. How will you realistically deal with the situation? Will your response be different if the lady entered at 9 am or 9 pm?
  2. Go and attend a concert or play or musical show or a magic show or a circus or any program preferably of a genre that you have never been to.  For best results go alone and avoid all temptation of taking a friend along. Examine your own feelings before, during and after the show. Irrespective of the quality of the show or your ability to appreciate it, did you enjoy the experience?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Cutting losses

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Anon

Those who are active investors in the stock markets would be familiar with the adage’ Cut losses’. This simply means that when the tide turns against you and your investments start showing losses, it is best to sell and suffer a minor loss rather than sit tight in the hope of  a change in fortunes and loose very heavily. While the logic of the argument is very well understood, human nature being what it is finds it hard to accept the loss and so we wait in hope only to realize too late that discretion should have been the better part of valour.

While the stock markets abound in such die hard fool hardiness, real life is not too different. Part of the problem about cutting losses stems from the conflict between what the heart feels and what the mind thinks. We are simplistic enough often to logically conclude that what goes down must come up again or vice versa. The theory is perfectly true when seen in isolation but when seen as part of a continuum called life, we have ample opportunities to ride a wave but not the acumen to consistently remain on top of the wave. The lesson to us is that when we are on the way up. It is prudent to get out lest we get caught in the vortex and get sucked in. Unfortunately our greed and ego blinds us to the realistic peaks and lures us to believe that the best is yet to come. Sadly we then become prey to these vices and cannot get out of the vortex of false hope.

Equally naïve is our belief that we are smart enough to analyze trends, have sophisticated modeling mechanism to predict the future and the wherewithal to sustain the pressures that come with the  territory. History is resplendent with examples of the colossal failures of the once successful kings and rulers who blinded by success could not in their wildest dreams  or nightmares imagine failure of any sort. The end of the monarchy system is proof of how the power of the people and the advent of democracy has consigned to history  what was once perceived as an impregnable fiefdom of the kings and their courts. Coming to the present day, the big businesses that ruled and monopolized the economy in the early 20th century have all but disappeared and replaced by more technology driven newbie’s.

No sooner do we spot a problem then our mind goes into an overdrive to rationalize, justify and generally uphold our beliefs so that we don’t face the discomfort of having to acknowledge that the problem is real. If the problem persists we try to trivialize it, explore possibilities to circumvent it and in desperation even make feeble attempts to minimize the impact of the problem. Only the wise and the enlightened, the one who uses both the mind and the heart can foresee the folly of riding a loser and will quickly cut losses, dump the loser and either jump on to safe shore or latch on to a possible winner. As they say it is better to lose the battle and win the war than the other way round.

Remember: “I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts.” Sylvester Stallone

Try these:

  1. In your chosen field of expertise, try to predict the changes that will come about in the next one/ tree/ five years. Ask yourself what your strategy will be to ensure that you can leverage the changes to your advantage. This could imply that you have to consciously give up a current line of action in the hope that you can leverage the changes coming about by your current decision.eg. if you see that banking will be more electronic and less physical are you ready to embrace e-payments as of today or will the fear of phishing and cybercrimes hold your resolve and you maintain status quo?
  2. If you are a sports enthusiast or an investor in the stock markets make a realistic analysis of your favorites (team / stocks). Which team do you expect to win the current season and will you bet on that team even if it is not your favorite? Substitute stock for team if you are a stock enthusiast. Why do you hesitate to change loyalties when it comes to betting?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Maturity

Full maturity … is achieved by realizing that you have choices to make. Angela Barron McBride

As long as we are children we allow most of our decisions to be taken by our parents but as we grow up we have our preferences be style, color, size, shape etc. Assume we want a chocolate; we would go pick up what we want or if it is a Barbie doll we would chose the one not there in our collection. This is the first step to maturity because we now display our individual preferences, our personal choices and our preferred options. At this stage more often than not, we are guided by our instincts, our likes and dislikes rather than by the process of an evaluation, where we may have to make rational choices rather than impulsive decisions.

It is only when economic compulsions, utilitarian considerations and value for money, the three spoilt sports that influence choices, enter the decision making process that we get alerted to the finer nuances of decision making when exercising our choices. Initially such skills are taught by our parents and elders who would at first gently admonish you for your extravagant choices and possibly even be adamant and curt if we don’t learn to appreciate their veto. While most of their arguments would be mentally refuted by us, the lessons learnt would surface when we have to part with our hard earned money or when we have to make life changing choices like choosing a spouse. This is the inflection point when we grow up and attain the maturity to be the adult that we longing to be.

Real choices are situations when all options look equally appealing and we have to give up all the alternatives because we have to select one. This is like the childhood dilemma where your grandma offered you a delicious piece of cake with the rider that you had to cut it in two and let your sibling take the first piece. In real life though the stakes are much higher, the consequences of your choices more sever and the resultant happiness or unhappiness directly propionate to the difficulty of the choice. The real tricky choices are the very subjective ones like the apocryphal story of the person assigned to sort potatoes into 3 piles big, medium and small. After many hours he had barely sorted out a handful and when questioned replied he didn’t know how to decide the size of each potato to classify it. Even simple tasks like buying fruits and vegetable leaves us with the unenviable task  of having to choose which fruit or vegetable one has to buy, in what quantity and at what price. How much more complicated is it to zoom in on a house or a vehicle for yourself; and selecting the right spouse would be the ultimate choice?

Remember: “A mature person is one who is does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably” Eleanor Roosevelt

Try these:

  1. Make a list of gifts that you can buy for your dad/ mom/ sibling on their birthday and ensure the gift is of an identical price range. Note the type of comment you get when you take the effort of choosing a gift that you know will be perfect for the person.
  2. Ask yourself what are the 3 questions uppermost in when you have to make a choice. Now see how important those questions are when deciding the following: going to watch a professional football match when your favorite team is playing in your city; attending your close friends wedding or attending your bosses sons wedding both on the same day and time but in different cities; making a decision to eat out and your wife wants to have Chinese food, your son wants burgers and your daughter wants Indian food and you hate all the three options.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Genius

A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see – and hits it. Anon

If one looks around one can find plenty of brilliant people, scores of enormously talented people but one has to search with a fine toothcomb to locate a genius. This is because a genius is an exceptional brilliant and talented person and someone who is near perfect in his/ her chosen field.  While a quantitative assessment of a genius is a near impossible task, a distinctive qualitative feature is their ability to think beyond, visualize the future and move purposefully towards creating that vision into a tangible reality.

The computer industry is full of geniuses be it a Bill Gates or the Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brinor  or a Michael Dell; what sets them apart is their ability to ideate, visualize, take proactive action and have the courage of conviction to risk everything to pursue their dreams and make it the reality what we all experience. There are many dreamers, many ideaters and plenty of people with grandiose vision but it is only a genius who can work relentlessly and persist in their pursuit quite literally shooting from their hips and hitting the target with panache and élan. Most Nobel laureates would qualify to be labeled genius as would many a sporting icon be a Michael Jordon or a Sachin Tendulkar  or a Roger Federer.

A genius is not just born with his talents but has carefully nurtured, harnessed and unleashed his potential with a clear focus, a dramatic vision and taken calculated risks. No genius may show sparks of brilliance early in life but it is their hard work and toil, their ability to see problems as challenges and their vision to creatively build up their edifice that transforms ordinary mortals with extraordinary ability into genius.

Remember: A genius is 1% percent inspiration and 99% perspiration.

Try These:

  1. Study the life of 3 geniuses of your choice. Preferably chose each one from a different field. List out the 3 major happenings or qualities that made them geniuses. What is the learning from studying their lives?
  2. Among the people you know intimately who is a possible genius? Why did you choose that person. What are the qualities that qualify him to be a genius? What are the limitations that will hold the person back?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Chance

The successful person is one who had the chance and took it. Roger Babson

Chancing your arm is an old English phrase, which is not in vogue any more; it means taking a risk or a gamble. If we scrutinize the lives of the rich and the famous, without exception, every one of them had at many times chanced their arm and have come up triumphant. Very often the chance is a probability, with a real possibility of winning and a near equal probability of losing. It takes more than guts to chance your arm; it requires you to make an intelligent guess, be well prepared for the downside risk and being very clear about the upside potential and having the stomach to digest the win or loss.

To know what it feels like to take chances, play some of the card games like bluff or poker.  As the game progresses, observe the expressions on the faces of he players and you will soon get a hang of who has a good hand and who is risk averse and who are the foolish daredevils. You will soon realize that the guy on the winning spree, did not just have the good fortune of getting a good hand, but was shrewd enough to chance his arm and dexterously outwit the others. In real life, the competition is stiffer, the stakes much higher and the payoff enormous.

You need a good acumen, a strong heart and an excellent temperament to be able to chance your arm in whatever you do. Look at a basketball player attempting a 3 pointer, or the goalkeeper defending a penalty kick in soccer or an athlete attempting to break the world record. They have tremendous self belief, exude full confidence and have prepared hard to reach their objective. An interesting sidelight to this is the quirks, oddities and superstitious rituals that very often accompany some of the heroics displayed.

Seeing the big picture is a pre requisite to taking chances. This in effect means to see the risk in the correct perspective; in terms of quantum of risk, probability of success and conditions for success, the rewards of success, the effort involved, the time and scale of the activity etc. This is particularly true when the stakes are very high. Investing in a new venture, changing a line of business, changing jobs, pursuing higher education etc. have to be viewed with an eye on the payoff. A good SWOT analysis done diligently and honestly, would be a good first step before you take chances.

Remember: Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.”

Try these:

  1. Play a few rounds of bluff and/ or poker to get a feel of your own ability to take chances. Notice how small the stakes you are playing for are and yet how anxious you are about the activity. Also ask yourself, if while playing the game, you are focusing on not losing, or on just you winning or on not letting the other person win.
  2. Try to lay a few bets on your favorite team winning a game and the score line at the end of the game. Pay close attention to the parameters you paid close attention to when you laid your bets. Was the knowledge and strength o your opponent (the person who wagered against you) a very important consideration, when you laid the bet? Did you feel you had a good chance to win the bet when you wagered the bet?  Did you get an uncomfortable feeling you would lose soon after you laid the bet?
  3. Notice the difference between the first set of you playing the card games and the second set of activity where you only wagered but didn’t participate in the process that determined the outcome of your bet. Was there a difference? Did the first one make you feel more responsible and the second one make you feel it is all a matter of luck? Did you enjoy the first experience or the second one. Justify to yourself, why you got that feeling.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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