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Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

11- 12 Mar17 Happiness holds the key to successThere is a popular misconception that all successful people are relatively much more happier than those who are not so successful. As a result, we also tend to equate success as the measure of happiness; the more successful the happier the individual is. The second misconception closely linked with this line of thinking is our definition of success. We equate wealth as the primary indicator of success, closely followed by fame and following. The third misconception is that we equate happiness to be primarily reflected in what can be displayed especially material wealth, power and influence.

Now if we simply reorient our thinking and focus on what is happiness, we would make a startling discovery that the very concept of happiness in our mind is flawed. Happiness is being at peace with ones self in good times and in bad ; it is a choice we make every moment and that happiness just requires the right attitude. Now if we work backwards to arrive at the factors that nurture happiness you would make another startling discovery that happiness is defined by each of us differently and that being happy is a choice we make consciously.

No matter what work a person is engaged in, if he/she has a song on his/her lip, a smile on the face and no semblance of anxiety or tension writ on the forehead you are in the company of a happy individual who is also successful in meeting his/ her goals in life. On the other hand anxiety, tension and unrealistic expectations are the bane of individuals who chase success in the hope of finding happiness. They are like a dog chasing its tail. Happiness is visible but elusive; within grasp and yet just out of reach; a mirage so near and yet so far.

If you can do anything legitimate that brings you happiness, success is sure to follow. If you can follow your heart, dare to work on realizing your passion and be prepared to brazen out the challenges, happiness accompanies you and success is surely awaiting you at the summit. Why would a passionate mountaineer not attempt the toughest peak despite knowing the risks; to embrace happiness every step of the way. Not every athlete is a winner in a major meet; yet they derive pleasure and experience happiness in the small improvements they notice in their practice and training. Focus on happiness and the journey is fun, the destination never too far and the view always exhilarating.

Happiness likes in our ability to enjoy the process and not wait till we reach our goal; any progress towards our goal, is happiness on the move.

Try these:

  1. Pick up your old photo albums and go through the pictures in it. Notice how each photograph revives a pleasant memory, triggers a happy thought and recaps a moment long past but never forgotten. Happiness is all about re-living and reveling in those moments. Success is not even a factor in those moments.
  2. For no particular reason surprise the following :
  • Your family members
  • Your pet
  • A stranger
  • A long lost friend
  • A former teacher / mentor / colleague
  • Visit the sick in the hospital or the old age home
  • Make a visit to the local prison

Does success play a part in your happiness or does your happiness in the process make you realize that you made a success of your life?

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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01-01-jan-17-new-year-new-reflectionEver thought of maintaining a happiness jar? Perhaps this year you should focus on just maintaining a happiness jar.  If you have already made your list of New Year resolutions, just make this the first one on the list. If you haven’t don’t worry; just make this the only resolution for yourself. Just see the positives that you have been blessed with week after week and you would be surprised to note how blessed you have been round the year. To make it more exciting, perhaps you could also add for yourself one or more of the following in each week’s list

  • A time when I made someone else happy.
  • A situation where I acted assertively.
  • A risk that I took that was worth it.
  • A time I said No and am happy about that decision.
  • A situation in which I failed, but learnt an important lesson.
  • A risk I took of trusting someone and he/ she turned out to be worthy of my trust.
  • You could also perhaps drop in a few coins or notes that could add to the contents of the jar and make it even more appealing when you open it.
  • As and when you get a bright idea jot it down and also drop it into the happiness jar.
  • Perhaps you could cut out a cartoon from the local newspaper or a quote you found interesting and drop that too into your happiness jar.

Try these:

  • Source a jar and some colored paper to get going. Ideally have a slit on the lid of the jar and ensure you tape the lid so that you are not tempted to open it off and on.
  • You should make an effort to  send a letter of appreciation or thanks to an old classmate/ teacher/ colleague during the course of the year and surprise them.
  • Think of 2- 3 changes that you can make to your home/ your wardrobe /  your personal style / your habits so feel a difference and enjoy the change.

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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34-finding-your-passion

One question that often baffles an individual is how one finds his / her passion. It is largely by a trial and error method in most cases. Some lucky individuals do get to know their passion from early childhood; others discover it in teenage and some stumble upon it much later. For the overwhelming majority though, finding one’s passion is almost as elusive as trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. We would focus on what is common to every individual’s passion and what is the ideal passion to pursue.

What you love – The primary test of what one finds passionate is how much we love it. Passion comes from having a deep, abiding interest and obsession with something. Now most times our passions, especially in our growing up years keep changing. Similarly we discover new and fascinating things that grab our attention and make us pine to for it. Varied dimensions of technology in particular fascinates us as do creative pursuits and self driven concerns like environmental pollution, garbage recycling, health etc. What compounds our choices is the combination of passions that we seem to revel in. Let us say writing or art or cinema is our primary interest and now technology offers us blogs /video platforms to express ourselves and reach worldwide audiences. Pursuing new applications to leverage our expertise combined with the power of technology available on with smart phones and computers opens up new frontiers to explore. With wider choices, we have more opportunities to explore; we must experiment and discover what we truly find fascinating.

What you are good at:  While it is difficult to zoom in on to a couple of things that fascinate us, what is more important and more challenging is finding out if we have the skills, the aptitude and the ability to pursue and make those passions an extension of ourselves. Having a fascination and obsession is relatively passive, the true test is if we can translate what we love into a profession that makes us happy, allows us to use all our abilities and makes us happy each single day. One critical test to know if our passion is real, is to test if we have the intrinsic motivation to pursue it every single day. Do we keep thinking about our work and how we can improve it, make it more fascinating, keep ourselves updated about it and get a thrill out of sharing about it. Once you know what you love and what you are good at, you can feel a sense of happiness every single day.

What pays you well : While you can be happy pursuing your passion, the reality is that we live in a world that requires us to fend for ourselves and our families. This is reality that we cannot escape from and we must be alive to this facet of living. The ideal passion would be one, where you can follow your heart, use your head and turn it into a profitable venture. This means that we make use of our talents, our obsessions to ensure a good living. There are times when we realize our strengths and leverage it to make a good living but our heart and mind are into something else. That is when you are financially well off but bored because you are not fully engaged in what you do   E.g. We are academically brilliant and hence you get a good degree and pursue a job that pays well.  Perhaps your first love is to spread your knowledge and become a teacher but that profession is relatively less acceptable socially and financially relatively less rewarding than your current profession. It is then a compromise passion not the ideal passion that your pursuing.

For many people, once they have met their financial goals, they find it simpler to follow their ideal passion. They would take risks to pursue eco farming, teach the economically weaker, be involved in social activities where their skills sets are fully used etc. Till one reaches that stage, the ideal passion is one where your love for something, your skill set /aptitude/ expertise in that area and your returns/ benefits from pursuing that combine, to provide you happiness and bliss every single moment.

Try these:

  1. So what would your dream job/ profession be? What is stopping you from realizing that dream job/ profession?
  2. Make a list of the following:
  • Appreciation received from parents / teachers / classmates/ colleagues
  • Encouragement received from all of the above
  • Advice/ suggestions on what you must pursue as a profession
  • The events/ occasions when you felt elated and valued
  • The activities that make you delighted/ thrilled / blissful
  • The above will give you pointers on where you can find your ideal passion

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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2-18 Jan 15 The world you seeUnlike a camera that we use to focus on the image we want to capture, our eyes and our mind tend to wander, largely ignoring the wonders around us and often seeing things in a critical light. As a result we tend to mainly notice the ugly, the evil, the negative and the disheartening which in turn makes us frustrated, critical and whiners about everything around us. While it is true, that there is ample unpleasantness that we are subjected to, overlooking the brighter side of life would make us despondent and anxious. More importantly we fail to allow the wonders of life soothen our spirits, cheer us up and discover the elixir of life.

To focus better you need to adjust the lens of your heart first and the eyes will soon focus more clearly. Adjusting the lens of your heart involves 4 steps

Being grateful – Just being alive is a miracle for every day we read a number of obituaries and we also become aware of so many others who are not as fortunate as us. While that is big miracle we are also fortunate to be well educated, economically far better off than the vast majority, enjoy reasonably good health, have the love of family and friends and have the courage and hope to improve our life. Have you taken all these for granted or are you consciously grateful for the numerous gifts you are bestowed with. Once you can identify all that you are grateful for you have already begun to adjust the lens of your heart.

Seeking joy – Joy is found in the simplest of things provided we seek them out. The new bud or the blooming flower in the garden, the chirping of birds, the appearance of the rainbow is natures of way of providing you joy. The gurgle of a child, the giggle of a teenager, the hug of a friend and the blessings of elders are joyful bonuses given to you to make you feel richer even when you don’t have a dime in your wallet. Find joy in drinking a refreshing glass of water, in the unexpected lift you got to a far of destination, in an unexpected email from a long lost friend . Soon you will graduate to saying ‘ it could have been worse’ and find joy even in your time of trails and grief. The lens of your heart is now focusing even more clearly.

Sharing more – Give of your time, your talents and your possessions and the joy these bring are immeasurable. A smile costs nothing and the same is true of a word of encouragement and appreciation. Making a sick visit or a visit to an elderly and lonely person would bring the other person joy for sure and double your own joy too. Nothing stops you from giving away what you don’t need; it also helps clear clutter not to mention that is will surely help you experience the joy of having done a good deed. Go and volunteer for that is when you commit what you really value- your time; for it can never be replaced. Your heart is clearly filling up with joy for the lens just needs a slight adjustment now.

Be forgiving – You can never experience joy if you carry a hurt, nurture a grudge or seek revenge. Letting go of the past, letting bygones be bygones and being magnanimous enough to forgive would be both a test of character and the key to happiness. No sooner you let go of the negative emotions and feelings and whole heartedly forgive those who have wronged you, the last bit of blur in the lens of your heart clears up. You can now see the world around you in its pristine glory, appreciate fully the blessings showered on you, acknowledge with pride and a joyful heart that ‘life is wonderful’!

Try it now no matter what your age, gender or status; awaken and experience a new person.

Try this:

  1. List 2 ways in which you will give of your time, talent and possessions. Put a deadline in which you will implement each of your 6 commitments.
  2. Choose from this list of activities and attempt to do at least 3 in the coming 3 months
  • Volunteering to help in clearing up a hill slope / river front / an open space
  • Donating blood at a blood donation drive
  • Signing up for eye/ organ donation
  • Spending half a day at least at an old age home/ orphanage / prison/ mental asylum/ school for the blind / a home for the physically challenged
  • Teaching at a school for the under privileged
  • Organizing a fund raiser for any one of the above activities
  • Seeking pardon from someone whom you have wronged and apologizing for the anguish you caused the person

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

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »

TransformationThe overwhelming majority of people around the world are never happy or satisfied. They seem to have more questions than answers; more confusion than clarity and certainly more expectations than satisfaction. Dissatisfaction is not because they lack something as much as it is because they are constantly searching for something elusive and unfortunately they do not what it is. We are therefore constantly searching for answers but are not clear about what the question is. As a result we latch on to answers and frame questions to suit the answers. This results in us swamped with information but not enough direction as to how one should organise, channelize and utilise it. In today’s post we shall attempt to identify a few questions for which we are constantly searching for answers so that the resultant answers can help us transform ourselves to be more productive individuals.

Meaning / purpose of life – This is perhaps a question that every single individual has found impossible to avoid and equally difficult to answer. We attempt to find its meaning in religious texts, moral and theological interpretations or in the logic and rationale that we are blessed with it. While often our pursuits lead us to the cusp of the answer, the clear answer seems elusive. Despite not finding the exact goal of our life, each of us has lived a reasonably fulfilling life, have avoided the opinion of giving up on life and we carry on doing our duties as a child/ an adult/ a parent. Be aware of how seamlessly you have transformed as you grow physically, mentally and philosophically by focusing on ‘doing’.

Happiness in life – One of the common misconceptions many of us have is that having enough money / wealth will make us happy. There is no doubt that wealth / money has a very significant role to play in ensuring that we have happiness that comes from economic freedom. However, what we overlook are the innumerable other factors that can make us very unhappy, dissatisfied and perhaps even lonely, forlorn and depressed. Happiness is the by product of our attitude to our life. As long as a person accepts his/ her limitations, appreciates the blessings showered on him/ her and is ready to move out of his/ her comfort zone, one would always be happy with whatever life has to offer. Transform your attitude and embrace happiness.

Redemption from pain – If we could, none of us would ever want a semblance of pain be it tooth ache, a heart ache or the pain of losing a loved one. We believe that without pain we would be happy and that is a blissful state to be in. Yet, we forget that but for pain we would not realise the value of happiness, realise the blessings we have been showered with nor the value of what we have be it wonderful parents and siblings or the good health we take for granted or the financial strength that makes us far richer than so many around us. We can never erase pain from our life. However you can transform that pain to gain by embracing the principle that ‘pain is inevitable suffering is optional’.

Bliss in heaven – Death is an uncomfortable thought and yet an unavoidable one. Ideally we would love to live long, die peacefully and expect to have eternal bliss thereafter. The reality though is that we never know when death beckons us nor do we have any evidence about blissful afterlife. Ideally therefore we must focus on creating our own blissful heaven on earth. This is possible if we allow ourselves to be empathetic individuals who have concern and care for all that we can influence. First focus on the self; values, attitude and commitment. Once you align these, move on to be in sync with family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and society at large. We need to accept our differences, participate proactively in dealings with those around and integrate ourselves with those around us. Finally get associated with societal, environmental and political issues. See yourself transform not just yourself but the environment around you and before you realize it you will find bliss in the heaven you have created.

Try this:

  • In one sentence can you enumerate the purpose of your life? ( you can also interpret this to mean what do you want to be remembered for )
  • What is the one change you would want in your life that would give you tremendous happiness ?
  • If you had an option to choose your age of death what age would you want to live till?
  • List out one demand you would petition your government to implement. Similarly list out one environmental and social concern that you would like to be actively involved in.
  • If there is one cause for which you would readily contribute what will that cause be? Now take out your purse/ wallet and pull out exactly 50% of the money in it and donate it to the cause you have identified. (Transformation is intent translated into action)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.in

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13-25-Happy days are around you...

The essential condition for being happy is enjoying the moment. The problem is that our mind tends to wander around and seeks to find real and imaginary problems to dwell upon and fret and fume over. The human tendency to scan around for problems is possibly a defense mechanism to protect our future for we are the only species that uses the higher intelligence to embrace progress. In effect this means that each day we want to get ahead of the previous day and this creates in us a fear of tomorrow for it has to be better than today and yesterday. Protecting our future and planning for it is important but it must never be at the cost of failing to enjoy the better part of our life. Stress is primarily an outcome or result of our obsession with the future and is a predominantly found in the human race.

To reduce our stress it is essential that we find a way to like each moment of our life and love our life. This means we need to create/ find/ invent / be happy. The challenge is to remain happy for as long as possible and that is possible only and only when we learn to enjoy whatever we have.  Here are some ways that we can continue to be happy moment to moment.

Appreciate what you have. We tend to take for granted whatever we are blessed with and on the rare times we are deprived of some of these blessings we notice the absence and react with alarm, fear, worry and exasperation. Look back at the time you sprained your ankle or suffered from flu or the time you misplaced a valuable thing. Your attitude and behavior is symptomatic of our tendency to take the good fro granted and the unwanted as a calamity. Remember the phrase; I complained because I had not shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.

Don’t compare. Nothing disturbs our peace of mind as much as our tendency to compare whatever we have with that of others who we perceive as having something better than what we have. In many ways our inability to appreciate what we have often has its roots in our weakness to focus on what others have. Pause for a moment and think about the possibility that ‘perhaps we are blessed with just the right mix leaving us enough opportunities to aspire, perspire and inspire us to achieve and attain more’ giving us the elation of achievement and success.

Be optimistic. Problems, hindrances, failures, fears and frustrations are part of everyday life. We are given the grace to be optimistic; to be hopeful, to visualize possibilities and to find creative ways to overcome and slay the demons of our negative imagination. It is when we are optimistic that we confront our fears and stop ourselves from running away from the problems we encounter.

Seek positives. When in difficulties, pain or trouble our reaction is to alleviate the suffering. The challenge thereafter is to be calm, have a clear head and to think logically so that we not only overcome our difficulties but come out unscathed. Almost all the prisoner of war (POW) escapes can be attributed to seeking out the positives even in the most inescapable circumstances. Ask yourself if you are a POW of your making; your defeatist attitude, your weak will and/ or your inability to confront reality.

Have fun. Have you seen people in casts displaying a variety of messages written on the cast by friends and well wishers? Have you seen people with a big smile hobble on crutches to a party or come on a wheel chair to the party? Ever notice that the best jokes are the ones people tell about themselves and the embarrassing situations they found themselves in?  The ability to laugh, to have fun, to find a reason to smile is perhaps the greatest gift you can bestow yourself.

Try this:

  • Prepare a funny paragraph containing the words. Each paragraph must have 5 sentences at least and must contain 7 -10 words from the list given below. The paragraphs need not be logical but must be coherent and humorous.

Man, socks, dog, green, TV, nail, Egg, elephant, hook, water, clock, TV, bucket, Adam, Ram, Flag, blue, wheel, cycle, eat, run, scream.

  • Prepare a list (laughs that you can have) of at least 5 each of the following
  1. Jokes
  2. Limericks
  3. Comedy Movies
  4. You tube clips
  5. Cartoons
  6. Sayings / Phrases

(You are welcome to share your contribution by writing in to actspot@gmail.com. Please give your name and age along with your contribution. Select contributions ( emphasis will be on originality and quality of humor) would be featured in this blog. )

 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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13-14-Reboot your life with a new software

As we meander through life, there are many times when we question ourselves about the path we are traversing, the goal we are aspiring for and the means we adopt to arrive at our destination. For many others life is not a walk in the park but a race against time and even they would be occasionally haunted by similar thoughts. We struggle to find a proper answer not because we ask the wrong question but because we dismiss the answers that stare at us as illogical or improbable. Far too often life simply tells us to reboot our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self with a rider that we need to upgrade our system before the reboot.

Since childhood, by and large, the family, our educational and our social environment have had a major influence on our thoughts and decisions. Our personal system is therefore loaded with version 1, with occasional patches that selectively upgrade bits and pieces of our self, mainly academic, professional and personal. However in a fast paced, evolving world, keeping up with the changes around calls for constant upgrades in our personal operating system. At times our hardware would seem inadequate but with some creative tweeking we can even ensure that our hardware to is adequate to meet the system requirements.

To ensure your personal hardware and software is kept up to date here are some areas to focus upon.

Urge to learn

Overcoming inhibitions is the first step to learning.  Be it a new skill or coping with the demands of evolving technology one must shed our inhibitions and plunge ahead. Many a time we do succumb to believing in the old adage of ‘ an old dog cannot learn new tricks’; instead focus on learning new things to feel and remain young.

Being open to possibilities and ideas is a natural byproduct of the urge to learn. Reading opens windows to numerous possibilities. Similarly thinking and reflecting stimulates ideas. Interaction with others, experimenting, attempting something offbeat, seeking alternatives are ways and means of expanding the possibilities and ideas that we can leverage.

Being proactive

Seek opportunities could involve moving out of our comfort zone and taking risks. Instead of waiting for things to happen, we must make things happen. Every problem no matter what the gravity of it is, offers each of us a chance to use all our faculties to come up with solutions.

Connect with the changing environment and embrace the new dynamics. Don’t wait for changes to take you by surprise but go out an meet them. Dinosaurs they say became extinct because they did not or could not adapt to change; don’t let that be your fate.

Dare to be different

Listen to the heart for it can give you the confidence and the gumption to do things which could challenge your confidence, stretch you to the limits and yet free your spirit and allow you to soar. Ever thought of being a Santa Claus at a mall and entertain the kids? So what is stopping you from attempting it?

Don’t be intimidated by the enormity of the challenges or your own lack of experience. Remember there is always a first time for everything. More importantly remember that failure is only a blip not the end; for almost everything in life we don’t get it right the first time. Ever seen a baby taking its first steps; tentative, unsure but never inhibited.

Enjoy the moments

Find lessons in failures and disappointments for it will give you a reason to rework, retry and redeem yourself and realize that success can be relished when we can confront our failures and disappointments.

Create happiness as often as you can and a smile is just the simplest way to traversing that path. Letting the child in you come to the fore, listening to the woes of others, offering encouragement, being large hearted be it in forgiving or in sharing time, talent and money are some other avenues that we need to explore. Learning to appreciate comes a close second to smiling when it comes to creating happiness.

Try this:

Urge to learn – learn a new language, a new game, explore a new place / hobby, gentlemen should attempt a role reversal and do the normal chores done by the lady in the house.

Be proactive – write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper on local issues until at least 2 letters are published. Go visit a prison / mental asylum.

Dare to be different- Ladies should try and learn a percussion instrument for at least a month. Gentlemen are encouraged to learn some form of classical dancing for a month.

Enjoy the moments – Write down 3 positives you got from your biggest failure you have experienced. Think of the best compliments you ever received from a non family member or friend.

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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