Category: Knowledge

The power within you

The power within you

From childhood, we are taught to respect authority and to seek approval from parents, elders, and authorities before we take any major action. We also look upto them for approval to confirm that we have done a good job. There is logic and wisdom in this method for those older and wiser have greater experience and expertise which comes in handy to guide a novice.  Yet, as the years go by the novice begins to gain experience, wisdom and independent thinking. At times her/his knowledge may far exceed that of his elders. However just as old habits die hard, the need to seek approval remains partly as a mark of respect but chiefly because one hesitates to break the ties and be our own person. Maturity and independence is  translated into power when the  individual takes that giant leap of making her/ his own decisions without any approval of others. It also marks the coming of age of the individual and is a sign of the power each individual holds within.

Here are the steps to realizing and utilizing your real power:

Take responsibility – This is the key to becoming powerful. Unless one takes responsibility for the consequences of a decision / action, it is impossible for a person to be powerful. It is easy to take credit for success but almost impossible to take complete responsibility for failure. The tendency to apportion blame on circumstances, people and bad luck is common place but to own up to the problem is a tad difficult.

Be decisive – A major reason for people not using their full potential and power is their indecision. Sometimes tough decisions have to be taken for the larger good. The tough decisions can have serious consequences for some and great leaders are aware of this yet firmly give their orders. A general in war may have to sacrifice his people for the greater good of winning the war. At other times the same General may have to surrender because he knows his army cannot win and large number of lives from both sides would be lost.  In life we have our own personal wars with simple things like changing a job or giving up on a dream or pursuing a passion that is disapproved by all well wishers.

Look beyond – Your real power is not in what you achieve in the short term but how you go about realizing your big dream. Think big, think beyond the immediate horizon, and visualize the impact you will have on the world around you when you peak. What you do today must help you leap ahead of the completion. That is the way a leader goes up and leaves the rest of the pack behind. Take the pack along as you go but lead the pack with a promise of glory and join them in toasting the success you envisioned and achieved.

Shape it your way – Furrow your own path. Do not imitate. You must carve out your own destiny and shape it the way you have visualized it. It must be different, unique and special for you. This does not mean that you do something no one has done before. It means that you do it the way a music director comes up with a new tune or music arrangement. It must be music to your ears, colorful in your eyes and pleasing to the heart. The world around must also get to feel the same in their lives and heart.

Try these:

  • Think of the three most important decisions in your life that you have taken. What was the outcome? Were you influenced by anyone to take any or all of these decisions? Which was the toughest decision you took and why was it so hard? Which decision do you ever regret and why?
  • What was the most humiliating or painful experience in your life? How did you feel then and how do you feel now? Do you still carry the hurt with you even now? Have you made peace with that episode yet?
  • Take crayons or paint and explore abstract art. E.g. take a piece of paper and fold it in two. Open the paper and on one side at various places put various colors of wet paint. Then fold the paper and randomly rub it in any direction. Open the paper and see the handiwork. Similarly you can experiment using a couple of strings in the paper then folding the paper and drawing out the strings. The quality of the outcome is less important than the experience and variety of art work you manage thereafter.

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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Reading is breathing for the mind

37- Reading is...

Reading is perhaps one of the most enjoyable leisure activities. It certainly is an unavoidable compulsion for students and teachers alike. The ability to read and write is also the yardstick used to distinguish the literate from the illiterate. What makes reading so unique is that it has the ability to evoke emotions, feelings, thrills and fears, laughter and sadness, pain and pleasure apart from allowing the reader to vividly visualize, leisurely contemplate and at times act decisively. It is breathing for the mind because it keeps our mind active, vibrant and alive to possibilities.

To get the best out of reading and to cultivate the art and enjoy the experience focus on the following:

Variety in reading – If you can bring yourself to read a variety of genres, styles, topics, authors and have different reasons for reading you will never tire of reading. Reading the newspaper is perhaps one of the most common reading activity indulged in by the overwhelming majority. This is because in a dynamically changing world, each one of us wants to know what is going on. The newspaper also offers variety in terms of current affairs, sports, leisure, and politics being major areas covered. However a visit to the library or a book shops opens up a enormous possibilities to explore and there is limitless variety in reading material.

Purposeful reading – If there is focus on why you want to read you will ensure that you read just what you want to read without feeling that you have wasted your time. Students largely have focus on their reading because the objective is appear for exams and score well. This enables them to cope with the reading that they may not necessarily like but which is unavoidable. Similarly, having focus helps you identify what interests you, the styles of writing and genres that engage you. You may even switch genres which are completely different but it ensures that you are never bored or that the content is monotonous. It also allows you the freedom to stop reading what does not appeal to you without feeling guilty.

Enjoy what you read While reading as part of learning can at times get exhausting, it is your attitude that will determine how tedious the reading is. Obviously given a choice, you will read just what you fancy and hopefully you enjoy what you read. At times, you pick up a book either because it is a best seller or because it is highly recommended but if you are plodding through it, it is best you switch to what interest. The pleasure of reading comes from how easy it feels to ones senses in terms of style, content, appeal and pleasure it brings to the reader.

Share your learning – By sharing the key concepts or the salient features with others, you actually relive the book and the pleasure it gave you. It is also indicative of how it has impacted you and how eager you are to ensure others too get a pleasure out of it.

Cultivate it as habit – The more you read, greater the pleasure and the learning. Cultivate reading as a habit. It refreshes the mind, enhances your knowledge, gives you stimulus and is a wonderful companion especially when you are alone.

Try these

  1. List out 5 of your favorite books and authors. Identify one reason why each book appeals to you.
  2. What types of books appeal to you? What genres of writing do you like?
  3. Which characters in the books you have read endear themselves to you and why?
  4. Which well known book did not appeal to you? Can you identify the reasons you did not like the book?
  5. Name one incident from any of your reading that you still recall vividly or with nostalgia.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

 You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Your personalized visiting card

16- Your visiting cardYour radiating smile is the first thing that enables people to connect with you. It is what they look for when they meet you and that is what they expect no matter what the interaction is about. A smile gives all parties comfort, confidence and a comprehensive platform to communicate. It does not matter if it is a toothy smile or a hearty laugh, it is the genuineness in it that gives it an unique identity. It is your logo that people identify you with; one that gives everyone who interacts with you an anticipation of what to expect when they are with you.

While a smile sets the tone, it is your overall demeanor, which will reflect your personality and your uniqueness. Your manners, your etiquette’s, your dress sense, your communication skills, your attitude, your ability to put people at ease, your commitment etc. enable others to respect and appreciate you as a dependable individual.

Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it is the image that you leave behind after each interaction that becomes your trademark. The expertise and maturity you display in your interactions would be valued as much as your ability to get results. You will command respect and be rewarded with trust. You will be valued as through professional and be sought for first especially when the chips are down. Similarly how you deal with customers and employees would be reflected in their interactions with you. A good way to judge how they perceive you is to note how many of them are willing to come and share their concerns as well as successes with you.

When you command respect you would realize that your visiting card is being valued !

Try these:

  1. List out three changes that your will make to overcome some limitations that hamper your personality.
  2. Who are the three most dependable personalities you have encountered in your professional life. For each individual, list out three remarkable qualities that endear them to you.
  3. Write a tag line for yourself. ( In one sentence write down, what would you like to be remembered for )

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

Finding your passion

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

Transform your life

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

Are you a pessimist, optimist or realist ?

WP14=4-Are you a Pessimist, Optimist or RealistEach of us responds to stimulus in different ways. Our response is often influenced by our beliefs and attitudes which in turn are shaped by our experiences, our thoughts and our individuality. One common denominator that offers insights into our responses and reactions is the mindset that we frequently display based on which most of us are often labeled as either pessimists or optimists. There are of course exceptions who get a more privileged tag of realist. While pessimism is largely considered a negative trait and optimist hailed as exemplary the realist is often ignored as inconsequential. In life, each of these traits has it’s own utility and are qualities essential for both survival and success.

Pessimists are prone to see the negatives. They will be cautious, circumspect and hesitant. Their first instinct is self preservation and as a result their lexicon is filled with words like avoid, delay, evade, be circumspect, use caution, find problems, make excuses etc. Pessimists prepare for the worst so that if their fears come true they are not taken in by surprise and instead can feel vindicated. Pessimism is considered a very undesirable trait and pessimists are largely given a wide berth by most people. However pessimism is an important trait in as much as it considers eventualities taken for granted or blissfully ignored and puts brakes on otherwise unfettered exuberance. A good pessimist is the gate keeper who is pragmatic, cautious and prepared to cushion the fall if and when it takes place.

Optimists are those who are exuberant and gung ho about everything. They are driven by the need to see the silver lining in every cloud even if there is thunder and lightning all around. Their lexicon includes words like must try, it will work, right now, make it happen; success is round the corner etc. Optimists go about their business with a daring and a sense of Déjà vu. Their dictionary centers around words like I can, must do, not hard, must try, can be done, give it a shot etc. Optimists have the added advantage of being widely accepted for their never say die attitude, spirit of enthusiasm and eagerness to get going. An optimist must however be aware of the reality, be pragmatic and be able to distinguish between ego masquerading as self confidence and misplaced bravado replacing one’s inability to retreat.

The realist is one who dispassionately assesses and goes after the results through a mix of daring and caution. Realists are grounded in their thinking, attitude and responses. They are neither carried away by the moment nor are they deterred by circumstances. Their success lies in their balanced approach to challenges and opportunities. In their thinking what works is being practical, being flexible, being creative and being result oriented. They adjust to circumstance, create opportunities, do not take foolish risks, they don’t hesitate to retreat if discretion is the better part of valor and they won’t give up unless they attain what they set out to achieve. A realist is able to live in the present, while assessing the future and learning from the past.

Try this:

If you were given 5 wishes to be fulfilled, what would those wishes be? Would that wish list change if you were told that you have just one day left to enjoy the fulfilled wishes?

If you were forced to choose one of the following options which one would you choose and why?

–          Losing all your material possessions in a fire

–          Losing your speech and hearing

–          Remaining illiterate

–          Letting your worst enemy win a lottery of a million dollars

–          Having to spend the rest of your life eating raw vegetables only

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The END or is it???

Effort Never Dies & Next Opportunity
Effort Never Dies & Next Opportunity

As this year comes to an END each of us would have a number of thoughts; many pleasant and quite few pensive ones. When things have gone as per plan or we have been fortunate to be given some unexpected surprises in personal, professional and social life we look back with an elated feeling and perhaps a word of thanks for our lucky breaks. However it is the thoughts of pain, failure, death, surrender and regret that tend to linger longer and sadden us immensely. What hurts most is the realization that you have tried your best to mend a relationship or do a diligent job or for being provoked into saying or doing something that you regret later. You get that sinking feeling that all your efforts are in vain and that in the final analysis, the year has ended in failure. That is when you must see the END differently as Effort Never Dies.

Students in general and those studying for highly competitive examinations are particularly vulnerable to the ‘this is the END ‘ syndrome when despite their best efforts, they fail to fulfill their own expectations or fail to live up to their potential. Sometimes we are denied our desires by a quirk of fate which is perhaps nature’s way of saying a polite NO. This NO must be seen as Next Opportunity because then you are forced to explore alternatives that you could otherwise have never tried. Many of us would have found our true calling in the next best alternative.

If you look back at the New Year resolutions you made last December or early this year, it is possible that we have failed to stick to most of our resolutions. Does this mean that it is the END of those fine intents put down as resolutions? In fact what we invariably do is carry forward those resolutions give credence to the fact that the efforts of writing down the resolutions are not completely wasted. Similarly think of the number of times we were denied by our parents, friends, peers, colleagues, bosses or the system (rail bookings/ air bookings/ movie ticket bookings). Did all those NO’s derail your plans completely? You certainly didn’t let that happen. You took the Next Opportunity available to attain your objectives.

Life is actually a wonderful series of Next Opportunity grabbed  and Efforts Never Dying provided  we can interpret those NO’s and dead END’s correctly.

Try this:

  1. Pick up any old Readers Digest and attempt the Word Power section. It is possible that many words seem new and you could be tempted to give up. If you can with grit and determination regularly do the word power, your efforts will enable you learn a number of new words and enhance your vocabulary.
  2. Here is a little PPT presentation on basic mathematics. I can see most of you cringe on seeing the word mathematics. Now don’t say NO ! Go on try it… and don’t peek at the answers till you have actually attempted to solve it. Barring a couple almost all of them are relatively easy to solve. ..and what if you don’t solve them??? It is not the END of the world…and I promise you your efforts won’t be in vain.  Smarter than a 5th grader

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be true to yourself

Nature has been very kind to mankind and that is why it has put an auto program within us in the form of our senses to help us protect ourselves from danger. Ever realized how is it that when we inadvertently touch something hot we instantaneously draw away from it or how quickly we sense danger when we smell a burning odor or stale food is immediately sensed by the tongue. The senses are programmed by nature to be true to the duty of self preservation.

The problem arises when we have to depend on ourselves for progress, growth and happiness. To this end, we are largely dependent on our academics, intellect, behavior, attitude, skill sets and motivation for setting our goals and attaining them. The very stumbling block for many begins with the academics where we are prone to expect more marks than our effort and intellect, succumb to the temptation to use unfair means so as to boost our marks and / or happily make peace with the results and rationalize that you have done your best. In effect we are just not being true to our abilities, our potential or our conscience. If you get marks that you really do not deserve, does it mean that you are academically superior to the rest? Do you think you can continue your bluff in your professional life? The replies to these questions should be again answered honestly and you would have made an important step in the pursuit of being true to yourself.

It is said that a clear conscience is the best pillow; implying thereby that if one is true to one’s self you can always enjoy a blissful sleep. In having a clear conscience one is not merely troubled by deceit, lies or improprieties that one may have lapsed into but the bigger pricks of conscience are brought about by a feeling of inadequacy that one has not discharged one’s duties effectively, not stood up to protest injustice or when one has merely sat on the fence when having to take a decisive stand. Not keeping ones promise is just a simple example of negligence in discharging ones obligation but there could be larger issues like not helping out an accident victim or not exercising one’s franchise during the elections. It may be pertinent to emphasize here that  while not voting could be viewed as an insignificant event that does not prick one’s conscience it is this collective lack of conscience that ultimately give us poor political leadership. Perhaps if each of us was true to ourselves our environment would have been a much better place to live in.

Look around and be aware of your critics. Perhaps some of those critics are people who have some differences or dislike towards you and many of their criticisms could be frivolous. There could be other critics who fail to appreciate your point of view or the reasons or intent behind your actions/ responses that they criticize. Then there are a few who are very very close to you and it this proximity to you that gives them the liberty to be more judgmental and honest in their critical feedback. What is important for you is to realize that there is always an element of truth in most of the criticisms and it is an excellent feedback to help one improve. The more important lesson though is that your friends, fans and supporters will always far outnumber your critics and most of them will never be true to you when it comes to telling you your faults, your limitations, your weaknesses or the area of improvementYou improve and progress only by being honest and true to yourself, for you and only you know yourself; only you know your fears, your ambitions, your apprehensions, your limitations, your abilities, your insecurities, your frustrations, your desires, your cravings, your hopes, your expectations, your values.

Try this:

  1. Write down your strengths and weakness and also your fears and aspirations. Make as elaborate a list as possible. Now try and honestly rate each point in each of the 4 grids and number it from 1 onwards, 1 being the most important priority. Now candidly visualize how each of the fort points in each grid impacts your decisions / your approach/ your progress.
  2. Identify 3 of the following characters and jot down one honest negative feedback you would give each of them. Think of how you will package that feedback to make it more acceptable to the recipient without your relationship being affected.

–          Friends

–          Colleagues

–          Relatives

–          School/ college mates

–          Subordinate/ junior / employee

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Set yourself free…

As a social animal, man has to live with fellow human beings for sustenance, companionship and growth. Unfortunately man, unlike other animals that also live in groups or herds or prides has the compulsive unconscious urge to seek acceptance /approval of those around for every deed, action and indulgence. Even more unfortunately, man has also perfected the art of being a born critic and we easily find fault with people, happening and things around. When we analyze the behavior of the critic in us, we would realize that we have subconsciously become negative in our perception and thinking, our negativity has clouded our ability to be more discerning and appreciative and we are easily reconciled to failure, plead haplessness and find excuses to rationalize our personal lack of success.

Let us examine how each of these behaviors’ are self imposed and self limiting.

By being negative in our perception and thinking we let in self doubt creep in; we train ourselves to see the imperfections and we gravitate towards the bare minimum standards of acceptance so that we don’t seem to be failures. The fear of public speaking that an overwhelming majority of people suffer from is a classic case of our negative perception and thinking preoccupies us and restrains us from overcoming our fears.

Negativity clouding our ability to discern and be appreciative makes us succumb to the temptation of fault finding, self depreciation and failure prone. Even if someone else gives us a compliment we tend to play it down or deflect attention to something that takes the shine of the compliment. Similarly when opportunity presents itself we hesitate to take the initiative succumbing to our insecurities. We also naturally end up focusing on those failures that we may have encountered and completely ignore the numerous success that we have been privileged to embrace. Remember how our parents automatically scanned out report card to find the red lines that signified failure or quickly picked up on the lowest marks completing ignoring the numerous high scores we may have got.

By reconciling to failure, pleading haplessness and finding excuses, we do not give ourselves the opportunity to leverage our inherent strengths. Success is actually a culmination of effort most of it repetitive efforts despite failures. Many of us though give up at the first hurdle instead of persisting with hope and faith. We do not even make the effort of trying pleading haplessness or find excuses to wriggle out of a tough call. The overwhelming emotion that envelopes us is fear of failure and ridicule by others is actually the critic in us constantly whispering in our mind don’t embarrass yourself in front of others. How many of us who do poorly in our tasks began by saying ‘I don’t know what to do’ and later go on to say ‘ I am not capable of doing it’ and finally accepted failure by saying ‘ I just wasn’t cut out for it’. Notice that each of those statements are actually directed at others who maybe onlookers, co-participants or possibly evaluators and the statements are crude efforts to avoid any criticism.

The only way to tackle our fears is to confront it by being a participant and not a distanced critic. This is best done by visualizing success, anticipating and preparing for potential pitfalls and wholeheartedly embracing and enjoying the process. The real success would be in conquering one’s fears by setting yourself free of criticism, fear or failure.

Try this:

In the next one month ensure you attempt at least one of the following tasks that you have never attempted before

  • Learning a new form of dance
  • Easting with chopsticks
  • Learning to speak 10 sentences in a new language
  • Inviting friends to an exotic meal cooked entirely by you
  • Participating in 3 contests
  • Try your hand at origami

From the following situations, rate the situation that would embarrass you the most to the least. Reflect on why each situation gets the rating you have assigned.

  • Your boss getting hold of a love letter written to you.
  • You going for an important meeting post lunch and your shirt has a big stain because you spilt coffee on it at lunch time.
  • You excitedly greet and animatedly talk to a very charming person, who then gently tells you he/she is not the person you thought he/she was.
  • You are making an important presentation and by error click on a PPT you were studying of a competitor’s product.
  • You are with guests in a restaurant and despite the guests offer to foot the bill, insist that you will pick the tab only to discover that you forgot your wallet which contains the credit cards too.

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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