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Archive for the ‘Knowledge’ Category

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

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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

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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

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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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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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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

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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

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