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Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

18- 18 May 17- Never explain never complainThe moment things do not go as per our plan or wishes, the tendency is to complain about something or the other that we believe, derailed our plans. Similarly, no sooner we are criticized, before we even ingest the criticisms, we are quick off the blocks with our explanations and excuses. To maintain our individuality, to become independent in thought, word and deed it is essential that we act as per our convictions and take responsibility for the consequences of our action. No matter what the outcome, there is no need to complain or explain; for it is the outcome of a responsible action.

To ensure one takes a good independent decision follow these rules:

Act responsibly: This is tougher than it looks because sometimes temptations, the need to act macho, the ego to prove something, the urge to defy others etc. overtakes our rationality and we act emotionally thereby opening up the risk of doing things that we may regret later. Responsible behavior is being fully aware of the consequences and being more rational and less emotional. You will never have to justify your action for you took it responsibly.

Take responsibility: There are times when you as a member of a team have to stand by your team and your leader even if you have a dissenting view about the action taken. Similarly as a leader there are times that you have to take harsh and unpleasant decisions which the majority may not favor. These are the times you take responsibility without fear or favor.

Learn from the feedback: There is always scope for improvement. Hence it is important that even if you don’t have to explain or never opt to complain, listen carefully to the criticism, the suggestions, the alternatives and the explanations given by others. Look also for examples of others; those who succeed, those who fail, those who did not act and those who sat on the fence. Everyone is offering free lessons to learn from; keep learning!

Think before you act: You should seek out the best from books, people, experiences and thought. However the decision has to be taken by you after applying your mind to the action you are going to trigger. Be aware of the velocity your action will trigger, the reactions it will generate and the goal it is set to achieve. When you are sure that there is balance between these and that it is time to be decisive act with confidence and faith. There is nothing you will regret ever.

Try these:

  • Which was the best decision that you took in your life?
  • What is the one mistake you still regret?
  • What was the stupidest decision you took under pressure from others?
  • What was the one situation you had to make up an excuse to get out of trouble?

 Did you face the following situations and how did you deal with it?

  • Your parents asking you to justify your poor scores in exams
  • Your coach benching you for a poor performance
  • Your friend / partner / spouse constantly complaining about a certain behavioral trait of yours

 List out your complains against the following people

  • Your parents / siblings
  • Your colleagues/ bosses
  • Your three best friends
  • Your neighbor
  • The last three co-passengers who disappointed you

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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15-11 Apr 17-Steps to takeThe lessons of life are not learned by reading text books or self help books or by observation alone. The real learning happens when we apply the knowledge and get a firsthand experience. Imagining the outcomes won’t help. It is in doing that we appreciate the nuances of the learning, the pitfalls that we never visualized, discover our own strengths and resilience and occasionally realize our own inadequacies. The best part of applying our learning is that we know instantly how capable we are of fulfilling our potential and how much more capable we are of doing a task even better. There is of course the risk of failure, of the realization that perhaps we are not cut out for something or painfully discovering that our potential is not good enough to be the best. However, there is also the possibility of discovering some unknown strengths, talents and potential that come to the fore only when we apply our knowledge. The Try This activities listed in the end of each post are a simple method for each reader to apply the learning from each post and get to appreciate your own strengths and potential.

The best way to get yourself going is by getting started by following the steps listed:

Have a personal vision – This is the key to every activity a person undertakes. Without a vision there is no goal, no motivation and no sense of accomplishment. Never do anything to fulfill an obligation. Instead do it because it challenges you, it motivates you, it interests you and because you want to do it. See yourself playing a vital role in huge process and suddenly you realize your own worth and contribution to the larger goal. This will stimulate and motivate you not just to begin the task but also to do an excellent job of whatever you undertake.

Barricade yourself from negativity – There would be well meaning critics who often would not be able to see your vision in the same light as you do. Listen to them but let not their criticism be a dampener to your vision. Failure could be another de-motivator but the challenge for you is to overcome it. The slow pace of progress, unexpected obstacles, the pressure to deliver results, self doubts etc. are all negative forces that could distract and distress you occasionally. Keep your eyes on your vision and proceed with faith.

View every experience as learning – Once you master the art of treating every experience as a step forward towards learning, you will treat success and failure with equanimity. Your motivator is the learning that you gain. Success and failure are simply milestones along the way of progress that indicates to you how far you have come and how far more you have to go.

Embrace success – While humility is an essential requirement to remain grounded, it is equally important that one learns to embrace and enjoy success. Enjoy the accolades, the recognition, the applause, the thrill of achievement. It is in embracing success that you fulfill your vision. For sure you can set up a new vision after that and proceed ahead. Occasionally there would be times when success comes at a price. At other times success is elusive despite your best efforts. Be realistic and focus on the progress made; that is success. Discovering your own inadequacies reflected in not being successful is also a learning and in a convoluted way, a learning success.

Try these:

  • Make a list of unfulfilled potential that people have often spoken to you about. Alternatively, list out some of your childhood dreams that you never pursued. Prepare a plan of action to get going on realizing at least one of those dreams.
  • From a personal growth / learning point of view, list out the activities that you do daily. Is there something more you can do to keep you physically and mentally upbeat.
  • Take the daily newspaper and go the leisure page and attempt some of those activities listed. E.g. Sudoku, cross words, wordplay, spot the difference 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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27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

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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9 Coping with  anger

Every individual however calm and tolerant he/ she is will at times get angry either because they are provoked or because they are upset at what they observe and do not approve. The vast majority of us are quick to get angry, some because they are short tempered others because they are easily frustrated and some because they are idealists and seek perfection all the time. The irony is that most times our anger is justifiable but how we give in to our anger is questionable. We rave, we rant, we scream, shout, abuse, threaten and in extreme cases vent our anger in a physical form. Unfortunately the anger we express allows us to let off steam but rarely does it propel the relationship much further.

The intensity of our anger is largely expressed in direct proportion to the intimacy of the person to whom it is directed e.g. husband and wife or parent and children. In other cases the intensity is largely inversely proportionate to the level of the organizational hierarchy of the sender and receiver of the angry exchange e.g. the superior will inflict all his anger on the junior most subordinate and will sulk to express anger with a superior. With strangers the intensity of our anger depends on the situation, our perception of the individual at who we direct our anger and how effectively the quick release of anger calms us down. What is interesting is that having expressed our anger we do tend to get a sense of relief but very very rarely do we actually resolve the problem effectively. By expressing our anger we certainly convey our emotion but do not effectively convey the real problem nor do we get the full attention of those who we address. Most times expressing anger triggers defensive responses from the recipient who try to apportion blame or to justify the action or simply apologize and escape.

On the other hand if we can pinpoint to ourselves what exactly annoys, irritates and angers us, we would be able to explain our anger perhaps forcefully but certainly very effectively. Our anger is often a quick reaction to what we perceive as an action that is contrary to our expectations. At times our anger could be completely misplaced and if we explain our anger, we would perhaps get to hear a very plausible reasoning for the action. Explaining our anger would educate the recipient, it would also make the recipient better appreciate our point of view and most of all it will be enable the person explaining and the person listening connect and see the issue from the same perspective. Explaining anger would spur the recipient to proactively rectify the problem and this in effect means you are enabling a solution, resolving an issue and achieving our objective.

Expressing anger may give temporary relief to the person expressing it but explaining anger will certainly direct energy and action towards a more permanent solution to the problem.

Try this:

  • Can you recall 3 incidences where you were at the receiving end of somebody’s anger? Were you really guilty or culpable as indicated by the person admonishing you?
  • Think of one or two times when you expressed your anger only to sheepishly realize that your anger was completely misplaced. Do you think you could have handled the situation differently and more effectively with loss of face?
  • You were entrusted with Rs.5,000 in cash to be deposited in the bank. Since one of your office colleagues was going to the bank you asked her to deposit it on your behalf. Unfortunately her handbag containing your money was stolen on the way. How would you react to this situation? How do you expect the person who entrusted you with the money to react when you explain the matter to him.

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- 10 Jan 16 A note to myselfThe beginning of the year is a an excellent time to write a note to one’s own self as a reminder of how one can pace one’s life by following some key tips. The tips are meant to guide, to inspire, to motivate and to energize one to making this year more inspiring, more productive and most importantly, most fulfilling. These tips condense the wisdom of the ages. They are only illustrative but they are enlightening and pragmatic.

Promise to treasure your time. – Life could be unfair to each one of us except for the one factor that beggar and king, poor or rich, intelligent or stupid, we are all given in equal measure TIME. Lack of time therefore can never ever be an excuse for failure. It is waste of time, inefficient use of time and not valuing time which are the real culprits for our non performance or lack of achievement. Let my focus this year be on making the best use of the precious time gifted to me!

Don’t fall in love with potential.– Look deep and you will find that you are blessed with many talents and enormous potential. The trouble is we tend to envy the potential in others that we do not posses. Worse still is the fact that we do not make any serious attempt to either discover our potential or even if know our potential squander it by our lethargic behavior, our indifferent attitude or by simply waiting for the opportune moment. Potential is like a matchstick in a matchbox; available to light things but latent if never used.

You want something doesn’t mean you deserve it – We make numerous excuses for not realizing our goals or utilizing our potential fully. The excuses largely centre around our lament that we didn’t get the right tools or the right opportunity. The reality is that even a person born with a silver spoon has to cope with his/ her limitations, create the opportunities, expend energies and work hard to make their mark in the world. Wanting something desperately is wishful thinking; working on getting it is the first step to realizing ones goals and utilizing one’s potential to the full.

Be patient but don’t procrastinate. – Waiting for the right moment is the bane of productive action. Inertia often masquerades itself as being patient. Instead of seizing the moment, which is the quality of highly successful people, those who procrastinate in the fond hope of getting the right opportunity find themselves either not starting or getting beaten at the post. Never get into a situation where you suffer from an illness called ‘paralysis by analysis’.

Be hopeful but not naive – Hope is good rock to build a foundation on. However, hope should not be used as a crutch to rationalize personal inertia, getting lured into quick rich schemes, getting duped into by glib talkers and not being decisive enough and cutting losses. When you are naïve, your belief is shallow, your confidence wavering, your dependence on others overwhelming and your judgment very faulty. When you have hope you seek a way out, you create the opportunity and you prepare yourself to grasp the chance for you are sure it is coming sooner than later.

When it is right you will know it. – When in a dilemma making a choice is tough. Yet if you are brought up with the right values, cherish the principles of being an upright person and let your conscience be your guide your choices will never go wrong. You will never feel guilty, you would be emboldened to act decisively and the consequences of your action will never give you sleepless nights. A clear conscience is the best pillow.

You don’t have to force it. – If you are denied something, perhaps it is for the best. If you are bestowed with an unexpected blessing, perhaps you richly deserved it. Whatever the gift, whatever the outcome, whatever be your feelings see it as befitting the moment. It is when we become rigid in our expectations that we try to influence the outcome and then get disturbed when the outcomes belie our expectations. Strive to improve your future but don’t try to shape the future by force.

Try this:

  1. Your friends force you to go with them for a trek. You go very reluctantly since you are not feeling too well and also because you do not like treks. Half way to the trek you twist your ankle. The pain is intense and you are annoyed and frustrated. The majority of your friends ask you sit there while they complete the climb. Two members of the group stay with you while the rest continue the trek. What will you be discussing with those waiting with you.
  2. List out the following
  • Your favorite quote or proverb
  • Your favorite book
  • Your favorite movie
  • Your favorite personality from history

Is there a common thread that binds the above choices? Can you identify that thread?

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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24- 21 Aug 15 -Have you learned your lessonAs children, we were largely dependent on our parents, elders and teachers to help us find our way in life especially learning life skills. Formal education, manners and etiquettes, independent and creative thinking, our morals and values, our attitudes and beliefs etc. were all strongly influenced by our elders and those whom we have come in contact with. However, with the passage of time, each individual matures and slowly weans away from this support system as a natural progression of life. The take away’s that remain with us and which we display in latter years are the lessons we have learned and imbibed through our interactions, formal study and independent thinking. Hopefully each one of us largely grasped and imbibed the right lessons and display this learning in our interactions.

Some universal lessons that every individual must learn include the following

Success is never final nor failure ever fatal: Every achievement that we are proud of has to be celebrated for it is the testimony to hard work and diligent effort. Success is also a great morale booster but should you let success go into your head, we would be blinded to better opportunities, fail to recognize competition and even loose the zeal for further achievement. At the same time, for the vast majority, success is largely elusive; yet the disappointment of failing must be viewed as a blip in the continum called life. There would be new opportunities, fresh challenges and renewed vigor to aspire and perspire for our goals. Failure is often, just a reality check that indicates we have to still prepare better and attempt again. Failure helps one value discipline, hard work and success. Use failure as a spring board for a giant leap not as a dead weight to drown in self pity. Failure is just one step backward while success is just one step forward; the gap to be filled is never too wide.

You cannot cross a chasm in two steps: Decision making is perhaps the one life skill that distinguishes the leaders from the followers. It is a skill that comes from a mix of learning, understanding and daring. Every individual has to, at some time or the other, face the reality of having to make decisions. That is when an individual has to take that leap of faith and make those big decisions that have major ramifications. The consequences of the decision could be either ecstatic, indifferent or devastating. What is important to learn is that we cannot run away from making those decisions. At times we have to take calculated risks. You cannot reach different shores unless you are willing to set sail and lose sight of the familiar shoreline.

When faced with a mountain you climb it, go around or dig through it: Problems are those imaginary mountains that we encounter daily. Most of them are minor hiccups, some inevitable irritants and a few major challenges. We often end up making a mountain out of a molehill and then endlessly worry about getting around the problem rather than trying to tackle the problem intelligently. Merely worrying about a problem is like sitting on a rocking chair; there is a lot of movement but you aren’t going anywhere. Translate your worry into tangible course of action to solve the problem. Sometimes the solutions seem more cruel than the problem, as in the case of choosing to ampute a gangrene threatened limb or going through a course of chemotherapy with all the allied side effects. However most problems, fortunately, are relatively minor and not life altering. There is a solution for every problem; the challenge is to calm the mind and explore alternatives and be decisive and bold enough to choose and execute one of the alternatives.

Know the difference between persistence and obstinacy: Try until one succeeds is a good maxim to adopt in life. Where we fail the first time, we must not give up on our dreams and with better preparation and a good plan of action try again and again. However, one needs to be both practical and realistic and if the goal set is beyond one’s rational ability and the proof is constant failure, it is vital that one learns to realize the difference between being persistent and being pig headed and obstinate. Many success stories were not written, because the authors failed to leverage their strengths and instead chose to bull doze their way, rather than change the script. Seek advice, pay attention to feedback, think rationally, minimize emotional indulgence and chase the dream that you can wake up to and live.

It is never too late to learn: Hopefully this post would have engaged your mind and made you think again. It is never too late to learn and put that learning into practice. Perhaps some new thoughts have emerged; maybe a latent dream has awakened, possibly you are already putting the lessons learnt into practice. You can learn from the most unusual people / circumstance. So be open to all sources of learning; open your heart mind and body so that no prejudice, irrationality or fear would filter your learning. Your learning stops only with your last breath. Till then keep an open mind, a grateful heart and a lively spirit. Today is yours to explore, enrich and empower through the lessons each moment offers.

Try these:

  1. Think of the 3 most valuable lessons you learnt in life. Who was responsible for helping you learn. Did you ever acknowledge / appreciate their efforts?
  2. Identify the 3 major failures in your life. What was the learning from each of these failures? Did you give up because of a failure? Were you bitter and agnostic because of a failure?
  3. Do you have any regrets in your life? Are any regrets linked to your failure to be decisive and take action? Were any failures a result of being impulsive and taking emotional decisions?
  4. Can you learn something new in the coming week? You can choose from any of the following or set your own goal for a new learning.
  • A new magic/ card trick
  • Play a new sport
  • Attempt to write a poem/ essay/ short story/ film review
  • Visit a prison / hospice / mental asylum
  • Adopt a pet dog/ fish / turtle /cat etc.
  • Get involved in an artistic venture like a play/ a band/ an art or photographic exhibition

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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