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Archive for the ‘lessons’ Category

29- 12 Aug 17- Get goingBeginning a quest is always challenging because one is filled with doubts, concerns, worries and fear of failure. Perhaps, that explains why many of us have never got any of our grandiose plans even started. It also explains why the vast majority continue to walk down the ‘oft trod path’; lamenting or ruing their destiny. Each of us is given the freedom to explore options but we are often tethered by our dogmas and beliefs, our prejudices and our fears, our self limiting thinking and our inaction. As a result we continue to walk the beaten path lamenting our fate without daring to indulge in a latent passion or pursue a deep desire. The net result is that we just do not start; the dreams we have remain just pipe dreams; the future remains predictable and largely futile as compared to our hopes, aspirations and ambitions.

If you are someone with a burning desire to explore opportunities beyond the mundane and predictable, the starting point must be planning. The planning process begins with the setting up of a goal/ objective. This is then fleshed out in the form of details being added, so as to ensure as many variables as possible are identified and a plan to manage it, spelled out. It is important to bear in mind that no plan is fool proof and that a start date must be identified so that the plan is put into action. The way forward is in starting the implementation of your plan.

It is possible that a plan set in motion would face challenges. Despite the best of preparations, unforeseen and unpredictable hurdles could derail the plans. Many of these hurdles are self inflicted and often the result of tardy planning or self doubt or overconfidence. You may falter, you may have setbacks, you could begin to doubt yourself along the way but the goal must be to keep going. Of course there could come a time when either because you are prudent or because circumstances are beyond your control, that you will be forced to stop and give up. Take this setback in your stride. Having begun with confidence and hope is in itself a victory over your inhibitions and a testimony to your determination.

You will, if you move ahead as per plans, make progress. This will embolden you and be a great motivator to push ahead even if you progress is slow and even if the goal seems distant. Eventually you may reach the goal but perhaps not as planned and there could be a feeling of dejection. Yet, it is in reaching the goal, finishing the race and stretching your limits, that you realize how strong a person you are. If you did not start or if you gave up midway, you will never experience the thrill of realizing your potential, knowing your strengths and stretching yourself to attain new limits.

Your victory is in getting over your doubts, your inertia, yourself limiting beliefs and instead becoming proactive, resolute and focused on bringing about a change in your mind, body and spirit.

Start now, push ahead and realize your dreams.

Try these

  1. If you had just a week to live, how would you prioritize your life so that you have no regrets on the last day?
  2. What steps can you take immediately, to do the following:
  • Raise a significant sum of money for a charity of your choice
  • Give a suggestion to your local corporator / MP / Union minister in connection with an idea you have to improve the current services
  • To explore a passion that you have not yet begun in earnest.

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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27-30 Jul 17-An open mindIf we look at children playing you would notice that they are excited by the little things that they discover for the first time. The ants moving around busily, the joy of jumping in some puddles, the flight of the birds, the freedom when on a swing and the up and down of the sea saw. Their minds are filled with wonder at the fun that is in abundance around, at the variety of the fun they can have and they are joyous at discovering something new.  Yet this very same child, as he or she grows up begins to learn,  most of it by rote and thereafter things become a blind belief. If the text book says it must be a fact, if the teachers, parents or elders say something, reasoning would have little scope to penetrate the mind and if the individual has firsthand experience, that would be the ultimate truth. The wonders that once enabled a free and open mind are now shackled by the chains of dogma and blind faith.

The only way to regain and retain the joys of wonderment are by keeping an open mind that will allow all varieties of influences to come and go without it being prejudged, prejudiced or passed over. This can be best done in the following ways

Seek new experiences – Move out of your comfort zone if you have to experience something different and new. It could be as simple as trying out trying out a different cuisine or experimenting with a new hairstyle. Alternatively it could be extremely challenging like attempting to overcome a fear or taking on a dangerous dare. Your mind would feel the exhilaration only when you open  it up to take on new possibilities.

Find positives in sour experiences – Not every experience would be pleasant. Sometimes the experiences would be painful or it could be embarrassing or it could provide a rude jolt. Train your mind to find something positive in the failure so that the experience becomes worthwhile and has provided you a new learning.

Question more – While one cannot try and question all that is taught, where one has serious doubts raise questions. The objective must be to ensure that you are fully convinced about the matter and not embrace it because of a blind belief. Disruptive technology and disruptive business models are nothing but answers to questions that asked about existing beliefs.

Have an independent view – You are an unique individual. Your individuality is highlighted by your ability to stand out in a crowd. This is best expressed by asking probing questions, articulating / expressing yourself even if it means going against the majority. Stand by your convictions.

Embrace change – Since change is the only constant, embrace change whole heartedly. Change is nothing but moving from the existing to creating a new paradigm. Change can be disruptive, frightening, revolutionary and overwhelming. Make change a friend and you will discover possibilities that you never ever imagined. It will shatter your existing beliefs and instead transport you into a land of wonderment.

Try these

  • Go to Youtube and check out some of the TV talent shows to get a flavor of what possibilities mean.
  • List out the five major technological changes that you have had to cope with, in the past five years.
  • Outline three bitter experiences and a valuable lesson you learned from it.
  • What is the best gift/ present you ever got in your life. Why do you think it is special?

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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25-14 JuI 17-I am me1At times we try to analyze ourselves and realize that while we have much to cheer about, we also have much more to rue.  We do not like our limitations, our burdens and resent our shortcomings that are accentuated when compared to others. Rarely do we enjoy our own company or luxuriate in the knowledge that each individual is a very unique person; so very different from his/ her own peers, friends and even siblings.

It is MY individuality that I need to appreciate, embrace and celebrate.

Appreciate my individuality It is reflected in diverse aspects of my personality

My physical dimension

My mental make up

My emotional

My value system

Embrace my individualityIt is acceptance of who I am

Learn to love my whole being

Learn to make peace with my short comings

Learn to utilize my life

Learn to value my dignity and self respect

Celebrate my individuality The art of cheering for myself

I will stand up for my rights

I am ready to defend my point of view

If different I shall be different; no apologies for who I am.

I will smile often, laugh heartily, live it up passionately.

Try these

Today I will write down the following:

5 things that I am proud of

5 aspects of my life that I will try and improve

5 people who I am most blessed to have in my life

5 embarrassing moments of my life

5 dreams that I have yet to achieve

2 most glorious moments of my life

2 most painful moments of my life

My favorite color/ animal / book/ movie

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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42-keep-floweringAs we come to yet another year end, we would tend to reminiscence about the year gone by. While we do pause, recall and get a high about the lovely memories that we cherish, we have a propensity to linger much longer on the sadness and losses we have endured over the year. Perhaps it is thoughts about a loved one who we lost, maybe it is about a change of job or residence because of which we had to leave behind friends and good times we shared with them or maybe it is the recollection of some unfortunate happenings that scarred us. Reality is that we normally tend to take our happiness for granted and let our sadness engulf us. As a result we do not fully value and enjoy the full worth of the numerous blessings that have come our way. More importantly, we do not become fully productive, fully alive and completely besotted by the wonders of our life.

We can take a leaf from the life of a tree; it flowers, it bears fruits and it provides us shade. Yet it does not question why the flowers fall or why the fruits are used up or why it gets chopped. It simply grows despite all the odds. Can we not pick up a few tips from the way a tree continues to grow in rain and blazing heat?

Let bygones be bygones: No matter what odds it faces, be it children shaking it hard, animals grazing on it or the birds nesting on it the tree has simply not let these become excuses to remain stunted and fruitless. It has outgrown the challenges it has endured. It still provides the kids an opportunity to have fun, the animals to scratch themselves against its bark and the birds to build nests and feed itself from the fruits. Perhaps we too must look at our strict parents, hawk eyed school teachers and school bullies as people who helped you become stronger. Do not hold grudges against them. In fact, thank them for molding you to become the person you are.

Grow because you love your life: The tree grows because it wants to establish amongst the flora a fauna. It does not compete with the other vegetation but focuses on becoming what it was designed to do. Perhaps we too can stop imitating others, be less obsessed with the success of others and instead focus on becoming the best individual we can be. As individuals we have an advantage; we need to grow up where we are born. We can move an imbibe the best of cultures, customs, traditions and knowledge and improve much beyond what we initially gifted with. Make it a point to enjoy your life every single moment; the growing up will be much more well rounded and enjoyable.

Make peace with the world around: Yes people have harnessed their cattle on to the trees, they have thrown stones to get the fruits to fall, they have even perhaps disfigured the tree in order to climb it; yet the tree remains rooted and continues to grow. Can we not forgive those who criticize us, those who taunt us, those who talk ill about us, those who discourage us?

Learn to give even if you receive nothing: A tree largely receives only nature’s bounty and very rarely does it get any conscious support from human beings. Yet it continues to have flowers, bear fruits and provide itself for all and sundry be using its shade or eating its fruits or ultimately chopping it for domestic use. Once we have a similar attitude, our relationship with others will improve, our ability to give more increases because we have no expectations and we view others as worthy of our largesse.

Make your life a celebration of all seasons: While the tree does adapt itself to all seasons, it also provides us with an important lesson that no matter what the circumstances one needs to adapt and adjust to the situation. No matter what season, the tree will still retain its singular charm and grace even if it has shed its leaves or it is in full bloom.  It is a lesson that teaches us to take the good times, the bad times, the low times and the highs of our life with dignity and poise. We need to be balanced at all times. At the same time we need to find something good in our troubles and be pragmatic in our good times without being vain and conceited. Everyday must be a celebration of life, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Try these:

  1. List out 4 ways in which you will ethically make your life more colorful/ enjoyable.
  2. Make a list of the following
  • Your three favorite quotes
  • Your three favorite books
  • Your three favorite movies
  • Your three worst fears
  • Your three unpleasant moments of your life
  • Your three most disliked fruits/ vegetables or food.

 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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1 - 5 Jan 16 A new Year MessageSo you and I begin a New Year 2016 with a lot of hope, a bit of trepidation and tons of goodwill from many! What one needs to quickly realize though, is that it is MY life and only I can make it the best one I can. Ideally we hope this year will be a lot better than the one gone by. We ponder over our mistakes and regrets of the past, we mentally note down the yardstick of others that become our benchmark for success and we rush into life aiming to win; little realizing that we are competing only with ourselves and all we need to do is challenge ourselves to excel.

Let us pause and ponder over a few life lessons to enable us to journey with a purpose, with joy in the heart, exuding the fragrance of our unique personality and contributing to creating a better world around us.

Life is a journey not a destination – We subconsciously realize this because while we do have aspirations we rarely limit ourselves to merely realizing our aspirations. Once we attain what we aimed for we reset our aspirations higher. This is a good practice for it allows us to pace and realize our progress. Unfortunately, most times we are consciously chasing goals that are not pragmatically designed but developed with materialistic considerations in mind. We tend to believe that if we attain that destination happiness would be ours. Alas, in pursuit of those materialistic goals, we do not enjoy the joys of life, fail to appreciate the blessings we have and instead keep craving for more. The key to life is to make the most of what one has.

There are no mistakes just chances we have taken – You cannot cross a chasm in two steps; so when we come to the chasms in daily life we have to either jump or turn back. At times we misjudge the width of the chasm other times we mistimed our jump or we overestimate our ability or we were unprepared to take that leap; in all the above cases we would have failed to clear the chasm. We would also fail we did not believe in ourselves and turned away. The times we have cleared the chasm and the times we deliberately and consciously refused to take the chance only to realize later that it was the best decision you made, are the only times one succeeds. In daily life the chasms are invisible, the skills sets required opaque, the decision making has to be quick and continuous and the results may not always equal your expectations. You just have to keep taking those chances for some of them could be the giant leap that can propel you to a different level.

Make the most of the moment without wasting time on regrets – The worst mistake one can make is to go back in time and keep wallowing in the misery of the regrets we have, If only is a common enough refrain that suggests that things would have been different and life much better. We keep wondering about the possible outcome if the choices we made were different. A decision made a point in time can neither be reversed nor can the consequences be altered. Not doing anything is also a decision. The reality is that we cannot escape our responsibility nor stew in our regrets. What we can do and must do is make every moment count.

Life is not a competition but a mere challenge – Your life is a challenge for you to cope with and not a competition with the next person around you. Each of us is blessed with unique talents, abilities and capabilities. What we need to do is be aware of our strengths and ensure we utilize it to the full. We fail because we do not run our race but pace ourselves using the others around us as pacemakers. If you are a sprinter and follow a marathon runner, you are bound to fail. Similarly if you a middle distance runner and use a sprinter as the your benchmark failure is certain. Success come only when you get up and keep running no matter what. It helps to plan well, pace yourself as per your abilities and push yourself to your limits. The challenge in life is to run your own unique race well.

Make life fun as you get serious work done – Most people go through life as if on a life saving mission. Reality is that everyone has to earn his/ her living. So then why not make that living while enjoying it. True there are periods of stress and turbulence but they are far few and in between, Do we really make the best use of the rest of our time to ensure that we make our life fun, our living a joy and the world we live in a heaven on earth? Do we laugh enough, can we enjoy a relaxed environment, do we pause to smell the flowers, do we have time to stand and stare? Can I experience bliss every moment of my life?

Each new dawn gives us another opportunity – So what are you going to do with the opportunity? Would you size it or squander it? Begin today, begin now by jotting down your goals for the year. Jot down all the things that you believe will make you happy. Outline the action you would take to overcome your weakness. Commit yourself to some unique experiences that you hope to have during the course of the year. List out 3-5 friends who you would surprise this year with a unique gift. Gift yourself an expensive gift this year (write down what you really want). There is so much more that I can do each day.

Try this:

Fill in the following list for yourself

  • A unique musical program that you will attend this year
  • An animal / bird that you will sponsor this year at the local zoo
  • A new skill set that you would like to acquire
  • A place that you will visit from amongst the following ; a hospice / a prison / a mental asylum
  • Three changes you will bring in to your daily life to make your healthier/ wealthier/wiser
  • Five people with whom you have lost touch but would reconnect with this year
  • A fund raiser in which you would participate and the amount of funds you plan to raise.

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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