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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

33- 10 Sept 17- Two types of painEach of us must have experienced both forms of pain at various points in our life. The pain that hurts us can be physical pain or psychological pain. Physical pain, unless it is a permanent pain, is often forgotten once we are physically healed. The psychological pain on the other hand tends to remain with us for a much longer time, perhaps in some cases even lifelong. The trauma of pain that hurts is now better managed by medication, counseling and therapy, yet the experience often leaves an individual  scarred, bitter at times and definitely wary of going through the agony once again.

The same pain that we experience be it physical or psychological, can be channelized by every individual by using the right attitude and thinking to become a life changing experience. Not just life changing for the individual but also life changing for the people around, the circle of influence we can reach out to. The very essence of pain management is an excellent example of it. It is the result of years of experimentation and research done by individuals who dealt with people in pain and decided to reach out to alleviate the pain of such people. However, although most of us as individuals may not have the technical expertise to do the same, each of us can develop the right attitude and thinking to change our approach to managing our pain as well as the pain of those around us.

Accept what cannot be changed This is the toughest part of managing pain. Embracing the inevitable, making peace with the reality and looking at pain from the prism of positivity would enable an individual to accept the unchangeable faster and more whole heartedly. Death of a loved one, the loss of a limb or a physical transformation due to an accident or having an incurable disease like MND would require the individual to accept the reality that life is altered forever. Once an individual makes peace with this reality, reorienting the thinking is a relatively easier process.

Channelize your pain to transform your life – Be it your pain or you being a part of another’s pain would always impact your life. If a close friend or family member is in any type of pain, it impacts you also. You need to channelize the pain into seeing it as a way to learn some lessons be it reorienting your thinking or being made aware of people who you took for granted as being more dependable or finding your hidden reservoir of strength to mange yourself.

Empathize with those in pain – Be there for people who are in pain. Comfort them by your understanding, presence and patience. Divert their minds to pleasant thoughts, beautiful memories of the past and give them hope. Let them know that you share their suffering and that you would like to share their burden. Understanding the trauma of those in the throes of psychological pain is very tough because we tend to use logic or rationalize it. However, emotions run a lot deeper and they remain simmering within the individual. It is essential that those around try and draw the person out of his/ her trauma, reassure them of getting their life back on track and show them hope in the future. This can dull the pain, the fear and inject in them a strong desire to make a stronger comeback.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional – This is the mantra that each one should adopt and share. Each of us will experience a variety of pain in varying degrees. We need to quickly get to grips with it and try to mitigate it by dwelling less on the suffering and instead focusing on how it is changing you to become stronger, more resilient and helping you discover your inner strength.

Try these

  1. List out 5 activities that give you maximum pain. The challenge is to confront each of them and to jot down the learning from it each time you confronted it.
  2. Attempt one or more of the following:
  • Visit an elderly / lonely neighbor once a week
  • Go to the local hospital and ask the social worker how you can help out
  • You can also visit a hospice or old age home or a home for the challenged
  • Visit a nearby park and notice people who seem alone/ lonely. See if you can strike a conversation with them and bring a smile to their face.

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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31- 31 Aug 17-A makeover for Myself

It is an excellent practice for every individual to take time out to re-energize, recharge and reinvent herself/himself. The problem is that one has to often do it all alone because no one knows the self better than the individual concerned. The simple mantra to achieve it is to believe and practice the phrase ‘ I am working on myself for myself by myself.’ The mantra sounds simple enough but the practice of the same is tricky because it involves the following steps:

Analyzing the self – This has to be done objectively. Spend time reflecting about your strengths and of course your weaknesses.  Apart from thinking, reflecting and analyzing on your own, take time to also seek clues in appreciation, criticism, feedback you get from time to time from family, friends, colleagues and experts. Their feedback would have some correlation to the reality and hence could provide you a better insight into your own self. Focus also on your interests, your latent passion and skills and your dreams for the future.

Identifying the areas of improvement – It is possible that there could be a wide variety of feedback that indicates areas for improvement. Some of these could be frivolous, a few very pertinent but the key is in identifying those areas of weakness that you need to strengthen because they are critical to your success. It could key competencies related to your profession or behavioral aspects or new skills to be learnt or bad habits to be eliminated. E.g. you maybe a poor listener or you could be an introvert both cardinal sins if you are a sales professional.

Finding a method to strengthen the weak areas of the self – It could be by sheer will power or by constant practice or it may require an external intervention. An external intervention could be in the nature of attending a specialized course or attending a relevant workshop or by sourcing the relevant material to read up on etc. At times despite your best efforts, you do not seem to be progressing and that is when one gets demoralized. At these times, you require a good mentor; perhaps a good friend or a strong tutor or the support of an understanding boss. Take strength also from the encouragement of others, the positive feedback you get and from seeking the progress you make even if it is a wee bit slow and sporadic.

Leveraging personal strengths – While focusing on overcoming personal weakness it must also be borne in mind that we can leverage our strengths to progress rapidly and become effective in our personal, professional and social life. If we do not utilize our talents, abilities and strengths we would be losing out on opportunities to grow and excel. Sometimes our abilities need to be sharpened and strengthened with external inputs and one must invest in the same. Paying attention to feedback also helps in identifying our strengths about which we may not be confident or lack awareness of. It may also give us clues on the areas requiring our attention to ensure we give out our peak performance.

Setting new standards of personal excellence – Growth in any form indicates that we are striving to move beyond our current standards, challenge ourselves to exceed our own boundaries and take risks to explore beyond our immediate horizons. All progress has been the outcome of people who focused on excellence. They looked out for solutions to problems and improvised on the same. At times people have gone back to the drawing board and turned the solutions on its head to come out with something more revolutionary and effective. Medical science provides ample evidence of this. With the help of technology, almost every aspect of our life is being revolutionized.  As individuals we too must strive to ride the technological wave, adopt/ adapt it and innovatively leverage it to set for ourselves new performance standards and raise the bar for our personal excellence.

Repeating the process – Constant review, making notes of learning outcomes and repeating the process of personal improvement would help make us change for the better and enhance our or effectiveness and output. Sitting on our laurels would only set us back because others would overtake us. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves to remain motivated, goal oriented and success focused.

Try these

Identify the following:

  1. Two inventions that you have the highest regard for.
  2. Two individuals who have had a significant impact on your life and the reasons for their extraordinary influence on you.
  3. Two gadgets without which you would be hopelessly ineffective. ( Do NOT include computers, internet, telephones or  mobile phones in it.)
  4. Two inventions that in your opinion are useless
  5. Two fictional characters who have had a great impact in your life.

List out

  • One weakness in you and the steps you will take to overcome it.
  • Outline you greatest strength and how are you using it in your day to day life
  • One quality you wished you possessed
  • One hobby you would be keen to develop
  • One practice / habit  that you would want to adopt shortly.

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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30 - HAIL your worthHere is something that each of us can strive to emulate and thereby let others HAIL us for practicing rather than preaching those very qualities that will make us better individuals.

Honesty – The focus must be on being truthful no matter what the circumstances. At times, perhaps we may have to be a wee bit more careful with our choice of words, the timing and the tone of our communication so as to not offend others but we must never compromise on the crux of the message. This is particularly true when we have to give negative feedback to others. However, if we are not honest about our feedback the other person would never be made aware of the scope for improvement and success.

Authenticity – We normally try to couch our emotions and feelings in a manner that would be more acceptable to others. So we would try not to express our anger, our fears, our annoyance, our hurt and other times we would more gregarious, extra enthusiastic, perhaps too patronizing. While a certain amount of restraint or a dash of energized emotions is acceptable, bottling up our feelings or displaying it in extremes would make us less believable and even less accepted. Authenticity enables an individual to be natural, spontaneous and touch the other person more deeply than a mere air kiss or a casual hug. A firm handshake, a warm hug, a genuine smile and the joy exuded when meeting a person would go a long way in establishing the authenticity of the relationship.

Integrity – The key to integrity is in standing up to be counted. Can you stand by your commitments no matter what the fears, temptations, allurements, pain. Not succumbing, giving it your best shot despite being on the losing side and being able to stand tall knowing you can be in the line of fire are the key test of integrity. At the core of your integrity lies the values you have imbibed and which you are willing to put to the test. In life a common test of integrity is displayed when people do not snitch when questioned and willingly take on the punishment even when not at fault.

Love – This is tricky because no one likes to lose and yet a worthy winner needs to be congratulated and respected. The essence of love is in the respect one has for everyone, the appreciation of the differences and the genuine warmth one has for those who are around you. You may disagree with others, as it often happens when you are on opposite sides of an issue, yet on a personal level one must be able to acknowledge others as equals and respect the differences.

Try these

Flashback on to people or situations in which

  • You were not honest
  • Where you were not authentic about your emotions/ feelings
  • When you compromised on your integrity
  • You found it hard to love / forgive / respect someone

Identify  three positives in the following

  • A historical character who you despise
  • A classmate who you do have any particular friendship with
  • A teacher who gave you a tough time in school
  • An animal / creature you despise
  • A nightmare situation you have experienced

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- 8 Jul 17- Create your own rainbowWith the monsoons already arriving, most days seem like Monday’s; dull, gloomy and too tempting to laze around in bed. Yet, it is time to get up and get going and the process is just a tad too boring and uninspiring. Just as the wonders of the rainbow appear in the monsoon, await the rainbow each day and there would perhaps also be a pot of gold at the end of it to lure you to energetically look forward to each day.

Look for things that brighten the day – it could be the chirping of the birds, the sunlight that is streaming in, the laughter of children playing, the pealing of the temple and/or church bells. The key is to look for things that make you happy, contented and peaceful. It is a proactive responsibility that you must take on in order to change your own world.

See the variety of positives that you are blessed with – Make a conscious effort to over look  the hurt, the pain, the sadness of the past and instead focus on the blessings you have been bestowed. Good health tops the list, financial security, a loving world of family and friends, the comfort of a blessed home perhaps and a secure job too maybe.

Smile, forgive, listen, appreciate, thank – This is such an easy formula to memorize; a tough one to put in practice but the easiest to embrace once you have consciously adopted it. Each of it helps you exhale the toxic within and inhale the pure clean emotions.

Embrace love, laughter, hope and faith – Just as a good diet and exercise is a choice you make, add a heap full of love, a ton of laughter, perennial hope and unwavering faith to your daily mantra. You will find yourself empowered, optimistic and energetic to make your presence felt in the world and to make a positive difference around you.

Spend time with family, nature, self – Since we are social animals, we need to connect with other,  the world around and with ourselves. Spend time with family and friends. Spread good cheer and goodwill amongst them. They would seek to spend more time with you. Nature helps us embrace the spectrum of life; the flora and fauna, the sheer variety of wildlife and the beauty of the hills and valleys, the rivers and the seas, the changing seasons. Spend time thinking, reflecting and connecting to inner self. Never forget you are world yourself; filled with emotions, thoughts, feelings and passion.

Find silence despite the noise, find order despite the chaos and discover peace within despite the turbulence around –  Life is full of noise, chaos and turbulence. In our journey through life, we must be able to filter out and choose everything that would make our journey more pleasant, comfortable and enjoyable. Learn to enjoy silence; then you will master the art of finding it despite the noise around. Like getting through a maze, look hard at the chaos around; anger, frustration, hurt are some  feelings that you need to get past before you get out of the maze and reach peace, tranquility and bliss.

Look back with fondness, look forward with hope and be awake in the present Every day there must be something pleasant to reminiscence about, a goal set to give meaning and purpose to each day and one must make each moment count by being mentally and physically alert and active.

Notice how you have created a beautiful rainbow for yourself. The success, satisfaction, happiness, contentment and the peace that you get is the pot full of gold at the end of your rainbow.

Try these

  • List out 3- 5 colors that you like.  Look around you and for each color you chose, write down at least 2 objects having that color. Did you notice the color of those objects earlier. Do you notice the rainbow of colors around you?
  • Sit with your eyes closed for 5 minutes. Identify the various noises around you. Also imagine the aroma of your favorite food. Can you feel the rainbow of myriad sounds and aroma that you normally take for granted.

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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23- 26 Jun17- Mantra to live byIn a fast paced world speed is key. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation where people have outpaced themselves and as a result the paradise that we can enjoy on earth, if we simply slow down, seems like an utopian idea. It is race with no end in sight and when we stop occasionally to ask ourselves where we are headed, we have no idea why we are where we are. Our life span won’t increase if we speed up, our dreams will still have bliss if one slows down but most of all we would enjoy and value our life we learn to live, rather than just exist, survive and decay.

To make sure that we enjoy the life we are blessed with, slow down and then follow the mantra below:

Don’t just look, #observe# – Look around and you see varied colors around. You see various facial expressions and body language of people around. You may notice the buzz and zip or an eerie silence depending on where you are. If you look carefully you may perhaps observe some finer aspects that would have skipped your attention; perhaps you will then notice that in a pack of cards there is one king with only one eye. Look carefully and perhaps you will observe the subtle differences in the different Jacks and Queens. Have you ever noticed the various silhouettes that you can contort using the shadow created when light is focused on an object like your hand/ fingers. Take various currency notes and observe some small varied geometrical shapes printed on the currency notes of different values. Along the highway of life you need to take time out to smell the flowers; but first you have to notice those flowers. Observe the blessings you have been showered with; family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, financial stability, good health and the list goes on.

Don’t just swallow, taste – Ever felt your mouth watering when you smelt the aroma of food. Perhaps a similar feeling engulfed you when you see the pictures of various dishes displayed in advertisements and culinary magazines/ blogs. When it comes to part taking of the food, often we are quick to notice what is wrong, but rarely do we appreciate what is wonderful about the meal.  At home, one major distraction when eating is the lure of TV and mobile phones which ensure we eat mechanically; eating fast, chewing less and swallowing it rather than relishing the taste and appreciating the effort that went into the mealAn essential ingredient of a great meal is intangible; it is a dash of love put in by the one preparing it. Next time, taste every morsel and experience the dash of love on your taste buds.

Don’t just sleep, dream Surely you can’t force yourself to dream. It is possible though to go to bed with some good thoughts, passionate ideas and blissful reflections. These will automatically turn into blissful sleep and wonderful dreams. There is also a different angle to the dimension of dreams. The biggest dreams are those that won’t let your sleep. Ask the wannabe next gen entrepreneurs. All their waking hours are spent on visualizing vividly and working diligently on their dreams. So what is keeping you awake at night; a nightmare or a dream? You can choose; just choose well.

Don’t just think, feel This reflects the difference between sympathy and empathy. It is easy to see the pain and anguish of another who is struggling to stay afloat in the tempest of life. It takes courage, daring and empathy to reach out and risk your sanity and life to stand by the one in pain. Doling out alms, making encouraging proclamations and paying lip sympathy is passé. Feeling for another enough, means to walk in his / her shoes and experience their pain. This requires a person to translate their understanding of the others pain into personal action whereby you stand alongside and share the burden of the other. An apt illustration is the story told of a small five year old girl who lost her best playmate and neighbor in an accident. A couple of days later, this young girl went to her neighbor’s house and came back after a while. On being asked by her mother, what she did in the neighbor’s house, she replied that her friend’s mother was weeping copiously and that she sat on her friend’s mother’s lap and joined her in weeping copiously.

Don’t just exist, live – Am I living everyday with regret, complains suffering and pain in my heart? This would indicate that I am going through life merely because life has not yet abandoned me. If life hasn’t abandoned you why are you abandoning life? As long as you breathe, make every breath a sign of joy, happiness, bliss and ecstasy. It is your life; your thoughts; your feelings and your future. How about looking at life in wonderment of being alive; in the joy of the numerous blessings you are bestowed with; in contributing to the world around you the value of your worth be it through smiles, encouragement, empathy and liveliness. Existence is for the ventilator to provide; life is for you to live!

Try these

  1. Which is your favorite food that you miss the most when travelling? Is there someone who makes it better than the rest? Is it because you now realize there is a dash of love in it?
  2. So what dreams are there in your bucket list to be ticked off still? When and how are you planning to achieve it and tick it off your list?
  3. What was the last big risk you took that enabled you to realize your own strength?
  4. Click on the following links to see how you too can create Shadow Art

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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14- 5 April17- Learn to be happy right nowEvery day presents an opportunity but along it with it comes some challenges. Those who make the best of their life, focus on the opportunity and accept the reality that the challenges have to be coped with. Those who are frustrated are actually the people who fail to grab their opportunities and instead worry about the challenges they imagine, even before they encounter it. A classic case are students who stress themselves imagining the vastness of the syllabus, the complexity of individual subjects and their own distorted priorities that won’t allow them to prepare well. Suddenly exam time looms ahead and then they panic.

Happiness is a choice every individual makes no matter what the situation. Perhaps it would help to adopt the following rules to be happy:

Seek out positives – This is largely dependent on the attitude we adopt and how we train our mind. In every situation look out for what is good, find out how you can make the best of the opportunity and have the self belief that you can cope with it. Take a game like soccer and you will notice that the world class strikers create the opportunities to score goals. They don’t wait for the ball to come, they do not hope the defenders make mistakes but they believe that they are ready to muscle their way in and connect with the ball and score.

Downplay negatives – The first thing to bear in mind is that we are rarely alone when facing challenges so we need to get rid of the feeling of martyrdom. Look at challenges as temporary setbacks. Look at challenges as brining out the best in you; your talents, your creativity, your resilience and your self-belief. Do not let difficulties become the focus of your attention instead treat it like a handicap that every golfer loves to overcome.

Make it fun – The key to enjoying life is to have fun while living. Smile, joke, play, be creative, take some risks, enjoy your wins and do not let a failure dampen your spirits. The sweetness of success tastes sweeter when it is achieved by overcoming stiff competition, enormous challenges and under the most trying circumstances. The fun is in enjoying the process, the journey, the competition.

Try again – So you did all the above and yet you didn’t succeed. It sure hurts especially when you miss out by a whisker. Imagine a tennis player being two sets up and then going on to lose the next three sets. It sure hurts as hell. However, a professional would be back again with renewed confidence and vigor to rightfully claim back his title which he believed is his. The heart of winner shouts out I will be back. Make that your mantra too.

Make the right choice – Happiness is a choice. Take that choice every time. You don’t need a reason to be happy; just smile. When feeling low think of a joke, a humorous episode or incident, sing a song, admire the beauty around you. Simply distract yourself to something pleasant.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of your favorite jokes / humors incidents / comedy scenes from movies.  Bet you are having fun already simply recalling them.
  2. What are the three times in the recent past when you were challenged/ stressed? Can you think of something fun in the situation?
  3. Click on the following link and read up on what a SMILE means. http://tinyurl.com/mrutpkm

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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13- 28 Mar 17 -Shadows have no colorThe image today has varied interpretations and perhaps it would also make us aware of how we can get in touch with our own self. It is also the first image in this blog without any words etched on it and hence I am free to interpret it my way. I am sure you too can discover new meanings in it too. Make your life colorful !

When I say hello to myself I discover me. This is perhaps the most obvious interpretation of the picture. In reality we rarely pause to take a deep look at answering questions like, Who am I? What do I seek? Where do I want to go? How can I change and become even more effective? Pausing occasionally to reflect about one’s own journey through life and the way ahead would often be invigorating, stimulating and eye opening. You could discover latent passions, uncover flaws that limited your potential and allow you to appreciate the blessings in your life.

My emotions help me touch myself – You shadow does not define you nor does it uphold you. It is an illusionary appendage that is neither harmful not beneficial. The shadow cannot reflect your inner core. It just outlines the exterior and that to, a distorted image depending on the light. For you to really understand yourself and touch your inner self, you need to understand and appreciate your emotions. Your feelings your sensitivity, your mettle have to be dug out from within you by introspection, observation, listening and interpretation. Perhaps you also have to realign your attitude, behavior and actions to get the best out of your physical and emotional potential.

I need to reach out and touch another – My shadow can fall on another but make no difference to the other person. If I want to touch another person, I will have to make the effort to reach out and touch him/ her. My shadow in fact begins from a point in my physical self; yet I am neither conscious about it nor do I give it any importance. The same is true about my shadow that touches around without them even noticing it. Yet when I stop and pay attention to others, when I listen to them, when I talk and share my thoughts and feelings I can get responses that matter to me and them.  I have a responsibility to reach out and have a positive influence on those around me.

Shadows reflect an outline; I reflect my life – A shadow just takes the form without any depth. It is my life that I lead, that projects the real me. My values, my upbringing, my education, my attitude, my behavior, my strength of character are all displayed in full measure by the way I lead my life. I would be judged (correctly or wrongly) by others by the example I set and the personality I reflect my real self in my interactions. Ironically the shadow that follows me everywhere is just a uni-dimensional projection of my physical self and even that is distorted.  When I say hello to my shadow, I am just making myself aware that there is a multi faceted individual within me that no shadow can do justice to. It also is my way of realizing that there are hues of grey within me that I need to paint brighter. I am responsible for who I am.

In the end thou art just a form but… – This is a chilling reminder that the shadow is all that you are. No color, no emotions, no attachments just a form that you can neither touch nor feel nor avoid. Yet, the form cannot be visible without a physical you and the power of light. As long as you are alive you are duty bound to make the best of your life and the light around; be it family, friends, colleagues or simply the presence of nature around you. The challenge for you is to prove Shakespeare wrong  when he said ‘ the evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interned with their bones’.

Don’t let your shadow define you; let your life be your epitaph long after you are interned.

Try these:

  • Try and write your own epitaph. It will give a purpose and meaning to your life.
  • Choose 3-5 sayings or proverbs that you can make it the bedrock of your life.
  • Click on the following links to see how people creatively use the power of shadows. Perhaps you too can attempt to do something creative in a similar way.

http://tinyurl.com/m25ywpo

http://tinyurl.com/mkd8bd5

 Identify two special qualities that endear the following people to you

  • Your parents/ siblings / a special family member
  • Your two best friends
  • Your two favorite teachers / bosses / colleagues
  • Your favorite animal or bird

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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