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Archive for the ‘past’ Category

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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23- Five things to quitOften people wonder what they need to do to set things right in their life. Perhaps each of us is guilty of indulging in one or more of the following, as a result of which we fail to realize our full potential.

Trying to please everyone:  We find it difficult to disappoint people. So we agree to the plans set by others even at the cost of having to make major adjustments that could impact our plans. In some cases we commit, although we are aware that we may not be able to honor our commitment. As a result we get annoyed with ourselves for giving in when we really should not have. We start resenting those who forced us into agreeing with their plans. We feel overburdened and pressurized. At times we fail to meet our commitments because we were busy trying to accommodate others.. You cannot accommodate everyone! Learn to say NO if the situation warrants it

Fearing Change: Everyone loves the status quo because we have reasonable control over what is happening. Change is therefore looked upon as potential danger, a possible threat and a definite inconvenience. We therefore find out excuses to avoid change of any sort. Actually change offers us opportunities to discover our potential, holds out promise to leap frog into something more spectacular and can often also help get away from the drudgery and irritable aspects of the existing  situation. Bear in mind that Change is the only constant in life.

 Living in the past: The good old days are symptomatic of how we get entrapped in the cage of the past. Perhaps life was simpler then but we take for granted the gifts of progress that has made our life a wee bit more comfortable. Living in the past also weighs us down from soaring and embracing new opportunities and possibilities. The past cannot be undone nor can it be re lived. While we may reminiscence about it off and on, we cannot let the past make us a prisoner of it. As Longfellow elucidates eloquently in his poem the Psalm of Life ‘Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!    Let the dead Past bury its dead!  Act,— act in the living Present!    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Putting yourself down :  From childhood we are taught to be modest and humble. This is a good quality to imbibe. However, when we let our modesty envelope us, we begin to shy away from praise and appreciation. We feel embarrassed when others laud our achievements. At times we try to play down our contribution so much so that we try to draw attention of others to what we could have done better and how we didn’t do enough. Accept credit with humility; showcase your achievements with pride; enjoy the accolades you deserve.  

Overthinking : We do not achieve as much as we possibly can for one simple reason. We think too much about the what’s and if’s and but’s instead of working in earnest. We worry about people’s reactions to our bold initiatives. We worry about failure and that dampens our enthusiasm. We think about fool proofing our initiatives and therefore never get around to launching our ideas. We worry about the past and the mistakes we made. We think about the future and feel insecure. Thinking before acting is definitely a must but it is the over thinking and consequent ‘paralysis by analysis’ syndrome that we must be watchful of. Do not become a prisoner of your negative thoughts.

It is time you got over these personality traits that limit you from realizing your true potential!

Try these:

  1. List out 5 things that you always wanted to do but did not attempt because you lacked confidence or because you worried about failure or were too concerned about the reactions of others. Put a deadline and attempt any 2 in the next 6 months.
  2. List out 5 of your worst fears. How many of them do you think you are likely to encounter in the coming year. Do you know of anyone who has confronted the fear you are terrified of and can you learn from how they coped with it?
  3. Assuming you won a lottery ( you just might if you dare to invest in a lottery ticket) of Rs. 1,00,000 how would you utilize the proceeds?  Are you already thinking that you don’t have that kind of luck or that this is a hypothetical question and you don’t want to even think about 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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5 - Positive evolutionEvery event, be it of the past, the current or the imagined future, influences our thinking, attitude, behavior and responses. Those events from the past that have scarred us, those that we do not like in the present and those that we fear in the future keep impacting us negatively. These tend to largely overshadow the blessings of the past, the wonders of the present and the opportunities of the future. It is therefore essential that we learn to reorient our thinking, start seeing the past present and future through a filter of positivity if we are to make our life more fun, more meaningful and more productive.

Be grateful for the past – If one were to dispassionately evaluate the past, for most of us it would become obvious that barring a few stray awkward, embarrassing, challenging and painful incidents life had been fun filled, happy and enjoyable. Yet we tend to largely focus on what has not gone right overlooking the more significant, satisfactory and fulfilling parts of our journey thus far. Of course the failures, the hurt and the pain of the past cannot be brushed aside but focus on the lessons learned from it. Focus on the transformation that took place because of it and made you a better person. If you still carry the baggage of the hurt of the past, it is a good time to offload it today. Relook the past with an eye to refresh, recollect and reflect on the blessings of the past; the wonderful childhood you have had, the loving care of the family around, the friends and relationships you have built up over the years, the success your were cheered for, the memories that you can forever cherish. If one uses that as the fulcrum of the past life, the present would also be seen in the same perspective provided one makes that effort.

Be engaged in the present – One common aberration in our daily living is the habit of lapsing into the ‘Good old days’ syndrome. The opposite extreme is to find fault with everything that does not happen the way we want it or the way we expect it to be. The present is where we are living and if we can see it as a wonderful place and time to be in, one can experience the joys that abound everywhere and all around us. Mechanization for instance has made our life a lot easier but do we value it? Communication technology has ensured we can be in touch instantaneously and with numerous people; yet do you feel lonely? Transportation revolution has made movement faster, cheaper and more pleasurable but do we keep cribbing about the costs, the lines at the airports, the railways stations and the bus stops? Disposables have become the order of the day saving time and effort yet we see the mountain of trash to which we also contribute conveniently overlooking our own part in it. The present has to be embraced with pragmatism. You may not be able to change what is happening around but one can surely appreciate the good, influence the ills by being sensitive and caring ( use less disposables / be more orderly in queues / cut down on indiscriminate usage of mobiles and internet etc.) but most importantly be involved in the moment. Don’t let the present fly past without it having improved you as an individual.

Be enchanted by the future – The future is a haze and that is precisely why we are wary of it. Strictly speaking if we can appreciate the wonders of our past, see the positive side of the present we must able to look forward to exciting times in the future. However, the future holds an undeniable reality; death. This unfortunately is a scary thought for the overwhelming majority and while we may never consciously reflect on it, subconsciously we are always hoping to prolong life be it our own or those of our loved ones. What adds confusion and apprehension when thinking of the future is the fear that the future may not be as serene as the past and the present. We worry about paying bills, hospitalization, relationships, old age, loss of income, loneliness and ofcourse death. These are all realities but a fair bit of timely planning and mental preparation to cope with these realities would ease our concerns and surely help one prepare to embrace the future. The first step to such preparation is not mentally running away from our fears. How many of those reading this post have prepared a will? How many of us have got our retirement plans chalked out? How many have saved for a rainy day? These can be done only if one is prepared to be realistic and give the future a more concrete shape rather than blindly walking into a hazy sunset. The sunset is surely the beginning of the night but when on an outing don’t we eagerly wait to see the glorious sunset and ensure we are the right place at the right time to enjoy it. See the future as a wonderful sunset and do what needs to be done to enjoy it!

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 to 5 most wonderful memories from the past. Visualize the situation and the persons involved and revel in the blessings they were for you.
  2. What are the 3 significant contributions that you can make to ensure that the world around you is a better place? So have you started on it ?
  3. Make a list of the following
  • How much money do you think will suffice to ensure you have a comfortable retired life assuming you live till 90
  • What are the 3 things you will do to ensure that you are productively and happily engaged after retirement?
  • What are the 5 most important things you will want to incorporate in your will?
  • Make a list of surprise gifts that you will send this year to at least 3 of the above listed friends.
  • List 10 friends who you can count on to give you support and courage should you be in any trouble in the future.
  • Write down an epitaph for yourself that would best describe you / your life.

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- Not ok so whatUnhappy, disillusioned, confused, hurt, resentful, angry, listless, tired, ignored, unlucky;. Do you experience these emotions / feelings off and on? Do you feel like the only person facing these problems? The reality is that almost every one experiences these intermittently. However, the problem arises when we frequently experience negative emotions, find it difficult to ignore these emotions and worst of all succumb to the pressures of these emotions. Most of these emotions are temporary, largely fleeting and often a byproduct of wild negative thinking. However, it is important that we do go through the feeling of not feeling okay; of being uncomfortable, disturbed and pained. When we experience a situation that disturbs our peace of mind it is essential that we accept it as a painful reality. What is not acceptable is denying it, questioning it, constantly whining over it and making it control our life. When one can make peace with the painful reality, one can appreciate the fact that such not okay feelings actually accentuate the value of the positive emotions and feelings that we are blessed with.

The challenge is to experience being not okay and managing to get back to the okay state. It is like knowing how much one can stretch a rubber band. Stretch it beyond a point and it will snap. Like that broken rubber band, if one lets the not okay feeling to overpower one’s emotions, one becomes irrational, broken in spirit and body and then surrender to mediocrity, mere sustenance and survival. Being not okay implies that we are made aware of our imperfections and limitations. It also keeps us grounded to the reality that not all our efforts can give us the fruits we desire. It also spurs us to make adjustments, re-evaluate our original plans and make a fresh start. However, the danger is that when we are not okay, at times we get demoralized, disheartened and dispirited. There is then a possibility of us giving up and not making any effort to get back on track. History teaches us that even the most successful people have always encountered challenges and it is their self belief and determination that have made them rise up again and climb the pedestal of success.

Here are 6 guiding principles to navigate the not okay state and come back to the okay state.

  1. The past cannot be changed but the lessons it provides are to be learnt well.
  2. The future exists for us to utilize it wisely without having the hangover of the past.
  3. The present is where life happens and we better not waste it brooding over the past or ring fencing the future.
  4. Learn to appreciate and value the good in every adverse situation.
  5. Be prepared to face the unexpected no matter how well you have planned for the future.
  6. Today offers you 24 hours to utilize all the lessons learned, to attain your goals; don’t squander it away.

Try these:

  • Suppose you were mistakenly locked up in prison for a crime you didn’t commit but there is no possibility of immediate release and a long term prison term of 5 years at least what would you do ?
  • You have committed a terrible mistake which you managed to cover up well. However an innocent member of your team was blamed and he/ she was sacked unceremoniously. You have always regretted your silence in the matter. 6years later you come face to face with the unfortunate victim of your misdeed. What would you do?
  • Can you recall 3 incidences / episodes / happenings / events in your life that really disturbed you when experienced it. How did you cope with each such situation? Do those events still play on your mind?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »