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Archive for the ‘Personality Development’ Category

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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16- Your visiting cardYour radiating smile is the first thing that enables people to connect with you. It is what they look for when they meet you and that is what they expect no matter what the interaction is about. A smile gives all parties comfort, confidence and a comprehensive platform to communicate. It does not matter if it is a toothy smile or a hearty laugh, it is the genuineness in it that gives it an unique identity. It is your logo that people identify you with; one that gives everyone who interacts with you an anticipation of what to expect when they are with you.

While a smile sets the tone, it is your overall demeanor, which will reflect your personality and your uniqueness. Your manners, your etiquette’s, your dress sense, your communication skills, your attitude, your ability to put people at ease, your commitment etc. enable others to respect and appreciate you as a dependable individual.

Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it is the image that you leave behind after each interaction that becomes your trademark. The expertise and maturity you display in your interactions would be valued as much as your ability to get results. You will command respect and be rewarded with trust. You will be valued as through professional and be sought for first especially when the chips are down. Similarly how you deal with customers and employees would be reflected in their interactions with you. A good way to judge how they perceive you is to note how many of them are willing to come and share their concerns as well as successes with you.

When you command respect you would realize that your visiting card is being valued !

Try these:

  1. List out three changes that your will make to overcome some limitations that hamper your personality.
  2. Who are the three most dependable personalities you have encountered in your professional life. For each individual, list out three remarkable qualities that endear them to you.
  3. Write a tag line for yourself. ( In one sentence write down, what would you like to be remembered for )

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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10- The mask we wearTruth be told; each of us wears a mask to suit the occasion. We pretend to be happy when we are sad; try to obviate all traces of our jealousy, envy, greed; pretend to like those who we hate but cannot avoid. Many a time we sheepishly smile to disguise our embarrassments and irritation. While we, as individuals use a pseudo mask that attempts to project what we really are not, the clown merely amplifies it with a physical mask, to ensure all those who see it, are in sync with the image being projected.

There is a pattern in facets of ourself that we hide, behind the masks which we put on. The reality is that  ‘Each individual is actual 3 persons. The person I think I am; the person you think I am and the real me.’

The person I think I am : Each of us has an unique identity and that is not merely because of lineage but is also the outcome of how we are shaped by the family, the social settings around us and our own individuality. So siblings could still have widely differing interests, skills, attitudes, display different traits and mannerisms. What is important is how the individual visualizes himself/ herself. Some are pragmatic; some carry the baggage of their own limitations, anxieties, experiences and thinking. There are some who are over confident while others are modest to a fault.  Some are risk takers, others cautious, some reckless and most of us simply flow with the tide. There could be varied aspects of my own self that are probably noticed by others but I remain blind to it.  There could be areas of improvement that I need to focus on or talents and strengths that I can leverage. Listening to others holds the key to understand the person I really am.

The person you think I am : Who I perceive myself to be is what I largely tend to display; notwithstanding the fact that occasionally we attempt to sugar coat ourselves subtly to gain acceptance and occasionally we project a tough principled disposition so that we are seen as fair, upright and no nonsensical. However, there would always be some skeletons in our cupboard that we go to great lengths to hide. It could be some misdemeanors that we do not want others to know, we obfuscate inconvenient truths so that we are perceived more favorably and many a time we tend to display our deftness in ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds’ just to ensure that all our interests are projected. The person you think I am may be a far cry from the real me. Yet my style, mannerisms, behavior and attitude are tuned to make others think about me the way I subtly project myself. Phrases like ‘ still waters run deep’ or ‘Janus faced’  are testimony to the reality that ‘the person you think I am ‘ may be quite different in reality. Opening up with relevant facts will ensure that others get to understand me better.

The real me : The real me is largely hidden from others. Even I would known only myself better only when put to the test.  Occasionally some hidden aspects of me are known to very close family and friends. My insecurities, my fears, my hopes, my aspirations, my anxieties, my deepest thoughts, my confidence, my exuberance, my feelings of love, hate, revenge etc are part of me that very few know about. There are aspects of me that even I have yet to discover like my true potential, my natural aptitude, my yet to be discovered talents, my weakness, my mannerisms, my body language etc. The real me may crave for attention, may seek to be understood, may yearn for acceptance or may search for companionship. The real me could be fearful but when put to the test dare to confront his fears; she may be docile by nature but her wrath could be devastating. The real me strives to maintain equilibrium amongst the chaos of life or it could crumble like a dried leaf when trampled upon.  The real me lurks within. The real me is often searching to discover myself. The quest for individuality is what makes me uniquely ME.

Try these:

  1. Read up on or attend a session on the Johari Window concept.
  2. List out the following
  • Two criticisms about the person you admire the most
  • Two points of appreciation about a person you detest.
  • Two secrets you would find it hard to share in a public forum.(just a brief one line statement would do)
  • Two of the naughtiest things you did
  • Two actions that you took that you are really proud of
  • Your biggest fear
  • Your greatest strength

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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7-12-feb-17-listen-to-the-guruTime and time again, we are admonished that we do not listen. In any communication lecture, you would invariably be told that of all the skills of communication the most vital one is the art of listening. The trouble is, almost all our life we have ended up as listeners and there is a certain amount of boredom, lack of motivation and prejudice against the speakers and or topics, that we have developed over the years. Part of the reason can be attributed to ineffective teachers who bored us to tears, part of the reason could be that we were forced into listening to boring lectures on boring subjects and the rest of the problem could be attributed to sheer indifference we have developed over the years. Criticism whether from parents, teachers, friends, well wishers, colleagues or bosses (especially at appraisal time) and worse of all from the spouse, have just hardened us to pay a deaf year to the feedback received. All in all, over the years, we have become indifferent, immune and largely deaf to any most forms of communication especially those that we dislike, disapprove or dread.

However, it is never too late to change and begin afresh.  Bear these facts in mind when focusing on listening. The first thing to remember is that listening is not a passive activity but an activity one must actively engage in. This means we need to take the effort of listening. The next thing to keep in mind is that when listening all our senses are engaged. While the ears absorb the spoken word, every other sense also absorbs the signals relevant to them. Hence any form of distraction be it noise, smell, weather changes, movement etc. influence the quality of our listening.  The third and most important element of listening is to understand the essence of listening; which is wanting to hear. Unless we want to hear, find a motivation to hear, pay attention to the entire communication and not be selective in our listening, we could misunderstand, partially understand, miss out on key information or interpret the communication conveniently.

Once we begin to appreciate and adopt good listening skills the process of our personal improvement and growth would be enhanced dramatically. This is because we learn to value the lessons, however unpleasant or critical that we interpret from the communication signals received from around us. We also begin to value and respect our strengths by listening to the positive and encouraging responses we get. The value we derive from listening is maximized when we explore opportunities, dare to take risks, begin to change, learn to appreciate and never get discouraged.

Remember that the word LISTEN comprises of the same alphabets that form the word SILENT. So the more silently you absorb the communication that is around the better your listening skills. Make the world your GURU by simply listening to everyone and everything around. Absorb, learn, implement, change !

Try these:

  • What is your favorite joke that you enjoy sharing with friend’s. Did you notice that it is how keenly the other person listens to you, that makes the joke effective. More importantly the joke may have something absurd and illogical that actually triggers the punch of the joke. Conventional listening, where logic and order are essential do not trigger the response as much as the non auditory visualization does.
  • Here are some non auditory listening challenges
  1. Take a standard deck of cards and find out the only one eyed king in it. Also note the subtle differences between the Jacks as also the four different queens in the deck.
  2. Ask a friend to prepare a bag full of assorted articles. Without seeing the articles but by merely putting your hand in the bag and feeling the articles try and identify each of them.
  3. Blindfold yourself and ask a friend to hand over various currency notes into your hand. Identify the denomination of those notes.
  4. How often have you entered your house, smelled the food being cooked and decided what kind of a meal to expect?

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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03-first-3-wordsOne of the problems many of us have is our inability to really identify something positive to focus upon. This is partly because our minds tend to stray towards what troubles us, our problems real and imagined and varied anxieties that we have made ‘much ado about nothing’. The problem becomes more acute at the start of the year for most of our plans/ resolutions tend to center around unfinished business, challenges to be met and overcoming our limitations. The grid above, however, has ample positives that stare at us and it would help if we focus on the first 3-5 positive words noticed and for the rest of the year align our goals to meet the goals those words beckon.

Honestly I would have loved to list out some of the words above, but then it would take away the fun for you.  Instead, my friends, I am using my power of identification to share my experience of using my time to focus on some goals that have helped me gain friends, popularity and happiness. While money is important, it is the fun of influencing lives that really drives me. The beauty of this is that, I can with all honesty confess, that I have a large circle of young friends and interacting with them makes me feel young at heart. By the way, you also need to use your time not just for yourself but also for others. Keeping busy would also ensure good health in mind and body. If you look carefully there is something positive in every line except for one word. It is not for me to identify it but yes if you have the lust for life, even that word would be positive although most times we use it in a negative context.

Have fun decoding the above and more importantly use those words to make this year a wonderful and productive year for you and all those whose lives you influence.

Try these:

The grid gives you enough to focus on. Break time for both you and me. Actually, it is break time for me just for this post; you have ample scope to keep busy for the rest of the year.

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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29-four-point-transformationEach of us is seeking ways and means of transforming our life into something more glorious. We try to change our personalities, we seek good counsel, we attempt to add more formal and informal education to our CV . We even attempt to convolute our entire being into an artificial person that we cannot identify with. The efforts are laudable; the outcome may often fall short of our expectations. A simpler way would be, to attempt and imbibe the following four points in our daily life and that could be the beginning, of an entirely new chapter in your life.

Attract what you expect – No matter what the situation, it pays to be optimistic, positive and motivated for they tend to attract success. It is good to visualize vividly your goals, your plans, your future for that is when you begin to identify happenings and situations that will set you on the path that you want to go. E.g. assume you want to own a car. Think of the make and color of the car. Soon you will begin to notice that, you tend to be spotting exactly the same type of car more often on the roads. It is just that you are goal focused and hence tend to overlook all other vehicles that you are not interested in.

Reflect what you desire So what is it that you passionately desire? How can you achieve those desires? Nothing comes easy, but every small step you take, will take you closer to realizing your dreams and desires. You can seek status/ wealth / academic excellence/  a successful career / a perfect spouse or a wonderful parent. No matter what you desire, your actions / your attitude / your behavior/ your ethics and your passion need to reflect your desires. E.g. You have to display leadership skills if you want to be taken seriously as a potential leader or you cannot become a wonderful parent unless you spend ample time with your children.

Become what you respect – Who are the people you respect? What is it about them that you admire and acknowledge? Their personal values, their communication style, their ability to put people at ease, their discipline, their attention to details etc. could be some of traits that make them well respected and admired by society. It is upto you, to work hard and change yourself, by imbibing some of these well respected qualities and traits. You will soon evolve to become an individual whose traits, values and style get approval of others and you start gaining their confidence and respect. E.g. Once you let it be known that you respect time and are a stickler for time by attending meetings or keeping appointments, people will begin to respect you for your commitment and  your value of time.

Mirror what you admire – It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Most times though we tend to imitate or mirror the style statement of celebrities, ape the playing style of our sporting heroes or tend to be part of the current trends. While some of these could be useful, what we must never ignore is to identify the traits, the values and the spirit that many of our heroes and favorite celebrities posses. Their work ethics, for example, could be the key to their success. Possibly their discipline and their ability to evolve with the times give them that extra edge to succeed. Identify these wholesome qualities that you admire and make that part of your style too.

Try these:

Be honest to yourself and answer how you would react in the following situations:

  • You have studied hard for an exam but unfortunately the paper is very tough. Unless you pass the paper you may lose a year. You notice that the student in front of you seems to be answering well and you can copy from his/ her paper. What will you do?
  • You find a lost wallet containing a large sum of money in it. There is no identification of the owner of the wallet. What would you do?
  • You have to tell your principal which of the two people has committed some terrible mischief. The person who has done the deed is your closest buddy but the other accused is the class bully and you dislike him immensely and have some scores to settle with him. What response would you give your principal?
  • You have entrusted some valuables including a family heirloom with a friend’s friend, when you and your friend had to suddenly go out of town. On coming back the person with whom you had kept the valuables says that he/she is unable to locate the same despite trying their best to locate it. You are distraught and want to file a police complaint. Your friend is adamant that you should not file that police complaint since it would tarnish the other friends’ reputation. What would you do?

List out some of the traits / values you respect in the following persons:

  • Your favorite teacher
  • Your dad or mum or sibling
  • Your favorite uncle/ aunt /neighbor
  • Your colleague / friend
  • A celebrity you admire
  • A well known character from history.

So which of these traits / values do you share or would like to imbibe?

 This post is courtesy http://www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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12- Be yourselfImitation they say is the best form of flattery. Human beings have unfortunately interpreted this to be a virtue to be imbibed. Thus, the rampant cult following for the style, mannerism, behavior and imitation of cult heroes / heroines / fashion trends / branded products. This has also triggered the advertisement industry to perpetuate this myth by getting celebrities to endorse products thereby fueling the followers need to imitate or at least believe that the products are a must have. While one cannot escape from the influences around us, we do have a choice to evaluate logically, think rationally and act intelligently. It is this individuality that we need to bring back into our life and blossom into the unique personality that we are.

To blossom and give expression to your individuality one has to remember the following

Appreciate your uniqueness – Due to the sheer number of people around us and the competitive environment around, it is easy for an individual to feel insignificant and unworthy considering the superiority of those around us. It begins in childhood. The school topper is envied by the rest while the school topper is often envious of the best athlete or someone else who has a different talent or skill set that the topper lacks. The constant criticism that we as individuals are subject to, from family friends, teachers and well meaning neighbors further dents our self confidence and our uniqueness gets drowned in a sea of comparison, expectations, influences and  criticism. If you are constantly being nudged to follow the beaten path, be aware that you are different and that you are attempting to furrow your own path amidst the labyrinth of paths around. Remember when you stand out you get noticed and then you cannot escape attention.

Recognize the good around and imbibe it – In pursuit of being unique it is important that we do not keep bending the rules, transgressing the law and walking a thin line between moral and immoral activities. In fact one must consciously observe, adapt and adopt the good from others around. It could be simple things like punctuality, orderliness, thoroughness, persistence and politeness. You would also observe that some of these good qualities are in short supply around and anyone who adopts these has a good chance of being noticed. So uniqueness is not merely in doing something extra ordinary it could be in doing the ordinary in an excellent manner. Listening skills, empathy, respect, giving an honest opinion, having the courage to disagree and to disagree without being disagreeable are all virtues that can also make an individual showcase his/ her individuality.

Do not get carried away by trends and influencers – it is easy to imitate, blindly follow and succumb to the trends of the times. One does not have to think much to do it but it could come for a price. Copying may not suit your personality, it could cost much, it will make you part of a herd, it could make you fit in with the wrong crowd and you would be blissfully unaware of it. At times it could also make you stand out like a sore thumb; an embarrassment to those who love you and possibly also harm your reputation and creditability. Your uniqueness is often reflected in the strength of you character; be it in refusing to be pressurized into smoking and drinking or to be foul mouthed or refusing to copy in an exam or being truthful even at the cost of losing friends or making enemies. Sometimes your mettle is tested when you have to stand up for your friends and risk having to face the punishment they get, although you were never involved in the aberration.

Dare to be different – Many of us don’t dare for fear of failure. There is a risk in every act we do. Not trying is perhaps the one mistake that is often common to a mass of people. How can you judge your abilities unless you attempt. Failure is just an indication that you can do better. Not trying and therefore not failing is a waste of opportunity to explore your potential. Being different can be as simple as giving honest feedback, appreciation and respect. It could be in the way you approach a challenge, it could be in attempting something you have never done before or it could be in simply walking away from a foolhardy or stupid prank. Your individuality is in being yourself, resisting the temptation to prove anything to anyone and in expanding your comfort zone by willing to risk something for a worthwhile goal. It takes tremendous guts to dare to something when you have no audience, no applause and no appreciation. Being a whistleblower, an RTI activist and a conscientious citizen are opportunities for you to explore to be different and to mark your individuality.

Make it your Life – While we do need to lead a life that meets societal norms, family expectations and fully harness our potential we must not subjugate our life to mere existence in order to comply with expectations. It is MY LIFE that I need to lead should be at the core of living. Is it difficult to lead your own life? Frankly it just requires one to be believe in his/ her own uniqueness and find the right motivation to let the work know that you are standing up to be seen and counted. This could mean risking attention, performing extraordinarily well, being criticized, getting applauded but not getting carried away by it and above all letting the world know you have arrived.

Unless you lead YOUR LIFE how will the world experience your uniqueness your individuality and your being. Have you ever copied somebody’s signature and made it yours?  Just as your signature is your own unique identify, let your life too be a unique one; one that was never there before and one that will never be there again. Make the word richer by your presence.

Try these:

  • If you could go back and live your life again what are 3  things you would do differently?
  • Can you identify an individual who gave you a wonderful piece of advice that you still cherish.
  • What is your favorite saying / proverb / quote?
  • What would you like to be remembered for?

Share with us (by writing in to actspot@gmail.com) the following

  1. A unique video clip that you found engaging and invigorating
  2. A book that you found inspirational and motivating
  3. A real life story that you could empathize with
  4. An incident from your life that you wish to share with the readers.

 

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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