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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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12-Unplug and rebootA key reason we get stressed is because we continue to grapple with our problems by constantly attempting the tried and tested ways, instead of stepping back and letting the dust settle. If you have noticed muddy water that has been stirred up, it will be difficult to see through till you let the mud settle. The same happens with our problems and challenges. There is no better example than the numerous devices we use constantly, the mobile phones, the laptops and the near extinct desktops. The simplest way to get it going when it seems to have stalled is to simply switch of the power. Unplug the power and everything settles; then reboot and begin anew.

The best way to unplug from troubles is to distract your mind. This simply means forcefully directing your mind to other more pleasurable alternatives that are stress relievers. Take a walk, watch TV or read a book or get engaged in some activity that you enjoy like your hobbies. While trouble itself will not go away, your mind will become calm and you will be able to think more incisively and get more focus on how to proceed ahead.

Another way to unplug is to unburden. ‘Share your troubles and halve it’  is the principle that we leverage here.  We share our problem with people whom we trust and people who we believe would have some tangible solutions or at least make invaluable suggestions. While we share our problem we also subconsciously get greater clarity about the issue, our mind feels more relaxed that someone else is sharing our burden and the chances of getting some fresh insights from others to alleviate or tackle our burden is higher. Those listening to our problem also offer empathy, support and most of all give us some of their insights into coping with the problem.

The most common way to unplug is to sleep over a problem. This is tougher than it seems simply because a troubled mind would not easily get sleep. However, if one develops a style of setting aside the problem for a fair time, when we re-look the problem new thoughts and solutions seem possible. If one can literally sleep over a problem, the subconscious mind would often work in the background and conjure up possibilities that our conscious mind would not have generated. However one should not be like an ostrich burying its head in the sand hoping the troubles not seen would vanish.

Try these:

  1. Try some simple cross words or Sudoku. At first for those not used to solving such puzzles the challenge seems overwhelming. However, once you make an attempt and try it a few times, you get the hang of it and the challenge would not seem so daunting.
  2. Think of a time you managed to find a solution to a pressing problem by unplugging in the following ways
  • Indulging in your favorite hobby  or passion interest
  • Sharing your troubles and getting answers from another person
  • Sleeping over the problem and waking up to a very innovative solution

 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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6-6-feb-17-what-is-your-excuseExcuses come naturally to us. It is our defense mechanism against inertia, criticism and failure. Part of the reason is our upbringing. As children, if we were encouraged, appreciated and motivated chances are that we minimize excuses and focus on getting results. On the other hand, if as children we were discouraged from exploring, criticized for failing and shouted at for the mess created rather than appreciated for the outcome, excuses are the only shield we have to take refuge under. Unfortunately, over time, excuses become an extension of our personality and we rationalize every unsavory action of ours with creative excuses, most times merely fooling ourselves.

Once we remove excuses from our lexicon the benefits are enormous; just try it and see the difference.

You begin to dare/ explore – Fear of failure and criticisms are the two red flags that often derail our hopes and ambitions. We limit our actions to only those that we are sure will succeed, those that meet approval of peers and elders and those that are tried and tested. We have ready excuses for anything untoward. Give up excuses and then you become more daring and start exploring options that you are passionate about. Success and failure are just milestones/ markers along the way not millstones that weigh you down.

You discover hidden potential – You give expression to your passion, move out of your comfort zone and discover talents and potential that remained dormant within you. You do not have to rationalize your actions or the consequences; no excuses for anything; you take responsibility. Dare do win is your only motto.

You become creative – When failure is not a fear, when justification is not needed, then excuses have no place in your lexicon. You can give expression to your inner spirit, the vivid imagination you have, the adventure of a lifetime with you owing no one an explanation or justification. No excuses needed; more life explored; fun and failure is just a phase of life but the process is what brings the thrill.

You do not fear failure – If at first you don’t succeed you just begin to try again. If you find that you were following the wrong trail in life, all you need to do is change tracks with no excuses for your actions or the past. No fear of failure comes from the freedom of not having to explain or justify or give excuses.

You succeed – Success is not just a destination; it is actually the enjoyment of the journey. The destination is merely a marker in life that tells us how far we have come. Every moment is a challenge, so also an opportunity to make life more colorful and meaningful. When we leave behind the baggage of excuses to be given we are no longer weighed down by expectations, More importantly we are on a journey in which we set the pace, the destination and the breaks. Every move forward is success for we have traversed ahead. No excuses, no regrets, no failures, no finish line.

Try these:

  1. How can you color up the monotony of your work life, personal life and social life? Be creative, be daring, explore and act.
  2. Find creative ways to do the following:
  • Overcoming a bad habit / addiction
  • Becoming more productive in the work place and at home
  • Surprising friends and family
  • Overcoming an inhibition or fear
  • Picking up a good habit
  • Increasing your savings every month

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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21- The control challengeOne of the major reasons we are stressed is because we are unable to keep our emotions in check when faced with a dilemma or confusion or problem. We then get overwhelmed, fearful and react impulsively.  Our reactions are often in anger, frustration and despondency. Rational behavior takes a back seat, the challenge of the moment looks ominous and damage control is our instinctive allay which then becomes the focus of our attention. If ever one who faced a crisis behaved in this manner, there would be very few who survived disasters. If every researcher adopted the same attitude there would be very few discoveries. Every major war is testimony to the resilience of the vanquished and destroyed, to rebuild and grow despite the severity of their ruins physically, financially and mentally. So what is it that makes the human race change, progress and succeed despite the upheavals, the disasters and the disruptions that seem to perennially confront them?

The answer lies in how one responds. The key is not to react but to respond. The difference between the two is in how you control your attitude, your thinking and your actions.

Attitude: Do we visualize a problem as a disaster or as challenge to be overcome. It is our attitude that will determine our perception of the challenge on hand. Those who are fearful, those just wanting to plod forward and those who are faint hearted would look at obstacles as useless, irritating and insurmountable. They would then settle for compromise solutions rather than a resolution of the problem. On the other hand those having supreme confidence in their own abilities, those who seek long term solutions and those willing to take on a challenge would approach every problem with a ‘ seek the hidden solution’ attitude. They too would get irritated at times, would feel frustrated momentarily, be tempted to give up. However, they resolve to effectively  tackle the challenge even if it takes time, even if they have seek help from others and even if the world around belittles and criticizes their efforts. They have the positive can do – will do attitude.

Thinking : Our attitude will determine how we approach a situation. Those who are positive and determined to find solutions would rein in their negative emotions of fear, anger, disappointment and frustration. Instead they would bring into play their strengths, realign their thinking to seek solutions and refocus their attention on varied possibilities in order to overcome the challenge on hand. The will not hesitate to seek the expertise of others; they would be keen observers and listeners for they are sure there exists a solution that they just need to discover. They do not let the problem slip from their mind but they keep mulling over it to let the subconscious work on it. Their thoughts are focused on responding to the challenge rationally, logically and decisively

Action: There are times when quick action holds the key and there is little time to elaborately think and plan. Emergencies are classical examples be it a natural disaster, a fire, an accident or  even events like missing a flight or losing your mobile/ wallet. Even in such situations, the action must not be purely impulsive (it will be largely  impulsive when your life itself is threatened like if you are in a building that is on fire, since self preservation is a natural instinctive mechanism for survival) but taken with a calm and cool head. Controlling panic whilst seeking a solution would provide more possibilities. The action must be taken decisively and not tentatively; this is possible when the action plan is based in clear headed thinking and with full awareness of the consequences. The action must be to arrive at a solution with minimum damage.

Try these:

  1. Pick up a news paper and attempt to solve the crosswords or similar puzzles that appear in it. Your attitude, thinking and action would be reflected in how you respond to this challenge.
  2. List out three instances when you panicked. What was the final outcome of those situations? What role did you play in each of the given situations?
  3. Of the three key points listed above which of them is your primary problem.
  • Attitude – By nature are you and optimist or a pessimist
  • Thinking – Can you think both logically and creatively or do you prefer to follow instructions?
  • Action – Are you a self starter or do you like to act as instructed.

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- Accept then act

We find ourselves ineffective, fearful, tardy and complaining whenever we have to engage in an activity that we dislike, loathe or despise. Most times, the same feelings also preoccupy us when we have to do repetitive, boring and menial jobs. The reality is that every individual would have to necessarily put up with a variety of tasks, that fall into one or more of the above activities that are  disenchanting and boring. Take any job; repetition and boredom are inbuilt into it because that is the very nature of life. Even in the animal kingdom, preying, hunting, procreation, protecting the young ones and survival is the cycle that is ordained for every specie.  However the human race alone, sees their life cycle as a herculean task and a challenge. Ironically, this is because we are blessed with a very high degree of imagination, thinking powers and creativity which unfortunately we do not utilize well. Instead we prefer to distort the reality imaginatively enough to merely wallow in self pity. Life would be much more engaging, interesting and fun filled if we were to first accept the reality and then proactively engage with it.

To ensure that every day is a new day filled with opportunities and hope, look at life differently. Here is how one does it

Feel blessed to be alive to enjoy the day – Every living moment is a blessing. Once you make this realization you would value each moment. Your fears and frustrations will disappear once you realize that you are here for a purpose and that you are given the opportunity to contribute and succeed by being alive. So many die young never fulfilling their promise nor experiencing the joy of fulfillment.  Others die old, yet without having made a difference in their lives or in the life of others. Each day you are alive is a blessing; each moment an opportunity and every action you take can be made meaningful.

Be happy that you have something concrete to do – Even the jobless have a task of finding a suitable employment. Those having a job have something to look forward to every day. It is possible that the vast majority of us are often disillusioned with their jobs, they are striving to do something more meaningful and rewarding. Yet the fact that there is something to engage you, is itself a blessing denied to many. Once we this realization is made, the present situation looks a lot more promising, fulfilling and rewarding. Many of those looking for a job fail to land one largely because of their own limited vision, partly because of their inability to identify and discern alternative opportunities and partly because of their inability to accept their reality that they are often striving for something  they don’t deserve. If they accept their reality they would alter their thinking and redirect their efforts to more realistic alternatives.

Be aware that no task is menial; visualize yourself as an important cog – In most work places, the clerical staff are missed most when absent. They are also the most lowly paid, Does this not look abnormal. The reality is that the clerical staff may not be doing a job that significantly influences the business but they certainly are critical to the daily functioning at the work place. However, although their influence is significant, their presence is not recognized till they are absent. Their role is  vital for smooth functioning on a day to day basis even though they do not have any long term strategically critical influence. When we analyze our own role there are times when we too will feel insignificant. Does it in anyway reduce or marginalize our role? In any committee there would be limited number of people holding office bearers position but it is the rest of the committee that gives direction and legitimacy to the office bearers. In any team there can be just one captain but each member is equally important to ensure the team does well.

Focus on doing the job well enough to make you proud – One reason we see ourselves as insignificant and unimportant is because we do not visualize ourselves as playing any significant role in life. It is important that we realize that every role that we play be it as a child, a parent, an employee or a retired individual has its own importance in influencing the world around. You set an example, you show the way, you guide by using your experience, you motivate with encouragement and you certainly are a glue to family and social ties. Once you perceive the importance of the role you play, you will accept it with open arms and then act decisively to ensure you play your part well.

Aim to improve, grow and rise in whatever your calling – Time takes a toll on every individual; it slows down reflexes, there could be health issues or it could be merely confusion about what to do next. Yet time does not take away your ability to contribute in whatever manner one can. With every passing day, we are enriched by our interactions, our experiences, our failures and our successes. We also learn each day and we can also share each day the knowledge we posses, utilize the experience we have gained and actively participate in a calling of our choice. This gets momentum once we accept the reality that we may not be as effective as we once were but there is nothing to stop us gamely contributing.

Experience the joy of a task well done – The motivation that drives individuals to contribute despite the boredom, the humdrum of everyday monotony and the repetitive nature of the work is the elation we get that we have done a good job. It is essential that we experience this joy, soak in the pleasure of doing an excellent job and seek motivation in continuing to script success daily. So age will not be a bar, health would not be an impediment, the extent of your contribution would not be a dampener for you have accepted the reality and have chosen to act to the best of your abilities. You derive pleasure from participation, contribution and

Try these:

Make a list of at least 3-5 things you want to do because you are passionate about it. It is possible that some of the items on the list seem farfetched to achieve because of your current  physical, financial or academic limitations. Perhaps they seem farfetched because you have not really sat down to think and study it at length. Pick one activity out of that list and begin earnestly to get some tangible outcome. E.g. You want to be a magician. Find out about magic schools in your city teaching the art. Go to a library and find out books that teach you magic tricks. Ask friends and relatives about magicians who could teach you the art. Begin by mastering card tricks. Look up other resources on the net to get more inputs. Practice and master a few tricks and try it on your friends and family. Learn from the feedback.

Take inspiration from the following video’s of people who Accepted their reality and then acted to make the best use of their abilities. Click on the links to view.

http://tinyurl.com/hsueztl – Inspiration from Nick Vujicic

http://tinyurl.com/bpesfbf – Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Read the inspirational article by paraplegic M.P.Anil Kumar by clicking on the following link

http://tinyurl.com/gmr2maq   

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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11- Being resourceful is the keyWhen confronted with a challenge, a problem, a dilemma, a threat, an obstacle or danger, chances are that we would furiously think of ways to mitigate the issue. This is normal human reaction for that is how we are psychologically conditioned to act.  The issue is actually what we do next. Many of us give up daring to execute our plans for fear of failure. Some would simply give up even trying to identify a solution rationalizing that the circumstance confronting us is far beyond our own ability to cope up with. There would be others who make half hearted attempts to at least postpone the inevitable, in the fond hope of the matter resolving itself over time. The circumstances confronting you are not your enemy. Being afraid to think and act is the real enemy.

Being resourceful is all about thinking quick and acting purposefully. In fact thinking quick is often a natural reaction. However, we tend to keep prejudging our thoughts, ideas, alternatives and opportunities thereby largely neutralizing the power of those immediate thoughts. Acting purposefully is a bigger challenge for we normally tend to react to circumstances rather than act with a clear plan in mind. So is resourcefulness just a matter of generating alternative solutions? Ideating and creativity are just one tool for being resourceful albeit a critical and important tool. Resourcefulness goes far beyond merely thinking up alternatives. It is setting up yourself to triumph over circumstances.

Here are some pointers to being resourceful and using them to overcome the obstacles that confront you.

Believe in yourself – The first thought that often comes to mind when confronted with a challenge is oh no. This is quickly followed by thoughts that revolve around Why me? Can I? This is terrible. I can’t cope with this. It is unfair. It is important to remember that every individual does face challenges at various times in varied degrees and the challenges cover a wide spectrum. One either copes with the challenge or gets overcome by the challenge. The first step to coping with a problem is to believe that you have the mental, physical and emotional strength to find a solution. Unless you believe in yourself you would not seek to find a solution.

Think/ ideate / be creative / visualize– Thinking holds the key to generating solutions. It could be logical or rational thinking, it could be creative thinking, it could be idea generation or it could be visualizing big and narrowing to specifics. There is a solution and I can find it must be the mantra. The solution could be completely off beat, it could be risky, it may require a tremendous leap of faith or it could be so very simple you start doubting its efficacy. Look at all the technological wonders around you and you would realize that each of them is a marvel in itself. More importantly each improvement is actually a solution to a problem that was worked out by someone who believed they could find a solution.

Create the right environment to act The toughest part of being resourceful is reassuring yourself constantly that you are capable, competent and clear about your resourcefulness paying off. Sometimes it would be the nagging doubts in your mind, other times it could be the nay sayers who discourage you, occasionally it would be those days when nothing seems to go right and mostly it would be the let me give up feeling that comes like waves of a nausea. To cope with this it is essential that you create the right environment. This includes simple things like ensuring you have the right tools to work with, the physical environment suits your temperament, you bounce ideas of people who will give you dispassionate and encouraging feedback, you brace yourself to dealing with failure, your tune your mind to find encouragement in the smallest success that you attain.

Act decisively to attain your objective – This the toughest part of being resourceful because this requires daring and is test of yourself belief. Just as one cannot cross a chasm in two steps, acting decisively means taking a giant leap of faith. The plans on the drawing board would remain just that, till they are translated into concrete action. There are no auspicious moments, no perfect time to begin. Making that commitment by beginning ensures that you will make those extra efforts to keep going. It is possible that you will be tempted to rethink, to reassess, to go back to the drawing board, to give up, to start differently but once you get the momentum it is a commitment that will linger and persist and draw you back to continue.

If at first you don’t succeed, start again. Very few have ever succeeded in their first attempt. However, it is those who didn’t give up their quest for success who ultimately triumph. Few plans pan out the way they are planned. There would be detours, there would be complications, there could be road blocks, there could be frustration and there will be discouragement. Keep your goal in mind. It must be sufficiently big enough to motivate but not so large that you are overawed by the challenge. Most importantly you must enjoy the journey. Be desperate, determined and driven; then you will be resourceful enough to see your dream come through no matter how long it takes or how many attempts it takes.

Try this:

  • Can you think of unique ways to celebrate your birthday or that of a close friend or family member?
  • During the coming week, check out the various cultural activities that will take place in your city and attend at least 2 such activities that you have never even been too. Identify 2 new things you learned in the process and find a way to implement it or utilize it.
  • From the various posts in your social media sites list out 5 posts that caught your imagination. Of these are there any that you think you can replicate or adapt to make the world around you a better place?
  • If you had the resources to start a social service initiative what would you start? How would your initiative be different from those existing? Even without the resources can you implement some of the unique ideas you have in mind?

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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8 - Refocus and get clarity

Clarity of thought is a quality that is essential for every individual so that he /she can progress forward in the right direction. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, individuals have always grappled with the problem of confusion, an inability to be decisive and worse of constantly looking back and wondering if they chose their path wisely. Most of our lives we have been told to avoid problems. In school one is taught to solve problems. Most of our adult life we are anticipating problems and seeking ways to avoid it. As a result the problem overwhelms us, we are hell bent on avoiding or solving problems and we are apprehensive of moving away from the beaten path lest we encounter problems that we have never experienced. So instead of exploring and discovering we prefer to gingerly and tentatively traverse on known paths occasionally daring to venture into some shallow waters. Our horizons are limited our growth is stunted and our sense of achievement is scaled down.

Today the startups, the youngsters having dreams of alternative professions and those leapfrogging from staid professions to dynamic alternatives are tribute to mind set change from problem avoidance to solution finding. Our training of being defensive and risk averse has actually prepared us to easily reorient our thinking into seeking problems and finding solutions. Instead of letting your mind constantly worry about the problem, let it now dwell in anticipation of finding alternative solutions. With this changed orientation in our thinking we allow our creative self to take over. Problems are merely irritants, solutions are there to be found and in finding the solutions you discover your potential, create something unique and possibly even build a new paradigm of success for yourself. Man’s inability to fly was a problem since evolution. Those who saw it as a problem and did nothing about it rationalized that we really didn’t need to fly and so came up with alternative means of transportation. The Wright brothers on the other hand viewed the inability to fly as a problem deserving an appropriate solution. Their aircraft crude as it may have been pioneered the aircraft industry later. The hot air balloon and the drones are also examples of how solution centric answers can become very effective.

We need to watch out for three impediments that could take away our focus from being solution centric

Fear of the problem – It is true that every problem comes with its share of anxiety. When we let this anxiety overtake our rationality we remain problem centric. Our anxiety increases with the passing of time and no acceptable solution visible on the horizon. On the other hand if we analyze the problem dispassionately, we would be able to appreciate the varied dimensions of the problem and perhaps even see various alternative solutions peeping from some corners. Pick up a newspaper and try to solve the crosswords or Sudoku problem in it.

Distraction due to anxietyBefore you attempt the above keep a personal time limit to solve the problem. Notice how you get more tense, distracted and frustrated that the time is running out. Your attention is now drawn towards the deadline rather than the problem itself. This distraction will take away your concentration. On the other hand if you focus on finding solutions you will get at least some answers by the time the deadline approaches.

Urge to disown the problem – Very often we just want to somehow get rid of the problem. If possible we try to pass it on to others. If not we try to find excuses for the problem still being there. Very often we try to find someone to blame for the problem. This urge to get rid of the problem, to disown the problem, to pass the buck is our way of escapism. It neither helps in getting a solution nor does it ease our anxiety for the problem persists.

Watch out for the above and immediately change your thinking to finding a solution and keep seeking alternate solutions till you have ample alternatives to choose the best one. Yes problems often come with many many solutions. Keep searching for the best one.

Try this:

Click on this link to get an idea of how to FOCUS

You are given a barometer and asked to measure the height of a building. Think of 3 possible solutions to the problem. (Having a science inclination would help but oh yes every one can attempt 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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