Category: responsibility

Choosing the right pain

Choosing the right pain

It is often said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. There is much truth in this statement. Today though, we are going to look at choosing the right pain so that suffering never becomes an option. This is the pain of discipline which in the long run is an excellent antidote against physical, emotional, moral and ethical suffering. The problem with discipline is one of finding the right motivation and sustaining it over a life time. Discipline is one pain that is not excruciating but is more in the nature of a dull ache that remains lifelong. However it is also a pain that is a constant reminder that one is active, making progress and rapidly moving towards attaining some goals.

While motivation is the fulcrum around which discipline revolves, there are other factors that play an equally critical role. Here is what one needs to do to cope with the pain of discipline so that the ache is relatively easier to bear and put up with.

Set goals – The first thing each individual needs to have in front of her/ him are clear cut goals to be achieved. Very broadly one must have goals for personal, financial, professional and emotional aspects of one’s life. Goals must not be mere dreams or hopes but clearly outlined end points to reach. Use SMART goal setting to list out your goals. Your first goal is to read up on SMART goal setting and write down your goals.

Plan your day – Remember school days where there was a time table that helped ensure you did all the home work and prepared for tests. It did help that the schools and teachers were strict and enforced the discipline. Something similar like a time table existed in college too but we were largely given a choice to follow it. Except for attendance being taken off and on, no one really enforced anything. Perhaps that is the point where we lost focus in following a time table. If one has a plan or time table for the day, it enables one to focus on tasks required to attain the targets set. More importantly one can prioritize which is the key to time management which is another important aspect of being disciplined.

Make no excuses – Excuses are the bane of discipline. Waiting for an auspicious day, date or time is one excuse that delays starting. However even more dangerous are the frivolous reasons or excuses that we use to rationalize being indisciplined. Eliminate excuses and pronto you get disciplined.

Learn to say NO – If excuses are a bane for discipline, our inability to say NO to others as well as to our own devilish mind are the super bugs that destroy any semblance of discipline in us. Saying NO to others is viewed as being rude, bad mannered and very unpleasant. However what we forget is that one needs to say NO to anyone or any situation that is potentially harming our interests. It does not mean that we are self centered but focused on the greater good for the self. We certainly refuse sugar in any form if suffering from serious diabetes but find it hard to say NO to something that will definitely disturb our discipline and in turn cause hurt or damage to us. Incidentally, even a diabetic may find it hard to say NO to a very tempting dessert and all the good work done to control his/ her diabetes is undone because of lack of self discipline.

Find MOTIVATION – Motivation comes from fear or gain. The first form of motivation is rather negative in outlook but is just as effective to be disciplined. Fear of ill health is the major reason for people adopting healthy life styles be it exercising, eating right, avoiding smoking etc. However the greater motivator is the prospect of gain. Being appreciated for the fitness, feeling energetic and looking smart are more appealing reasons for having a disciplined life style. Similarly find intrinsic motivation to be disciplined. Intrinsic motivation is  the Motivation that gives you a high from within. Intrinsic motivation is more sustaining, readily adopted and much more fulfilling in the long run; discipline is nothing but embracing motivation.

Try these:                 

  • Have you written down your goals? If not do it first.  Next write down the special actions required to be taken to achieve your goals.
  • Practice saying NO at least three times a day. Toughest is to say NO to a boss / person in authority. When was the last time you said NO to your boss?
  • Can you identify your motivation to read this post till this point? How are you going to make use of the learning’s from this post?
  • If you had time to do just three things before you die, what are the three things you would do? Can you do them NOW?

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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The power within you

The power within you

From childhood, we are taught to respect authority and to seek approval from parents, elders, and authorities before we take any major action. We also look upto them for approval to confirm that we have done a good job. There is logic and wisdom in this method for those older and wiser have greater experience and expertise which comes in handy to guide a novice.  Yet, as the years go by the novice begins to gain experience, wisdom and independent thinking. At times her/his knowledge may far exceed that of his elders. However just as old habits die hard, the need to seek approval remains partly as a mark of respect but chiefly because one hesitates to break the ties and be our own person. Maturity and independence is  translated into power when the  individual takes that giant leap of making her/ his own decisions without any approval of others. It also marks the coming of age of the individual and is a sign of the power each individual holds within.

Here are the steps to realizing and utilizing your real power:

Take responsibility – This is the key to becoming powerful. Unless one takes responsibility for the consequences of a decision / action, it is impossible for a person to be powerful. It is easy to take credit for success but almost impossible to take complete responsibility for failure. The tendency to apportion blame on circumstances, people and bad luck is common place but to own up to the problem is a tad difficult.

Be decisive – A major reason for people not using their full potential and power is their indecision. Sometimes tough decisions have to be taken for the larger good. The tough decisions can have serious consequences for some and great leaders are aware of this yet firmly give their orders. A general in war may have to sacrifice his people for the greater good of winning the war. At other times the same General may have to surrender because he knows his army cannot win and large number of lives from both sides would be lost.  In life we have our own personal wars with simple things like changing a job or giving up on a dream or pursuing a passion that is disapproved by all well wishers.

Look beyond – Your real power is not in what you achieve in the short term but how you go about realizing your big dream. Think big, think beyond the immediate horizon, and visualize the impact you will have on the world around you when you peak. What you do today must help you leap ahead of the completion. That is the way a leader goes up and leaves the rest of the pack behind. Take the pack along as you go but lead the pack with a promise of glory and join them in toasting the success you envisioned and achieved.

Shape it your way – Furrow your own path. Do not imitate. You must carve out your own destiny and shape it the way you have visualized it. It must be different, unique and special for you. This does not mean that you do something no one has done before. It means that you do it the way a music director comes up with a new tune or music arrangement. It must be music to your ears, colorful in your eyes and pleasing to the heart. The world around must also get to feel the same in their lives and heart.

Try these:

  • Think of the three most important decisions in your life that you have taken. What was the outcome? Were you influenced by anyone to take any or all of these decisions? Which was the toughest decision you took and why was it so hard? Which decision do you ever regret and why?
  • What was the most humiliating or painful experience in your life? How did you feel then and how do you feel now? Do you still carry the hurt with you even now? Have you made peace with that episode yet?
  • Take crayons or paint and explore abstract art. E.g. take a piece of paper and fold it in two. Open the paper and on one side at various places put various colors of wet paint. Then fold the paper and randomly rub it in any direction. Open the paper and see the handiwork. Similarly you can experiment using a couple of strings in the paper then folding the paper and drawing out the strings. The quality of the outcome is less important than the experience and variety of art work you manage thereafter.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The elimination diet

The elimination diet

The focus of a healthy diet is largely on what is good to eat and then on eliminating what must be avoided. To have a healthy mind and body a similar approach must be taken with emphasis on the emotions and feelings over which must exercise control and eliminate. That in turn will give space for healthy emotions and feelings to fill up and expand the quality of one’s life. The following unhealthy emotions must be eliminated so that one can have ample space to plant and nurture good emotions.

Anger – Anger they say is one letter short of danger. It is an emotion that is relatively easily provoked, often over trivial’s and frequently indulged in when the opposite party is a loved one who we often take for granted. The hacks to control anger include taking deep breaths, delaying any response to any provocation, responding instead of reacting, walking away from a potentially explosive situation etc. (Read more about Anger by clicking on the following link – https://actspot.wordpress.com/category/anger/ )

Regret – Looking back hoping things could have been different will never change the reality that you are in. Regrets only open up old wounds, create dissatisfaction with the present and drains a person emotionally. By eliminating regret, the focus shifts to the blessings of the present and using the opportunities available will open the doors to progress and success.  ( Read more about regret by clicking on the following link- https://actspot.wordpress.com/category/regrets/ )

Resentment – By hating someone and harboring thoughts of revenge all one is doing is fueling resentment for another. Resentment merely saps our energies by diverting it to imaginary, non productive and a dangerous path of self destruction. It is best to let bygones be bygones. Avoid people or situations that have got you grief so that you do not have to keep wondering about getting even. Instead focus on how you can succeed despite all the obstacles that you have had to face.

Guilt – While you may have some regrets about your behavior or the harm you caused others never let that guilt keep gnawing at your conscience. Ideally be brave enough to apologize and confess your mistake so that the slate is wiped clean. If you let guilt shadow you, the rest of your life you will be leading with one eye behind to see if the shadow is still around. It will slow down your effectiveness, make you less of a risk taker and send you on frivolous guilt trips that drain out your mental peace and energies.

Blame – Blame is the antithesis of responsibility. Blame is merely a way to pass on the buck. The responsibility is often never fixed on the right shoulders, the problems remain and blame only offers temporary let off. A blame game is the only game where there are no winners merely poor losers. It can also create animosity and bad blood leading to broken relationships. Occasionally blame also brings with it a fair share of guilt too. Growing up takes place when one is willing to shoulder responsibility; blame won’t nurture that.

Worry – Worry they say is like sitting on a rocking chair- lots of movement but not going anywhere. Worry never solves problems. It becomes a millstone round the neck that weighs a person down from performing her/ his best. Worry also triggers a wide variety of ill health physically, mentally and emotionally. It is best to embrace the reality and move on with life. The past cannot be changed; why waste time worrying over it. The future  is there for you to utilize; how about planning, thinking, working on making a wonderful future. ( To read more click on the following – https://actspot.wordpress.com/tag/worry/ and https://actspot.wordpress.com/category/past-2/ )

Try these:

  1. Make a list of the anger, regret, resentment, guilt, blame, worry that you still have within you. After writing it put the list in a small box and put the box away. It can help detoxify you from these negative emotions that you have held so long in your heart.
  2. When was the last time you did the following:
  • Apologized to someone who you had wronged
  • Let go of a guilt.
  • Forgave someone who had wronged you.
  • Took the blame for someone else’s mistake
  • Worried about something that never happened

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

No excuses please

18- 02- 14 Jan 18- Quit Making excusesPerhaps you too like many, have made some excellent New Year resolutions. However, like the vast majority, you too could already be feeling the pressure of sticking to the resolutions set. It is quite possible that we have already defaulted on a few already and are feeling a tinge of guilt about it. Our problems stem from our inability to take responsibility and own the challenges that we have set for ourselves. It all starts with us making excuses for any aberration that we are guilty of. We blame circumstances, others around us and occasionally our own ineptitude. We rarely resolve to overcome the circumstances or to ignore those who knowingly or unknowingly derail our plans. Worst of all, we accept our ineptitude as a character flaw that cannot be corrected.

If we simply pay more attention to correcting our personal flaws, the resultant benefits would be mind-boggling. The first step is to stop complaining. Complains are akin to a carpenter blaming his tools instead of working on enhancing his skills. While at times one may face trying circumstances and daunting challenges, these are the times when one has to dig deep into one’s reserves and find that extra something to overcome the challenge.

Worrying, whining and crying are common traits displayed by failures. These are excuses masquerading in varied forms that paralyze an individual from taking some proactive steps.  In reality they do bigger damage in that the individual neither seeks help nor helps himself/ herself and instead they let circumstances dominate their future. Day dreaming is a more pleasurable way of circumventing reality. The pleasure lasts just as long as the dream and then the individual comes crashing down with a real thud. Day dreaming is a passive way to while away one’s time creating an illusion of success to be achieved in the future. Neither success nor the future materialize the way it appears in day dreams.

The way ahead is to be determined, disciplined and dispassionate. Be determined that you are going to achieve your goals / New Year resolution/ targets set. Wake up each morning with the goal in mind. Let the pursuit of the goal never slip out of your mind. Go to bed with thoughts of the progress made towards achieving your goals. Discipline is following the specific steps outlined to attain your goal. No excuses for not following the steps must be your mantra. If required sacrifice other pleasures just to ensure you have the time to follow the steps outlined. To keep nay sayers and critics at bay you need to be dispassionate and not let emotions and fears cloud your goal. Listen to those who have your welfare at heart. Listen to criticism. However, you must learn to ignore what does not suit your plans because only you can visualize the goal and success you have set for yourself.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of the most common excuses you are guilty of making. Your goal is to ensure you eliminate or at least minimize the use of these excuses in the coming days.
  2. Outline three reasons why you have not actively pursued a latent passion. Jot down three action points that will help you pursue your passion starting this coming week. Ensure you don’t use excuses to not begin work on your passion or discontinue it soon after beginning it.
  3. What are the qualities of a person you admire that you will like to adopt? Begin work on imbibing those qualities starting now.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

My vision for the New Year

18- 01 - 01 Jan 18 -Your visionA New Year; a new perspective for the year is the aim of this post. Rephrased – it is MY New Year and therefore it is MY Vision for the year that I will lay out.

It is obvious that each person reading this post will have to identify and enumerate his/ her own vision for the year.  What is common though, is the following reality that is applicable to each individual :

You need to see your vision –  This is perhaps the toughest aspect of the  process of visioning. It requires that the individual spend time thinking about what he/ she wants from life, the goals to be set, the process of attaining the goals, the dreams and aspirations one has, seeing a larger picture of the personal future that one hopes to attain. The process is constantly evolving through out one’s life time. What is critical is the individual being able to regularly nourish the dreams/ vision with hope, faith, effort and passion.

You need to trust your vision – The trouble with visioning is that we start questioning ourselves and our abilities to attain what we deeply cherish. If the individual cannot trust his dreams, it will be extremely difficult for him/ her to convince others, to personally put in the best and to work with passion towards the vision. The biggest problem comes from naysayers, critics, well meaning but vision-less family, friends and mentors. Your vision is something you have set for yourself and so it is almost impossible for others to appreciate and understand its significance for you. When the vision is clear, the passion strong and the effort ceaseless, nothing can stop you from attaining your vision.

You need to work for your vision – You and you alone have to take responsibility for realizing your vision. You cannot blame circumstances, fate, detractors for your failure to realize your dreams. Hard work, smart work and focused effort will be the bed rock on which any vision gets realized. No one but you can do it. Of course, one needs to evolve the vision to suit the times. One needs to be pragmatic yet optimistic, passionate without being obstinate, learn to adopt and adapt current trends and plan with purpose and execute with diligence.

Try these:

  1. Just list out 5 goals you seek to achieve in the next six months. Ensure you have an inbuilt measure to determine your progress each month.
  2. Write down what you will do with a one million ( ten lakhs) rupees lottery that you win?
  3. Outline your vision with respect to the following
  • Increasing your knowledge
  • Enhancing your financial well being
  • Contributing to social causes
  • Making your family life even more fun filled

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

An energy called YOU

28- An Energy called YOUThe sun is the universal source of energy but YOU are an equal source of energy, especially for the people around you and those in your circle of influence. If you didn’t cry at birth the doctors and the nursing staff, not to mention your parents would be very worried. Bet you put all your energy into crying loudly to announce your arrival and to proclaim that you carry with you, enough energy to transform the world. If you remained listless anytime during your tender growing up age, your parents would be very worried. It is your energy that was replicated in your zest that parents crave for. No doubt, too much energy can make you disruptive and mischievous but ask any parent and they would prefer that, to a dull submissive listless individual. Every individual is thus blessed with enough and more energy; but it needs to be channelized well.

You can ensure that your energies are best channelized by ensuring the following:

Having the right thoughts – Every action is triggered by the thoughts one has. Hence it is critical that one needs to be able to train the mind to be positive, confident and proactive. In a dynamic world, where there is constant turbulence minute to minute, our thoughts too keep churning at a rapid pace. It can oscillate from one extreme of unbridled happiness to the other extreme of despondency depending on the happenings around. Training the mind to have the right thoughts consists of being balanced in good times and in bad, developing the art of seeing the glass full no matter how desperate  the situation and being able to focus on a win win solution at all times.

Ensuring you have the right emotions – Emotions in simplistic terms are thoughts being converted into feelings. Since it is the thoughts that are converted into feelings, the feelings expressed would display the same characteristics of the original feelings. Negative emotions like anger, frustration, jealousy etc. would largely reflect the thoughts that triggered the emotion as much as hope, confidence, happiness etc. reflect the positive thoughts. It is possible though that despite entertaining negative thoughts like fear, anxiety, hopelessness etc. we can still retain control over our emotions and channelize them in a positive manner. E.g. Seeing failure as a stepping stone to success.

Taking the right actions – Both thoughts and emotions that remain bottled up merely traumatize a person mentally. It is the when one channelizes these thoughts and emotions into tangible action that the energy in you gets momentum and coverts itself into results. The right actions are overwhelmingly determined by thoughts and emotions but to get it right one has to take into consideration the ground realities. E.g. Anger is a perfectly legitimate thought and emotion when plans fail or things are messed up because of tardy execution. Expressing it is also a perfectly valid action to ensure that those responsible for triggering it, realize their folly. However, anger if expressed in a hostage like situation can be very counterproductive.

Since you are a very potent source of energy, you should be aware at all times about the tremendous power you have and ensure that you use it responsibly. More importantly learn to use it with confidence and integrity by aligning your thoughts, emotions and actions.  

Try these

  1. Think of a few situations where you were embarrassed by your own thoughts emotions and actions / /behavior. E.g. when you lost your temper or did not stand up for what was right or when you cheated in an exam etc.
  2. In the recent past did you succumb to the following:
  • Shouting at someone
  • Cheating in a game
  • Using foul language
  • Telling a lie
  • Becoming jealous
  • Intimidating someone

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Buried or planted?

19-28 May-17- Buried or plantedWhen you come to a road block in life or when the future looks dark and gloomy, panic is inevitable, but worse still is the feeling of helplessness. Both panic and helplessness result in just one ending; giving up and surrendering without exploring alternatives/ opportunities / possibilities.

On the other hand when faced with a mountain/ road block / a spiked fence, look at it as a challenge to your ingenuity; a dare to be taken on. Find a way over it, under it or around it. The moment you think it is the end of the road; you will never see the pathways adjacent. It is almost like lying face down and burying your head in the mud. It is dark, musty, irritating and hopeless. What you need to do is not push downward to find a way out but turn over to see the sky the clouds and the infinite universe beckoning you. It is a paradigm shift but one which opens up completely new opportunities and possibilities.

Every individual must believe that he/ she is a seed that can still sprout and bear fruit. Age is no bar, you being healthy or not is not an issue, your status in life is no limitation; for you can always give of yourself to the world. Accept what comes your way, then adapt to the situation you find yourself in, search for a way to sprout and grow; it will take time it will take effort but it will be worth it.  Many of us are like discarded seeds found on the roadsides; full of potential but alas not planted. You need not be planted underground to sprout and grow. How many of us volunteer as blood donors; have a social cause that we engage in; take the effort to discharge our civic obligations like voting or become responsible citizens by avoiding use of plastic bags; segregating waste; following the rules of the road etc. Similarly, when planted underground as would be the case when one is faced with injustice or a debilitating disease, do I simply surrender or fight back? Can I file an RTI or make the effort to get the wrong corrected? Can I opt to be an organ donor? Can I participate in an awareness march or protest march to protect the environment or save more water and actively engage in similar such causes?

You are buried when you go underground without a whimper; you are planted when you can sprout and grow and display your presence especially in arid conditions.

Try these:

  1. Write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper sharing your concern and giving suggestions about a local social issue or problem that you feel very strongly about.
  2. Source the following:
  • The method of filing an RTI application
  • An eye donation / organ donation form
  • List of NGO’s working in the area of your social concern
  • The name and address of the authorities concerned to whom you can report a problem pertaining to your deepest concern e.g. garbage clearance / burst pipeline

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Never complain, never explain

18- 18 May 17- Never explain never complainThe moment things do not go as per our plan or wishes, the tendency is to complain about something or the other that we believe, derailed our plans. Similarly, no sooner we are criticized, before we even ingest the criticisms, we are quick off the blocks with our explanations and excuses. To maintain our individuality, to become independent in thought, word and deed it is essential that we act as per our convictions and take responsibility for the consequences of our action. No matter what the outcome, there is no need to complain or explain; for it is the outcome of a responsible action.

To ensure one takes a good independent decision follow these rules:

Act responsibly: This is tougher than it looks because sometimes temptations, the need to act macho, the ego to prove something, the urge to defy others etc. overtakes our rationality and we act emotionally thereby opening up the risk of doing things that we may regret later. Responsible behavior is being fully aware of the consequences and being more rational and less emotional. You will never have to justify your action for you took it responsibly.

Take responsibility: There are times when you as a member of a team have to stand by your team and your leader even if you have a dissenting view about the action taken. Similarly as a leader there are times that you have to take harsh and unpleasant decisions which the majority may not favor. These are the times you take responsibility without fear or favor.

Learn from the feedback: There is always scope for improvement. Hence it is important that even if you don’t have to explain or never opt to complain, listen carefully to the criticism, the suggestions, the alternatives and the explanations given by others. Look also for examples of others; those who succeed, those who fail, those who did not act and those who sat on the fence. Everyone is offering free lessons to learn from; keep learning!

Think before you act: You should seek out the best from books, people, experiences and thought. However the decision has to be taken by you after applying your mind to the action you are going to trigger. Be aware of the velocity your action will trigger, the reactions it will generate and the goal it is set to achieve. When you are sure that there is balance between these and that it is time to be decisive act with confidence and faith. There is nothing you will regret ever.

Try these:

  • Which was the best decision that you took in your life?
  • What is the one mistake you still regret?
  • What was the stupidest decision you took under pressure from others?
  • What was the one situation you had to make up an excuse to get out of trouble?

 Did you face the following situations and how did you deal with it?

  • Your parents asking you to justify your poor scores in exams
  • Your coach benching you for a poor performance
  • Your friend / partner / spouse constantly complaining about a certain behavioral trait of yours

 List out your complains against the following people

  • Your parents / siblings
  • Your colleagues/ bosses
  • Your three best friends
  • Your neighbor
  • The last three co-passengers who disappointed you

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com