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22 - 6Aug15-channelise your angerAll our negative qualities have possibilities of being harnessed and channelized into productive action. Negative qualities are akin to nuclear power, which is largely understood as being a destructive force because of the Atom Bomb and is unfortunately not well known for being a rich source of productive energy, used widely for generating electricity. Anger is a common enough human impulse and largely manifests itself in sudden and provocative outbursts often laced with violence and expletives. The consequences are fear, equally reactive anger, mistrust, bad blood and a breakdown of meaningful communication. Anger converts itself in disruptive, unproductive, wasted energy.

Since anger is a natural response that we are all born with, we cannot eliminate that emotion. However, it is possible for each of us to harness its power by our own proactive initiative and channelize it into a utilitarian energy that will bring us peace, happiness and results. Here are ways to channelize anger into productive energy:

Release it gently – When angry, most people react aggressively with a raised voice, a string of expletives, level unsubstantiated allegations, cast aspersions on others and vitiate the environment. At times, an expression of anger is justified in order to grab attention, emphasize authority, highlight the importance of an issue or merely to get rid of pent up emotion. However bursts of anger must be well controlled, appropriately directed and sparingly resorted to, so as to be effective. Ideally one must be able to channelize anger like a laser beam to pinpoint the problem and cull it before it spreads. Anger must not be expressive; it must not be demonstrative; it must only be sharp, incisive and administered in the right dosage and focused on resolving an issue without destroying the relationship.

Channelize it appropriately – When anger is expressed, it often transpires that there is more collateral damage done than intended. Often the anger is directed at the wrong person or issue, the expression of anger is completely disproportionate to the problem being tackled, it creates more psychological trauma than effective problem resolution and often on hindsight one would realize that it was both futile and stupid to have let off so much steam and become emotionally drained. To channelize anger appropriately the trick is to distinguish between a problem and a person. Never end up shooting the messenger. Do a root cause analysis and then focus on the real problem without flying off the handle impulsively.

Burn it up productively – President Abraham Lincoln once famously remarked that ‘Write a letter when angry and you would have written the best letter you ever regretted’. The beauty of the wisdom in that observation lies not in what is apparent but in the immense possibility it holds to productively burn up our anger. Express your anger in private; shout, scream, rave, rant, write down all your feelings, fling things around but do so when alone and then tear off what your wrote, clean up the mess you created and by then you would have regained your equilibrium and expended your pent up emotions. When angry take deep breathes and count to 10 if still angry count another 10 and so on till your breathing stabilizes and your anger subsidies. Don’t forget that anger is just one alphabet short of danger.

Make anger your anchor. – When there is a tempest in your life, frustration and anger coupled with self pity aggravate your plight. The anger that wells up within could turn into a poisonous gas that can explode; but you can, with a strong will and determination, rationalize and convert it into a strong anchor that will steady your thoughts and enable you to weather the storm. The satygraha movement that Gandhiji resorted to, is one of history’s best examples of how anger was anchored to help a nation win freedom from its foreign rulers. In daily life, if one is unfairly criticized and anger wells up within, use that energy to perform efficiently with vengeance and then prove your worth to those who criticized and tormented you. They will view you in a new light; with a wee bit of remorse and a large dose of admiration at your efficiency and equanimity that you displayed despite the provocation. Try not to react to anger but absorb the energy that anger generates and direct it towards a productive goal. Imagine yourself to be a batsmen using the pace of the ball to skillfully direct it between the fielders to score runs.

Try these:

  1. Recollect the times when you got really angry and how did you react to the provocation for that anger. On hindsight was you anger justified? Would you have reacted differently today?
  2. Which of the following styles do you adopt when angry? Now that you realize it, how would you try to avoid that approach?
  • Be sarcastic
  • Be explosive
  • Blame / criticize others
  • Keep your anger pent up
  • Be constantly irritated and complaining
  • Express self pity
  • Shun people and go into a shell

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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4-16May14-That little extra

We are often envious of others, particularly if they have a skill set or ability or demonstrate an aptitude to do things in much better way than most people, including us. We are in awe of others who showcase an exceptional skill or perform with panache or come up with an extraordinary feat. Far too often we also rationalize that they are talented, blessed and or lucky to have that gift and we rue our fate that we are insignificant as compared to them. The crucial mistake that we make in judging extraordinary achievers while belittling our own capabilities is that we conveniently overlook the hard work, commitment and zeal that the achievers harness to make that extra difference that attracts success.

Here is how you too can pep up your life and your life, both personal and professional by getting that EXTRA zing into all what you do.

Enlarge your vision – We are limited by our thinking and hence it is imperative that we enlargen our vision and see beyond. This means we need to imagine possibilities, learn to appreciate people around, accept the situations as they develop, anticipate changes and become aware of happenings within us and around us. E.g. Try to find opportunities in problems / when doing a task imagine something more that you can contribute to it which will make the work excellent

Xplore creatively – When in difficulty we delve into our imagination and come with alternative solutions to our immediate problems. All we need to do now is harness this ability we have, to proactively ready ourselves for anticipated changes. It also provides us an opportunity to explore our own hidden strengths, discover new opportunities and create openings for us to progress. E.g. You love wildlife but do not know how to contribute to it. Have you explored options like adopting a wild animal in the local zoo or sponsoring someone to go for a jungle safari

Transform yourself – We are all creatures of habits, followers of routines, comfortable with the tried and tested. The extra edge we give ourselves begins by making a conscious effort to transform ourselves and altering ourselves to blend in / adapt to developments happening around us. E.g. Change your style of dressing/ attire/ attitude / dietary habits

Respond with alacrity – How we respond to events, happenings, situations and people would give us that extra edge in being noticed and being entrusted with greater responsibilities. Our responses would also hone our skills to think logically & creatively, act decisively and take responsibility. E.g When you not notice a social problem be it indiscriminate littering or a water leakage or non functional street lights do you only lament at the problem or do you contact the concerned authorities?

Act now –Most times we have good intent but lack the will power to execute our intent. Other times we begin in great earnest only to slowly succumb to our laziness, disheartenment and / or lure of other attractive alternatives. Frequently we find ourselves indecisive about how to move forward. Consequentially we remain in a limbo, suffer from paralysis by analysis and hope our inaction will result in some sort of solution favorable to us. The winners in life have always had to suffer losses and yet managed to overcome their defeats before they embraced success. Start NOW… no matter how you feel.

Try this:

  1. Find a productive way to spend 3 hours every week contributing to a cause / project/ activity that will have a positive impact on the social environment around you. E.g Spending time at an old age home / orphanage / hospice or spreading awareness about environmental concerns or educating the underprivileged etc.
  2. Choose from some of the options given below (you can add your own points too) to choose some action you will take immediately to add that little EXTRA to your life and make a difference
  • Listen more
  • Stop arguing
  • Criticize less
  • Appreciate more
  • Add some more value to the job being done
  • Be less self critical
  • Control temper
  • Eliminate a bad habit

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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Here is your assignement for the year

  1. You will receive a body. Quickly peek at yourself in the mirror. Better still admire your pictures preferably starting with the ones from your childhood, school days , college days, wedding time…. Have you noticed how you have grown? If you need to improve on you physical self, what is stopping you? Learn to love your body and you will take care of it better.
  1. You will learn lessons. Each day brings about new learning. It is a mixed bag; exciting, boring, painful, fun filled. How you learn from the lessons of life will make a qualitative difference to your daily living and your attitude and your circle of influence. Let the bitter lessons make you better and the exciting lessons motivate you.
  1. There are no Mistakes; only lessons.Mistakes are what we label those efforts that are not channelized right. In life no effort goes waste for it is the fount of all learning and so there are no mistakes only lessons from which we learn. If you stub your toe, is it a mistake? If you choose to attempt something dangerous and fail is that a mistake? If you decide to be a silent spectator instead of an active participant is that a mistake?
  1. A lesson is repeated until it is learned.This is the reason we keep repeating our mistakes for the lesson is not fully imbibed by us. If failure is a bitter lesson, success is a lesson in seeing hard work and effort pay off. Along the way there are lessons learnt from frustrations, irritation, patience, annoyance, disappointments and the like.
  1. Learning lessons does not end.Just when you think you have mastered something, you are faced with a new test. It could be handling people, coping with personal and professional challenges, sudden changes in social, professional or personal environment.
  1. ‘There’ is no better than ‘Here’An old adage that states that the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ sums it up all. No matter what we strive for or attain, when we look back each moment of our life has its own significance. While our riches and successes add luster to our life, we often lapse into the recess of our ‘good old days’ too. Don’t we all nostalgically look back to the days gone by?
  1. Others are merely mirrors of you.While your individuality is unique, the reality is that we have much more in common with each other than what we can imagine. Each one of us shares the same emotions and express ourselves in ways much like others. In liking or disliking others we are merely mirroring an image that we consciously or unconsciously have imbibed. The same is true of everyone else. Isn’t it time we made and effort to imbibe the best and thereby reflect the best in us and simultaneously learn to see the good in others?
  1. What you make of your life is up to you.People, circumstances and luck are labels we give to justify our success or failures in life. The truth is that it is up to us to gravitate towards the right people, chance upon the right circumstances and make the best of every opportunity that comes our way. As Longfellow says ‘We are the captain of our ship, the master of our fate’
  1. The answers lie inside you.Far too often we ask the wrong questions and alas we end up with frustrating answers.  We crave for what we do not have, pine for what we do not deserve and can conjure up a million excuses to justify ourselves. Ask yourself ‘what is it that I am seeking’ and presto you will see the way forward, grasp the truth and suddenly your life will light up too.
  1. Whether you think you can or can’t, in either case you will be right.To sum it all up, it is all in your mind. Think right, feel right, live right is the message.

So there is no better time than now to grasp the truth, face the reality and rework on your life and make it a journey of happiness and fulfillment.

Try this:

  • Have a relook at your New Year Resolution and if you don’t have one, get down to writing it down. For reference look up the immediate preceding post.
  • If not in one sentence, at least in 3- 5 sentences can you write down your personal ‘mission’ statement.
  • Out of the above 10 truths, pick the one truth that appeals the most to you and make it your ‘statement of purpose’ for the coming 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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13-3-Let your life reflect the beauty in you

By nature many of us tend to be modest and undervalue ourselves, possibly fearing that we would be branded egoistic. Then there are others who strut around displaying their brawn or brain or wealth partly to impress others but often to overcome some other shortcoming in them.  Of course there are many others who live an indifferent life, yearning to make an impact in the society they live in and hoping they get noticed. In reality, the world values and respects anyone who behaves, acts and demonstrates humane qualities, exemplary behavior and a sense of responsibility. This is perhaps the simplest and most natural way a normal human being should ideally respond, for each of us is born with the a multitude of virtues be it innocence, honesty, empathy, happiness and love.

Unfortunately the vices of the world, the pressures of survival and the craving to amass superimpose in our original self the artificiality of being worldly wise, attempting to be clever by half, walking the tight rope between reality and illusion and seeking self gratification at any cost. The once radiant self, the childlike innocence, the core values in us dissipate against the onslaught of the pressure to conform to the emerging standards of the society and environment around us. This change for the worse is reflected in our inability to be at peace with ourselves, our constant suspicion and apprehension of the world around us and our disgust, dislike and disapproval of people, circumstances and happenings around us.

Yet despite this gloomy and glum scenario, there is hope; hope that is well within your abilities and grasp; all it needs is YOU for you are the mirror that reflect backs what everyone else sees. Here are a few virtues which you can nurture and nourish to ensure that you live and reflect hope, harmony and   happiness where ever you are.

Smile. There is nothing so simple as smiling when your are happy, when you are at peace, when you want to lighten the mood, when you want to reach out to another, when you want to overlook and aberration by another, when the troubles seem overwhelming and when you want to experience bliss.  A smile relives the tensions, helps connect with another and gets others to experience your joy.

Respond. Reach out proactively, do something spontaneously, make things happen, take the lead, stand up to be counted, speak up to be heard, stand by a friend in trouble, confront the wrong doer, restrain your anger, realize your potential.

Give. Giving your time is perhaps the most challenging of all the gifts that you can give. Give unconditionally, give it free and give with grace be it time, money or love.

Accept. Accept with grace you faults, your mistakes, your limitations, the negative feedback and your punishments. More importantly accept your family, friends and colleagues as an extension of yourself, with all the limitations and imperfections that you have accepted of yourself.

Forgive. First learn to forgive yourself and get rid of the guilt of your past shortcomings, failings, mistakes and aberrations. Thereafter open your heart to those who have wronged you and forgive them their indiscretions and willful hurt they may have caused.

Love. If we have been stingy with this emotion, it is time we realized that this is one emotion that you will never run short of. Love yourself first, then those around, then go on to love your life as it exists, love the circumstances in which you are and love the miracle called life. Within those 4 alphabets lies the universal secret, that where there is LOVE Life Opens Virtuous Emotions.

Try this :

  1. For each of the 6 virtues enumerated above, outline one or two situations or people where you would find it extremely difficult to respond with the relevant virtue. Ask yourself if it is your ego that is the barrier or the hurt is too extensive or you fear a sense of defeat if you respond with a positive emotion?
  2. How would you relate/ respond/ react to the following
  • You are asked to identify a robber who has waylaid you and trashed you when robbing you.
  • You meet a former tyrannical boss who you feel has derailed your career at a social function.
  • You run into a former intimate friend with whom you had a bitter parting.
  • You meet a former teacher, who had mistakenly accused you of copying in an exam as a result of which your reputation took a severe beating.
  • During a family picnic you are forced to travel with a cousin in his/ her car whom you had accused of damaging your sports gear because of  which you and your cousin stopped talking years ago.
  • You bump into an old colleague at the city hospital who had borrowed a few thousand rupees for an emergency and who thereafter left your organization and never got in touch with you to return the money

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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13-2-Be true to yourself and discover ...

Like a dog chasing its tail in the fond hope of finding happiness there, the human race seeks to find happiness in the world around us. Unlike a dog that only has one tail to chase, we end up pursuing every strand of perceived happiness  largely materialistic, quite often competitively , at times egoistically and  when stressed spiritually. The trouble though is that, we seek happiness by being selfish, self centered and for self gratification. Interestingly when we are pursuing happiness focused largely on our self centered needs, unwittingly we are using what we perceive as the happiness of others as the benchmark for our own gratification and happiness. In short we covet what others have and when on the rare occasion we do manage to posses it, after a brief spell of ecstasy we look for something else for our self gratification and resultant happiness.

Now pause for a moment and try and recollect those moments of bliss that you experienced. Was it the time you received a praise for having done a good deed or was it the time you learned to balance a bicycle without falling off or was it the time you found a valuable that was lost or was it the time you scored the highest ever marks in your career or was it all of the above? Notice that in each of these moments of happiness, you were central to the moment. The thrill was in experiencing and cherishing the moments that belonged to you and you alone. There was no benchmark to measure it with, no competition that prodded you on, no ego that had to be satisfied; it was simply a personal wow moment.

The challenge is then to make the best of every moment that is yours. Worrying is perhaps the biggest thief of those moments. Instead the focus must be on getting on with what has to be done. Criticism if any that comes your way must be accepted with grace if it is justified else ignored when it is misdirected. The occasional failures must be seen as an opportunity to learn and better yourself.  The pain that comes with having to deal with tough tasks must be seen as a small price to pay in the larger scheme of things. Every small success that comes along must be embraced with warmth, cherished with delight and treasured as priceless. That is true happiness deservingly and exclusively yours.

Happiness is not just what comes from getting something or achieving something. The nectar of happiness is sweetest when we give. A smile is the simplest thing that we can freely give and receive manifold in return. A smile is an outer expression of an inner radiance. A word of praise or comfort, the warmth of a hug, an apology for a mistake, pardon to another for an indiscretion and thanks to anyone who deserves it are triggers of happiness. Similarly exercising control over our negative emotions be it anger, envy, jealousy, pride etc. help us realize our inner strength and translates into happiness in realizing the power of our own self control.

Happiness comes from knowing that by your thoughts and deeds YOU have left the world a better place.

Try this:

  1. List out the names of 5 individuals who you dislike immensely. Now try and outline 3 positive qualities that each of these individuals posses. Do you experience a lessening of your dislike because you have got a more objective understanding of these individuals? Now outline the one quality in the person that irritates you the most. Can you see this irritant as a minor one and ignore it? Do you feel happier for having excused the person for his/ her irritating ways?
  2. Make a list of 5 for each of the following
  • Your favorite jokes
  • Your favorite pictures
  • Your favorite songs
  • Your favorite movies
  • Your favorite teachers
  • Your favorite moments in life

How did you feel after having made the list? Did it bring back some fond memories?

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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As a social animal, man has to live with fellow human beings for sustenance, companionship and growth. Unfortunately man, unlike other animals that also live in groups or herds or prides has the compulsive unconscious urge to seek acceptance /approval of those around for every deed, action and indulgence. Even more unfortunately, man has also perfected the art of being a born critic and we easily find fault with people, happening and things around. When we analyze the behavior of the critic in us, we would realize that we have subconsciously become negative in our perception and thinking, our negativity has clouded our ability to be more discerning and appreciative and we are easily reconciled to failure, plead haplessness and find excuses to rationalize our personal lack of success.

Let us examine how each of these behaviors’ are self imposed and self limiting.

By being negative in our perception and thinking we let in self doubt creep in; we train ourselves to see the imperfections and we gravitate towards the bare minimum standards of acceptance so that we don’t seem to be failures. The fear of public speaking that an overwhelming majority of people suffer from is a classic case of our negative perception and thinking preoccupies us and restrains us from overcoming our fears.

Negativity clouding our ability to discern and be appreciative makes us succumb to the temptation of fault finding, self depreciation and failure prone. Even if someone else gives us a compliment we tend to play it down or deflect attention to something that takes the shine of the compliment. Similarly when opportunity presents itself we hesitate to take the initiative succumbing to our insecurities. We also naturally end up focusing on those failures that we may have encountered and completely ignore the numerous success that we have been privileged to embrace. Remember how our parents automatically scanned out report card to find the red lines that signified failure or quickly picked up on the lowest marks completing ignoring the numerous high scores we may have got.

By reconciling to failure, pleading haplessness and finding excuses, we do not give ourselves the opportunity to leverage our inherent strengths. Success is actually a culmination of effort most of it repetitive efforts despite failures. Many of us though give up at the first hurdle instead of persisting with hope and faith. We do not even make the effort of trying pleading haplessness or find excuses to wriggle out of a tough call. The overwhelming emotion that envelopes us is fear of failure and ridicule by others is actually the critic in us constantly whispering in our mind don’t embarrass yourself in front of others. How many of us who do poorly in our tasks began by saying ‘I don’t know what to do’ and later go on to say ‘ I am not capable of doing it’ and finally accepted failure by saying ‘ I just wasn’t cut out for it’. Notice that each of those statements are actually directed at others who maybe onlookers, co-participants or possibly evaluators and the statements are crude efforts to avoid any criticism.

The only way to tackle our fears is to confront it by being a participant and not a distanced critic. This is best done by visualizing success, anticipating and preparing for potential pitfalls and wholeheartedly embracing and enjoying the process. The real success would be in conquering one’s fears by setting yourself free of criticism, fear or failure.

Try this:

In the next one month ensure you attempt at least one of the following tasks that you have never attempted before

  • Learning a new form of dance
  • Easting with chopsticks
  • Learning to speak 10 sentences in a new language
  • Inviting friends to an exotic meal cooked entirely by you
  • Participating in 3 contests
  • Try your hand at origami

From the following situations, rate the situation that would embarrass you the most to the least. Reflect on why each situation gets the rating you have assigned.

  • Your boss getting hold of a love letter written to you.
  • You going for an important meeting post lunch and your shirt has a big stain because you spilt coffee on it at lunch time.
  • You excitedly greet and animatedly talk to a very charming person, who then gently tells you he/she is not the person you thought he/she was.
  • You are making an important presentation and by error click on a PPT you were studying of a competitor’s product.
  • You are with guests in a restaurant and despite the guests offer to foot the bill, insist that you will pick the tab only to discover that you forgot your wallet which contains the credit cards too.

 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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“One of the most important lessons that experience teaches is that, on the whole, success depends more upon character than upon either intellect or fortune”  William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Many a time, we tend to focus more on those events that have left a scar on our psyche, have given us a bitter pill to swallow or that which has hurt us immensely. Often our immediate reaction to this is to be fearful, become risk averse and make efforts to avoid the path that lead to the unfortunate experience. While the protective mechanism that we have honed comes in handy and saves us from catastrophes, far too often we miss out on grasping opportunities for we let our bitter experiences overwhelm our pragmatism and passion. Our experiences should not deter us from pursuing a path that we have chalked out for ourselves merely because we stumbled and grazed ourselves or in extreme cases it badly scarred us.

Experiences both good and bad are the pivots around which the future is built. The good experiences reinforce our beliefs and light up our path, where as the bad experiences alert us to the pitfalls ahead, allowing us time to relook, reassess and reorganize ourselves. The important learning got from our experiences is that our attitude and reactions at every stage determine how we will traverse the journey and attain success. In effect experiences are a test of our character and our ability to deal with the situations as they unfold.

Our character evolves through our formative years and continues to transform, albeit slowly, with every passing year. It is made of a combination of factors including our hereditary traits, the childhood scripting, the experiences and interactions that have percolated deep into our psyche and our own independent thinking and attitude. A happy and disciplined upbringing often has a deep and lasting influence on character building. The role of parents, teachers, classmates and neighbors is very critical in influencing the character that a person develops.  Motivation, encouragement, appreciation, acceptance, laugher, kindness, positive reinforcements are inputs that ensure a fragrance that remains always in a person’s character. On the other hand a gentle rebuke when needed, reasonable punishment if required, firm ground rules to enforce discipline  and impeccable grooming and manners ,   ensure that there is a sparkling diamond like luster in a person’s character.

Apart from analyzing our experiences ourselves, it also helps if we find the right mentor to guide, have a healthy dose of self confidence, develop our ability to be hardworking, look forward with optimism, hone our analytical and creative skills, work around our core competence and develop the art of learning something new and invaluable from every experience. We should also be able to develop the fine art of discernment to appreciate the learning from our experiences. Then every experience will become a successful test of character that becomes a new step in the ladder of success.

Remember: “There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.” Tom Krause

Try this

  1. Read the well-known poem IF by Rudyard Kipling by clicking on this link http://tinyurl.com/ne7rbv.  This poem in many ways tells us how to manage our good and bad experiences and become a success.
  2. Try to list out at least one personal experience each under each of the following categories. If possible also elaborate the learning got from that experience.
  • Happy experience
  • Painful experience
  • Hurtful experience
  • Surprising experience
  • Emotional experience
  • Disgusting experience
  • Exhilarating experience
  • Embarrassing experience

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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