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Archive for the ‘self discipline’ Category

31- 31 Aug 17-A makeover for Myself

It is an excellent practice for every individual to take time out to re-energize, recharge and reinvent herself/himself. The problem is that one has to often do it all alone because no one knows the self better than the individual concerned. The simple mantra to achieve it is to believe and practice the phrase ‘ I am working on myself for myself by myself.’ The mantra sounds simple enough but the practice of the same is tricky because it involves the following steps:

Analyzing the self – This has to be done objectively. Spend time reflecting about your strengths and of course your weaknesses.  Apart from thinking, reflecting and analyzing on your own, take time to also seek clues in appreciation, criticism, feedback you get from time to time from family, friends, colleagues and experts. Their feedback would have some correlation to the reality and hence could provide you a better insight into your own self. Focus also on your interests, your latent passion and skills and your dreams for the future.

Identifying the areas of improvement – It is possible that there could be a wide variety of feedback that indicates areas for improvement. Some of these could be frivolous, a few very pertinent but the key is in identifying those areas of weakness that you need to strengthen because they are critical to your success. It could key competencies related to your profession or behavioral aspects or new skills to be learnt or bad habits to be eliminated. E.g. you maybe a poor listener or you could be an introvert both cardinal sins if you are a sales professional.

Finding a method to strengthen the weak areas of the self – It could be by sheer will power or by constant practice or it may require an external intervention. An external intervention could be in the nature of attending a specialized course or attending a relevant workshop or by sourcing the relevant material to read up on etc. At times despite your best efforts, you do not seem to be progressing and that is when one gets demoralized. At these times, you require a good mentor; perhaps a good friend or a strong tutor or the support of an understanding boss. Take strength also from the encouragement of others, the positive feedback you get and from seeking the progress you make even if it is a wee bit slow and sporadic.

Leveraging personal strengths – While focusing on overcoming personal weakness it must also be borne in mind that we can leverage our strengths to progress rapidly and become effective in our personal, professional and social life. If we do not utilize our talents, abilities and strengths we would be losing out on opportunities to grow and excel. Sometimes our abilities need to be sharpened and strengthened with external inputs and one must invest in the same. Paying attention to feedback also helps in identifying our strengths about which we may not be confident or lack awareness of. It may also give us clues on the areas requiring our attention to ensure we give out our peak performance.

Setting new standards of personal excellence – Growth in any form indicates that we are striving to move beyond our current standards, challenge ourselves to exceed our own boundaries and take risks to explore beyond our immediate horizons. All progress has been the outcome of people who focused on excellence. They looked out for solutions to problems and improvised on the same. At times people have gone back to the drawing board and turned the solutions on its head to come out with something more revolutionary and effective. Medical science provides ample evidence of this. With the help of technology, almost every aspect of our life is being revolutionized.  As individuals we too must strive to ride the technological wave, adopt/ adapt it and innovatively leverage it to set for ourselves new performance standards and raise the bar for our personal excellence.

Repeating the process – Constant review, making notes of learning outcomes and repeating the process of personal improvement would help make us change for the better and enhance our or effectiveness and output. Sitting on our laurels would only set us back because others would overtake us. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves to remain motivated, goal oriented and success focused.

Try these

Identify the following:

  1. Two inventions that you have the highest regard for.
  2. Two individuals who have had a significant impact on your life and the reasons for their extraordinary influence on you.
  3. Two gadgets without which you would be hopelessly ineffective. ( Do NOT include computers, internet, telephones or  mobile phones in it.)
  4. Two inventions that in your opinion are useless
  5. Two fictional characters who have had a great impact in your life.

List out

  • One weakness in you and the steps you will take to overcome it.
  • Outline you greatest strength and how are you using it in your day to day life
  • One quality you wished you possessed
  • One hobby you would be keen to develop
  • One practice / habit  that you would want to adopt shortly.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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26- 22 July 17-Fire powerThere are often times when each of us busy trying to douse one fire after another because of varied crisis that keep cropping up. In frustration and exasperation we frequently experience the urge to throw in the towel and give it all up. Yet from within us comes a rage, an anger and/ or a passion to strive to overcome the forces that challenge us. The fires we keep dousing outside are made possible only by the raging fire within us that spurs us to think positively and triggers positive action and positive results.

To stoke the fire inside you requires you to fuel it with the following:

See problems as opportunities – Never let problems become issues that will weigh you down. Instead see them as opportunities to test your mettle. That is the time when you visualize a personal glory and victory lap waiting to be lapped up by you, provided of course you grab the opportunity and transform the problem into a solution. E.g. Your boss is to make a critical presentation to be made in front of some important clients. Due to a sudden emergency she is unable to attend the presentation and you are delegated to make that presentation.

Find a reason to succeed – Giving up is easy. Fighting the battle requires more than just determination. Your fight will be a worthwhile effort only when you have a strong reason to succeed. If your future is at stake you will put up the bravest fight of your life. If your honor is at peril you will fight a bigger, a stronger and a tougher opponent be it a person or a situation. E.g. you have a dislike for one particular subject. However you know it is critical to score marks in it o it could drag down your overall score and may impede your chances of getting into a course/ institution of your choice. This should be reason enough for you to focus more on the subject.

Challenge yourself – Move out of your comfort zone.  Stretch your limits. Discover new facets about your talents and abilities. There could occasional failures; these are merely challenges teasing you to overcome them. Every athlete who competes knows that while their rivals are challenging them in the arena, their real challenge is to improve their personal performance standards. Set yourself performance standards and keep challenging yourself to exceed it. e.g. One normally tends to postpone doing disagreeable tasks. Challenge yourself to first tackle tasks you dislike rather than postpone them and feel miserable till you tackle it.

Punch above your weight – The execution of routines with a higher degree of complexity or difficulty earns more points in a diving or gymnastics routine. A boxer knows that if he moves up a weight category, his challengers would be much more bigger, stronger and powerful and the overcoming them would be far more different than when boxing in a lower weight class. Your inner strength is on full display; the bigger risk greater the glory becomes your mantra and as they say it is the fight in the man that counts. E.g. you have a talent that you have never explored. Take part in a professional competition and explore your talent.

Try these

  1. When your senior colleague or boss is wrong will you disagree with them especially in a crisis situation? How will you go about expressing your point of view without annoying or irritating them or making them feel silly.
  2. You are a heading a team and due to a misunderstanding your boss accuses one of your team members of tardy and below average job performance. How would you stand up to defend your team member who you are sure is not at fault.
  3. Make an attempt to do the following
  • Do something you have never done before e.g. snorkeling / bungee jumping / diving
  • Overcome some fears e.g. public speaking / holding a snake / participating in a competition
  • Challenge yourself to bring about a positive personal change e.g. weight loss / giving up 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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23- 26 Jun17- Mantra to live byIn a fast paced world speed is key. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation where people have outpaced themselves and as a result the paradise that we can enjoy on earth, if we simply slow down, seems like an utopian idea. It is race with no end in sight and when we stop occasionally to ask ourselves where we are headed, we have no idea why we are where we are. Our life span won’t increase if we speed up, our dreams will still have bliss if one slows down but most of all we would enjoy and value our life we learn to live, rather than just exist, survive and decay.

To make sure that we enjoy the life we are blessed with, slow down and then follow the mantra below:

Don’t just look, #observe# – Look around and you see varied colors around. You see various facial expressions and body language of people around. You may notice the buzz and zip or an eerie silence depending on where you are. If you look carefully you may perhaps observe some finer aspects that would have skipped your attention; perhaps you will then notice that in a pack of cards there is one king with only one eye. Look carefully and perhaps you will observe the subtle differences in the different Jacks and Queens. Have you ever noticed the various silhouettes that you can contort using the shadow created when light is focused on an object like your hand/ fingers. Take various currency notes and observe some small varied geometrical shapes printed on the currency notes of different values. Along the highway of life you need to take time out to smell the flowers; but first you have to notice those flowers. Observe the blessings you have been showered with; family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, financial stability, good health and the list goes on.

Don’t just swallow, taste – Ever felt your mouth watering when you smelt the aroma of food. Perhaps a similar feeling engulfed you when you see the pictures of various dishes displayed in advertisements and culinary magazines/ blogs. When it comes to part taking of the food, often we are quick to notice what is wrong, but rarely do we appreciate what is wonderful about the meal.  At home, one major distraction when eating is the lure of TV and mobile phones which ensure we eat mechanically; eating fast, chewing less and swallowing it rather than relishing the taste and appreciating the effort that went into the mealAn essential ingredient of a great meal is intangible; it is a dash of love put in by the one preparing it. Next time, taste every morsel and experience the dash of love on your taste buds.

Don’t just sleep, dream Surely you can’t force yourself to dream. It is possible though to go to bed with some good thoughts, passionate ideas and blissful reflections. These will automatically turn into blissful sleep and wonderful dreams. There is also a different angle to the dimension of dreams. The biggest dreams are those that won’t let your sleep. Ask the wannabe next gen entrepreneurs. All their waking hours are spent on visualizing vividly and working diligently on their dreams. So what is keeping you awake at night; a nightmare or a dream? You can choose; just choose well.

Don’t just think, feel This reflects the difference between sympathy and empathy. It is easy to see the pain and anguish of another who is struggling to stay afloat in the tempest of life. It takes courage, daring and empathy to reach out and risk your sanity and life to stand by the one in pain. Doling out alms, making encouraging proclamations and paying lip sympathy is passé. Feeling for another enough, means to walk in his / her shoes and experience their pain. This requires a person to translate their understanding of the others pain into personal action whereby you stand alongside and share the burden of the other. An apt illustration is the story told of a small five year old girl who lost her best playmate and neighbor in an accident. A couple of days later, this young girl went to her neighbor’s house and came back after a while. On being asked by her mother, what she did in the neighbor’s house, she replied that her friend’s mother was weeping copiously and that she sat on her friend’s mother’s lap and joined her in weeping copiously.

Don’t just exist, live – Am I living everyday with regret, complains suffering and pain in my heart? This would indicate that I am going through life merely because life has not yet abandoned me. If life hasn’t abandoned you why are you abandoning life? As long as you breathe, make every breath a sign of joy, happiness, bliss and ecstasy. It is your life; your thoughts; your feelings and your future. How about looking at life in wonderment of being alive; in the joy of the numerous blessings you are bestowed with; in contributing to the world around you the value of your worth be it through smiles, encouragement, empathy and liveliness. Existence is for the ventilator to provide; life is for you to live!

Try these

  1. Which is your favorite food that you miss the most when travelling? Is there someone who makes it better than the rest? Is it because you now realize there is a dash of love in it?
  2. So what dreams are there in your bucket list to be ticked off still? When and how are you planning to achieve it and tick it off your list?
  3. What was the last big risk you took that enabled you to realize your own strength?
  4. Click on the following links to see how you too can create Shadow Art

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- 11 June 17- DisciplineIt is tough to be disciplined without supervision because falling prey to the lure of something more agreeable often overrides our deepest desires. Invariably it is a third party with authority, like a parent, a teacher, a coach, a boss who can forcefully discipline us. Unfortunately, we cannot have such authoritarian figures around us all the time, hence we have to make our inner most urge and our conscience our self appointed disciplinarians. The trick is to find ways and means to identify what we want most and super impose it on what we want now, so that we do what is needed to be done most, now!

Have goals – Each of us has to make the effort of having various goals for the varied dimensions of our life. Having a passion that will become a profession would be an ideal long term goal. However, profession is just one dimension of our life and finding our passion is in itself a challenging goal. In addition to a professional goal, each individual must also have a financial, social, personal, and academic goal. Goals enable one to have focus and a purpose. These will define the actions you take that will bring you closer to each goal that you have set. Remember that there is also a time element that has a major bearing on how much of the goal you achieve. E.g. the earlier you start to save, there is higher chance of having a larger savings.

Have milestones for each goal – While goals provide a focal point, often they seem to distant and we begin to think that we have ample time to reach those goals. On the other hand if one has short duration milestones which together enable you to reach your long term goal, it will help you focus on what needs to be done the most now. E.g. If your goal is to score an aggregate of X marks, you have to further break it down into the marks to be scored in each subject and then allocate time for studies for the respective subjects. You may even have to allot time for breaks for yourself so that you can relax, distress and recharge yourself.

Measure progress – While making goals and milestones is relatively easy, the key to progress is by measuring how much you have achieved. This will force you to do what needs to be done, make you aware of how well you are faring and give you a realistic picture of how realistically you will achieve your long term goals. Measuring progress will also help you revise your plans, revise your milestones and action plans so that you are able to progress towards your goals.

Make fear an allay – The goal gives you the focus, the milestones help you make progress and the measurement of your progress will provide you both the carrot and the stick for self discipline. The stick comes in the form of fear. If you are lagging behind, it will definitely give you a jolt for you will have put in extra efforts to attain your goal. This will automatically make you more disciplined. The stick called fear will be your ally in making you realize if you have drawn up a realistic goal or if you have majorly slipped in being disciplined.

Visualize success sweeter – The carrot that the measurement of progress provides is in the form of joy and satisfaction with the progress you are making. This in turn motivates you to continue to be disciplined because you have already tasted the sweetness of success. Self discipline becomes etched in your psyche because you know it is the most rewarding habit that you can form.

‘Fear will force you to be self disciplined; success will make you addicted to self discipline. Use both these forces to be self disciplined so that you can say NO to what is not to be done now and instead DO what has to be done now so that you attain what you want MOST.

Try these

  1. Make a list of all the pending jobs that you have as of now. It should include official work, personal work, leisure time activity, your family time activity etc. Now regroup them under some meaningful categories, perhaps on the same lines as mentioned above i.e. personal work, official work, family related etc. Are you in a better position to focus on the urgent and important work listed? Do not make this a onetime activity but use it as a tool to be updated and profited from.
  2. List out the following
  • Three instances where you had to pay a price for not being self disciplined.
  • Three activities that you dislike but cannot avoid.
  • Three instance where you felt really happy that you were self disciplined.
  • Three activities that you love but cannot indulge in.

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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15-11 Apr 17-Steps to takeThe lessons of life are not learned by reading text books or self help books or by observation alone. The real learning happens when we apply the knowledge and get a firsthand experience. Imagining the outcomes won’t help. It is in doing that we appreciate the nuances of the learning, the pitfalls that we never visualized, discover our own strengths and resilience and occasionally realize our own inadequacies. The best part of applying our learning is that we know instantly how capable we are of fulfilling our potential and how much more capable we are of doing a task even better. There is of course the risk of failure, of the realization that perhaps we are not cut out for something or painfully discovering that our potential is not good enough to be the best. However, there is also the possibility of discovering some unknown strengths, talents and potential that come to the fore only when we apply our knowledge. The Try This activities listed in the end of each post are a simple method for each reader to apply the learning from each post and get to appreciate your own strengths and potential.

The best way to get yourself going is by getting started by following the steps listed:

Have a personal vision – This is the key to every activity a person undertakes. Without a vision there is no goal, no motivation and no sense of accomplishment. Never do anything to fulfill an obligation. Instead do it because it challenges you, it motivates you, it interests you and because you want to do it. See yourself playing a vital role in huge process and suddenly you realize your own worth and contribution to the larger goal. This will stimulate and motivate you not just to begin the task but also to do an excellent job of whatever you undertake.

Barricade yourself from negativity – There would be well meaning critics who often would not be able to see your vision in the same light as you do. Listen to them but let not their criticism be a dampener to your vision. Failure could be another de-motivator but the challenge for you is to overcome it. The slow pace of progress, unexpected obstacles, the pressure to deliver results, self doubts etc. are all negative forces that could distract and distress you occasionally. Keep your eyes on your vision and proceed with faith.

View every experience as learning – Once you master the art of treating every experience as a step forward towards learning, you will treat success and failure with equanimity. Your motivator is the learning that you gain. Success and failure are simply milestones along the way of progress that indicates to you how far you have come and how far more you have to go.

Embrace success – While humility is an essential requirement to remain grounded, it is equally important that one learns to embrace and enjoy success. Enjoy the accolades, the recognition, the applause, the thrill of achievement. It is in embracing success that you fulfill your vision. For sure you can set up a new vision after that and proceed ahead. Occasionally there would be times when success comes at a price. At other times success is elusive despite your best efforts. Be realistic and focus on the progress made; that is success. Discovering your own inadequacies reflected in not being successful is also a learning and in a convoluted way, a learning success.

Try these:

  • Make a list of unfulfilled potential that people have often spoken to you about. Alternatively, list out some of your childhood dreams that you never pursued. Prepare a plan of action to get going on realizing at least one of those dreams.
  • From a personal growth / learning point of view, list out the activities that you do daily. Is there something more you can do to keep you physically and mentally upbeat.
  • Take the daily newspaper and go the leisure page and attempt some of those activities listed. E.g. Sudoku, cross words, wordplay, spot the difference etc.

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-one-change-at-a-time

With exams around the corner, it is inevitable that students and often their parents feel the pressure of managing the study time tables so as to perform well. That is also the time when time pressure, the accumulated backlog of studies and the need to overhaul one’s life suddenly begins to overwhelm all the stake holders in this game. A similar situations crop up in our life off and on and the need to overhaul our life is the one common constant irrespective of which phase of life we are in. In trying to overhaul one’s life, the cardinal mistake we make is, thinking that we can overturn all the bad habits we have imbibed over the years, overnight. Just as you and I took nine months to be born, just like a year takes twelve months to change and a day requires 24 hours to be completed before a new day begins, we have to patiently work on small changes in our attitude, style and behavior before the effects of transformation are visible.

The four essentials for transformation are:

Deciding to change – This is the first step in bring about any meaningful change in one’s life. Until one decides to change, the status quo would always seem impossible to change. Excuses, rationalization and reconciliation with the existing situation would constantly nag you into succumbing to the status quo. Decide that you need to change your habits, your style, adopt a different strategy E.g. You know you have to spend more hours studying. You will find enough reasons why you are unable to do so and rationalize your decision for not being able to change and finally reconcile that you are a mediocre student. The same holds true for those wanting to lose weight but not being able to get themselves to eat healthy or exercise.

Planning the change – Once you decide to change, the key is to spend some time planning how you are going to bring about the change and be the change you want. Many of us fail in this step simply because we visualize that implementation of the plan is impossible. If you can outline the map to achieving what your goal is, you would at least have a clear agenda to follow. E.g. Having a clear time table to study is the first step in ensuring you are able to do justice to each subject that you have to study. Those subjects requiring practice or additional study, however much you dislike the subject, must be allotted more time.

Implementing the change – This is the toughest part of the process of transformation. At this stage you are attempting to move away from all that you felt comfortable doing despite knowing the consequences, to disciplining yourself doing unpleasant things, in the hope that it will give you good results. The tough part is beginning, the tougher part is motivating yourself to continue but the toughest part is keeping the momentum going. The trick is to visualize the small changes, mentally see yourself inching yourself forward towards your goals and occasionally noting how much you have progressed and how closer you are to your final goal.

Being patient – This is the most important virtue because without it, one would be tempted to give up. Patience comes from self belief, from charting out progress and being reasonable about your expectations at every given time line. Occasionally you could be slipping as per your plans, at other times you feel your pace is slow and many times there seems to be no motivation to pursue your plans. Remember the number of times you fell of your bicycle before you managed to master it or the number of times you felt you were drowning before you learned to swim. The lure of the eventual goal must be so encompassing that you become patient enough to trudge along despite all the obstacles that come your way.

Try these:

  • Try to play a new sport or pick up a new hobby. Notice how you take time to gain expertise, despite your possible talent in that field.
  • List out 3 changes that you want to bring about in your life. Outline what is stopping you from doing it. Plan and implement the plan to bring about the change.
  • Challenge yourself to overcome a constant criticism that you often encounter either from your spouse / child/ friend / colleague / well wisher.

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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04-get-richTake away money as a measure of richness and ever single human being can be as rich as he /she chooses to be. True riches lies in being rich in mind body and soul. 

Keep in my mind the mantra:

I alone have the power to become as rich as I want to be.

The formula is simple, the application requires discipline and it’s your life your riches your choice.

Rich in knowledge – Read, observe, learn, teach, assimilate, experience, explore.

Rich in adventure – move away from your comfort zone, take risks, do something different, be creative, experiment.

Rich in laughter – See the funny side, laugh at yourself, share laughter, learn to see the funny side of the worst, think fun, be fun, make every moment fun.

Rich in family – Be together, meet often, celebrate together, keep in touch, talk more with each other, listen, touch, and hug.

Rich in health – Eat healthy, exercise, avoid stress, have a positive attitude, be around with people who make you happy and comfortable.

Rich in love – Love yourself! Love those around! Learn to love life! Learn love each moment.

Try these:

  1. Identify and use a website for each of the above riches. Oh yes there are ample alternatives online. If you want you can even identify a suitable app.
  2. Make it a point to do the following off and on
  • Tell (not share on whatsapp) a joke to a friend / colleague
  • Pay attention to a frequent criticism that you get and do something to overcome that.
  • Read something that is totally different from what you normally read
  • Surprise your family members for no special reason
  • Announce and do something challenging e.g. losing weight or dancing / singing at a function etc.

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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