Category: Self Pity

Don’t hold on to thrash

35- 29 Sept 17- Drop the trashOver years we accumulate a lot of knowledge, experiences and wisdom, yet we often ignore the basics. We need to de-clutter out minds, our hearts and cleanse ourselves of toxic emotions. We are forced to de-clutter our mobile phones when the memory is full yet when it comes to ourselves, we are not even aware of the need to adopt a similar approach. Midway through this year is a good time to spruce up our inner self so that we focus on the second half of the year with positive emotions, a forgiving heart and a wondrous attitude of hope.

Here are some pointers on what to drop, so as to de-clutter our life:

Regret – Perhaps one of the most common feelings experienced by everyone at some time or the other. The problem with regret is that we mull over what could have been rather than what we can. The past cannot be changed and yet it seems to unduly influence our thoughts, our actions and our future. We can of course learn from the mistakes we regret but one must not  make it the fulcrum of our future.

Hurt – We are hurt because we allow the feeling to pervade into our psyche. One cannot control the actions or responses of others. Equally importantly we need to recognize that each individual has his/ her own context and emotions which influence their responses.  While it is natural to take offence and feel hurt when actions or responses from others physically or emotionally scar us, the challenge is to get over the hurt quickest and forgive those who have hurt us.

Guilt – Knowingly or unknowingly we are all prone to make mistakes. The mistakes we make consciously e.g. losing our temper or being foul mouthed are more likely to leave us with a deep sense of guilt. At times some mistakes we make are a result of our inability to be strong and resist the forces that we know are wrong but powerful.

Fear – We have both rational fears and irrational fears. Rational fears are more in the nature of preparing for possibilities based on past experience, current facts and a reasonable anticipation of the future. However, most of our fears are imaginary and largely irrational. We fear the future as a catastrophy that can overcome us much and it is largely driven by the fear of superstitious beliefs. The future is rather unpredictable but we can, based on experience and intelligence prepare to face the future with a reasonable degree of confidence.

Anger – This is an emotion that is partly individualistic but largely driven by stress, fear and irrationality. Getting angry at a traffic jam or at a very small child who indulges in some disagreeable behavior is neither healthy for the person getting angry nor is it going to produce any positive outcome. Anger is good emotion when sparingly indulged in, for there could be both meaning and reasonability that produces desired outcome.  Flying off the handle at the slightest pretext is a futile waste of a strong emotion and a serious impediment to developing good relationships.

Shame – We have all gone through some embarrassing moments. However, some happenings could have caused us more pain in terms of embarrassment and consequentially we can never live down the accompanying shame. Failing and repeating a class is often the epitome of embarrassment during school days. Yet, the fact is over time no one really cares or highlights that aspect and instead they focus on how the person has evolved. As an adult in a moment of weakness one could have indulged in some unethical practices or behavior. The stigma will be hard to erase but that does not mean the individual cannot change for the better. While we must never forget our indiscretions, we must not let it be a major scar in the form of shame that overshadows our potential.

See how carefree and energetic you feel once you can de-clutter your life by getting rid of the unwarranted intrusions that subconsciously invade your mind.

Try these

  • What are the three most personally embarrassing situations that you have encountered? What percentage of blame do you allot to yourself for the said situation?
  • Outline three situations that anger you immediately. How often do you encounter it? What is the antidote to cope with your anger?
  • During the past few years which fears have you got over? Which fears still haunt you? How do you propose to confront the fears that still haunt you?
  • Do you regret hurting someone on purpose? When was the last time you forgave someone who wronged you?
  • This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Overcoming Disappointments

13-24-Dissapointments are natural...but...

Disappointments arise when outcomes do not meet expectations. As human beings we tend to brood longer over our disappointments but relish our successes fleetingly. Ask yourself how often you complaint, whine, criticize, find fault, get upset / angry, feel hurt, pass on blame, keep regretting, try to be alone/ silent etc. On the other hand how often do you smile, praise, thank, appreciate, remain enthusiastic, compliment others, be the company of others, say/ do something positive spontaneously etc. Your honest answers would give you a clue to how you cope with disappointments which are unavoidable but never unmanageable.

Even if we are optimists and have a positive attitude we can still be disheartened and disillusioned by major disappointments. If we are pessimistic and have a tinted outlook then it becomes imperative that we find ways and means to cope with the disappointments that we would encounter off and on.

Here are a few strategies to cope with disappointments.

It can’t get worse. Imagine you failed in your exams. You lose a year now. It has happened; but now you can honestly tell yourself that it is the worst possible outcome but it can’t get worse than this. Once you make this profound discovery moving on with life becomes relatively much easier than brooding over the why it happened; if only I studied more; perhaps I should have taken a chance and cheated and the numerous such thoughts that keep swimming in your head.

Thank god it is only this much. Recently a family member came home way past midnight and gently broke the news that he met with an accident. Obviously you are rattled and then shocked to see the person swaddled in bandages. Once you get over the initial shock the next natural progression is to seek more information about what happened all the while berating the person for being careless and irresponsible. Once we have calmed down and get hold of ourselves we rationalize that thank god it wasn’t worse. From then on we are able to handle the shock and disappointment with more pragmatism and acceptance.

Ok so how do I limit the damage? You are frantically searching for an important document and to your horror and terrible disappointment you just can’t seem to locate it. Your panic is matched only by the disconcerting feeling that you are heading for disaster. You search every nook and corner, you can rummage through every drawer and cupboard, you vent your frustration and then fall on your knees seeking divine intervention; alas all in vain. The quicker you get hold of your emotions the better the chances of finding an alternative solution that will help limit the damage perhaps even find an alternative solution.

What is good about the situation? Your team has played and excellent match in which you dominated the opponents and yet you lost the game thanks to a freak goal by the opposition. It is hard to come to terms with such heartbreaking disappointments. The results can be overturned; the missed chances cannot be retrieved; a blame game won’t help. A debriefing by the coach however can turn up a surprising number of useful and invaluable insights about the game. The mistakes made, the attitude and approach of the players, the chinks in the opponents armor than can be exploited next time around, the difference in play in both periods of the game; all of these are more seriously imbibed when the bitterness of disappointment is more acute.

Nothing can overwhelm me. You reach the airport only to be told that your flight has been cancelled and your connecting flights and holiday plans have in simply gone for a toss in a jiffy. Anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness, panic seem to engulfing you. Your mind is in a whirl, you can’t focus and you are in a tizzy. Quickly take deep breaths and calm yourself. While asking the reason for the flight cancellation may be a natural instinctive reaction, wasting time delving into it would be both fruitless and frustrating. Instead, focus on outlining the alternatives to salvage the situation. Take proactive action to implement your plans and be pragmatic about your subsequent actions.

This too shall pass. Pause and think; how many disappointments have actually
ruined your life or brought it to a complete standstill. The fact that you are 
reading this is proof that you are hale and hearty despite the many 
disappointments that you would have faced in your life. The reality of life
mandates that each of us will have triumphs (success) and disasters
(disappointments)  and the trick to overcome disappointment is to remember
Rudyard Kipling’s lines in his poem IF 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster 
And treat those two imposters just the same;

For neither success not failure is permanent… for this too shall pass. 

Try this:

  1. You overhear your best friend criticizing you.
  2. You were hauled up by your superior / school management for an aberration done by someone else and no amount of pleading your innocence can cut any ice with them.
  3. You encounter a flat tyre on deserted stretch of the highway.
  4. You press the buzzer during the tie breaker of a quiz final and discover that the right answer is on the tip of your tongue but alas you are unable to articulate it on time.
  5. You go to highly rated restaurant and to you horror the food is awful and disappointing.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Oh to be happy

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit. Hosea Ballou

Look around and you will find lots of laughter, plenty of smiles and chuckles and ample hilarity and mirth around. You make the pleasant discovery that there is an abundance of Happiness around and it is there everywhere. You might also make the painful realization though that you just don’t seem to get enough of it and this is also both hurtful and worrisome realization.  Perhaps we might also make an insightful observation that it is just a matter of finding it if we seek it earnestly . The problem though is in where we seek happiness.

The first problem is that we pine for happiness that seems to be unfairly nestling in other people’s lives in plenty while eluding us unfairly.  We selectively choose what seems to be the elixir of happiness for others be it material possessions, wealth, power and fame.  The fact is that wealth, fame, popularity, power and possessions are mere indicators of a certain measure of success but do not necessarily bring happiness.  Happiness in fact is the feeling one enjoys when one knows how to deal with whatever success one has got. E.g. For a below average student passing the exams is a major achievement and he/she should be taught to enjoy that moment rather than be unfairly pressurized to improve performance to meet the grades of the person who stood first.

The second problem is that we are blinded to the happiness that is available to us for we do not seek it within us but probe and prod all around us. The secret to happiness lies in relishing and savoring every moment of our life for all the riches in the world cannot recreate it, bestow it or extend it. Good health, strong family ties and bonds, a well groomed upbringing and the capacity for hard work and enterprise are the riches that we really need to value and appreciate if one has to be truly happy. E.g. If one can cycle to work it is perfect proof of excellent health and more importantly provides one the opportunity to remain fit, helps us contribute to a clean environment and saves us the stress of daily driving and rush hour traffic, parking woes etc.

The third problem in identifying happiness is our inability to be positive. If one is positive one becomes optimistic and happiness often masquerades as opportunities which someone with a negative mindset views as problems.  To accept the reality as it exists and to then seek the positives in it leads us to the path of happiness. E.g. If a personal financial resource crunch did not give you the opportunity to pursue the studies you passionately wanted to pursue rather than brood on it focus on making your mark in the current course or work.  The success you attain will soon make you even more happy and sooner than later, excellence will be noticed and will never go unrewarded too.

The other effective ways to remain happy is to be in the company of those who radiate happiness, to channelize your energies on those ethical activities that give you maximum pleasure,  to enjoy the pleasures of jokes, comedy movies and humorous stories and books.  Of course spending time with children, the aged, the challenged and the sick would be the real icing on the cake of happiness.

Remember: “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie

Try this:

  1. Consciously make an effort to praise all those whom you come across in your daily life. If possible also share a joke, spread some good news and / or share some chocolates/ toffees/ biscuits etc. with those around.
  2. Jot down the name of  one person known to you and qualifying as under
  • A close family member
  • An office colleague
  • An old school mate
  • A person whom you envy
  • A well know personality you know a lot about

Now against each person write down 3 qualities they posses/ display that you really envy. Also jot down 3 points that you perceive to be their limitation/ weakness/ problem areas. Now jot down 3 of your good qualities/ strengths that they do not posses. Finally jot down3 points that give you real happiness.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Why worry?

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. William Ralph Inge

Anything that disturbs our equilibrium, will pressurize us, make us anxious and continue to be an irritant that constantly nags and worries us. It could be as simple as awaiting ones exam results or it could be more life altering as awaiting the diagnosis of a biopsy report or it could be trivial issues like not being able to find a matching pair of socks or a clean handkerchief. While there would be many reading this post who would discount all the above examples as not relevant to them, it would help to just pause and reflect on our pet peeves and irritants that get us worried so often.

Interestingly, if we are honest to ourselves and study the actual happenings which initially got us worried, we would notice that barring rare exceptions most of our worries were ill conceived and completely misplaced. This brings us to an important lesson in life; that most worries never come true or happen in reality. The reason we keep worrying could possibly be explained by our parental guidance to be well prepare for all eventualities. As a consequence we have honed the skill of anticipating problems and troubles, working out alternatives to combat the perceived problem and thereafter worry that every alternative has a limitation. The irony is that originally perceived problem morphs into a myriad of subsidiary niggles each of which keeps pricking us and disturbing our peace of mind.

When seen from a different perspective, worry is simply hoarding a lot of useless stuff in the hope that it will prove useful when the time comes. Alas, this is like accumulating a sack full of salt, when all we need is a pinch of it. The excess baggage weighs us down, preoccupies us and diverts one from focusing on the more practical and meaningful activities that should ideally be our priority. Another angle to understand the futility of worrying is to see it as an off shoot of a poor me syndrome. Here we condition ourselves to believe we are in pain, in trouble, in dire straits and are constantly seeking the attention and sympathy of those around. Worry manifests itself as a bait to lure those around into paying attention, offering their support and fawning over the worrier.

The consequences of worry are what should really worry us; it affects our health, our psychology, our relationships and completely disrupts our personal, social and professional life. Ranging from sleeplessness, our worries create anxiety, panic and could end up with depression and other psychosomatic illness. What is more subtle is the elaborate process of denial that we are worrying. More often than not we have the urge to portray a happy and contented personality for the world at large while deep inside our heart and mind are progressively being weakened by our inability to eliminate, accept or confront our worries. The realization that our worries are best confronted when they really come true will help us build up the ability to reduce our anxiety, temper our fears and seek positives in perceived problems.

Remember: Don’t trouble troubles till troubles trouble you.

Try this:

  1.  Think of what would be the main worries of the following people and analyze if their worries are justified. Also try to group the worries in order of seriousness as perceived by you.
  • A chief executive of a company
  • A solider on the battle front A student who gets average marks despite working hard 
  • Parents of mentally or physically challenged children
  • An unwed mother.
  1. Check if you suffer from the following symptoms of excessive worry
  • Less sleep or restless sleep Bouts of anxiety and depression.
  • Constant negative thinking.
  • Unexplained fears Feelings of jealousy/ envy

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Forgiving ones own self

How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself. Publilius Syrus

Many of us live with regrets and those regrets never let us enjoy our life to the fullest. There is always that lingering feeling of uneasiness that mars our bliss, spoils our fun and restrains our exuberance. What compounds our misery is that our regrets are of our making, they are often not life threatening but would certainly qualify to be life altering and they can be overcome with patience and resilience, provided we are prepared to let go the hurt, erases the pain from our heart and mind and accept the reality that the past cant be changed. Most regrets are relationship related and we could either be the culprit or the victim and it takes tremendous fortitude to overcome the past and forgive ourselves.

We do not forgive our selves particularly when we have hurt people very close to us or when we realize that we have let down those close to us because of our own folly. Many a time children regret their rather brash and rude behavior with their parents much later in life and by then there is a perceived divide that the child in us cant forget but which the parent has forgiven and possibly forgotten. Anger is a key trigger that ignites uncouth behavior and threatens relationships. When in anger we resort to plain speak often bordering on the uncouth, make wild and hurtful accusations, twist facts to hurt and humiliate others at whom we are angry and even lapse into making wild assumptions that translate into pitiful laments and harsh accusations. Then when we are more clear headed, we often become remorseful and regret our actions and continue to wallow in self pity.

Our plight is made miserable by the reality that the past can’t be undone and much as we wish we cannot erase those memories from our life. The challenge for us is to get to terms with this reality and realize that just as we have the power and the need to forgive others, we have to exercise this power to forgive ourselves too. To do this, we first need to accept the reality that the past can’t be changed nor can the painful memories be erased. Then possibly we can attempt to minimize the guilt by apologizing to the aggrieved party/ parties if possible. This is very very tough because it is an admission of our own errors and to admit that means hurting our own ego. Thereafter it is then essential that one genuinely feels sorry for the indiscretions (Catholics have the sacrament of Confession which is wonderful heart cleanser if practiced with earnestness). In cleaning our heart and mind by using the twin detergents of apology and remorse, we will have forgiven ourselves. 

No sooner we manage to forgive ourselves a big burden is lifted off our backs and we begin to breathe easy, feel rejuvenated and begin to view our surroundings in new light. There is a spring in our step, a glow o our face and a warmth in our hearts that will automatically be transmitted to all those whom we come in contact with. There is no more regret, no more guilt and no more unhappiness. 

Remember: Forgiveness is a funny thing.  It warms the heart and cools the sting.  ~William Arthur Ward 

Try this:

  1. Recollect at least 3 situations when in your anger you have either hurt/ humiliated/ insulted /ignored /answered back / accused unfairly / shouted at someone. Ask yourself if you now regret that behavior. Do you still carry the burden of that indiscretion. If yes work out a way to forgive yourself of that guilt. 
  2. If someone who hurt you and insulted you terribly sought your forgiveness would you be able to forgive easily and freely. If not ask your self if your digging a grave of regret for yourself. If you can forgive freely, examine your own feelings thereafter and feel yourself unburdened and relaxed.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog   www.poweract.blogspot.com

In GOD we trust…

With us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.2 Chr.

Desperation is when one has lost all hope; yet that is when we need to believe that there is still a chance for there is a superpower called’ GOD” who will never forsake us. The skeptic and the atheist will definitely counter this belief with a oft quoted argument asking ‘Where is this god when we are down and out?’ It is true that when we look around and search within ourselves there are events and incidents that make us seriously question the credibility of the existence of GOD. Why should a young person die suddenly? Why are some people given such debilitating diseases? Why am I so unlucky in love, career, and relationships? Why is there so much inequality?  If there is a GOD that exists then where is he  when we need him most?

Let us take a different approach and seek GOD in all the wonders that he has worked in our lives. The fact that you are able to read this means you are educated and have access to a computer and internet. Did you ask Why you are so blessed? Perhaps you are fairly well off and have a great relationship with family and friends. Did you stop to ask why am I so blessed? For everything that goes wrong there are a 100 things that are going perfectly right but things we simply take for granted. It is against this backdrop that one needs to realize that GOD is there in good times and in bad times but we seek his help in bad times but rarely pause to thank him for his help during the good times. Yet GOD never holds that against us and he is available for us at all times.

What we only need to do is seek GOD’s help. It is when we decide to go it all alone that we really get into deep waters. That is when we get maniacal, rebellious and suicidal. On the other hand when we seek GOD’s help our mind finds a peace denied before, our hearts search for answers and we attempt to renew our efforts. Without God we throw in the towel and surrender to the negativity and the cynicism that constantly bug us silently but forcefully. There are unfortunately far too many of us who believe that GOD will help us and wait for miracles to happen only to be deeply disappointed and anguished.  The fact is that GOD helps but we need to work for whatever we aim to achieve or seek. If you suffer from an illness we need to seek medical help, and God will perhaps direct you to the right doctor. If we want to do well in an exam we need to study and God may help us get questions to which we have prepared well. It is a 50 – 50 partnership.

Does God answer all our prayers? Yes he does! This does not mean he gives you the answers you want desperately. Instead we get the answers that are most appropriate and suitable under the circumstances. This is a little difficult to understand but if one were to see an analogy perhaps the answer will be more clear. Assume one has to choose a winner in a race we might all have our personal favorites but there is no guarantee that the said person will win. In fact there is no guarantee that the world and Olympic record holder will win every race. It depends on the performance on the day of the race. Similarly if one is born with a serious impediment one can be sure that GOD sends us many other riches to compensate for that loss. It could be a wonderfully supporting family, sharper faculties or extraordinary talent to cope with the world. What one must believe is that GOD is there to help you fight your battles provided you take up your cross and believe in him.

Remember: “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not. C.S. Lewis

Try this:

  1. Watch this video link about the Superman Hero Christopher Reeve who was paralyzed after an accident and notice his spirit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzHvVoUGTOM You would also love to see the video on Stuart Mangan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maz8UHHa9PA
  2. Try to prepare a Balance Sheet of your life. Put all the things that you would love to thank GOD for on the Asset Side and all the problems where you seek GOD’s help on the Liability Side. You may perhaps notice that the Asset side is filled with jottings and that the liability side is far too empty. The balance sheet doesn’t tally. So what are you cribbing about????

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Life is…

Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. Margaret Mitchell

When things don’t go the way we expect it to or wish it to go, we blame life’s unfairness and feel cheated and discriminated against. What we often fail to understand is that life offers everyone, without exception, an opportunity and it also poses challenges to each one of us, both of which help shape us and mould our character. That apart, the mere fact that we are alive is life’s greatest gift to us and we need to be both grateful and appreciative of this wonderful boon and must strive to leverage this reality to make a mark on this world.

It is true that a beggar, a handicapped person, an orphan, and illegitimate child, widows and widowers etc. would have a valid reason to ask why life has been unfair to us and presented us with a strike against us so early in life as compared to the apparently happy people all around. The reality is that even the most happy people have spells of disillusionment about the state of the world, rampant poverty, the inequality of wealth, their own personal and private problems like ill health or truant children or sibling rivalry or wealth related disputes etc. Even more astonishing is the fact that there are millions of people actually searching for ‘ happiness’ and pursuing varied paths from spiritual enlightenment journeys to experimenting with psychedelic music to drugs to sex and they even traverse the twilight zone of attempting suicide.

Look again at our own life and we should be delighted that we are spared the ordeal of the numerous types of people listed above. Our complaints if any, are miniscule in comparison and our blessings gigantic in reality. More insightful will be the realization that life has given everyone an opportunity and the freedom to pursue our goals with a few hurdles thrown in between to make us value our life more.  Life chose us to be a visible tribute to the powers of procreation and progress; what we do with our life and how we make it shine and flower are completely left to us. Having given us the opportunity to play the game of life and having given us the broad ground rules of the game, one of which is that there would be new hurdles that we need to cross, life also gives us some potent powers like imagination, fortitude, guts, positive thinking and the like to help us play well. Life is under no obligation to change the goal posts to suit our individual needs.

If there are some who even while reading this post, have their own private miseries and grouse against life’s unfairness. They must be grateful that they have access to a computer, a net connection, literacy and above all the gift of sight which enables them to read the contents of this post and possibly take heart from it. What about the millions who wallow in their own miseries and self pity cursing life and fate with no hope of anyone enlightening them about the opportunities galore around them, which they can harness and elevate themselves from their own cesspool of misery and haplessness.  Will you be able to use the opportunity life has given you to make a difference to those around you and attempt to enlighten the despondent and the failures that life begins when HOPE sprouts within ones heart.  I have attempted to use my talents to share my thoughts; can you carry the message further?

Remember: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”  Charles R. Swindoll

Try this:

  1. Name a person, an activity and a situation that really upsets you. Make a conscious effort to appreciate 3 things in each of these that actually benefits you despite the fact that overall you do not like it. Does this appreciation lessen your dislike for the person, the activity or situation?  Also ask if your irritation, annoyance or dislike is because of you prejudice and irrationality?
  2. Find unique ways to enrich the lives of those around you. It could be simple things like sharing a SMS joke ( not the risqué jokes but something that is insightful), passing on an informative paper cutting, sharing an inspiring Youtube video link, engaging in a conversation with someone who is normally shunned etc.  Experience the feeling of self worth that you suddenly perceive within you. You also realize that you have so many ways to enrich your own life and the lives of those around.
  3. Do also read the post in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com on the topic of LIFE –  Love Inside Finding Expression

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Finding happiness…

Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable. Anon

Look around and you will suddenly realize that there are hundreds of people who are in a financially much worse off position than us and yet the vast majority of them seem to be happy. This despite the fact that many of them also have many other woes like aged and sick parents to look after, personal ill health, number of children who need education and care etc. If we stop to wonder how they keep smiling most of the time, we realize that they are kept too busy to waste time brooding about their problems and instead they take pleasure in the small doses of happiness that come their way. Therein lies a tale of how one must learn to live life; with fortitude and good cheer.

If we pause to ask ourselves the question as to why  we seem to be plagued with a million woes, problems and fears it would dawn on us that it is because of our propensity to focus on our troubles rather than on our blessings. Sometimes, we are jealous of others so we are forever comparing; other times we crave for what we really don’t need and feel saddened that we can’t covet it but most times we are just free and brooding instead of being occupied and being productive. If one is busy doing what one has to do, there is no time for frivolous thought and self pity. The more busy we are the  more mentally occupied one becomes and then we also have a goal and a lot of aspirations to meet deadlines and finish the task. Notice how the focus is more positive, more productive and very invigorating.

An empty mind, it is said is the devils workshop. Right from finding faults with anyone and everything, a person who has nothing to do will seek ways and means to be occupied. In the process he/ she will also crave for attention, seek to impose authority and lapse into spells of ‘poor me ‘syndrome. A large part of the poor me syndrome is because of the feeling of envy at the glitz and glamour that the privileged few enjoy but more often than not it is because we over value our own importance and undervalue those who by dint of hard work are enjoying the fruits of their labor. To be happy all one needs is a grateful heart. If one is blessed with a grateful heart, one can cheerfully go about ones business happy in the realization that life has been fair to us and that there is so much more of it that one can enjoy if we seek it.

When we are passionately involved in whatever we do, we actually lose track of time, forget our hunger and thirst and almost forget the world. It is the task itself that gives us the real high and it is the results that matter most to us. Do we bother about our stock market loses or an upcoming surgery when we are completely engrossed in our favorite sport or TV program? Some of us are engaged in social service activity and we are often most passionately involved in it and we forget that it is just one of the numerous responsibilities we have. On the contrary, when we have nothing to do we are ‘bored to death’ or ‘itching for some action’. We often pursue these twin objectives with negative thoughts bordering on feeling sorry for ones fate and future and we enjoy wallowing in self pity and misery. It is therefore essential that each of us have a long list of tasks lined up so that we are busy and engaged, with little or no time to spare for any negative thoughts to enter our mind and make us feel miserable. In fact when busy we will enjoy the happiness and joy that comes from achieving something every moment.

Remember: “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be” Marcel Pagnol

Try this:

  1. Identify 3 people who are less privileged than you but who always seem to be happy with whatever they have. Observe how they manage to keep a cheerful countenance all the time.
  2. Can you also identify 3 people who more often than not seem to be morose, whining and miserable. How do you think you can help cheer them more often?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The gain from pain

One cannot get through life without pain … What we can do is choose how to use the pain life presents to us.  Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

Broadly speaking one will experience 3 types of pain. The physical pain is what we are most familiar with like breaking our bones or getting grazed when one falls. The emotional pain is one we experience when our emotions are put to test like in case of a broken relationship be it with parents, spouse, siblings or children. The psychological pain is one we may be subject to but not acutely conscious off as will be the case if we are the butt of jokes amongst classmates or if one is constantly being belittled or humiliated. Almost all of us would have suffered from one or more of such pain but in most cases we have overcome it and gone on to forget it too.

Yet when we are asked to look back and recollect some of the more painful memories it is the emotional and psychological pain that often comes immediately to mind. Painful experiences leave a deep and sordid aftermath which can be life altering whichever way one takes it. For those who are deeply scarred by the event will always walk in the shadow of that pain and will attribute all their failures and miseries to that pain. On the other hand those who are more resilient and positive will use that painful learning to fire up their spirit and conquer their fears and hurt brought about by the pain. Herein lies the test of the true spirit of life – will you conquer pain or will you let the pain imprison you? For every Helen Keller and Douglas Bader there are a thousand others who give in to their pain and commit suicide. Here is the extraordinary story of a man cheated by fate once but one of those bravehearts who never let fate rob him of his freedom of expression; click here to read on about M.P.Anil Kumar http://sojish.com/topics-mainmenu-31/63-notes-a-articles/196-airborne-to-chairborne.html

While it might be pretty easy to pontificate about pain ( as I am doing right now) it is the person in the line of fire who has to experience the agony of the pain. One never knows but tomorrow it could be either mine or your turn to be part of that painful experience.  Death of a loved one is a pain that each of us would have experienced at some point. In all probability we would have soon taken the rational bypass  that death is a reality and consoled ourselves that we have to face the reality. However if the person who died is in the prime of youth or a child the inevitable question that haunts us is ‘Why?’.  More traumatic to deal with is the pain brought on by  a drastic physical change the like losing a limb or being a paraplegic, for these are life altering not just for the person but also for the family. Not far behind is the pain of seeing a loved one suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, motor neuron disease etc. all of which have no cure as on date and yet slowly wastes the body away causing deep anguish to both the patient and to the family. Can we realistically handle such pain?

Yes one can minimize the impact of such pain through a mixture of pragmatism, counseling, prayer and positive thinking. Pragmatism will help one comprehend the reality with fortitude. Counseling will alleviate the  panic and help channelize ones energy into acceptance of the reality. Prayer is the one channel that will send a person tons of hope to cope. Positive thinking will provide the oxygen that nourishes body and mind, strengthen ones resolve and provide us a shield to guard against depression and a feeling of hopelessness.

Remember: Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.

Try this:

  1. As and when you can, try walking barefoot on a tar road or on cobble stone walkway for at least 5 – 10 minutes. What are your feelings? Do you give up even before you have walked a  100 meters? Do you get irritated saying ‘ Why am I doing such a stupid thing?’ To experience the pain brought about by fear you can visit a nearby zoo or snake park and try  (with permission of course) handle a non poisonous snake.
  2. Plan a visit to a local old age home/ a hospice / home for the mentally challenged and spend a day with the inmates. How do you think the staff of these places motivate themselves to work for those who are in pain and suffering?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Faith vs Self-Pity

The opposite of having faith is having self-pity.  Og Guinness

Every morning in the jungle a Lion gets up and says that he has to run faster than the slowest the dear or he would have to grow hungry. At the same time every day in the jungle a deer gets up and says I have to out run the fastest Lion or I will be dead meat. The moral of the story is that whether you are Lion or Deer, when morning comes you have to be running.

There is another interpretation of this fable, which states that it doesn’t matter if you are Lion or Deer you must have faith in your abilities or you will simply wallow in self pity. If you are a Lion you will be cursing your fate for not being faster than the deer or if you are a Deer you will be cursing the brute strength of the Lion. If we take our own lives we will notice that there are many times when we tend to compare our lives with those of others. Most times it will be comparing ourselves with someone who has something better than us and then we feel disheartened, dispirited and disappointed that we are so unfortunate or unlucky. Reality demands that we compare our abilities and our achievements so that we know how much more we can achieve.

Faith springs from the self belief, our confidence in our abilities, our setting up and focusing on our tangible goals and the inner resolve to keep going when we are weary and/ or confused. Self pity on the other hand is a convenient interpretation of the available facts which is skewed to meet a mindset that throws up excuses for failures, passes blame on to others or circumstances for our limitations and conjures up a million reasons why we won’t succeed. Faith adds zing to our lives whereas self-pity deflates our zest. Faith aims to energize us whereas self pity seeks sympathy.

Remember: Faith is putting a spotlight on your future and orchestrating a fabulous performance. Self pity is when you focus the spotlight on you whilst you are giving a bad performance.

Try these:

  1. Look up your new year resolution or your list of things to do. Focus on those tasks you have not yet started. How many of these have you avoided starting because you thing you are not up to it? How many have you ignored because you want additional help? Can you name a person, thing or task that is responsible for the delays in the tasks outlined but not completed. Can you cross your heart and only blame the person, task or thing for your inability to get the task done?
  2. Name the three greatest achievements you have managed in the last 1 year. Who do you credit for the success?  Why do you call these your greatest achievements? What was the reason / who was responsible / how did you manage to achieve these goals?  How much credit will you take for achieving these goals? When you started on the task did you believe you would successfully achieve your task?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com