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Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Category

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength. A.J. Cronin

Strange as it may seem, many of us worry because the pain of worry seems to offer an axis around which one can go in circles and feel that we have actually done our bit to stem the tide. Unfortunately we fail to realize that in the process we have expended our energies, have not really changed the reality that stares at us and if anything we have just compounded our worries by wasting the present moment.  Assume we have an exam coming up and we have squandered away our time. Suddenly the reality of the exam date looms ominously ahead and instead of at least attempting to salvage the situation if we panic and brood and worry about our performance and fate, we would only have made a bad situation worse.

To cope with worry, we need to see the bright side of a hopeless situation and the get busy with our work today. Both these are tough especially when the Damocles sword of an impending worry is looming over our head. Seeing the bright side of a hopeless situation is a paradox in itself because hopelessness means a dark and bitter reality ahead. The brightest aspect of it is that at some point it will be over and done with. There could be other small but significant happenings like someone in dire pain lapsing into a comma where there will be no pain or failure helping one to switch tracks a decision which we longed for but didn’t dare to take. The key is to find straws of hope to clutch on to without turning those straws into steel ropes to latch on to and clamber out. One worry that is hard to overcome is the ‘what only if ‘syndrome. Take the case of a student who loses his rank by one mark. He/she can keep ruing that one silly mistake or the one question not studied well but the reality will not change. Or take the case of a person who is on the final question of ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ and chances his. her luck and fails.

If we can see the bright side of the future and to that extend minimize our worries, then we need to turn our focus on keeping busy. This is not to say one needs to engage in worthless and futile work rather one has to divert our positive energies into ensuring that w do our current jobs well. By being busy, our mind is occupied and will not stray and catch the worry bug.  At the same time, we would achieve some of our personal and professional goals, have no regrets about wasting our time and efforts and the net result is that we remain fit and agile. Where we really stumble is when do a tardy job, turn out shoddy work and pass the blame on to our worries and anxieties.  In the lexicon of the brave and the pragmatic person, today is what counts for the opportunities and the time will never come again no matter what the reality will be tomorrow.  Ask if we can we be concerned about the problem rather than worry about it?

Remember: There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.” Harold Stephens

Try this:

  1. Make a list of 10 worries and assign 100 marks to be distribute amongst those worries with the highest marks going to the worry that we are most anxious about. Focus on the top three worries and orient yourself to be concerned about finding a solution.
  2. Ask yourself if more than 3 of the following traits are frequently exhibited by you, for then that shows signs of a person who worries too much.
  • Frequent negative thoughts
  • Constantly complaining, cribbing, whining
  • Do you get easily angry and enraged?
  • At the first signs of uneasiness do you consult a doctor?
  • Are you obsessed about things eg. Children’s exam marks/ punctuality/ neatness / rituals
  • Do you hate it when your carefully laid plans go awry and your schedule is upset?
  • In a crowd if the focus of attention suddenly shifts to you  do you feel very foolish/ sheepish/ disturbed/ irritated ?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Unless you give yourself to some great cause, you haven’t even begun to live. William P. Merrill

From the time we are born our primitive urge is self preservation and this means that we tend to compete/ fight to live for ourselves. Beginning with our need for food, we seek shelter and security for ourselves and our loved ones because it is the herd instinct. As we grow and become adults we become independent but then we tend to become more and more selfish and self centered. While the animal kingdom exhibits similar tendencies, they never have the human weakness of greed. Thus animals that kill and live of the carcass kill only when they are hungry and even the herbivorous animals too eat just for their survival. Man alone tends to hoard, to gorge and to deny a fellow human being.  It is against this background that one needs to understand the need for the human race to consciously make amends for this selfish tendency and the one way to really do it is to give ourselves completely to a cause where the beneficiary is anyone but us.

Since our natural tendency is to live for ourselves, it is only a conscious decision that will really enable us to identify a worthwhile cause and help us spare our time, resources and energies on promoting the cause. The joy and thrill of giving out without any expectations is the real moment that we enjoy our life and appreciate the blessings that life has showered on us. The cause one stands for need not be related only to the human race but should be for the good of mankind. This means that causes as diverse as animal welfare and environmental concerns would be on the same pedestal as working for the handicapped, the aged and the sick. Whatever be the cause, the key is selfless service, total commitment and active participation.

Self less service involves the ready and free desire to be involved in the cause. If the involvement is conditional or it is taken upon reluctantly because of social pressure then the soul of the activity is missing. It is when one seeks out a cause to give selflessly that the cause becomes an integral part of one’s life else it will remain just a duty , a chore and an obligation. Total commitment means the whole hearted and absolute devotion to the cause. No matter what it takes, be it financial resources, networking, seeking out activists to propound the cause no requirement is ignored or side stepped. This is possible when we are wedded to the cause and then we become absolutely committed. The essence of real living is experienced when we give ourselves to the cause by being active participants and be physically involved in all that is required to be done. This involves giving of our time the most precious of our resources, getting our hands dirtied, something that we may not be really used to in daily life and then we experience both he pain of the other and the joy they get from our intimacy and companionship and service.

Remember: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Ty this:

  1. One of the toughest religious orders to join in is the Mother Theresa’s  Sister’s of Charity. Yet they have one of the largest numbers of volunteers and applications to join the congregation. What do you think is the reason for it. If there is a home for the children/ aged/ sick or orphans run by them in your city visit them and spend a day to understand how they work and what they do.
  2. Outline a plan of action to identify a cause, to commit yourself and to actively be involved in it. Don’t fall to the temptation of trying to be involved in all your interests. Chose one and give it your all. Ensure that you even slot a time of the day for the activity and to give of your time and personal efforts. Experience the joy that comes with the commitment.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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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

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It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

One of the problems that we humans constantly battle is our urge to want more and more. We crave to have more wealth, more power, more freedom and more happiness. More often than not, it is a losing battle because we are unable to overcome our cravings but then we work out a compromise to subdue our conscience that pricks us; we give charity, we donate and we even make an attempt to participate in some activity of those working for the poor, the destitute, the old and aged, the orphans, the mentally challenged etc. However our efforts are miniscule as compared to the riches we amass, hoard and fritter away when we need to make a show of pomp or piety. Often we gather ill gotten wealth and we then double our efforts to part with a sizeable chunk of it for an apparently worthy cause. The true intentions are to lighten the burden on our conscience and hopefully get some divine intercessions too in the long run.

On the other hand if we seek out the riches of those who are genuinely happy and contented we make the interesting discovery that they are far from materialistically rich but surprisingly seem to be abundantly blessed in many other ways.  To begin with they are joyful, they also seem to be contented and most of all they seem to take pleasure in giving freely and abundantly to all those who need. We are unable to comprehend how those who are apparently just about making two ends meet by our standards, can be so generous. The answer to that lies in the mental makeup of those who give in abundance. They do not worry too much about their long term own requirements, they have deep faith in being taken care of by some divine or supernatural means and most of all they feel they have a duty a mission and an obligation to those who less privileged, weaker and needier.

It is said that what goes around comes around. This is very true and we would have personally experienced that we have got some help form the most unexpected quarters at a time when we had almost lost all hope. This brings us to another point that we do not consider when we talking about giving and that is to give off our time, our efforts and our talents.  If we have the wealth and money we are generous with giving a small part of it. We may also often give away what is not useful for us or what we do not require like old clothes, toys, books etc. What is really in short supply is the human touch that our brethren seek. Human beings need human company, they require the warmth of human touch, the love spread through our voice and actions and they crave for attention and love. No amount of money can buy any of these. We need to appreciate that real giving is in giving what we value most; our time and our self.

Remember: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran

Try this:

  1. Outline a plan of action to ensure that you give at least 3 -5 hours of your time in a month with either the poor, the aged, the infirm, the orphans or the challenged.
  2. Can you initiate action to coordinate and motivate people to contribute a small mite for some charity? Ideal you should be able to also motivate the contributors to play a more active role in ensuring that their contributions are well utilized by not just donating but also participating in at least one activity of the charity.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Rejoice always, pray constantly, and in all circumstances give thanks. The Desert Fathers

When in pain physical or psychological it is very difficult to rejoice let alone give thanks. Prayer for freedom from pain would be a natural response and yet that would not be the real prayer from the heart. In happier circumstances rejoicing is natural, prayer may be casual and giving thanks perhaps an afterthought. The emphasis of the quote is on acceptance of the moment as it unfolds with a grateful heart (thanks), humbleness (prayer) and ecstasy (rejoicing) no matter what the moment brings.

At varying times and in varying circumstances each of us spare a few moments to at least briefly reflect on the happenings in our life. This is a very basic style of acceptance of the wonderful moments that make up our life. However, it is only when one makes a conscious effort to accept the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the ecstasy and the pain; that is when we can truthfully state that we have experienced life and its splendors. It is of course logical to ask why and how one can rejoice when in pain and why one must give thanks for the pain. If there was no pain, how can one ever appreciate the peace and harmony which we otherwise enjoy. There is a reason for pain too and when we offer thanks we acknowledge the wisdom of the almighty in alerting us with pain. A decayed tooth will pain and that is perhaps the only time we consciously and willing go to a dentist. Give thanks to the pain or all the teeth would rot and we would be blissful about it.

There are times when it becomes very difficult to accept pain and giving thanks and rejoicing seem like a person gone insane because of the pain. Someone suffering from a painful illness and suffering for long years would pray for deliverance from the pain and cannot rejoice daily. The family members and well wishers too find it tough to rejoice and give thanks. However one can surely pray for the person. Prayer is the bridge that connects rejoicing and thanks for through prayer we share our joys, our sorrows, our hopes and our faith. So often, when in pain we cry out pitifully ‘why me?’  Sometimes it is near impossible to comprehend the plans of the almighty and hence it is best we thank the almighty for making giving us the strength to bear the pain and rejoice that things could have been worse.  It is in prayer that we often discover the courage and the enlightenment to rejoice and give thanks.

Remember: “All prayers are answered if we are willing to admit that sometimes the answer is “no”

Try this:

  1. The following words are etched on the tomb stone of a young lad who died at 17 years. Notice the depth and breadth of the word which convey rejoicing, thanks and prayer.
  • Being pleasing to God and beloved, he was transferred; lest wickedness chance his understanding or deceit beguile his soul.
  1. Make a spontaneous prayer every morning and night focusing on the reasons for rejoicing, the happenings for which you want to give thanks and communicating your hopes, fears, sorrows, pain etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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No one gives joy or sorrow … We gather the consequences of our own deeds. Garuda Purana

The immediate reaction one has when reading the above is that we have so many troubles which legitimately should not be ours. In our view we have only done good and have scrupulously followed the law of the land and the beliefs of our faith and so the unbearable pain and troubles are definitely not the consequences of our bad deeds. Pause for a moment and focus on the joys that you are blessed with. Oh there are so many gifts and blessings that we may never really have deserved and yet we have been showered with them. Ask if you really did such extraordinary deeds that made you worthy of the bounty freely given to you? If you try to balance the fortunes and misfortunes, invariably we would feel that we could do with more of some fortunes; this is human nature for in our human weakness we fail to fully appreciate our good fortune be it material wealth, intellectual wealth, loads of friends, good health, good family background etc. We also tend to exaggerate our problems and troubles.

However if we attempt to examine our joys and sorrows that pepper each day of our life, then we would perhaps observe a more identifiable pattern. It takes a little effort to understand the pattern and we must be objective about it without attempting to rationalize our joys and/ or sorrows. Almost all of our joys, one would notice, have come about because we prepared ourselves for it by working for it, hoping for it, by doing our duty without any expectations or by praying for it. On the contrary our sorrows in most cases came about chiefly because we were casual, negligent, irresponsible, indifferent and / or undisciplined in our ways. Our exams marks is a good reflection of how we prepared and succeeded or failed. No doubt there could be exceptions where we did everything possible yet did not triumph or by a quirk of fate did very well in exams for which we barely prepared.  On the work front too our growth and promotions or monetary returns is directly correlated to our efforts and hard work.

There is another angle to the whole business of being rewarded with joys or burdened with our sorrows and that is the short term view we take as opposed to the long term effects. On hindsight many of our joys and troubles seem to have been bestowed on us at the opportune time. Our joys have helped us strengthen our self belief and shaped our positive attitude while the sorrows have helped us better appreciate the riches we have. Sometimes the sorrows have been opportune for it has paved the way forward to a more rewarding path. Eg. Not scoring enough to get into medicine or engineering may have pushed us to change tracks and thereby enter a more rewarding and satisfying career. There is comfort in the knowledge that we are never ever burdened with more than what we can handle and always rewarded with more than what we deserve. It is for us to be able to cope with the pressures and handle our joys with equanimity and humility.

Remember: “Focus on making yourself happy and you’ll soon be miserable. Focus on bringing joy to others and your own happiness will quickly follow.”  Roy H. Williams

Try this:

  1. Think of a time when you felt terrible because you were deeply disappointed. Ask yourself if that particular incident had a major bearing on your attitude, confidence, psyche.  Now also recollect a couple of very special happy moments in your life. How did impact your future? Have you ever been falsely accused and punished in your life? How did it feel?
  2. Are you one of those people who feel that you will never win a lottery/ bingo/ lucky dip? Have you stopped enjoying playing such games because you feel you will never win?  Don’t you think it is better to enjoy playing and have a chance of winning than not playing and always believing you will not win for you can win only if you play.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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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

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