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38- Faliure is not the opposite of successOnce we can orient our thinking to appreciate the tremendous insight provided by the above quote, chances are, we will never be apprehensive or fearful of failure. Failure has been stigmatized, it has been projected as the antonym of success and it has been the one word that every individual has been cautioned to keep away from. The reality is that failure has merits but unfortunately the word failure has been demonized and the merits cast away.  A glimpse of how failure is an essential part of success is shared below.

Provides painful lessons grasped quickly – While success is craved by everyone, the lessons from success are not as strongly ingrained in the mind as much as lessons learned from failure. Failure could be a painful outcome despite a good effort so it hurts more. However, it is the lessons learnt  from failure that enables one to reorient ones thinking, enables one to be creative, helps change ones approach to a problem and remains a constant reminder on how to avoid previous mistakes so as to achieve success. E.g. if one was tardy in studies the fail result in the report card and its consequences would be a good reminder to be more diligent in studies.

It is a hard rock on which one can built something strong – Failure provides one a strong rock like foundation to build on simply because one has to start again but this time one would be more alert, agile and astute. The pain and shame of failure is always a bitter pill to swallow.  Hence next time around one would invest time, energy and effort very cautiously and prudently so as to ensure one does not fitter away one’s resources.  At the same time failure highlights the chinks in one’s armor, helps one realize the importance of going back to the drawing board to work on a more robust plan that can succeed.  E.g. Steve Jobs life provides you a perfect script of success being tempered by failure and subsequent bigger success.

It acts as speed breakers on the high way of success – Success is often very heady and that can lead to reckless behavior. A failure is a wonderful speed breaker that tempers one’s exuberance, helps slow down ones pace to suit our temperament and above all ensures that we pause to refresh, recharge and resist the temptation to be over ambitious and take reckless risks. E.g. look at the monumental failures of once billionaires who took dubious means to multiply their wealth till their failures were exposed

It sensitizes one to be more humane and pragmatic The true measure of success is how one can have a positive influence on the environment around. Yet many equate success with wealth, influence and power alone.  Failure helps one realize his / her human failings, makes one look around in a more humane way and then channelizes success for the larger good of society. E.g. The spurt in voluntary CSR initiatives of corporates or the philanthropic initiatives of the rich are an acknowledgement of their belief that they have failed to use their wealth for the larger good of mankind and they are now making efforts to correct that.

It is just one extreme end of the continuum called life– Success is one end of a continuum called life. At the other end is failure. Seen differently they are two sides of a coin. You cannot relish success with out a taste of failure. One can better appreciate the joys of success only when one has tasted the bitterness of failure. Winning a game with no opponents will never give you an euphoria as much as winning games beating tough opponents. It is because failure exits that quest for success becomes more challenging and enjoyable. E.g. Ask Usain Bolt how much more valuable his gold medals from previous Olympics are, especially after his relative failure in his last races.

Try these

  • List out three of your major failure and the lessons each failure taught you.
  • List out your three major successes   and identify any failure that had a part to play in each of those successes.
  • What is the best compliment you ever got? Can you identify 3 reasons that made the compliment really worthwhile?
  • What are the areas of concern for you where you fear failure? What steps are you taking to ensure success in those areas?

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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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

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32- Think about theseHere are 7 exceptional statements that would make you pause and think. The more important element though is to appreciate the logic and then apply it in day to day life. The focus of this post is to encourage you to apply the logic in our everyday life and thereby enrich the quality of our daily living.

Make Peace with your past so that it doesn’t spoil your present.  Don’t use the excuses related to the past to justify your failures of the present. Instead, delve into your inner spirit and challenge yourself to make today and your future something special. Have no regrets. Failures/ poor marks in exams, failed relationships of the past, the criticism and taunts, the anger and frustrations have to be left behind in doorway of the past. However, if there is something from the past that has relevance to your personal improvement, do make it a point to learn from it. This is especially true of negative feedback given by others which may have been hurtful then but from which you can profit now.

What others think of you is none of your business. Your business is to focus on what you have to do. Never make the mistake of doing something to please others. Sometimes you have to be upfront, honest and frank even if it means displeasing people in authority or people with whom you share a very close relationship or bond. However, at times you must pause and think about any suggestions or comments or feedback that others express for there could be opportunities for you to learn from it.

Time heals almost everything; Give the time, sometime. There are times when you feel low. Other times you in physical or emotional pain. One tends to rationalize the pain but often it seems to keep coming back in waves and overwhelm us. Fortunately for us, time is a great healer. While we may not forget a hurt or pain, over time the intensity of it gets reduced. Losing a loved one or a jolt in a relationship are deeply painful experiences and the immediate reaction is to go into depression and despondency. If one can tide over the initial  shock and hurt, time is sure to give you  relief and peace.

No one is the reason for your happiness except YOU yourself. A critical mistake we make is searching for happiness in external happenings and material things. A new mobile phone or a new dress would certainly make us happy but it won’t last for long because the craving to get something new would forever haunt us. On the other hand if we find happiness in the simple pleasures of daily life, could be the bright sunlight or the tasty breakfast or the mere thought of having a good day, it would last longer and become more meaningful. Happiness is a choice you make every moment. You form that habit and happiness will envelope you.

Don’t compare your life with others; you have no ideas what their journey is all about. Jealousy is a very human emotion and unfortunately a very poor emotion to retain. The root cause of jealousy is our tendency to compare ourselves with those who are more successful or happy or richer than us. If we compared our self with those less blessed and less privileged than us then we would value our life and our riches with greater understanding and joy. The trouble with comparison is not just that we use the wrong benchmark but that we compare very selectively. We see their success but never pay attention to their hard work, their sacrifices, the pain they underwent and the numerous failures they have had to overcome to reach where they are. Understanding their journey will make us appreciate our blessings in the correct perspective.

Stop thinking too much; it is alright not to know all the answers. We plan, we think about the future, we rue the past, we imagine that we could have been even better off if we just had a little luck and the right connections. Perhaps we are also trying to gain all the knowledge but not really using it.  At times we are trying to beat google at its own game. We try to be pragmatic and minimize our emotions lest we succumb to our emotions when we take decisions. We are human beings because we have emotions and so logic and knowledge while being very useful, would not make us better human beings unless we let our emotions have a say too. It is ok to be less informed but more connected with life.

Smile; you don’t own all the problems in the world. At the end of the day everything boils down to just sporting a smile.  As they say, a smile is curve that sets everything right. If you can wake up with a smile and retain it the whole day and go to bed with it, then life would be just perfect. Aim for such perfection. In my view a SMILE is an acronym for See My Instant Life Energizer.  You can read about it by clicking on the following link http://poweract.blogspot.in/2010/01/smile.html

Try these

  • Using all the alphabets of your first name, middle name and last name list out at least 5 English words. How many of those words represent your nature. E.g. Thomas Jeffery Hanks – thanks, meet, fat, same, shame, far, mat, most, share, hare, etc.
  • List out the names of 3 people who you are envious / jealous of. For each write down 3 attributes they posses that makes you envious of them. Can you also list out 3 reasons why they deserve the success they have attained?
  • What are the 3 questions that keep recurring off and on? Any reasons why you feel threatened by these questions or uncomfortable trying to find answers to these questions?
  • Make a list of 5 of your favorite jokes. Share it with your friends the next time you have a get-together.
  • What has been your worst personal experience to date? How have you coped with it? Have you got over it ?

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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27-30 Jul 17-An open mindIf we look at children playing you would notice that they are excited by the little things that they discover for the first time. The ants moving around busily, the joy of jumping in some puddles, the flight of the birds, the freedom when on a swing and the up and down of the sea saw. Their minds are filled with wonder at the fun that is in abundance around, at the variety of the fun they can have and they are joyous at discovering something new.  Yet this very same child, as he or she grows up begins to learn,  most of it by rote and thereafter things become a blind belief. If the text book says it must be a fact, if the teachers, parents or elders say something, reasoning would have little scope to penetrate the mind and if the individual has firsthand experience, that would be the ultimate truth. The wonders that once enabled a free and open mind are now shackled by the chains of dogma and blind faith.

The only way to regain and retain the joys of wonderment are by keeping an open mind that will allow all varieties of influences to come and go without it being prejudged, prejudiced or passed over. This can be best done in the following ways

Seek new experiences – Move out of your comfort zone if you have to experience something different and new. It could be as simple as trying out trying out a different cuisine or experimenting with a new hairstyle. Alternatively it could be extremely challenging like attempting to overcome a fear or taking on a dangerous dare. Your mind would feel the exhilaration only when you open  it up to take on new possibilities.

Find positives in sour experiences – Not every experience would be pleasant. Sometimes the experiences would be painful or it could be embarrassing or it could provide a rude jolt. Train your mind to find something positive in the failure so that the experience becomes worthwhile and has provided you a new learning.

Question more – While one cannot try and question all that is taught, where one has serious doubts raise questions. The objective must be to ensure that you are fully convinced about the matter and not embrace it because of a blind belief. Disruptive technology and disruptive business models are nothing but answers to questions that asked about existing beliefs.

Have an independent view – You are an unique individual. Your individuality is highlighted by your ability to stand out in a crowd. This is best expressed by asking probing questions, articulating / expressing yourself even if it means going against the majority. Stand by your convictions.

Embrace change – Since change is the only constant, embrace change whole heartedly. Change is nothing but moving from the existing to creating a new paradigm. Change can be disruptive, frightening, revolutionary and overwhelming. Make change a friend and you will discover possibilities that you never ever imagined. It will shatter your existing beliefs and instead transport you into a land of wonderment.

Try these

  • Go to Youtube and check out some of the TV talent shows to get a flavor of what possibilities mean.
  • List out the five major technological changes that you have had to cope with, in the past five years.
  • Outline three bitter experiences and a valuable lesson you learned from it.
  • What is the best gift/ present you ever got in your life. Why do you think it is special?

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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22- 20 June 17-What matters is...The length of your life is not as important as the quality of your thoughts. Ideally the older we grow, it is assumed the wiser one becomes. This is largely true because of the variety of experiences one has gained; with each new day bringing its share of surprises, hopes, opportunities and regrets. Yet if one were to dispassionately look around, it is no surprise that there are so many mature people with dogmatic ideas, caught in a time warp because their mind has not kept pace with their age. The problem for many is that they find it difficult to embrace change, cope with new developments, adapt to evolving technology and accept the changing social customs and norms.

While we have no control over our age, we can with a little awareness, a wee bit of adaptability and by adopting the right attitude, train our mind to keep pace with the evolving world and seamlessly embrace it.

Awareness Most of us are caught in the mental trap called ‘ the good old days’. It is true that life was simpler, the pleasures that we got were largely from the outdoors, technology was not too complicated and family life was relatively stable and fun. However, with evolving technology came dramatic changes in life style, transportation, communication systems etc. While it made our life simpler it also disrupted the simplicity of living. Hard work was no longer the equivalent of physical labor but was more in the nature of longer hours at work in commuting and in meeting targets. Technological challenges were no longer mechanical challenges but keeping pace with the electronic revolution. The social fabric was myriad with changes; rate of divorces crept up, live in relationships and LGBT became the new buzz words and same sex marriages and surrogate children became passé. Be aware that one cannot turn the clock back and so one has to keep pace with the changes around.

Adaptability – Each of us has some sense of ethics, morals and values. Adaptability is holding on to those ideals without transgressing the right of others to hold on to their ideals. Making that mental adjustment is often fraught with frustration, fear and resignation. Having an open mind to embrace what does not fit into one’s frame of reference is a huge challenge for we begin to question our own value system. Similarly, the technological changes brings with it tremendous opportunity but sadly it also brings along with it the dangers of the misuse of the technology. Learning to use the technology can be challenging but when it is forced up on us we adapt to it. An open mind enables us to happily adapt to changing technology without it being forced down our throat like bitter medicine. Adaptability is all about making peace with change and embracing it with love.

Attitude Only when we have the right attitude will we become aware of the changes around us and begin to adapt to the changes. A good attitude enables one to see changes as a pathway to progress, development and evolvement. It also helps one look at the changes with wonderment, a fun activity to engage in and see it as tools of empowerment. One develops a positive, engaging and empowering attitude by training the mind to visualize opportunities, view changes from the prism of development and by focusing on what more rather than what was. The right attitude is the key to keeping an open mind; not judging, not denying and not condemning what goes on around us.

Try these

  1. Make a list of things/ technology/ social changes that first shocked you and then made you aware of how it impacts lives of people.
  2. List out three positive and three negative influences / impact that change around you has had on you.
  3. Look up a few TED talks and ask yourself what was new that you learned from the sharing in the talk.
  4. Look up a few video clips on various magic tricks. Does it fill your mind with the following thoughts?
  • How was it done?
  • I don’t believe it
  • Is it really happening?
  • Can I do it too?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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30-the-meaning-of-lifeAt some point in time, if not most of the time, each of us grapples with the question ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ Our problem is often the result of our inability to cope with either abundance of riches, ideas, options or because all these are in terrible short supply in our life.  Some of us struggle with the chaos in our life brought about by our fear of the future, the ghost of the past and the challenges of the present. Each of us also suffer, in varying degrees, from the seven deadly vices of sloth, gluttony, pride, envy, wrath, lust and greed which makes our life miserable and reignites the question ‘What is the meaning of our life?

The answer to this philosophical question actually lies in answering another more meaningful question ‘How do I give meaning to my life?’  The key word is the emphasis on the word MY LIFE! Yes I am sure my of existing life; the previous life is immaterial now and the afterlife, if such a thing exists, is a long way away. Once you decide that you and only you can lead your life, giving meaning to it becomes relatively simple. You choose, you live, you make life happen!

To give meaning to your life focus on the following:

Your thoughts – Everything you do starts in your mind. You need to train your mind to think with purpose, think rationally, be imaginative and to think positive. Since our thoughts determine our words and actions, pay attention to those triggers that make us emotional, get us worked up, make us irrational and those that plant a seed of doubt in our mind. Once you become aware of such negative thoughts, it becomes possible albeit difficult to rein in such thoughts and counter them with more positive and energizing thoughts. Every day will bring with it, its share of joys, concerns, opportunities and challenges. We often tend to discount or ignore the joys and opportunities and instead focus on the concerns and challenges that we face. Slowly our mind begins to wither away since it is now trained only to look out for trouble. Instead, if you count your blessings each day, the wonders that you have been gifted with and the chances that you get to move ahead in life all other troubles will seem to be insignificant in comparison. Start each day with a grateful heart; end each day with thanks for another good day. Whatever happens in between will then be something you can cope with, for by overcoming it is what makes your day, something to cherish and feel happy about.

Your words – Your thoughts have a large influence in how your thoughts, feelings and emotions are articulated and expressed. If you see challenges as opportunities to prove your mettle, you will look forward to it and express yourself with confidence, eagerness and excitement. On the other hand if you view it as an unavoidable task, you will start expressing your doubts, your concerns, find excuses for failure that you anticipate. Ask yourself what type of person you would like to deal with. The tone, tenor, style and choice of words would also reflect your mindset and attitude towards a task and your belief system. Be aware that sarcasm, insinuations, blame game and negativity in your communication often indicate your insecurity, your weakness and your inability to cope with stress. Practice the art of expressing yourself in a positive way; consider the recipient of your communication as a partner in your work, an ally who wants you to succeed and someone who believes in your abilities. The same feelings will percolate into your mindset and before long you would succeed in seeing positive life changing meaning in your daily life.

Your deeds – It is said that the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’. Ultimately your thoughts and words must be reflected in the actions you perform. Giving platitudes and sermons is relatively easy; traversing that path is definitely much more difficult. A simple act of listening carefully could sometimes be extremely difficult because you have strong negative emotions about the other party and / or the situation. Your deeds are not merely what you do, but how you do it. Do you bang the door when you leaving your bosses cabin after a stormy meeting? Do you do an unpleasant task with grace? How do you deal with a cranky elder at home? Do you constantly nag your spouse and/ or children? Can you maintain a cheerful countenance even during a very stressful situation? Remember that Actions speak louder than words!

Try these:

  1. Volunteer to baby sit a child who is between the ages of 3-5. If the child is hyperactive or challenged, you would learn a lot more from the experience about your own temperament, patience, creativity, attitude and self belief.
  2. Spend one evening every month in an orphanage / old age home / hospice / home for the challenged. What feelings did you experience? Ask yourself what can you do on your own to make life more comfortable there.
  3. List out the names of 5 people with whom you have difficulty in getting along. Now choose one of them and make a determined effort to be genuinely nice to them for an extended period of time. Did it bring about a positive change in you and the other person? Do you think you were being unfair to judge the other person wrongly? Do you think you can try this experiment with other people on your list?
  4. Make a list of all the negative words / phrases / excuses / tone / foul language that you often resort to, especially when annoyed/ irritated / confused/ frustrated. Can you make a determined effort to eliminate these and substitute them with some positive reinforcements?  Can you feel a change in yourself after adopting a positive approach?

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- Five things to quitOften people wonder what they need to do to set things right in their life. Perhaps each of us is guilty of indulging in one or more of the following, as a result of which we fail to realize our full potential.

Trying to please everyone:  We find it difficult to disappoint people. So we agree to the plans set by others even at the cost of having to make major adjustments that could impact our plans. In some cases we commit, although we are aware that we may not be able to honor our commitment. As a result we get annoyed with ourselves for giving in when we really should not have. We start resenting those who forced us into agreeing with their plans. We feel overburdened and pressurized. At times we fail to meet our commitments because we were busy trying to accommodate others.. You cannot accommodate everyone! Learn to say NO if the situation warrants it

Fearing Change: Everyone loves the status quo because we have reasonable control over what is happening. Change is therefore looked upon as potential danger, a possible threat and a definite inconvenience. We therefore find out excuses to avoid change of any sort. Actually change offers us opportunities to discover our potential, holds out promise to leap frog into something more spectacular and can often also help get away from the drudgery and irritable aspects of the existing  situation. Bear in mind that Change is the only constant in life.

 Living in the past: The good old days are symptomatic of how we get entrapped in the cage of the past. Perhaps life was simpler then but we take for granted the gifts of progress that has made our life a wee bit more comfortable. Living in the past also weighs us down from soaring and embracing new opportunities and possibilities. The past cannot be undone nor can it be re lived. While we may reminiscence about it off and on, we cannot let the past make us a prisoner of it. As Longfellow elucidates eloquently in his poem the Psalm of Life ‘Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!    Let the dead Past bury its dead!  Act,— act in the living Present!    Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Putting yourself down :  From childhood we are taught to be modest and humble. This is a good quality to imbibe. However, when we let our modesty envelope us, we begin to shy away from praise and appreciation. We feel embarrassed when others laud our achievements. At times we try to play down our contribution so much so that we try to draw attention of others to what we could have done better and how we didn’t do enough. Accept credit with humility; showcase your achievements with pride; enjoy the accolades you deserve.  

Overthinking : We do not achieve as much as we possibly can for one simple reason. We think too much about the what’s and if’s and but’s instead of working in earnest. We worry about people’s reactions to our bold initiatives. We worry about failure and that dampens our enthusiasm. We think about fool proofing our initiatives and therefore never get around to launching our ideas. We worry about the past and the mistakes we made. We think about the future and feel insecure. Thinking before acting is definitely a must but it is the over thinking and consequent ‘paralysis by analysis’ syndrome that we must be watchful of. Do not become a prisoner of your negative thoughts.

It is time you got over these personality traits that limit you from realizing your true potential!

Try these:

  1. List out 5 things that you always wanted to do but did not attempt because you lacked confidence or because you worried about failure or were too concerned about the reactions of others. Put a deadline and attempt any 2 in the next 6 months.
  2. List out 5 of your worst fears. How many of them do you think you are likely to encounter in the coming year. Do you know of anyone who has confronted the fear you are terrified of and can you learn from how they coped with it?
  3. Assuming you won a lottery ( you just might if you dare to invest in a lottery ticket) of Rs. 1,00,000 how would you utilize the proceeds?  Are you already thinking that you don’t have that kind of luck or that this is a hypothetical question and you don’t want to even think about it.?

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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