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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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37- Reading is...

Reading is perhaps one of the most enjoyable leisure activities. It certainly is an unavoidable compulsion for students and teachers alike. The ability to read and write is also the yardstick used to distinguish the literate from the illiterate. What makes reading so unique is that it has the ability to evoke emotions, feelings, thrills and fears, laughter and sadness, pain and pleasure apart from allowing the reader to vividly visualize, leisurely contemplate and at times act decisively. It is breathing for the mind because it keeps our mind active, vibrant and alive to possibilities.

To get the best out of reading and to cultivate the art and enjoy the experience focus on the following:

Variety in reading – If you can bring yourself to read a variety of genres, styles, topics, authors and have different reasons for reading you will never tire of reading. Reading the newspaper is perhaps one of the most common reading activity indulged in by the overwhelming majority. This is because in a dynamically changing world, each one of us wants to know what is going on. The newspaper also offers variety in terms of current affairs, sports, leisure, and politics being major areas covered. However a visit to the library or a book shops opens up a enormous possibilities to explore and there is limitless variety in reading material.

Purposeful reading – If there is focus on why you want to read you will ensure that you read just what you want to read without feeling that you have wasted your time. Students largely have focus on their reading because the objective is appear for exams and score well. This enables them to cope with the reading that they may not necessarily like but which is unavoidable. Similarly, having focus helps you identify what interests you, the styles of writing and genres that engage you. You may even switch genres which are completely different but it ensures that you are never bored or that the content is monotonous. It also allows you the freedom to stop reading what does not appeal to you without feeling guilty.

Enjoy what you read While reading as part of learning can at times get exhausting, it is your attitude that will determine how tedious the reading is. Obviously given a choice, you will read just what you fancy and hopefully you enjoy what you read. At times, you pick up a book either because it is a best seller or because it is highly recommended but if you are plodding through it, it is best you switch to what interest. The pleasure of reading comes from how easy it feels to ones senses in terms of style, content, appeal and pleasure it brings to the reader.

Share your learning – By sharing the key concepts or the salient features with others, you actually relive the book and the pleasure it gave you. It is also indicative of how it has impacted you and how eager you are to ensure others too get a pleasure out of it.

Cultivate it as habit – The more you read, greater the pleasure and the learning. Cultivate reading as a habit. It refreshes the mind, enhances your knowledge, gives you stimulus and is a wonderful companion especially when you are alone.

Try these

  1. List out 5 of your favorite books and authors. Identify one reason why each book appeals to you.
  2. What types of books appeal to you? What genres of writing do you like?
  3. Which characters in the books you have read endear themselves to you and why?
  4. Which well known book did not appeal to you? Can you identify the reasons you did not like the book?
  5. Name one incident from any of your reading that you still recall vividly or with nostalgia.

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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33- 10 Sept 17- Two types of painEach of us must have experienced both forms of pain at various points in our life. The pain that hurts us can be physical pain or psychological pain. Physical pain, unless it is a permanent pain, is often forgotten once we are physically healed. The psychological pain on the other hand tends to remain with us for a much longer time, perhaps in some cases even lifelong. The trauma of pain that hurts is now better managed by medication, counseling and therapy, yet the experience often leaves an individual  scarred, bitter at times and definitely wary of going through the agony once again.

The same pain that we experience be it physical or psychological, can be channelized by every individual by using the right attitude and thinking to become a life changing experience. Not just life changing for the individual but also life changing for the people around, the circle of influence we can reach out to. The very essence of pain management is an excellent example of it. It is the result of years of experimentation and research done by individuals who dealt with people in pain and decided to reach out to alleviate the pain of such people. However, although most of us as individuals may not have the technical expertise to do the same, each of us can develop the right attitude and thinking to change our approach to managing our pain as well as the pain of those around us.

Accept what cannot be changed This is the toughest part of managing pain. Embracing the inevitable, making peace with the reality and looking at pain from the prism of positivity would enable an individual to accept the unchangeable faster and more whole heartedly. Death of a loved one, the loss of a limb or a physical transformation due to an accident or having an incurable disease like MND would require the individual to accept the reality that life is altered forever. Once an individual makes peace with this reality, reorienting the thinking is a relatively easier process.

Channelize your pain to transform your life – Be it your pain or you being a part of another’s pain would always impact your life. If a close friend or family member is in any type of pain, it impacts you also. You need to channelize the pain into seeing it as a way to learn some lessons be it reorienting your thinking or being made aware of people who you took for granted as being more dependable or finding your hidden reservoir of strength to mange yourself.

Empathize with those in pain – Be there for people who are in pain. Comfort them by your understanding, presence and patience. Divert their minds to pleasant thoughts, beautiful memories of the past and give them hope. Let them know that you share their suffering and that you would like to share their burden. Understanding the trauma of those in the throes of psychological pain is very tough because we tend to use logic or rationalize it. However, emotions run a lot deeper and they remain simmering within the individual. It is essential that those around try and draw the person out of his/ her trauma, reassure them of getting their life back on track and show them hope in the future. This can dull the pain, the fear and inject in them a strong desire to make a stronger comeback.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional – This is the mantra that each one should adopt and share. Each of us will experience a variety of pain in varying degrees. We need to quickly get to grips with it and try to mitigate it by dwelling less on the suffering and instead focusing on how it is changing you to become stronger, more resilient and helping you discover your inner strength.

Try these

  1. List out 5 activities that give you maximum pain. The challenge is to confront each of them and to jot down the learning from it each time you confronted it.
  2. Attempt one or more of the following:
  • Visit an elderly / lonely neighbor once a week
  • Go to the local hospital and ask the social worker how you can help out
  • You can also visit a hospice or old age home or a home for the challenged
  • Visit a nearby park and notice people who seem alone/ lonely. See if you can strike a conversation with them and bring a smile to their face.

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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24- 8 Jul 17- Create your own rainbowWith the monsoons already arriving, most days seem like Monday’s; dull, gloomy and too tempting to laze around in bed. Yet, it is time to get up and get going and the process is just a tad too boring and uninspiring. Just as the wonders of the rainbow appear in the monsoon, await the rainbow each day and there would perhaps also be a pot of gold at the end of it to lure you to energetically look forward to each day.

Look for things that brighten the day – it could be the chirping of the birds, the sunlight that is streaming in, the laughter of children playing, the pealing of the temple and/or church bells. The key is to look for things that make you happy, contented and peaceful. It is a proactive responsibility that you must take on in order to change your own world.

See the variety of positives that you are blessed with – Make a conscious effort to over look  the hurt, the pain, the sadness of the past and instead focus on the blessings you have been bestowed. Good health tops the list, financial security, a loving world of family and friends, the comfort of a blessed home perhaps and a secure job too maybe.

Smile, forgive, listen, appreciate, thank – This is such an easy formula to memorize; a tough one to put in practice but the easiest to embrace once you have consciously adopted it. Each of it helps you exhale the toxic within and inhale the pure clean emotions.

Embrace love, laughter, hope and faith – Just as a good diet and exercise is a choice you make, add a heap full of love, a ton of laughter, perennial hope and unwavering faith to your daily mantra. You will find yourself empowered, optimistic and energetic to make your presence felt in the world and to make a positive difference around you.

Spend time with family, nature, self – Since we are social animals, we need to connect with other,  the world around and with ourselves. Spend time with family and friends. Spread good cheer and goodwill amongst them. They would seek to spend more time with you. Nature helps us embrace the spectrum of life; the flora and fauna, the sheer variety of wildlife and the beauty of the hills and valleys, the rivers and the seas, the changing seasons. Spend time thinking, reflecting and connecting to inner self. Never forget you are world yourself; filled with emotions, thoughts, feelings and passion.

Find silence despite the noise, find order despite the chaos and discover peace within despite the turbulence around –  Life is full of noise, chaos and turbulence. In our journey through life, we must be able to filter out and choose everything that would make our journey more pleasant, comfortable and enjoyable. Learn to enjoy silence; then you will master the art of finding it despite the noise around. Like getting through a maze, look hard at the chaos around; anger, frustration, hurt are some  feelings that you need to get past before you get out of the maze and reach peace, tranquility and bliss.

Look back with fondness, look forward with hope and be awake in the present Every day there must be something pleasant to reminiscence about, a goal set to give meaning and purpose to each day and one must make each moment count by being mentally and physically alert and active.

Notice how you have created a beautiful rainbow for yourself. The success, satisfaction, happiness, contentment and the peace that you get is the pot full of gold at the end of your rainbow.

Try these

  • List out 3- 5 colors that you like.  Look around you and for each color you chose, write down at least 2 objects having that color. Did you notice the color of those objects earlier. Do you notice the rainbow of colors around you?
  • Sit with your eyes closed for 5 minutes. Identify the various noises around you. Also imagine the aroma of your favorite food. Can you feel the rainbow of myriad sounds and aroma that you normally take for granted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try these:

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

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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