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31-Create your Self Portrait anewIt is not what you are but what you make of yourself that will ultimately define you. However, to do that one must be able to visualize what one wants to achieve, constantly work on making changes to one’s self with that vision in mind and proactively work on creating a new self that personifies and brings out the best out of you. This is a tough call partly because instead of redefining ourselves we are largely focused on imitating others, partly because we do not have the self belief that we can change for the better and largely because we are fatalistic and resign to our fate. While a dynamic self portrait is merely symbolic of the immense potential each of us has, it is important to also bear in mind that we cannot photoshop our life, our deeds, our efforts or our achievements. We need to bring out the changes ourselves by sheer passion, persistence and patience.

The following are pointers to key areas of our life that we need to literally touch up so as to enable us to live out a life that is fulfilling and representative of our full potential.

Attitude – Having the right attitude holds the key to any form of progress for every human being. If one can develop an attitude of positivity, optimism and imbibe a never say die spirit then no challenge is insurmountable, no task too menial or any achievement the pinnacle. The right attitude helps inject enthusiasm, creativity and take proactive initiatives that propel us in the right direction and abets progress.

Self Motivation – Without self motivation every good intent remains merely a dream. Most times a good attitude will generate self motivation but we have to work on sustaining it even when progress is slow, obstacles are many, our spirit is flagging and our urge to give up is overwhelming. A self motivated individual would find reasons to pursue passionately and prevail till the goal is attained. A good aid to be self motivated is to visualize the big picture or ultimate goal and to clearly outline the intermediate steps to attain that. Pursuing a passion or linking the goal to a passion would be the perfect way to constantly be self motivated.

Imagination – With a colorful imagination one can visualize the improbable, see beyond the obvious, create dramatically different images and most of all learn to find possibilities all the time. They say opportunities often disguise themselves in the garb of difficulties and it is only the imaginative that can spot them. Imagination also helps one create chances, seize the moment and bounce back from every setback. Without imagination one would see things in mere shades of grey, be confined to the dungeons of monotony and merely survive without embracing the joys of life. Imagination gives wings to a thought, a spring to your step and zeal to your mission.

Self belief – The degree of confidence one has in one’s abilities is a major indicator of self belief. However, self belief goes much beyond mere confidence and is an assimilation of diverse traits like commitment, discretion, daring, risk taking and rationality. Self belief comes from knowledge, upbringing, passion, learning and mental toughness. Self belief must be distinguished from foolhardiness, in as much as the latter is nothing but either over confidence or misplaced self belief.

Effort –Without effort, the self portrait that you will visualize would be just a figment of imagination; an illusion; a dream; a wish; a hope. Effort generates momentum to a pre determined destination and propels thought to be channelized appropriately. All the traits, abilities, learning and mental strength is tested only, when effort is used to mix and mould the product to be showcased. Effort also helps you discover yourself. It helps you understand your strengths and weakness, it makes you aware of your own potential and often helps you discover qualities and traits that you were never aware of.

Spend some time on visualizing your goals. These could be broadly categorized as personal goals, professional goals, self actualization goals. Spend time in understanding your own attitude and reactions to various goals that you have identified e.g. Financial goals might require you to be very self disciplined but your own attitude is to live life king size. Perhaps a diagnosis of your attitude could help you realize your folly and make you aware of the extra discipline needed to meet your financial goals. Find a way to be self motivated so that your quest to attain your goal is not a burden but a personal achievement. Be imaginative enough to discover alternatives that appeal to you and tap into yourself belief that will enable you to keep your eye on your goal and ears closed to the naysayers while continuing your effort and progressing towards your goal.

See yourself evolve into a different person; a more confident and successful individual who dared to change himself/ herself and the world around too !

Try these:

  1. List out 3 things you would like to change in your subordinate / kids and your boss / spouse. How would you go about telling this to them, in a manner that would ensure, that your objective of bringing about the desired change would be effectively implemented by them?
  2. List out 3 people who you interact with often and whose feedback you value. Identify atleast one negative feedback you have received from them in the recent past. Can you work on rectifying the fault pointed out by them?
  3. Which animal / bird best represents your characteristics? Write down 3 – 5 qualities that the animal possesses / displays that closely represents qualities that you posses. Get a picture of the animal and note down these qualities on the picture and place it in a location that will enable you to frequently see it and remind yourself of the traits you posses.

Do not forget that doing all of the above takes EFFORT. No pain no gain !

You cannot photoshop your life but you certainly can leave behind a good impression that does not require any photoshopping.

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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25- 21 Dec 14-A year from nowWhen December comes, we subconsciously review the year gone by and hope against hope that the New Year has better tidings for us. The fact is that each one of is solely responsible for the progress we make in our life, notwithstanding events and circumstances beyond one’s control that occasionally crop up and derail even the best of plans. December is also the time when many of us make resolutions for the New Year, most of it never written down. When next December comes we regret the opportunities gone by, the noble intentions never executed and keep fervently wishing we could turn the clock back. Alas, a year would have passed by then; and we continue to rue.

This is an opportune moment to make plans, commit to them and execute them so that next year around this time, you would have achieved much more than you ever expected to. However it is also important to realize that this is the best time to also move beyond the conventional listing that most people do and instead list out personal priorities related to your interests, passions, hobbies and yearnings. So this is the perfect time to get going on ensuring you attain your happiness quotient by deft planning and execution.

The most important ritual that one has to necessarily follow before outlining one’s plans for the future is to spend enough time ‘thinking’ about what one wants to achieve. Thinking must be deliberate, reasoned, clearly visualized and actionable milestones identified. The milestone’s will be critical to motivate you to act even if the results don’t seem too encouraging to begin with. E.g. those who plan to run a marathon or plan to lose weight would initially find the going very tough, but strict self discipline would definitely show results. Thinking also ensures that we don’t operate out of a whim or fancy but it is a conscious choice made. This makes us more committed to the activity we have chosen.

In preparing for the future, ensure that there is ample time allotted to personal passions, interests and yearnings. Life is not about just hard work towards a materialistic goal; rather life must be lived with panache, verve and fulfillment. These aspects are individualistic, self determined and uniquely experienced; provide for it in your plans so that you never regret not venturing into it. More than anything else, what we plan must be written down and only then can one periodically review progress made and corrective action initiated. When we are disappointed that we have not done anything substantial or failed to even begin something we have no one but ourselves to blame. As is said ‘ well begun is half done’ so begin well by writing down your resolutions and taking courage to begin and being self disciplined to keep going.

Next year this time, smile at the results; pat yourself on your back for the progress made and don’t forget to once again start anew !

Try this:

  1. Decide to give up one bad habit that you have in the coming year.
  2. Focus on 3 things you always wanted to do but never did till date. Ensure that in the coming year you do at least one of these activities that you have listed.
  3. Choose one of the following or decide on something special for yourself to be done in the coming year
  • Preparing a PPT on your life in 25 slides and using a maximum of 50 photographs
  • Volunteering for a completely off beat social service activity e.g volunteering at prisons
  • Throwing a surprise party for some one of your choice.
  • Attempting something that no one ever expected you to do e.g. keeping a pet / bungee jumping/ writing your personal blog etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.in

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Like many of you reading this post, I have had a number of dreams, aspirations and expectations, a few of which I did achieve. Unfortunately, I must also confess that I just haven’t managed to realize the vast majority of my plans and worse still, have made all sorts of convenient excuses to rationalize my inability to perform to my potential. At the end of the day no one is interested in excuses; the world recognizes only performances not promises. So then I asked myself ‘Hey dude what is stopping you?’ Here is what I found out …(Notice the point in red refers to the problem and the one in blue is the antidote for it.)

Lack of focus – Perhaps this is the one single most important reason that many of us don’t utilize our talents, stumble along life’s way and remain incognito most of our life. We have no idea of what we want to do with our life, we do not have a clear agenda for ourself and merely lurch from day to day hoping that each day will be better than the previous.

Goal setting – We have some haze idea as to what we want from life. However to be focused in life we have to make that effort to actually ask and answer the 5W’s and 1H that pertain to our own life. One has to write down one’s goals be it personal goals, academic goals, professional goals or social goals. Ask any Olympic participant and you will find one thing in common- each of them had a goal to represent their country in the Olympics

Over commitment – In our anxiety to make up for our lack of focus and experience a sense of achievement, we make the next cardinal mistake of attempting more than what we realistically can attempt successfully. We also end up being over-committed because we want to please as many people as we can and also because subconsciously we hope that we will strike it rich by having more options. What we don’t seem to realize is that all we end up doing is biting of more than what we can chew.

Learning to say NO – If one has a goal, life is a lot simpler for there is clarity of purpose. Yet we are often thrust with tasks that we do not want to do, are not capable of doing or which is just not your business. Refusing to do something is not looked upon kindly but if our goal is clear and the tasks not aligned to our personal goals it is best that one take courage to say a polite NO and get on with the tasks that take you closer to your end goal..

Surrendering to problems – Every excuse one makes is nothing but the articulation of a problem. Problems come in all shapes and sizes and we often end up seeing a problem as insurmountable either because we do not want to make the effort to find a solution or because we have psyched ourselves into making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Finding creative Solutions – Problems exist because someone has yet to find a solution. Why not have an attitude that the solution can be provided by ME? Get through the problem, under the problem, around the problem or over the problem but ensure the problem is suitably addressed. Also make it a habit never to give excuses and suddenly the problem is no longer a burden to be carried but a present to be unwrapped.

Sheer laziness – Ah I bet each one of us is seriously guilty of this. No amount of explanation can substitute for condoning this.

Penalize yourself – The system will penalize us for our laziness. The marks one got in academics in large measure reflected the effort one put in. Similarly the lack of success experienced can be seen as a penalty imposed by life especially when one has been tardy, casual and indifferent to the opportunities made available. Imposing an additional penalty on ourselves would be the best way to beat laziness.

Now when I reflect on the question ‘what is stopping you?’ the answer is loud and clear…NOTHINGit is simply ME not measuring up to myself.

Action Points:

  1. Play an indoor game like caroms or throw darts on a dart board to appreciate the importance of focus. Every time you miss your target, examine your response to it; are you blaming something or someone or do you refocus quickly with a better strategy?
  2. You are at a party and though playing a game of tambola or housie was planned as the last game, the housie board and tickets have been misplaced. The 50 odd revelers are badgering you to play the game. How will you come up with an innovative housie game that does not use the housie board nor the use of housie tickets. You can assume you have any other resource being at your disposal. Clue: You have sufficient stock of pen and paper

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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“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.”   T. Alan Armstrong

With rare exceptions for the vast majority of people finding ones passion is a challenge. Part of the problem stems from the fact that during our formative years we seem to flirt with various interests and likings and over time we grow out of our obsession with many of these. The other problem is that ironically,  almost always what we are truly interested in, invariably does not guarantee financial security nor opens up possibilities of good career prospects and if they are unconventional interest they would never meet parental approval or find favor with our well wishers. Confusion, dilemma and indecision are three emotions that overwhelm us and douse the lingering spark of passion if any. Thereafter we become robotic, controlled by what we loosely term as fate, destiny and convention. The fact though is that our passion tugs at our heart strings but we plead haplessness and go on with the business of life less enthused, more frustrated and definitely dissatisfied.

Is it possible to somehow identify ones passion by cutting through the clutter in our mind, by pinpointing what can truly become our real interest and which can motivate, enthuse and propel our life? For those still searching for his/ her passion here are a few pointers to locate that elusive North Star in one’s own heart and mind.

What gets you all excited?  Yes movies, parties, gossip, lazing around, sports, holidays etc would top the list. It would help though if this list also contains a list of at least one or two subjects that you studied in school days or maybe in college to ensure that all those years of education are not considered wasted. Now add a list of alternative career choices that you always fancied. So now you have a wide variety of stuff that gets you excited.

What is that you never get bored of? What is it that will get you of the couch and sweat it out because you can’t resist it? Topping the list will be talking on phone, gossiping, texting, surfing the net, eating, sleeping etc. Now widen the list by adding those activities that got a lot of approval from family, friends, peers and even perhaps some of those who are jealous of you. Lengthen the list by adding a wish list of career choices that you fancied.

Do you have the aptitude and attitude to make your interest your life goal? Perhaps a close hard look at the choices you have listed earlier by holding it up against the mirror of your personality that reflects your aptitude and attitude will enable you to clear see some choices emerging as truly something that you really love and are passionate about.

Would you be thrilled doing what you are doing even if you were to die a pauper, unrecognized and perhaps ostracized by society too? The final test is in making choices and seeing it against the light of the reality check.  The reality check is simple; see if your passion surfaces even if you have no one to support you, even if there are lots of doubting Thomas’s who attempt to dissuade you. Are you so excited about what you want to do that you are willing to risk failure, prepared to battle single handed and are sure that your enthusiasm will neither wane nor your spirit weakened because you are doing what you really want to do.

The real test though is to tweak your passion to ensure you come closest to enjoying what you do. This is essential because only the exceptionally lucky person gets to pursue his/ her own passion in it is original form.  Eg. You might want to be a filmy hero but if you are not really talented perhaps you can still find a niche space in the industry that enables you pursue your interest in films.

Remember: “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”  Hebbel

 Try this:

  1. Name 3 of your passionate career choices in the following fields:
  • Sports
  • Movies
  • Marine related
  • Law enforcement
  1. What are the offbeat careers you can think of in the following fields  (one example each is given for your ready reference)
  • Entertainment business e.g. Film critic
  • Financial services sector e.g. being a technical analyst
  • Education sector e.g. special needs educator
  • In the business of LIFE e.g. being a funeral director

 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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Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve. Tehyi Hsieh

When I first started writing this blog a year ago, on 1st January 2010, I had planned to write around 500 words, daily on the quote of the day. No sooner had I decided on it I was assailed by self doubts. Would I be able to stand up to the rigors of the target I had set for myself? Was I competent to propound on topics / quotes that could stump me? Would I be motivated sufficiently to write consistently and maintain quality? Who would read the blogs? The questions were coming in torrents and with each question I started questioning my own wisdom of setting myself an ambitious target. Fortunately for me, the rational side of my brain was overwhelmingly urging me on to start the blog and then experience the pain and pleasure of the venture before I succumbed to my own misgivings and self doubts.

Today as I complete one year of almost daily blogging, I have realized how true the quote of today proved to be. There have been breaks in my steadfast resolve; there have been times when I was sorely tempted to give it all up and there were times especially during the initial phase when I really wondered if my efforts were worth it. The key is to begin in faith, pursue with purpose and to find motivation along the way in whatever we attempt. Most times we make the startling discovery that most of our fears were imaginary and completely irrational if put to the test.  To test our theories, it is essential that we begin in faith else we will be attempting to fail. Faith in ourselves, our beliefs and our abilities will ensure that we work in earnest, have the fortitude to overcome obstacles along the way and will ourselves to succeed. On the other if our focus is just on making a cursory attempt the chances are that we will give up the moment we run into some problem or encounter some roadblocks for these will reinforce our original theory that we may not succeed.

Although well begun is half done as the popular saying goes, doing the next half of the task requires us to have a definite purpose and focus. Take the case of student studying for a competitive exam. The amount of effort put in to succeed with high marks would be boosted by a larger goal of not just getting good marks but having a more tangible goal like getting into the top 3 universities. In writing my blogs, the goal was not just to write everyday, but to write so that I could influence lives everyday. This gave me the firm resolve to write no matter how tired I was, to work on the posts even when circumstances did not encourage me and to put the posting of the blog posts on a higher priority than what it would be under normal circumstances. Ultimately it is our motivation that is the icing on the cake that makes the whole effort so attractive and alluring. The number of hits on the site (currently around 43,250), the number of followers (currently around 330) and the comments and feedback (check these on https://actspot.wordpress.com/comments/feed/ ) were the motivators that spurred me on to write daily, write passionately and rewrite when the contents didn’t meet my own standards of excellence.

Permit me the liberty of taking this opportunity to thank all my readers and particularly the followers of this blog for their encouraging feedback . The visitor statistic indicates that this blog is fairly  popular and as I understand also motivational and inspirational for many. I would welcome your feedback on how this blog can be improved further and would request your inputs on other/  additional the topics that you want me to cover in this blog .I would also invite you to visit my Weekly Blog. www.poweract.blogspot.com

Remember: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. If you have liked this blog have you attempted to write a comment or give a feedback? If not what has held you back from giving a feedback? If you disagreed with some of the contents have you expressed yourself? If not can you attempt it now?
  2. If you haven’t listed out your New Year resolution this is the time to do it. Take a pen and paper or simply type in your resolutions on the computer right now. BEGIN working on those New Year Resolutions RIGHT NOW.

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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The habit of doing one’s duty drives away fear. Charles Baudelaire

Many of our fears stem from our tardy and lethargic behavior which results in us postponing our work, avoiding work and taking our duties casually. As a result suddenly the piled up work, the extensive rework that we have to do and the unavoidable deadlines that loom in front of us frighten us and the resultant stress and tensions scare us even more. When one objectively looks at the situation we make the startling realization that most of our fears are self created and possibly completely avoidable if only we were more diligent and hardworking.

Very often our problem of doing our duty efficiently emits from the uncomfortable and painful realty, that we don’t even know what our exact duties are. This is partly due to us being haphazard by nature but largely due to being ill organized and unplanned when getting to work. The way out is to take time out and attempt to clarify to ourselves what are the key jobs that we must do and ideally we must have fixed time frames to finish of the tasks. It also helps tremendously if we can prioritize our duties so that we cover all of them efficiently.

The next most common problem relates to our work style and our habit of putting off unpleasant tasks. We will stall, delay, attempt to avoid, try and delegate, deny, refuse or ignore those tasks that in our view are unpleasant and unappreciated. Conveying bad news for example is the least favored duty anyone fancies. Remember the time when we got a bad progress report card in school and we worried sick the whole night about the consequences. We muster courage to show it to our parent just a minute before leaving for school in the fond hope that tempers will cool down by evening. We actually end up getting a triple whammy for we are berated for trying to hide the report card, then for the poor performance and we have already spend a whole night in tossing and turning and visualizing  the most frightening consequences.

Perhaps our own work ethics creates the maximum problem for us. Sheer laziness and tardiness accounts for the bulk of the problem related to our abjecting our duties. . This followed closely by our personal weakness of being meticulous to a fault in doing ordinary tasks or completely casual and irresponsible when having to do important and critical tasks. On one hand one may spend hours on sprucing up our homes to receive an important visitor but at the same time we may conveniently put of deadline bound tasks like paying bills or filing the tax returns since there may be provisions to pay a fine to make up. In effect our style of work puts mental pressure on us for we are most worried about how the guests will react to the house despite our best efforts and at the  same time dread paying the whopping fines for not paying dues on time; the bottom line is that we still do not change.

 Remember: Excellence begins when you go beyond the call of duty.

Try this:

  1. What do you consider as your 3 primary duties to the following people?
  • Your parents
  • Your spouse
  • Your children
  • Your friends
  • Your society at large
  1.  List out the following
  • Apart from the daily chores what are the 3 duties that you have to do at least once weekly for the family
  • What are those 3 duties which you know will make you worried if you do not perform them on time?
  • List out 3 tasks that you hate to do and examine how you handle to tasks when they occur.

 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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Success comes before work only in the dictionary. Anon

There is a mistaken notion carried by many that the rich and famous have been very lucky to get the success they enjoy be it financial rewards, fame and / or fan following. True, some of them are fortunate to have a lineage or the benefit of being born with a golden spoon. However the reality is that each one has to strive hard to build up on that initial advantage in order to carve out their own identity. Look at the not so successful children of well know personalities; they could not make much use of the initial advantage they had perhaps due to the fact that they lacked the genuine talent or skill sets. In some cases it is also possible that they didn’t get the lucky break too. However it is obvious that if the person has the talent and the lucky breaks and still didn’t script a success story then it has to do with just one thing, lack of commitment and hard work.

Work holds the key to progress. Unless one is prepared to sweat it out, the talent and the natural gifts one posses will only be wasted because, it is when we work that we actually utilize our abilities. Work is not simply exerting but it has to be well planned and equally well executed. To begin with one must be clear about what is ones role in the overall scheme of things. Only then can a person outline his/ her specific jobs , duties and responsibilities. Work is invariably planned keeping in mind these parameters as also a specific time frame and quality standard. This implies that work is not a collection of haphazard efforts done to keep busy but a coordinated effort with a clear objective and a larger purpose than the work itself.

One reason why success seems to elude some hardworking people is that they never grow beyond their work. Anyone who repeatedly does the same work over and over again will gain a fair amount of mastery and expertise. The challenge then is to take on something new, challenging and more responsible which will bring with it the possibility of growth. When people shy away from such opportunities and prefer the comfort of their existing work, they will enjoy the comfort of their job but will never taste the fruits of success that is implied in their potential. Scores of people whom we notice as incredibly talented but languishing in mediocrity are testimony to this bane of poor work ethics. However they underline a moot point that just work itself will not get us the success we deserve.

To grow in our work environment, hard work is the first requisite but a very vital requirement is smart work. Smart work, focuses on identifying ways and means of simplifying work, automating work and minimizing effort, without compromising on the quality of output. Smart work really takes off when one can enhance productivity, improve quality and take on more responsibility. One would notice that when these conditions are fulfilled, success is a natural fruit that ripens during this process. Each one of us can actually enjoy the fruits of success by deftly balancing both hard work and smart work.

Remember:

“It’s a test of ultimate will
The heartbreak climb, uphill
Got to pick up the pace
If you want to stay in the race
More than just blind ambition
More than just simple greed
More than just a finish line
Must feed this burning need”

Neil Peart

Try this:

  1. Make a list of new responsibilities that you believe you can shoulder. Also make a list of routine jobs that you think you can delegate, simplify or automate. Work on the latter first, so that you have more time to spare to take on the new responsibilities.
  2. Write down at least 3 clear signs that will indicate to you that you have attained success. Now at the end of the year check if you have been a success as defined by you. Eg. You can state that your increment this year should be at least xyz amount. This will be a success parameter for you.

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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