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36- I am rare

One reason many of us undervalue ourselves is because we focus largely on our commonality with others around and do little to discover what is unique about us. The fact is that each individual is unique not just physically but in thought, emotion, action and expression. The sooner we try to discover our uniqueness, the faster we will begin to value it and leverage it to carve a niche for ourselves. Equally importantly our sense of pride, worth and value will get magnified in our own eyes and it will reflect in our actions and thereby get noticed by those around us. What is important is to become aware that I am rare; none like someone before and none who will ever be a carbon of me.

So how does one discover one’s uniqueness; one’s specialty and one’s rarity?  The answer lies in looking inward to search for meaning in what one does, how one feels, the positive emotions that trigger enthusiasm, the unmitigated joys that one enjoys and the appreciation that an individual is showered with.

Your actions – So what is it that you enjoy doing? What is it that you do really well? What is that you abhor doing? In real life we have to do what has to be done whether we like it or not. By trying to be involved in activities that you enjoy, reduce/ avoid what you abhor and by doing whatever has to be done very well, you are simply uplifting the quality of your work, your life and your own worth. Introspect on this and you will begin to value the unique contribution you make in making the world around you a much better and enjoyable place. Do this and you become the rare individual who can make transformation happen.

Your emotions – So what emotions dominate your life? Joy, trust, surprise or are you prone to anger, disgust and sadness most times? If your life is largely filled with positive emotions, the chances of you being enthusiastic, popular and effective are very high. If negative emotions tend to overshadow your positive emotions, there is a probability that you are more demanding, more critical and more circumspect in your dealings. Your emotions help you become more responsive, more empathetic and more understanding thus making you an unique influencer for those who come in your circle of influence.

Your thoughts – Your emotions have a large influence on your thoughts. Your actions in turn are shaped by your thoughts. Hence it is vital that analyze your thoughts for they trigger the course of action you take. Do you feel confident, have self belief and have the daring to take on challenges. Are you also prudent in how you choose your options? Do you take reasonable risks or are you reckless? Do you see opportunities in problems or problems in various opportunities?  What is essential to note is how your thoughts shape you and help you decide on your course of action, thereby shaping your own independent proactive or responsive action that would have an impact on the environment around you.

Try these

  1. With which animal do you identify with and why? What are the unique features of that animal that you admire and/ or share in common with?
  2. Name 3 people, who in your personal experience, are unique in their own way. Can you write a short note to each of them appreciating that uniqueness in them which you appreciate.
  3. List out three adjectives that you believe best describe you. Outline a special moment in your life in which each of those adjectives came true/ was demonstrated.

This post is courtesy http://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

34- 26 Sept17-Your thoughts define you

You are defined by your thoughts. Your thoughts in turn are influenced by your attitude. Each of us has a different set of upbringing, education and experiences. The environment in which we grew up could have instilled in us the values we hold dear, the fears and hopes we carry within and helps us visualize opportunities and widens our horizons. All these factors contribute to the type of attitude we embrace which in turn fortifies us to meet the challenges of life and grasp the opportunities that come our way. We can take credit for the successes we attain and by the same yardstick take responsibility for not realizing our full potential. Far too often, we limit ourselves because we limit our thinking. Either we fear the worst or we doubt our own abilities.

To explore our potential and to leverage it one needs to focus on the following:

Clean up the cobwebs in the mind – Our mind is cluttered with thoughts that largely center around self preservation, safety, risk avoidance and following the set path. Occasionally we indulge in the luxury of visualizing something different, more outlandish, something that seems to be closer to our heart. Those who dare to explore that whole heartedly often do succeed because they have clarity and focus on what to do rather than what to avoid. Do not let the mind be filled with confusion, anxiety and be overwhelmed. Instead separate and segregate our numerous thoughts and arrange them in an orderly manner so that one begins to get clarity.

Rearrange the muddled up plans in the mind – Many of us suffer from wanting to do too many things. As a result we set ourselves multiple goals but lack the personal bandwidth to manage all the goals. We need to prioritize our goals and map out the specific action to be taken for each goal. This will help one focus better and avoid negative inputs like fear, depression and worry sabotaging our efforts.

Stop thinking and begin to act on our thoughts – Perhaps the one thing almost all of us are guilty of, is thinking too much and not taking enough decisive action. If we let our mind imagine the worst case scenario and blow it out of proportion then we will spend more time trying to ring fence the imaginary problems. Consequentially we delay taking action thereby derailing the original plans. While planning is essential one must put the plans in action if one has to make tangible progress. So keep at bay the self doubt, the feeling of inadequacy and the anxiousness and apprehensions and replace it with confidence, hope and faith in your abilities.

Review and caliber our action as required – Even the best laid plans may not factor in circumstances beyond our control or imagination. Reviewing the progress of plans and recalibrating the action required is critical to getting the project implemented. If we do not pause to review there is every possibility that you continue to progress in the wrong direction or that we take a circuitous route that is time consuming and costly. Never hesitate to admit you made a mistake or that you need to be realistic and cut your losses. Do not become dogmatic or egoistic lest they cloud your judgment. Try and be open to feedback, be open to correction and be ready to change.

Try these

  1. List out some goals that you have set for yourself but which have not yet taken off. Identify the reasons for the lack of progress on your part.
  2. Identify two initiatives that you started off earnestly but which failed/ disappointed you. Can you put your finger on the specific mistakes you made which you did not correct on time and led to the failure/ disappointment?
  3. Write down the 3 negative emotions you are guilty of harboring in your mind far too often. Now ask a few family members, friends and colleagues to share the one negative quality you display the most. Their responses could be an eye opener for you.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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

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

31- 31 Aug 17-A makeover for Myself

It is an excellent practice for every individual to take time out to re-energize, recharge and reinvent herself/himself. The problem is that one has to often do it all alone because no one knows the self better than the individual concerned. The simple mantra to achieve it is to believe and practice the phrase ‘ I am working on myself for myself by myself.’ The mantra sounds simple enough but the practice of the same is tricky because it involves the following steps:

Analyzing the self – This has to be done objectively. Spend time reflecting about your strengths and of course your weaknesses.  Apart from thinking, reflecting and analyzing on your own, take time to also seek clues in appreciation, criticism, feedback you get from time to time from family, friends, colleagues and experts. Their feedback would have some correlation to the reality and hence could provide you a better insight into your own self. Focus also on your interests, your latent passion and skills and your dreams for the future.

Identifying the areas of improvement – It is possible that there could be a wide variety of feedback that indicates areas for improvement. Some of these could be frivolous, a few very pertinent but the key is in identifying those areas of weakness that you need to strengthen because they are critical to your success. It could key competencies related to your profession or behavioral aspects or new skills to be learnt or bad habits to be eliminated. E.g. you maybe a poor listener or you could be an introvert both cardinal sins if you are a sales professional.

Finding a method to strengthen the weak areas of the self – It could be by sheer will power or by constant practice or it may require an external intervention. An external intervention could be in the nature of attending a specialized course or attending a relevant workshop or by sourcing the relevant material to read up on etc. At times despite your best efforts, you do not seem to be progressing and that is when one gets demoralized. At these times, you require a good mentor; perhaps a good friend or a strong tutor or the support of an understanding boss. Take strength also from the encouragement of others, the positive feedback you get and from seeking the progress you make even if it is a wee bit slow and sporadic.

Leveraging personal strengths – While focusing on overcoming personal weakness it must also be borne in mind that we can leverage our strengths to progress rapidly and become effective in our personal, professional and social life. If we do not utilize our talents, abilities and strengths we would be losing out on opportunities to grow and excel. Sometimes our abilities need to be sharpened and strengthened with external inputs and one must invest in the same. Paying attention to feedback also helps in identifying our strengths about which we may not be confident or lack awareness of. It may also give us clues on the areas requiring our attention to ensure we give out our peak performance.

Setting new standards of personal excellence – Growth in any form indicates that we are striving to move beyond our current standards, challenge ourselves to exceed our own boundaries and take risks to explore beyond our immediate horizons. All progress has been the outcome of people who focused on excellence. They looked out for solutions to problems and improvised on the same. At times people have gone back to the drawing board and turned the solutions on its head to come out with something more revolutionary and effective. Medical science provides ample evidence of this. With the help of technology, almost every aspect of our life is being revolutionized.  As individuals we too must strive to ride the technological wave, adopt/ adapt it and innovatively leverage it to set for ourselves new performance standards and raise the bar for our personal excellence.

Repeating the process – Constant review, making notes of learning outcomes and repeating the process of personal improvement would help make us change for the better and enhance our or effectiveness and output. Sitting on our laurels would only set us back because others would overtake us. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves to remain motivated, goal oriented and success focused.

Try these

Identify the following:

  1. Two inventions that you have the highest regard for.
  2. Two individuals who have had a significant impact on your life and the reasons for their extraordinary influence on you.
  3. Two gadgets without which you would be hopelessly ineffective. ( Do NOT include computers, internet, telephones or  mobile phones in it.)
  4. Two inventions that in your opinion are useless
  5. Two fictional characters who have had a great impact in your life.

List out

  • One weakness in you and the steps you will take to overcome it.
  • Outline you greatest strength and how are you using it in your day to day life
  • One quality you wished you possessed
  • One hobby you would be keen to develop
  • One practice / habit  that you would want to adopt shortly.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

30 - HAIL your worthHere is something that each of us can strive to emulate and thereby let others HAIL us for practicing rather than preaching those very qualities that will make us better individuals.

Honesty – The focus must be on being truthful no matter what the circumstances. At times, perhaps we may have to be a wee bit more careful with our choice of words, the timing and the tone of our communication so as to not offend others but we must never compromise on the crux of the message. This is particularly true when we have to give negative feedback to others. However, if we are not honest about our feedback the other person would never be made aware of the scope for improvement and success.

Authenticity – We normally try to couch our emotions and feelings in a manner that would be more acceptable to others. So we would try not to express our anger, our fears, our annoyance, our hurt and other times we would more gregarious, extra enthusiastic, perhaps too patronizing. While a certain amount of restraint or a dash of energized emotions is acceptable, bottling up our feelings or displaying it in extremes would make us less believable and even less accepted. Authenticity enables an individual to be natural, spontaneous and touch the other person more deeply than a mere air kiss or a casual hug. A firm handshake, a warm hug, a genuine smile and the joy exuded when meeting a person would go a long way in establishing the authenticity of the relationship.

Integrity – The key to integrity is in standing up to be counted. Can you stand by your commitments no matter what the fears, temptations, allurements, pain. Not succumbing, giving it your best shot despite being on the losing side and being able to stand tall knowing you can be in the line of fire are the key test of integrity. At the core of your integrity lies the values you have imbibed and which you are willing to put to the test. In life a common test of integrity is displayed when people do not snitch when questioned and willingly take on the punishment even when not at fault.

Love – This is tricky because no one likes to lose and yet a worthy winner needs to be congratulated and respected. The essence of love is in the respect one has for everyone, the appreciation of the differences and the genuine warmth one has for those who are around you. You may disagree with others, as it often happens when you are on opposite sides of an issue, yet on a personal level one must be able to acknowledge others as equals and respect the differences.

Try these

Flashback on to people or situations in which

  • You were not honest
  • Where you were not authentic about your emotions/ feelings
  • When you compromised on your integrity
  • You found it hard to love / forgive / respect someone

Identify  three positives in the following

  • A historical character who you despise
  • A classmate who you do have any particular friendship with
  • A teacher who gave you a tough time in school
  • An animal / creature you despise
  • A nightmare situation you have experienced

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com