Tag: Abilities

Finding your way in life

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman

Many of us meander through life with a sense of regret that we have neither achieved anything nor made our mark in this world. One reason for this regret is the subconscious desire to make our presence felt and be recognized, applauded and rewarded for our contributions. In this quest to make our presence felt we strive to find a niche that we can quickly usurp and hopefully make it the showcase of our achievements. As many a dope tainted athlete would have realized, there are no short cuts to success and the illusion that our achievements are the focal point of attention is a myth that lasts only as long as we continue to hog the lime light.

On the other hand if we scan our immediate environment, we would find a large number of individuals who may not be changing the world at large but are definitely influencing the world around them. With a little introspection, we could also make the profound discovery that each one of us too has a deep and lasting impact on the many people who we come in contact with. The trouble is that we tend to undermine our own role, abilities and influence and fall victim to the irrational belief that we need to be a mover and shaker if we are to qualify as achievers. The truth is that every small, purposeful and positive action by an individual stirs up the environment around and its ripples reach out far and wide.

The skeptic in us would immediately question our contribution and influence rationalizing that we are too insignificant in the scheme of things. So then how can we really appreciate our importance and role in the mundane and humdrum existence that we seem to be destined for? The clue to this lies in seeking answers to three vital questions.

What are my values? While it may not be humanely possible to be a paradigm of every virtue, it is essential that we identify at least one virtue that we steadfastly hold on to. Most people would have a large list of virtues but it is the one critical virtue that would help one understand ones values in life.  It could be honesty/ sense of fair play/ compassion/ doggedness/ never say die spirit/ accepting challenges/ patience/ orderliness/ etc. The one central virtue is what will anchor the individual to the reality of life and inject in them the urge to proactively contribute and influence e.g. Those with a strong sense of compassion would seek out ways and means to be useful to the poor/ the destitute/ the suffering. Those who are dogged will resolutely pursue the goal they set themselves; be it bringing the guilty to justice or helping the underdog get his/her due.

How do I cope with my own personal weakness and failures? As human beings we are susceptible to a multitude of weakness and have to carry the cross of many a failure. The manner in which we cope with these limitations in us would have a profound bearing on our personality and life. .  E.g. those who are unable to cope with failure could be academically brilliant but completely risk averse. Yet the weakness by itself should be seen as an indictment of the individual for almost everyone has ample alternative strengths just waiting to be tapped. E.g. some of those who are prey to addictions would when sober be the most effective and efficient people to have around. The secret is to discover the potential and to harness that power.

What should I be doing? Nothing is more confusing than the answer to this question. How does a professional sportsman know when to retire? How much money would make a person happy? Should I give up a steady job to purse my passion and dreams? Should I be single or get married because that is the way of the world? When my conscience rebels do I succumb to the pressures of protecting my friends and companions or would I at the risk of losing everything stand up for the truth no matter how damaging it may be?  Once we are able to honestly and consistently answer this question of what should I be doing; then we would be doing what needs to be done voluntarily, proactively and confidently.

Answer the questions above in the silence of your hearts and they will open the doors to self awareness.  Life would then be more meaningful and fulfilling.

Remember: “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” Billie Jean King

Try these:

How will you cope with this hypothetical situation?

You have attended a week long leadership training program. On the last day each participant in the program was asked to give one negative feedback for every participant. You come home with the sealed cover containing the negative feedback you have received. You open the cover and find 7 slips each outlining a different negative feedback as under. How many of these allegations are true about yourself. Can you think of one person whom you know for whom the allegation fits? Can you think of a specific incident that leads you to this conclusion about that person?

Slip 1 – In my view you are very lazy

Slip 2 – Why are you such a loud mouth

Slip 3 – I wouldn’t trust you with my purse.

Slip 4 – Your arrogant way of interaction annoyed me a lot.

Slip 5 – You are an unreliable person

Slip 6 – Wish you weren’t so negative and critical

Slip 7 – My impression is that you are too cunning

Write down the following goals for yourself.

1 personal goal

1 financial goal

1 relationship related goal

1 social commitment goal

1 goal related to a passion you have.

Now  jot down at least 3 steps (for each goal) that you will take to attain the goal.

(e.g. My Passion related goal to read at least one book a month.

 Step 1 – Identify at least 50 books by February 2012 end .

Step 2 – Buy at least 3 books before December 2011 end.

Step 3 –  I will read every Sunday between 4 and 6 pm)

Take a look at this poster that perhaps captures the gist of this post succinctly.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Being the best

Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you. John F. Kennedy

Life is a series of races from cradle to grave; beginning from cradle to school, from school to college, from college to job, job to family and the list goes on. At times we seem to be running a couple of races simultaneously. What is common to this whole business of races is that the races seem to put us under pressure most times and we are not too sure why that happens. Worse is the uncomfortable feeling that we haven’t done our best and that we should have done even better. If we end up evaluating our lives, most times we have a sense of regret and the ire is directed inwards at ourselves because in our view we never lived up to our own abilities.

The major reason for out troubles is that the vast majority of us are too modest and fail to really appreciate our own potential and abilities.  You can do a self check to know our own response when we are praised for any thing. E.g. If someone compliments you on your new hairstyle or new dress , how do you react to it will be symptomatic of our attitudes and beliefs about our self. While modesty by itself is a virtue, it is when we let modesty overwhelm us that it becomes a millstone. Then we always tend to undervalue our self and convince ourselves that we have limited ability and limited success probability. In effect we are not aiming for gold but in most cases just hoping to breast the tape. When we run a race with that mindset invariably the outcome would be just about what we aim for.

Quite a number of us shy away from competition and hard work and as a result, we try to believe that coming in second or lower is still a great achievement. It is said that when the going gets tough the tough get going; alas many of us wear T –shirts proclaiming this but in real we are a disgrace to such T-shirts. For those who do not have the competitive spirit or those who never really faced stiff competition, a real competition makes us nervous and scared. More problematic is the thought that when there is competition we need to work that much more harder and that takes time and effort. As a result we compromise and satisfy ourselves that participation is more important than the real victory. To test this hypothesis look back at the quality of project work you did in school/ college or a competitions in which u were forced to participate. More often than not, we just did enough to show that we too participated and got some marks.

We win when we set our sights on it and passionately work to win. Look back at the times when you were shamed into improving your grades, asked to play in the starting lineup despite warming the benches for a few seasons or became  a hero when you participated and won  after competing and beating stiff competition and your own apprehensions. On hindsight you will realize that three factors contributed to your victory; your self belief, your hard work and preparation and your focus on winning.

Remember: “Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” Arthur Ashe

Try this:

  1. Never accept a position of responsibility without first knowing what is expected of you. Once you have accepted that office, it is incumbent on you to discharge your duties diligently no matter what the odds are against you.  Also ask yourself if you have refused responsibility. Examine the reasons for it? Work out a plan to overcome your limitations and to take on that responsibility in future.
  2. You are good player but you are aware that you have been appointed captain of the team because of your excellent academic performance. You feel that your teammates will resent your appointment. How will you tackle the problem? How will you convince yourself that you deserve to be the captain? How will you get the other team members to respect you as captain?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Futile envy

We love in others what we lack ourselves, and would be everything but what we are. R.H. Stoddard

If we had a choice to replace some of our strengths with some other strengths, we would happily trade our strengths and attempt to acquire those traits/ abilities/ expertise that some of our favorite icons have. We would barely stop to think if these same strength suit our personality, image or environment.  What is the use of having the abilities of Roger Federer or a Sachin Tendulkar if you don’t have it in you the will and determination to work as hard as they do? Or maybe you seek to be a Michael Jackson like singer but hate to dance. Fortunately we are not given that boon or else we would be having extremely skewed personalities and perhaps always lament that we never realized our newly acquired potential.

The tragedy of our life is that instead of really seeing our strengths we are besotted by the apparent positive qualities of others and we enviously wish we were similarly blessed. If we paused to appreciate ourselves then we would have focused on harnessing the qualities/ strengths and abilities that we posses instead of day dreaming and endlessly waiting for a miracle to do what others can easily achieve but areas  that are a big struggle for us. If we really look carefully perhaps it is the success that others enjoy that we envy, the recognition and the monetary success that we actually crave for; the means to that end is what we pretend to crave for.

Genetics, nature and fate have conspired to give us what we are. It is for us to accept it gleefully and utilize it gainfully. It is also human nature to long for  what we cannot have, do not have or should not have. Imagine having brute strength and a violent temper. Being blessed with intelligence but not the right attitude could be just as devastating. Unfortunately we pine what we do not have little realizing that instead we are blessed abundantly but we need to find it within us. We also need to harness it when we find these wonderful blessings within us and above all use it for the betterment or advantage of the people, cause or environment around us. Wealth creation is useless if we are misers just as being a gifted singer is wasted if we just sing raunchy numbers and / or act too pricy when the opportunity comes.

Look at the small town people who have achieved success. They may have taken inspiration from the successful people they have seen or heard of but they also understood their abilities and honed it by sheer dint of hard work and focused attention. Sometimes it is persistence and self belief that hold the key to success, other times it is guidance and providence but the one common factor that belies success is your ability to discern the reality that you and you alone are responsible for your destiny.

Remember: “Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.”

Try these:

  1. Go around asking 10-15 people, possibly  3 friends, 3 office colleagues, 3 family members and a couple of acquaintances or classmates to list out 5 qualities/ strengths/ abilities that they appreciate/ envy in you. You will soon have a readymade list to work on in order to succeed in life.
  2. Pick out 3-5 qualities / strengths / abilities that you wished you could acquire/ imbibe/ be gifted. Are there substitutes that can be worked upon? Assuming you cannot get any of these, what is your plan B to ensure you succeed without these.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Our daily gifts

Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons. Ruth Ann Schabacker

Let me begin today’s post with a quick riddle. If you are reading this post what is the greatest gift you have to be grateful for? To make it easier, let me give you a second clue; if you get up each morning what is the greatest gift you have to be grateful for?  Hmm if you are still stuck here is the final clue, whatever it is, you can be sure it is invaluable, irreplaceable and near impossible to gift. If you are still stuck for the answer, be patient read on and as you read on the ‘ the ribbon will be unraveled’ the present will be opened and the Gift will be all yours.

The beauty if each day is that it is so completely unique that one can never even in our wildest dreams imagine what the day has in store for us. Even the newspaper headlines can get us a gift, eg. If the team you support wins a very tough match which you were unable to watch, that becomes a wonderful gift for you. The email can bring a joyous tiding or a sudden call from a school mate who was out of touch with can bring a big smile and fond memories back. The trick is to look out for the gifts for many gifts are never packaged the conventional way. As you find new gifts you will also realize that gifts need not be costly but they must be valuable, they need not be packaged but must be presented with feeling, they need not be tangible but they must touch the receiver. If you want proof, just stop reading this post now and instead walk up to a friend/ colleague and simply spend a few moments talking and all the while give them a smile. Did you share a gift and surprise surprise did you gift yourself some happiness???

There are many occasion when the gift you have got is actually very painful and hard to recognize for you may be denied something you crave for. Imagine working very very hard and missing out on your dream of a medical seat by a couple of marks. The pain is searing but years down the line, as an engineer you end up as the CEO of Infosys would those missing couple of marks qualify to be the best gift one can get?  Possibly yes, but maybe you need to check that out with the current CEO of Infosys, Mr.Goplakrishnan. How about the gift of attitude; read the article in this link written by M.P.Anil Kumar a quadriplegic. http://familyofdisabled.org/voice-magazine/hear-the-voices/airborne-to-chairborne.html

God has gifted you two extraordinary gifts to mankind; Life and Love. The first is what one must be grateful for every moment for we can never replicate it.  The second is what makes the first gift even more special for we can freely give of LOVE and make LIFE scintillate, sparkle and sizzle not just for those receiving the gift of Love but for each one of us who gives our LOVE to others.

Remember: “Everyone is gifted – but some people never open their package”

Try these:

  1. Make a list of your passions/ talents/ interests. How many of these have you really appreciated as gifts? Have you unraveled these gifts and shared these talents/ abilities/ passion with the world at large including your family. Friends, co-workers etc?
  2. Attempt to gift yourself something special. Start by trying to eliminate a bad habit you have developed. Next, attempt to overcome a fear of yours. It could be public speaking; attempting to play a new musical instrument or sport; going trekking with friends because you don’t think you have the physical strength or it sounds too scary; holding a snake in your hand/ overcoming your morbid fear of cockroaches or lizards etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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