Tag: Aim

It’s your life…

It’s your life…

For many of us, the challenge is to truly understand the purpose of our life. During our academic life, our focus was on academic excellence in the hope of making those around proud of our achievements and also hoping that academic excellence will set a path for success. However, except for the toppers who were branded exceptional, followed by the excellent and good, the vast majority of us were merely above average, average and occasionally academic failures. Yet both the topper and the failure still grappled with the question of what next and what is the purpose of my life. What next was relatively easier to answer because each of us either gave in to our dreams or settled for what the rest did. A minuscule number opted for something different and off beat, largely due to compulsions. Yet for each one, the question of what is the purpose of my life remained an enigmatic question with an elusive answer. Throughout this process, we got good, bad, indifferent, useless, unsolicited advice from elders, teachers, family and those concerned with out welfare. Many of us succumbed to these apparent pearls of wisdom, only to realize much later that the path neither suited us nor were we able to cope with it happily and changing tracks was challenging.

The purpose of life is to make the best of your talents and abilities, to make a positive difference to your life and to those around. When viewed from this lens, no matter what we do, if it gives us happiness and it does not violate human dignity and ethics that is the purpose of our life. Striving to change it for the better, aspiring to achieve something greater and taking chances to make a greater impact with your life, are all par for the course. In fact aiming to better ourselves should be the hall mark of one’s life. If what you do is meaningful to you, even just lazing around, you need not be apologetic. While the world is chasing an elusive financial dream a person who can sleep with a clear conscious is the one who is living his/ her life most meaningfully. Well meaning people may offer unsolicited advice, give subtle hints or occasionally berate a person because they view things from their own perspective. However, each individual must choose a path that best answers his/ her question ‘what is the purpose of my life?’

Try these:          

  1. List the names of three individuals who in your view, best amplified and lived their  life the way they wanted it. Can you identify three possible challenges that they faced in living their life on their terms?
  2. What are the three things in your life that you are keen on doing (but have not yet attempted). What is holding you back from doing that?
  3. What are the few suggestions made to you by well meaning people who have no idea of your own personal plans. ( e.g. I know a young CA who now wants to peruse studies in Economics and Statistics because her mind is set on working in the space of public policy making. Yet everyone around is keen to help her get a job as a Chartered Accountant and thinks she is barking up the wrong tree).

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The power of thoughts

Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.  Napoleon Hill

Each and every one who is reading this post is bombarded with a million thoughts every single day. We dismiss most thoughts as irrational, impossible, incongruent and impractical to deal with. The stray thoughts that remain after our initial filtration can be broadly classified as positive thoughts or negative thoughts. We sometimes proactively work on some of those thoughts or let circumstances force us into acting on a few other thoughts. What we fail to appreciate is that we as human beings have the rare privilege of being blessed with thoughts that act as stimulus to achieve extraordinary success if we simply engage more of these thoughts with self belief, purpose and positivity.

To reign in our thoughts so as to leverage its potent possibilities to our advantage we need to focus on the following

Listen proactively: Since we are deluged with innumerable thoughts, we are never short of possibilities. However, we are often inattentive, prone to be dismissive of many ideas and nip them in the bud or we fall in love with a thought only to forget it shortly thereafter. The trick is to listen to ideas proactively; believe that each thought has a valuable insight, juggle various thoughts consciously, look at problems as opportunities to exercise the grey cells and always carry pen and paper in the fond hope of getting a great idea. Do try to jot of some of the new thoughts so that when you read them again, they will trigger multiple ideas.

Explore creatively: All progress is the result of a ‘creative exploration’ done by individuals with the zeal, passion and self belief that they can leverage their ideas. The trick is to juggle various possibilities and select one that suits ones personal likings has a good fit with one’s personal, business or social objectives and surmount the obstacles that loom in front when the idea dice is rolled. Fear of failure is often the most common reason why people give up on ideas without much thought. To be creative one has to occasionally connect the dots, at other times fill in the gaps and far too often come up with out of the box solutions. The best of creativity comes when a person is passionate and he/ she is desperate. The urge to succeed must overcome the fear of failure if one has to become successful and creative.

Plan purposefully: Many an idea never sees the light of day simply because one is lazy, indifferent, casual, fearful, lacks self belief etc. but most of the time it is because one does not plan with a purpose. A plan starts with a clear goal and road map chalked out. This is not the result of a sudden flash in the pan event but the outcome of study, research, analysis and determination. A good plan must incorporate time frames, have inbuilt flexibility, have a proper resource allocation strategy and must be capable of being revised smoothly should the need arise.

Act decisively: A plan on paper is simply a redundant document. The plan comes alive when one begins by committing to the plan and decisively acting on the course of action outlined. Being bold and being committed are the two pillars on which decisive action rests. Acting decisively should not be mistaken to mean that one has to prod on even if the writing on the wall is clearly not in favor of it. There are times when being decisive means cutting one’s losses and quitting. Being decisive is like driving a car, merely sitting on the driver’s seat and turning the steering is not enough; one has to start the engine, engage the gears and move ahead balancing the accelerator and the brake pedal.

Remember: First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. Napoleon Hill

Action Points:

  1. Assume you want to start your own business venture. What are the three possible options you would consider and why. List out three impediments to your business plan.
  2. If you win a lottery of US1,000 what would you do with it?
  3. What are the possible themes you will explore for your next birthday party?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Our aim…

The soul that has no established aim loses itself. Michel de Montaigne

The biggest problem that people face is a troubled mind. Sometimes they are sad, other times worried, occasionally they are angry, then there are times when they are fearful, often they are lonely and most times they are simply aimless and frustrated. In fact most times the soul is restless because it is drifting around aimless and frustrated and as a result, the natural tendency is to lapse into a poor me syndrome. Thereafter it is simply a matter of choosing the theme to mop around on and wallowing in misery. When we are aimless there is no motivation and definitely no goal that we have to aim for and this results in a complete confusion and consequentially translates into frustration.

Why does one become aimless is a moot question that defies easy answers. The major reason is our own lack of any worthwhile ambition which is partly because of our casualness and largely because we do not really understand our own strengths and the immense possibilities within us. Then there are so many competing interests that we are passionate about, that we find it hard to make up our mind and perhaps find it difficult to commit to the rigors of those disciplines. E.g at a point we may want to be a writer and at the same time when we see the success of cricketers we want to pursue that.  Then there is our own limitations and weakness that impede us from focusing on a goal. These could include wanting quick money, instant fame, parental expectations, peer pressure etc.

So how does one attempt to ensure that the soul has the right aim and focus? It is imperative that we have some value systems and tangible beliefs, if we have to establish an aim in our life. Unless we are anchored to some firm values and aspirations our aim can never be steady. It could be religious values, it could be personal values or it could be acquired values from the examples of others but we must have some values to hold on to. Using these values as the fulcrum, we can explore the possibilities of zooming in to deciding on our goal. We can have a major guiding principle like some fixed values systems that govern our thoughts, deeds and actions and our goals can then be developed around it. It is equally important that we be aware of our personal weakness and limitations so that we can factor these in when firming up our goals. E.g if we have a short temper or have a tendency to be too critical then we need to know that being a customer care executive or a marketing man would not be a very apt choice for our professional life.

By having something to anchor our life, we ensure that we are never adrift in the sea of life. It is when we take life casually, treat opportunities carelessly and meander around like cows and sheep in  a pasture then we are setting ourselves up for trouble. Life passes by swiftly and suddenly we wake up to the terrible realization that we have no clue about the way forward. This is when many people give up hope, turn recluse, become cynical and worst of all experience terrible loneliness and suicidal tendencies. With an aim in front we proceed with focus, work with ambition and experience the joys of life fully and completely.

Remember: “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”  Henry Miller

Try this:

  1. Jot down the following
  • You long term career goal
  • Your personal goals for your own self satisfaction
  • Your goal as a committed citizen of this country
  • Your one value system you will never compromise on
  • Your commitment to a social cause
  1. Assume that you are really concerned about the dwindling tiger population in the world. Outline the various proactive steps you would take to actively contribute to this cause. Implement at least one of these and ensure it is not a very simplistic thing like merely forwarding links about the problem, on various social networking sites or by email.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Fulfilling expectations

The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our actions. André Godin

One reason for the frustrations of many is our inability to clearly identify our goals and our expectations. In the absence of clear expectations, we are constantly seeking something which always seems elusive and beyond our grasp. This leads to frustrations and irritation and the temptation to keep comparing with others who seem successful doesn’t help matters either. There are others who undermine their own abilities and are extra modest by nature thereby having minimum expectations and hence achieving far less than their true potential. Of course we also come across quite a few people who are boastful, brash and overconfident and attempt to bite off more than they can chew. The vast majority of us seem to fall in one of these three categories. The successful ones are those who by and large do not fall in the ambit of any of these categories.

It is interesting to study the style of those who are successful by our conventional yardstick of material wealth, social respect and a good family life. The one common observation one can make is that all of them uniformly had some aim and focus in their life. They spelled out their expectations from life after evaluating themselves and the environment around and set themselves challenging and motivating targets to achieve. They have with single minded devotion chased these targets, often making big sacrifices whilst relentlessly pursuing their goal. Another important thing to notice is that, they pace themselves in the pursuit of their goals. This effectively means that they keep setting their own expectations higher and higher as they progress in life.

If we keep our expectations high, we are bound to feel the pressure of it and hence will be more focused on taking the right proactive steps to attain our goals. That explains the success stories of those who join the IIT’s and get into the good B schools both in India and abroad. We will also take on more challenging and efficient means to ensure that we fulfill our expectations as per our plans. We may even invest more in order to ensure that we leave no stone unturned so as to reach our expectations. The numerous coaching classes that abound are proof of the extent to which people go in order to meet their academic expectations. Similarly professionals who take a sabbatical from work in order to pursue some high end academic courses are making a long term investment to fulfill their expectations.

It is said that there is always room at the top. However if one needs to reach there, we must plan for it but keep our expectations realistic and pragmatic. This effectively means that we must make steady progress up the ladder and not try to leapfrog and risk slipping off the slippery slopes of life. At the same time, we must be able to realize our true potential and match our expectations to our inherent potential.  It is also said that fortune favors the brave. So if one is brave enough to keep high expectations, then the chances of some lucky break coming ones way are equally high, because the break comes only to the one who is seeking it. One can also keep in mind the saying that ‘ if one aims for the stars, one may reach the tree tops’. Keeping high expectations would ensure that one attains much more than one’s own potential for the winds of our aspirations and the sheer power of our performance will invariably set our sails to those distant shores that we have set our sights on.

Remember: Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations Ralph Charell

Try this:

  1. Think of your favorite social cause that you support. Identify an organization or NGO that works for that cause. Assume you want to raise funds for their charity. Think up a target for how much you will raise and the various means of raising it. Go on and try to double your expectations and raise funds for that cause and donate it to them.
  2. Recount 3 occasions when your expectations failed you and analyze the reasons for that. Also recount 3 instances when events turned out far beyond your expectations. What were the reasons for that and what were your feelings in those moments.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Worthwhile Goal

If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?  Basil S. Walsh

As we go through life we realize that very often we are drifting and day dreaming simply because we have no focus. We lack focus because we haven’t discovered a worthwhile goal to focus upon and channelize our energies. Frustration in life is often the culmination of an unfocused mind aimlessly wandering seeking happiness in the pleasures of the world but feeling restless deep within. The cure for this is to aim at a worthwhile goal so that the way forward is clear, the pursuit is pleasurable and the milestones clearly outlined and progress easily measureable.

In sport there are clear rules and regulations and most importantly a method f determining success be it scoring goals, shooting baskets or racquet games having score lines or simple races with the first three positions given podium finishes.  Life though, is a different game in which you are both the participant and the referee, the challenge and the challenger, the hunted and hunter and on the stage of life you are the protagonist and the character actor. Goals are the only way to understand the game of life and  its rules and regulations. You can play various games in life; on the personal front it is marriage, family and home; on the professional front it is work, career and professionalism while on the social front it is social interactions, social obligations and participation in socio economic activities.

It is not just enough to have a goal; but it has to be a worthwhile goal that is ambitious enough, challenging and attainable. If the goal is specified it brings more clarity to how and where your efforts must be directed. Let us say you want to be in the medical profession; you would then be a dispensing chemist, a nurse, a physiotherapist or a doctor.  Alternatively if you decide to be a physiotherapist you will discover that you are more clear also about why you want to pursue that career. There are times when you change goals midway. Unlike a regular game, in life this is perfectly valid because circumstances may have changed, your interests are more developed or your passion for the original goal has waned. More than anything else, a clear goal is the best motivator because then your mind and body are synchronized to attain optimum performance and everyday becomes a fresh performance loudly applauded by your conscience and feelings.

Remember: Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Diana Scharf Hunt

Try these:

  1. What are your goals for your professional, personal and social commitments for the ensuing month? Do this on a regular basis for optimum performance. Monitor progress and performance for best results.
  2. Plan out 5 major things you need to achieve in the next 5 years. It could be on the lines of buying a 2 bedroom house; writing a book; being the president of the Rotary club etc. Chalk out the specific plans for each coming year with respect to your 5 year goal.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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