Tag: Appreciate what you have

Be yourself

12- Be yourselfImitation they say is the best form of flattery. Human beings have unfortunately interpreted this to be a virtue to be imbibed. Thus, the rampant cult following for the style, mannerism, behavior and imitation of cult heroes / heroines / fashion trends / branded products. This has also triggered the advertisement industry to perpetuate this myth by getting celebrities to endorse products thereby fueling the followers need to imitate or at least believe that the products are a must have. While one cannot escape from the influences around us, we do have a choice to evaluate logically, think rationally and act intelligently. It is this individuality that we need to bring back into our life and blossom into the unique personality that we are.

To blossom and give expression to your individuality one has to remember the following

Appreciate your uniqueness – Due to the sheer number of people around us and the competitive environment around, it is easy for an individual to feel insignificant and unworthy considering the superiority of those around us. It begins in childhood. The school topper is envied by the rest while the school topper is often envious of the best athlete or someone else who has a different talent or skill set that the topper lacks. The constant criticism that we as individuals are subject to, from family friends, teachers and well meaning neighbors further dents our self confidence and our uniqueness gets drowned in a sea of comparison, expectations, influences and  criticism. If you are constantly being nudged to follow the beaten path, be aware that you are different and that you are attempting to furrow your own path amidst the labyrinth of paths around. Remember when you stand out you get noticed and then you cannot escape attention.

Recognize the good around and imbibe it – In pursuit of being unique it is important that we do not keep bending the rules, transgressing the law and walking a thin line between moral and immoral activities. In fact one must consciously observe, adapt and adopt the good from others around. It could be simple things like punctuality, orderliness, thoroughness, persistence and politeness. You would also observe that some of these good qualities are in short supply around and anyone who adopts these has a good chance of being noticed. So uniqueness is not merely in doing something extra ordinary it could be in doing the ordinary in an excellent manner. Listening skills, empathy, respect, giving an honest opinion, having the courage to disagree and to disagree without being disagreeable are all virtues that can also make an individual showcase his/ her individuality.

Do not get carried away by trends and influencers – it is easy to imitate, blindly follow and succumb to the trends of the times. One does not have to think much to do it but it could come for a price. Copying may not suit your personality, it could cost much, it will make you part of a herd, it could make you fit in with the wrong crowd and you would be blissfully unaware of it. At times it could also make you stand out like a sore thumb; an embarrassment to those who love you and possibly also harm your reputation and creditability. Your uniqueness is often reflected in the strength of you character; be it in refusing to be pressurized into smoking and drinking or to be foul mouthed or refusing to copy in an exam or being truthful even at the cost of losing friends or making enemies. Sometimes your mettle is tested when you have to stand up for your friends and risk having to face the punishment they get, although you were never involved in the aberration.

Dare to be different – Many of us don’t dare for fear of failure. There is a risk in every act we do. Not trying is perhaps the one mistake that is often common to a mass of people. How can you judge your abilities unless you attempt. Failure is just an indication that you can do better. Not trying and therefore not failing is a waste of opportunity to explore your potential. Being different can be as simple as giving honest feedback, appreciation and respect. It could be in the way you approach a challenge, it could be in attempting something you have never done before or it could be in simply walking away from a foolhardy or stupid prank. Your individuality is in being yourself, resisting the temptation to prove anything to anyone and in expanding your comfort zone by willing to risk something for a worthwhile goal. It takes tremendous guts to dare to something when you have no audience, no applause and no appreciation. Being a whistleblower, an RTI activist and a conscientious citizen are opportunities for you to explore to be different and to mark your individuality.

Make it your Life – While we do need to lead a life that meets societal norms, family expectations and fully harness our potential we must not subjugate our life to mere existence in order to comply with expectations. It is MY LIFE that I need to lead should be at the core of living. Is it difficult to lead your own life? Frankly it just requires one to be believe in his/ her own uniqueness and find the right motivation to let the work know that you are standing up to be seen and counted. This could mean risking attention, performing extraordinarily well, being criticized, getting applauded but not getting carried away by it and above all letting the world know you have arrived.

Unless you lead YOUR LIFE how will the world experience your uniqueness your individuality and your being. Have you ever copied somebody’s signature and made it yours?  Just as your signature is your own unique identify, let your life too be a unique one; one that was never there before and one that will never be there again. Make the word richer by your presence.

Try these:

  • If you could go back and live your life again what are 3  things you would do differently?
  • Can you identify an individual who gave you a wonderful piece of advice that you still cherish.
  • What is your favorite saying / proverb / quote?
  • What would you like to be remembered for?

Share with us (by writing in to actspot@gmail.com) the following

  1. A unique video clip that you found engaging and invigorating
  2. A book that you found inspirational and motivating
  3. A real life story that you could empathize with
  4. An incident from your life that you wish to share with the readers.

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The secret to happiness

13-25-Happy days are around you...

The essential condition for being happy is enjoying the moment. The problem is that our mind tends to wander around and seeks to find real and imaginary problems to dwell upon and fret and fume over. The human tendency to scan around for problems is possibly a defense mechanism to protect our future for we are the only species that uses the higher intelligence to embrace progress. In effect this means that each day we want to get ahead of the previous day and this creates in us a fear of tomorrow for it has to be better than today and yesterday. Protecting our future and planning for it is important but it must never be at the cost of failing to enjoy the better part of our life. Stress is primarily an outcome or result of our obsession with the future and is a predominantly found in the human race.

To reduce our stress it is essential that we find a way to like each moment of our life and love our life. This means we need to create/ find/ invent / be happy. The challenge is to remain happy for as long as possible and that is possible only and only when we learn to enjoy whatever we have.  Here are some ways that we can continue to be happy moment to moment.

Appreciate what you have. We tend to take for granted whatever we are blessed with and on the rare times we are deprived of some of these blessings we notice the absence and react with alarm, fear, worry and exasperation. Look back at the time you sprained your ankle or suffered from flu or the time you misplaced a valuable thing. Your attitude and behavior is symptomatic of our tendency to take the good fro granted and the unwanted as a calamity. Remember the phrase; I complained because I had not shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.

Don’t compare. Nothing disturbs our peace of mind as much as our tendency to compare whatever we have with that of others who we perceive as having something better than what we have. In many ways our inability to appreciate what we have often has its roots in our weakness to focus on what others have. Pause for a moment and think about the possibility that ‘perhaps we are blessed with just the right mix leaving us enough opportunities to aspire, perspire and inspire us to achieve and attain more’ giving us the elation of achievement and success.

Be optimistic. Problems, hindrances, failures, fears and frustrations are part of everyday life. We are given the grace to be optimistic; to be hopeful, to visualize possibilities and to find creative ways to overcome and slay the demons of our negative imagination. It is when we are optimistic that we confront our fears and stop ourselves from running away from the problems we encounter.

Seek positives. When in difficulties, pain or trouble our reaction is to alleviate the suffering. The challenge thereafter is to be calm, have a clear head and to think logically so that we not only overcome our difficulties but come out unscathed. Almost all the prisoner of war (POW) escapes can be attributed to seeking out the positives even in the most inescapable circumstances. Ask yourself if you are a POW of your making; your defeatist attitude, your weak will and/ or your inability to confront reality.

Have fun. Have you seen people in casts displaying a variety of messages written on the cast by friends and well wishers? Have you seen people with a big smile hobble on crutches to a party or come on a wheel chair to the party? Ever notice that the best jokes are the ones people tell about themselves and the embarrassing situations they found themselves in?  The ability to laugh, to have fun, to find a reason to smile is perhaps the greatest gift you can bestow yourself.

Try this:

  • Prepare a funny paragraph containing the words. Each paragraph must have 5 sentences at least and must contain 7 -10 words from the list given below. The paragraphs need not be logical but must be coherent and humorous.

Man, socks, dog, green, TV, nail, Egg, elephant, hook, water, clock, TV, bucket, Adam, Ram, Flag, blue, wheel, cycle, eat, run, scream.

  • Prepare a list (laughs that you can have) of at least 5 each of the following
  1. Jokes
  2. Limericks
  3. Comedy Movies
  4. You tube clips
  5. Cartoons
  6. Sayings / Phrases

(You are welcome to share your contribution by writing in to actspot@gmail.com. Please give your name and age along with your contribution. Select contributions ( emphasis will be on originality and quality of humor) would be featured in this blog. )

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

How to be thankful

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. Estonian proverb

People have a natural tendency to expect a lot but very few deem it necessary to be grateful and thankful in the same proportion as that of the bounty they receive. In fact there are very many times that we rationalize that the haves are morally bound to share what they have with the have not’s. Unfortunately what we do not realize is that our real craving would not be as much for material possessions as much as for our psychological needs and that companionship, understanding, encouragement etc. are what nourishes our spirit and soul and no amount of thanks can ever equal the true worth of the act.

Right from childhood we are trained to liberally use the 3 magic words of please, sorry and thank you. As we grow up these words come unconsciously to the fore at the appropriate time, but alas they have lost the spirit and the feeling that should really accompany the words. Sometimes, a please often sounds like a muted threat, a sorry is said with such poor grace that the intended recipient begins to feel sorry for the other party’s lack of upbringing and thank you sounds harshly indifferent and almost unkind.  However all is not lost. There are still enough people who value their words and are genuine and are demonstrative with their feeling.

Many people believe that a thank you is to be only articulated and so they never visualize other possibilities. Helping the blind to cross a road is also a way of saying thank you for the gift of eyesight that you enjoy. Spending a day out at the old age home is a way of saying thank you for the gift of our wonderful grandparents. When we begin to see our small actions in this light, we realize that we are actually living our thank you. A token of appreciation would be a very tangible and practical way to demonstrate our thanks. However it is the grace and feeling with which we present it that is the real thank you that is valued and treasured.  Has it occurred to you that when we approach someone for help, it is a way of saying thank you to that persons abilities / expertise.  By requesting  their help we are acknowledging their competence and indirectly stating that we are thankful that they are available for us.

There are many acts done by others that we can never sufficiently thank them for.  Someone stepping in to lend you some big sums to help you avoid a major financial crisis or a stranger who helps out an accident victim/s or a soldier who sacrifices his life in the cause of the nations call are examples of people whose efforts can never be thanked enough. There is opportunity for each one of us though, to say a big thank you to the world at large and for the wonders of life. A small beginning is by doing everything within our power to promote ecofriendlyness and reduce the ecological imbalance. Reducing the use of plastics, moving on to using biodegradable items and actively supporting the environmental cause are some ways of saying thank you to our forefathers who gave us a beautiful world. The biggest thank you that a person can offer is to be a donor after death. Be it an eye donor or an organ donor, this is perhaps the best gift that one can give as the ultimate thank you to GOD for the wonderful life bestowed. More importantly the recipients will never be able to feel obliged and they would remain thankful to you in their hearts forever.

Remember: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Try this:

  1. Go and visit some of your old teachers and spent some time with them. Take a gift for them too. If they live too far away at least send them a small thank you card or letter.
  2. Be an active blood donor and at least once a year on your birthday try to donate blood. If you are medically not fit to donate blood you can try and encourage others to do so once a year.
  3. Make an effort to find out about how one can become an eye donor / organ donor. Perhaps you can also pass on the message about such organ donation to others.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Be grateful

To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have. Ken Keyes, Jr.

It is natural to compare and feel jealous and that is what makes us really human. The real problem though is not one of mere jealousy or comparisons but a problem of wanting to covet an others possession and / or feel hurt and upset that life has not been fair to us. In fact we spend a lot of time in trying to rationalize why someone who in our opinion does not deserve, is so richly blessed. This in effect is like mentally stating ‘it is ok that I don’t have it but it is very unfair that some else who does not deserve it has it’. More often than not the focus of our attention is on the material possessions that others have and which are simply not within our grasp.

Where many of us lose focus, is in not appreciating that we are blessed with so many gifts, talents and happiness almost of which we take for granted. The fact that we have a roof on our heads, a steady job or good business, a reasonable bank balance, a good family life and good health are all assumed to be our right and fair due. However if have some setbacks be it some relationships issues, health worries, financial burdens or simply stress we immediately correlate it to mean that we are unfortunate as compared to our neighbors, friends and relatives. In effect the outcome is frustration, hurt, acute anxiety which is coupled with envy, jealousy and negativity.

On the other hand if we changed our outlook and counted out blessings, we would suddenly realize that we are so much better of then those whom we envied. Happiness lies in counting ones blessings for then every day brings new surprises and wonders. The real benefit is that we stop envying others, do not make odious comparisons nor have unrealistic expectations for ourselves. The greatest benefit is in loving our life for what it is. The small niggles and occasional problems are seen in the right perspective that they are nothing compared to the bounty that we are enjoying. Do you really think a person with enormous ill gotten wealth would really enjoy a good night’s sleep? He would be more worried that his nefarious activities would be found out, he would be terrified that his wealth would be taken away by the law and he could paranoid that his respect, clout and status would be trampled over if he is ever found guilty or jailed. If you enjoy a good night’s sleep you can consider yourself as one of the really blessed people in the world.

By focusing on what we have, we can really make use of our talents and abilities and improve ourselves academically, economically, socially, psychologically and professionally. We would be more pragmatic in our outlook and actually enjoy seeing another person grow and prosper.  When we reach that stage in life, we can look back with a sense of pride and happiness that we have actually made good use of all that we have been showered with. We would accept our problems with a smile for we know that they are nothing compared to what we posses. By focusing on what we have we make new discoveries about our hidden abilities, latent talent and deep resources like empathy, understanding and affection. We then begin to share all that we have and make the profound realization that life gives to us much more than what we give out.

Remember: “Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” Charles Dickens

Try this:

  1. For one day attempt to do as many tasks as possible with the help of your weaker hand. Perhaps you will make a sudden discovery of how much you take your stronger hand for granted.
  2. Make a list of 5-7 special abilities/ gifts/ blessings that you feel you have got. Ask if you are really using those talents. Make an action plan to use the talents that you have not used or not using effectively. Eg. You believe you are a good organizer. However you have never been involved in any major work that requires good organization. Work out where you will volunteer to offer your services.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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